Statistics Canada projects that, by 2031, almost one-half of the population over the age of 15 will be foreign-born. The number of visible minorities will double and make up the majority of the population of cities in Canada.
Where are they from?
In 2006, Canada received 236,756 immigrants. The top ten sending countries, by state of origin, were
1. People’s Rpublic of China (28,896)
2. India (28,520)
3. Philippines (19,718)
4. Pakistan (9,808)
5. United States (8,750)
6. United Kingdom (7,324)
7. Iran (7,195)
8. South Korea (5,909)
9. Colombia (5,328)
10. Sri Lanka (4,068)
The top ten source countries were followed closely by France (4,026), and Morocco (4,025), with Romania, Russia, and Algeria each contributing over 3,500 immigrants.
How do we choose which ones to let in?
In Canada there are three categories of immigrants:
1. Family Class (closely related persons of Canadian residents)
2. Independent Immigrants (admitted on the basis of a point system that account for age, health and labour-market skills required for cost effectively inducting the immigrants into Canada's white-collar or blue-collar labour market), and
3. Refugees seeking protection by applying to remain in Canada.
In 2008, there were 65,567 immigrants in the family class,149,072 economic immigrants, and 21,860 refugees.
How do they become citizens?
Under Canadian nationality law an immigrant can apply for citizenship after living in Canada for 1095 days (3 years) in any 4 year period.
One of the largest groups to immigrate to Canada were the Scottish. The first Canadian prime minister, John A. Macdonald, was a Scot from Glasgow. His successor, Alexander Mackenzie, was also born in Scotland.