Published On: Wed, Apr 25th, 2018

Ontario Immigration Rates Rise After Decade of Declines

Ontario’s immigration rates are on the rise for the first time in a decade. Last year, 111,925 new residents moved to Ontario, accounting for 39% of all arrivals into Canada. The figure is up from lows of 95,838 in 2014, or just 36.8% of all arrivals during the 2014 year.

The Greater Toronto Area is the key location for Ontario newcomers with 85,500 of the 95,838 people settling in the area. Immigration figures in Ontario are up in January 2018, with 10,870 permanent residents moving to the area, up 48.6% from the same period last year.

Public domain photo/Wikimedia Commons

Immigration to the area is on the rise primarily due to the economic downturn in other parts of the country, primarily Alberta, which saw immigration rates drop from 49,200 in 2016 to 42,100 in 2017. Alberta’s immigration rates in the past 10 years have risen, while Ontario’s rates remained in a slump until 2017.

Quebec’s immigration share remained the same year-over-year at 18.3%, while British Columbia’s rate has remained stable at 13.5% after falling from its peak of 17.8% a decade prior.

A loss of immigration to British Columbia and Alberta is helping Ontario’s immigration rates rise. Housing affordability in the Greater Toronto Area is also a key factor in immigrants choosing the region to relocate to.

Canada has recently changed its immigration rules, giving hope to families of disabled people. A 40-year-old rule that make it inadmissible to allow immigrants on the basis of medical condition has been overruled. The rule was put in place to lower the burden of health and social services for disabled family members that have caregivers in Canada.

Caregivers now have hopes that their disabled family members will have their applications reviewed after decades of applications being stalled.

Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that they have increased the threshold for applicants and family members that apply for citizenship by three times the current rate. The new policy is an attempt to balance publicly funded social and health services.

Families often have an applicant that can be approved for residency, yet the person is denied because they have a family member, son or daughter that has a disability or costly medical conditions. Canada denies some 1,000 people annually because of medical inadmissibility.

“Some applicants are denied because of health reasons. Applicants for immigration to Canada may be refused entry to Canada if health problems were discovered on their medical exam. Health problems like diabetes or hepatitis A, for instance, have been considered burdensome on the Canadian healthcare system, leading CIC to refuse an applicant who is otherwise eligible. You may be able to appeal a denial on health grounds,” states immigration lawyer Toronto.

Lawmakers and organizations that deal with migrant worker rights question if the applications which have piled up throughout the years will now be addressed under the new law. Retroactive cases have not been addressed properly following the announcement. Many applicants have been separated from their families.

The modest improvements are expected to help many of these families reunite, but there has been no clear indication as to whether or not past cases will be reviewed.

Author: Jacob Maslow

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