The foreign shores attract one and many with promises of a higher salary and a better life. In 2017, there were at least 17 million Indians living abroad in search of a superior living, up by 143% from 1990 when only about 7 million Indians resided on foreign lands. The data has been made available by the UN Department of Economic Affairs.

With promises galore, of all the foreign lands, it is Canada that tops the list for being the top choice for immigrating Indians. In 2018, the number of Indians who applied and got citizenship in Canada rose by almost 50%. As against 9992 Indian being granted Canadian citizenship from April – October 2017, about 15016 Indians got their citizenship in Canada in the corresponding period in 2018.This is the figures for Indians who were living in Canada on permanent residency visa. In 2017, 51651 Indians obtained permanent residency in Canada and was on the top of the list of the total 2.68 lakh foreigners who were granted PR visa to Canada in the year.

(Source: https://scroll.in/latest/907032/number-of-indians-who-got-canadian-citizenship-this-year-rose-by-50-times-of-india)

Canada as an Immigration Destination

Viewed as one of the most peaceful countries in the world, Canada has shot to become a top immigration destination over the years. With a diversified culture, Canada is one of the few nations with a national policy that encourages multiculturalism. The political scenario of the country is also quite stable with parliamentary democracy being practiced thoroughly here. Due to efforts by the government to boost trade with US, today Canada is one of the few nations where residents enjoy a high standard of living backed by modern and advanced technology.

The US News and World Report ranks Canada second, just after Sweden, as the best country for immigrants. The Report assesses about 80 countries on differing parameters that cover economic and social aspects to rank the countries. A short summary of the same is as below: –

Overall ranking – Canada is placed at second with a score of 9.7 out of 10.

Quality of Life – Canada is ranked number 1 on this attribute. The country is politically & economically stable with the presence of a strong job market. It is safe, family-friendly and affordable. Canada has a superior quality of public education system and health system.

Citizenship – on this parameter Canada ranks second. The key differentiators are that the citizens of the country are trustworthy, they are progressive; there is gender equality, people care about the environment, human rights and property rights. There is religious freedom in the society and the political power is well-distributed.

Education – Canada was ranked first in this criterion. Education in Canada is free at the primary and the secondary level and mandatory too. The International Student Assessment by the OECD (Organization for Economic cooperation and Development) reports that students of the country can score above par.

Entrepreneurship – The country was ranked sixth amongst 80 countries on this aspect. Doing business is easy and encouraging here because the industry is marked by transparent and ethical business practices, has well-developed infrastructure and an educated population to support industrial growth. There is a well-developed legal network and has the right kind of environment for international business to take place. Skilled labor is short though and the country therefore has very friendly immigration policies to attract qualified foreign nationals to take up permanent residency here.

Ranking on other parameters Open for Business No. 7 Power No. 12 Cultural Influence No. 12 Adventure No. 19

(Reference: https://www.usnews.com/news/best-countries/canada)

When countries with similar climates were assessed Canada was found to be better compared to Finland and Norway. When it came to ranking countries with similar immigration systems, Canada was again at the top leaving behind Australia and New Zealand.

Reasons why Indians prefer Canada over other countries for immigration

Of the 34 OECD countries, Canada is the most preferred destination for immigration. Many developed countries including USA over the last few years have been tightening their immigration rules and regulations in order to restrict entry of immigrants. Canada is one of the advanced countries in the world that is still going strong on its immigration with friendly policies and one that is accepting bulk immigrants. The multi-year Immigration Plan of Canada shared with public shows that the country plans to take about a million immigrants in 2021. For this year, the country has shared a plan of accepting more than 3 lakh immigrants on permanent residency visa. It is largely believed that Canada’s growing economy is ably supported by the immigrant population and hence the government and the local people are more than happy to welcome interested immigrants to their country.

The fact that many Indians, especially young and educated Indians are willing to move to Canada comes from reasons stated above where the economic and political steadiness of the country is far better compared to back home. Compared to Canada, opportunities in India are still less even though things are changing rapidly now. Jobs are more, entrepreneurs have better options, infrastructure is much more advanced, and the quality of life is way better in Canada than in their own home country. Additionally, the pleasant weather, picturesque towns and cities, and the presence of good entertainment and adventure opportunities make it the first choice for many young Indians.

Add to this the fact that the Canadian Immigration policy of Express Entry invites skilled workers to apply for permanent residency (PR) visa based on a CRS score. All of this makes things meaningful and better for hundreds of Indians who dream of making it big. This is ably supported by the reality of a better education and health system that spells good for a family; a much more friendly taxation policy; presence of hygienic conditions; well-developed transportation and infrastructure etc. India and Canada have always shared a strong bi-lateral relations and Indian festivals and culture is highly celebrated and appreciated by Canadian locals. All of this makes Canada one of the most attractive propositions for immigration interested Indians.

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