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Canadian immigration remained at high levels in 2009

The rate of immigration remains high with more than 500,000 new permanent and temporary residents in 2009. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney had the following to say:

"Momentum toward a full economic recovery continued throughout 2009, and immigration will continue to support that momentum." Immigration Minister Kenney went onto say that "The Government of Canada is maintaining immigration levels to meet Canada's short-, medium- and long-term economic needs, help offset our aging population and low birthrate, and sustain our workforce."

Canadian immigration released the following immigration statistics:

• There were 252,124 new immigrants in 2009. Canadian immigration had a target of between 240,000 and 265,000 new permanent residents.

• The immigration levels are 30,000 higher than the average annual intake of permanent residents in the 1990s.

• Sixty percent of new Canadian immigrants were economic migrants bringing must needed skills and experience to Canada.

• There were 178,640 temporary foreign workers and 85,131 foreign students who came to Canada in 2009.

Canadian immigration also mentioned that overseas workers and students who graduate in Canada can remain through the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and through a provincial nominee program. In 2009 Canadian immigration accepted 2,544 CEC applicants. Immigration Minister Kenney had the following comments to make:

"The number of foreign students who came to Canada grew by seven percent last year, resulting in the highest number of foreign students ever admitted to Canada." He went onto say "To be a more innovative society able to compete and prosper in a global, knowledge-based economy, Canada needs people with an international outlook, skills and experience. Attracting more international students is a priority for our government."

Canadian immigration also provided further details of refugee statistics:

• 22,844 refugees emigrated to Canada. This included resettling 7,425 government-assisted refugees and 5,036 privately sponsored refugees.

• There were also 10,383 refugees in Canada who had made successful asylum claims plus their dependants.

• Further immigration reforms will if they go ahead result in an increase in twenty percent in the number of government-assisted and privately sponsored refugees resettled in Canada.

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) also released the most requested statistics from the last quarter of 2009 (September to December).

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