200% rise in in­vites to In­di­ans for Cana­dian per­ma­nent res­i­dency

The Times of India (New Delhi edition) - - FRONT PAGE - Lubna.Kably@ Global To­tal

Mum­bai: Canada has emerged as a cov­eted des­ti­na­tion for In­dia’s di­as­pora. In­di­ans ap­pear gung-ho about Canada’s Ex­press En­try pro­gramme which in­vites topranked can­di­dates — un­der the coun­try’s point-based im­mi­gra­tion sys­tem — to take up per­ma­nent res­i­dency.

Ex­press En­try is Canada’s flag­ship pro­gramme for key eco­nomic mi­gra­tion. Un­der the scheme, out of the 86,022 in­vi­ta­tions sent in 2017, nearly 42% (or 36,310) were to those hold­ing In­dian cit­i­zen­ship.

The to­tal num­ber of in­vi­ta­tions sent in 2017 was more than dou­ble the pre­vi­ous year — 33,782.

In 2016, the num­ber of in­vites sent to those hav­ing In­dian cit­i­zen­ship in Canada was merely 11,037, show­ing an in­crease by more than 200% a year later.

Ac­cord­ing to the Ex­press En­try Year-end Re­port, 2017, is­sued re­cently by the Cana­dian gov­ern­ment’s im­mi­gra­tion division, a lit­tle over one lakh ap­pli­ca­tions were re­ceived for per­ma­nent res­i­dency un­der the Ex­press En­try pro­gramme in 2017, 86,022 in­vi­ta­tions were sent and 65,401 per­ma­nent res­i­dents and their fam­i­lies were ad­mit­ted into Canada. Nearly 40% of this to­tal or 26,000-plus In­di­ans be­came per­ma­nent res­i­dents in Canada.

Among those ap­pli­cants who had job of­fers and were ad­mit­ted as per­ma­nent res­i­dents, oc­cu­pa­tions like in­for­ma­tion sys­tem an­a­lysts, soft­ware en­gi­neers and de­sign­ers, com­puter pro­gram­mers and univer­sity lec­tur­ers topped the charts.

These sta­tis­tics, show­ing an in­crease in num­ber of In­di­ans opt­ing for Cana­dian per­ma­nent res­i­dency, strengthen the be­lief that many H-1B visa hold­ers, tired of the back­log and in­fi­nite wait for a green card in the US—a green card grants per­ma­nent res­i­dency on Amer­i­can soil—are now head­ing to­wards Canada. Cur­rently, more than three lakh In­di­ans in the US are wait­ing for a green card, CATO In­sti­tute, a Wash­ing­ton-based think tank, states that given the green card back­log, the wait­ing pe­riod for In­di­ans with an ad­vanced de­gree (those in the EB-2 cat­e­gory) could be as much as 151years.

Vikram Rangnekar, now an en­tre­pre­neur in Toronto, is among those who made the move. “I lived in the US for six years on H-1B visa. I had a great life in Cal­i­for­nia, lots of friends, an awe­some job, and en­joyed the out­doors. Then, I re­alised that I didn’t want to con­tinue liv­ing my life on a re­stric­tive visa. I wanted more free­dom, I wanted to work on my own ideas and that was just not pos­si­ble un­der the H-1B visa.”

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