Government hopes to encourage more immigration from China






John McCallum, the Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), who recently returned from a trip to China, has described his efforts there to expand the number of application centres for those who wish to apply for visitor visas, study permits, or work permits.   McCallum encouraged the Chinese government to create more visa application centres to allow Chinese citizens to make applications for Canadian visas.  Currently there are only 5 such application centres in China, and the Minister would like to see between 10 and 15.


Chinese citizens are the fastest growing group of global travellers.  When they visit Canada, they spend on average $750 (US) per day, greatly contributing to the economy.


Similarly, many post-secondary schools in Canada rely on the higher tuition fees that they receive from foreign students, and Chinese students are one of the main sources of foreign students.  


China is also the third largest source country for new immigrants to Canada, with Philippines and India being first and second in 2014, the last year there are statistics for.  These new immigrants bring work skills and financial capital to Canada that contribute to Canada’s economy and to Canadian society.


Minister McCallum also expressed his intention to spread out new immigration from Canada more evenly across the country.  Most new immigrants congregate in major cities such as Toronto and Vancouver.  McCallum hopes to attract new immigrants to other parts of Canada, including to the Maritimes through a new pilot project announced in July 2016.  


With Prime Minister Justin Trudeau planning a visit to China for the G20 summit in September, this is an opportune time for Canada to continue to build strong relations with China, and to ensure that there is opportunity for travel and immigration between the two countries.  With decisions to be made as to the number of new immigrants to be admitted into Canada over the new few years, coming to an agreement with the Chinese government that will enable its citizens to more easily travel to Canada is an important first step.


Matthew Jeffery, Barrister & Solicitor, is a Canadian immigration lawyer based in Toronto, Canada. Mr. Jeffery specializes in all types of immigration cases, including applications for permanent residence such as Family Sponsorships, Skilled Workers, Canadian Experience Class, and Humanitarian cases; applications for temporary residence including Work Permits, Student Visas, and Visitor Visas; as well as Permanent Resident Card renewals and Citizenship applications.
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