Latest Canadian immigration figures from the OECD

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The Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) recently released its International Migration Outlook Report for 2013. The report contains subsidiary reports on all the 34 countries that make up the OECD including Canada.

The report finds that Canada has continued to accept more migrants than most other OECD countries; it is sixth in the OECD. According to Statistics Canada, the country receives on average 7.5 immigrants per thousand people annually; one of the highest in the industrialised world and twice the rate of the US. Much of Canada's population growth in recent years has been down to immigration.

The latest figures presented in the report are for 2011. Overall immigration fell by 11% on the previous year. Canada admitted 249,000 new permanent residents in 2011. 62.8% of these were admitted under the economic migrant stream. This stream includes those who are admitted to Canada for work purposes and their families. Only 22.7% of new permanent residents were admitted under the family stream.

The OECD breaks down the figures differently in its report, including family members of workers as family migrants. Consequently, the OECD figure shows that, in 2011, 25.9% of new Canadian permanent residents are in the 'work' category. This compares very favourably to the US figure of 6.1%.

Many new Canadians from Asia

The three major countries of origin for new economic permanent residents were Asian. They were
  1. The Philippines 14%
  2. China 12%
  3. India 10%

Canada also admitted around 191,000 temporary workers under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program in 2011, 6.4% more than in 2010 and also issued nearly 100,000 student visas, 3.3% more than the previous year. There were also around 36,000 humanitarian migrants in 2011.

The OECD notes that Canada reformed its economic immigration categories in 2012. Regular readers of will know that Canada reformed its main skilled worker immigration program, the Federal Skilled Worker Program, and also expanded the Canadian Experience Class and announced the creation of both the Start-up visa for entrepreneurs and the Federal Skilled Trade Program for tradespeople.

Canada intends to move towards an 'expression of interest' model for work-based immigration in coming years. Immigration minister Jason Kenney has already introduced major changes in 2012 and he has said he wants to introduce further changes to allow new residents in Canada to 'hit the ground running.

Permanent migration figures


Temporary migration figures

Working holiday50,00055,000
Seasonal workers23,90024,100
Intra company transfer13,60013,500
Other temporary85,50087,500

Top ten countries of origin

  1. Philippines
  2. China
  3. India
  4. United States
  5. Iran
  6. United Kingdom
  7. Haiti
  8. Pakistan
  9. France
  10. United Arab Emirates

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