Immigration Canada is planning to reduce immigrant visas by 5 per cent in 2011, according to Richard Kurland, a Vancouver immigration lawyer who obtained the data under an ‘Access to Information’ request.
The Asian community in Vancouver is outraged over allegations that the number of visas issued in 2011 for family reunification also seems set for a dramatic reduction, meaning that many Asian and South Asian families living in Canada will have to wait even longer to bring their parents and grandparents over. Seniors are being sentenced to a 13-year wait – many won’t live long enough to experience the reunion that they have been planning for years.
It seems those hardest hit will be seniors from cities such as New Delhi, whose visas to Canada will drop by almost 50% this year, compared to 2010. This is a blow to Asian communities who traditionally enjoy a closely knit family unit, treasuring and looking after their elders.
Conversely, one of the few increases expected in 2011 will be a slight increase in visas issued to business immigrants, including entrepreneurs and wealthy investors.
According to Johanne Nadeau, spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the country last year welcomed 280,636 permanent residents, the highest number of immigrants admitted into the country in 50 years.
She also cautioned that visa targets were merely a planning tool and that it would be “wrong to infer from planning numbers how many people Canada will actually welcome in 2011”.