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.
Wait for Green Card sends desis to Canada
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 151 years.
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.”