In November 2022, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada unveiled a new strategy which will dramatically impact Canadian immigration from the Indo-Pacific region. As immigration to Canada is set to increase over the next few years in accordance with the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan, it is important to understand which countries the increase is likely to come from and how recent plans will impact the distribution of immigrants throughout the country.

Importance of the Indo-Pacific Region to Canadian Immigration 

The Indo-Pacific region is one of the key regions impacting Canadian Immigration, which is why the Canadian government has developed additional immigration strategies specifically pertaining to this area. 

India, the Philippines, and China were the top three nations reported by recent Canadian immigrants. These countries alone accounted for the birthplace of just under 40% of the landed immigrants in Canada between 2016 and 2021. Pakistan, which is also in the Indo-Pacific region, was mentioned as the seventh most common birthplace for recent Canadian immigrants. 

The Indo-Pacific region is also a large region from which many of Canada’s international students call home. Canada has welcomed approximately 65% of international students from this region in recent years. 

Canadian Government Heavily Invests in Indo-Pacific Region

Due to its impact on Canadian immigration, Canada is making a large monetary investment into the Indo-Pacific. A total of almost $2.3 billion dollars will be spent on new initiatives and investments over the next five years as part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. The Strategy has five primary strategic objectives, including: 

  • promoting peace, resilience and security; 
  • expanding trade, investment and supply chain resilience; 
  • investing in and connecting people;
  • building a sustainable and green future; and
  • having Canada as an active and engaged partner to the Indo-Pacific.

Although not all of these objectives will directly impact immigration to Canada, investment in this region will raise Canada’s international profile, which may indirectly increase Canada’s immigration by fostering positive relationships in the international community.

Visa Processing Investment Will Make Immigration More Efficient 

Of the five strategic objectives, investing in and connecting people relates most closely to Canadian immigration policy. This aspect of the Indo-Pacific Strategy is anticipated to lead to a significant immigration investment in the region. 

As part of investing in and connecting people, Canada has committed to expanding educational exchanges, bolstering visa processing capacity, and empowering Canadian organizations and experts to engage in the region on an even greater level. Canada has also promised to increase its feminist international assistance to address local development challenges, advance collective efforts toward the Sustainable Development Goals, and continue to engage and defend human rights in the region. 

Minister of Immigration Sean Fraser recently said:

“The Indo-Pacific region is vital for Canada’s immigration and will continue to be in the future. Today’s announcement brings significant new funding to help boost Canada’s visa application processing capacity at home and abroad. As we look to record growth in admissions in the years ahead, this funding will help promote greater diversity among those looking to visit, study, work or live in Canada.”

Total investment of $74.6 million over five years

To achieve these goals, an investment of $74.6 million will be made over the next five years. Although this investment may seem paltry compared to the total $2.3 billion committed to the Indo-Pacific Strategy, the Canadian government is confident that this investment will significantly impact immigration from the Indo-Pacific region. 

The investment will help to boost immigration application processing capacity in Canada and in select cities in the Indo-Pacific region. By investing in application processing in specific cities, the Canadian government aims to reduce application processing times which, in turn, will help bring people to Canada more easily. 

Indo-Pacific Strategy and Permanent Residency 

Increased immigration to Canada from the Indo-Pacific will inevitably lead to more permanent residents and international students being accepted from that region. For international students, the process for applying for a study permit was simplified even before considering the investments that will be made as part of the Indo-Pacific Strategy. International students from China, India, Pakistan, the Philippines, and Vietnam can apply through the Student Direct Stream to have their applications expedited. 

To qualify, applicants must have:

  • a letter of acceptance from a designated learning institution in Canada;
  • a guaranteed investment certificate of $10,000 CAD; and 
  • must pass a language test in either English or French.

Over the next few years, Canada is primed to accept more permanent residents than ever before, according to the goals set out in the 2023-2025 Immigration Levels Plan. Multiple paths to permanent residency are available to those who may benefit from Canada’s Indo-Pacific strategy. Individuals wishing to come to Canada can apply for permanent residence through a family sponsorship, Provincial Nominee Program, or Express Entry

International student experience in Canada can help applicants obtain permanent residency by providing them with the necessary prerequisites to fulfill the experience requirement under some of the Express Entry streams.

The Trusted Lawyers at Garson Immigration Law Guide Individuals Through the Canadian Immigration Process

Garson Immigration Law is a firm exclusively dedicated to the practice of immigration law. We have a substantial track record of successfully guiding clients through the immigration process, regardless of the route they are eligible for. We work closely with clients to understand their needs and qualifications in order to find the most efficient immigration solution. 

The immigration lawyers at Garson Immigration Law are experienced in assisting clients with immigration applications for Canada. If you have questions about immigrating to Canada contact us online or at 416-321-2860.

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