General and Broad Information about Canadian Immigration
As a definition we can say that Immigration to Canada
is the process by which people migrate to Canada to reside permanently in the country. Many, but not all, become citizens. People have been migrating to the geographic region of Canada for hundreds of years, with rates of immigration and source countries varying throughout time. After 1947 domestic immigration law went through many major changes, most notably with the Immigration Act, 1976, and the current Immigration and Refugee Protection Act from 2002.
Currently Canada is known as a country with a broad immigration policy which is reflected in Canada's ethnic diversity. According to the 2001 census by Statistics Canada, Canada has 34 ethnic groups with at least one hundred thousand members each, of which 10 have over 1,000,000 people and numerous others represented in smaller amounts.
Did you know that, based on the Canada 2001 Census total population of 30,007,094 people, immigration represented 0.834% population growth that year. On a compounded basis, that immigration rate represents 8.7% population growth over 10 years, or 23.1% over 25 years (or 6.9 million people).
Since 2001, immigration has ranged between 221,352 and 262,236 immigrants per annum. According to Canada's Immigration Program (October 2004) Canada has the highest per capita immigration rate in the world.
In 2008, approximately 176,000 people became Canadian citizens and took an oath of citizenship at ceremonies across the country. The oath is a personal commitment to accept the responsibilities and privileges of Canadian citizenship.
- Top Ten Origin Countries of Immigrants (1996 - 2000)
- 1) China
- 2) India
- 3) Pakistan
- 4) Philippines
- 5) South Korea
- 6) Sri Lanka
- 7) United States
- 8) Iran
- 9) Former Yugoslavia
- 10) Great Britain
Canada has a proud tradition of welcoming immigrants. Our immigration system, refugee system and network of organizations to help newcomers settle and integrate are among the best in the world. One of every six Canadian residents was born outside the country. Immigration has helped to make Canada a culturally rich, prosperous and progressive nation.
The Government of Canada is committed to reaching out to Canadians and newcomers and is developing lasting relationships with ethnic and religious communities in Canada. It encourages these communities to participate fully in society by enhancing their level of economic, social, and cultural integration. CICís Multiculturalism Program draws its mandate from the Canadian Multiculturalism Act (1988).