Immigration to Canada
Although most developed countries in the world have anti-immigration policies, Canada is an exception to this rule. With one of the largest territories in the world and a small population, this North American country is considered to be one of the largest population voids in the world.
Given this situation, Canada is one of the few countries in the world that has policies to encourage immigration, that is, that have programs to support the installation of new residents in its territory.
However, it is important to note that although migration policies exist, this does not mean that the process of accepting new residents is easy. The Canadian government requires a series of criteria for receiving immigrants, which mainly include four groups of people to settle in the country with the granting of permanent visas.
The first group of people are those who have some kind of relationship with inhabitants who are already installed in Canada. For this reason, the Canadian government understands that the existence of relatives on Canadian soil can facilitate the installation of new residents, in addition to allowing the establishment of a support community that can assist in the installation and permanence of these people in the country.
The second large group of immigrants who come to Canada are economic immigrants. In general, these people settle in the country in search of economic opportunities. Composed mainly of qualified professionals and entrepreneurs, economic immigrants move to Canadian territory to invest in the country or to occupy professional positions that are expanding in Canada.
In addition to businessmen, entrepreneurs, as well as self-employed and professional workers for expanding strategic sectors in the country, such as the civil construction sector and the rapidly expanding timber industry in the Canadian economy, enter the economic immigrant class. In general, a large part of economic immigrants are directed to large urban centers such as Quebec and Montreal.
However, as much of the country is considered to be a large demographic void, many immigration programs direct new residents to strategic areas, precisely to encourage the establishment of cities and the population there.
Other immigration incentive programs in Canada include support for refugees and people for humanitarian reasons, which form the third and fourth immigration groups in the country. These classes include people who need to leave their countries due to the occurrence of wars and armed conflicts, as well as people who suffer from political, religious persecution or who live in places that have suffered humanitarian crises and natural disasters.
Canada is currently considered one of the countries with the highest proportion of immigrants in the world. Data from the country’s census indicate that about 20% of its population, that is, 1 in every 5 inhabitants of Canada, is of foreign origin.
Being open to immigration does not necessarily mean that it is easy to live in Canada; in reality, the government of the country seeks to restrict and control the entry of people into the country, with a policy of territorial planning. Still, the country suffers from some influx of illegal immigration.
The major problem with the illegality of immigration in Canada is mainly related to the lack of access to public policies in the country. Without a regularized visa, people do not have access to the health system in the country, nor do they have any guarantee of their rights, which can significantly decrease their quality of life and still put their physical integrity at risk.
In addition, the cold climate and low temperatures can be considered weighting factors for immigrants who choose Canada as their destination. In some parts of the country, located closer to the Arctic region, winter can be –30 ºC, that is, a weighting factor for the installation of people in those places.