Canada is still welcoming Indians to study, work and immigrate despite the shaky Indo-Canadian relationship in the wake of Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s accusation that India was likely involved in the killing of a prominent Sikh leader.
Earlier in September, Trudeau drew the ire of the Indian government when he alleged it was involved in the slaying of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar outside a Sikh temple in Surrey, British Columbia on June 18.
The victim had been a supporter of an independent Khalistani state, a Sikh homeland, and had been branded a terrorist and leader of a militant separatist group by India.
“Canadian security agencies have been actively pursuing credible allegations of a potential link between agents of the government of India and the killing of a Canadian citizen, Hardeep Singh Nijjar,” Trudeau reportedly said in the House of Commons.
“Any involvement of a foreign government in the killing of a Canadian citizen on Canadian soil is an unacceptable violation of our sovereignty. It is contrary to the fundamental rules by which free, open and democratic societies conduct themselves.
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“As you would expect, we have been working closely and co-ordinating with our allies on this very serious matter.”
India dismissed the allegations, calling them absurd.
“Such unsubstantiated allegations seek to shift the focus from Khalistani terrorists and extremists, who have been provided shelter in Canada and continue to threaten India’s sovereignty and territorial integrity,” India’s ministry of external affairs reportedly replied.
“The inaction of the Canadian government on this matter has been a long-standing and continuing concern.”
Despe the palpable tension in diplomatic circles between the two countries, Canada remains bullish on immigration from India and Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada is still very much issuing work and study permits to Indians and encouraging them to immigrate here.
India Tops List Of Most Important Sources Of New Permanent Residents To Canada
In fact, India is the most important source of new permanent residents to Canada, far outstripping the contribution of second-place China in the top ten list of sources of new permanent residents.
The latest IRCC data reveals India provided 118,245 new permanent residents to Canada last year, or more than 27 per cent of the total 437,610 new permanent residents last year.
And India’s importance to Canada as a source of new permanent residents has only grown since then. In the first seven months of this year, India provided 96,085 new permanent residents to Canada, or more than 31.6 per cent of the total 303,955 during that time frame.
At the current rate of immigration from India, that country could close off this year having provided 164,717 new permanent residents to Canada, or 39.3 per cent more than last year.
In 2022 and again this year, the vast majority of Indians gaining permanent residency in Canada immigrated here through economic programs, most notably the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP), Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), and Canadian Experience Class (CEC).
The popularity of the CEC for Indians seeking permanent residency in Canada is a natural offshoot of their high number of international students from India at Canadian colleges and universities and Indians working in Canada under temporary work permits.
IRCC Issued 225,940 Study Permits To Indians Last Year
Last year, more than 41.1 per cent of all study permits issued to international students in Canada went to Indians. The IRCC issued 225,940 study permits to Indians in 2022 out of a total 549,260 for the year.
In the first seven months of this year, IRCC data shows Canada issued 107,855 study permits to Indians out of a total of 289,875 study permits issued during that period.
The IRCC allows students to work while studying in Canada.
A student may be able to work in Canada during his or her studies under the following categories:
- On campus without a Work Permit;
- Off campus with a Work Permit;
- In Co-op and Internship Programs, where work experience is part of the curriculum, with a Work Permit.
Spouses or common-law partners of foreign students are also eligible for work permits for the duration of the study permit.
Upon graduation, a foreign student may apply for a work permit under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. Under this program, the work permit may be issued for the length of the study program, up to a maximum of three years.
The valuable work experience gained while an international grad works in Canada under a PGWP can count towards a permanent residence application through Canada Express Entry system.
Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) used by Express Entry system programs, applicants for immigration are assigned points based on:
- work experience;
- language ability;
- language ability and education of the applicant’s spouse or common law partner;
- possession of a job offer supported by a positive Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA);
- possession of a provincial government nomination for permanent residence, and;
- certain combinations of language skills, education and work experience that result in a higher chance of the applicant becoming employed (skill transferability).
Indians Granted 201,090 Temporary Work Permits In Canada In First Seven Months Of This Year
Indians are also a valuable source of temporary foreign workers for Canadian businesses. Last year, 18,980 Indians received work permits under the Temporary Foreign Worker Program (TFWP) and another 142,315 Indians got work permits through the International Mobility Program (IMP).
That was a total of 161,295 temporary foreign workers from India who got their work permits last year.
The importance of India as a source of temporary foreign workers has only grown since then with 183,740 Indians receiving work permits under the IMP in the first seven months of this year and another 17,350 through the TFWP.
That’s a total of 201,090 work permits under these programs to foreign nationals from India during that time frame so far this year.