According to preliminary figures, nearly 500,000 temporary as well as permanent residents were welcomed in Canada.
Jason Kenney, Canada immigration minister said that Canadian government is maintaining levels of immigration in Canada needed to aid short and long term needs of Canadian economy, to offset the effects of low birthrate and aging population; and to maintain required workforce in Canada.
Canada government had planned for nearly 240,000 to 265,000 new immigrants for 2009 and by allowing a total of 252,124 new permanent residents in Canada in 2009, Canada immigration has followed the targeted figures laid down by Canadian government.
The figures are 30,000 more than the average annual new permanent residents allowed in Canada in the 1990s.
Out of total new permanent residents allowed in Canada in 2009, nearly 60 percent were economic migrants.
Apart from new permanent residents immigrating in Canada in 2009, 85,131 were those with Canadian student visas and 178,640 were temporary foreign workers.
Out of these, a large number of immigrants will have an opportunity to apply for permanent residency in Canada through the CEC (Canadian Experience Class). In the year 2009, 2,544 CEC applicants were accepted by CIC.
In addition, different provincial nominee programs also allowed several temporary foreign workers to live and work in Canada permanently.
The year 2009 saw an increase in the foreign students arriving on Canada student visa by 7 percent, which resulted in largest number of international students allowed into Canada, quipped Kenney reiterating that attracting increasing number of foreign students into Canada is a top priority for Canadian government since people with international skills, experience and outlook are needed to make it competitive globally.
Apart from largest number of foreign students immigrating to Canada last year, 22,844 refugees(including 5,036 privately sponsored and 7,425 government-aided refugees were given entry into Canada by Canada immigration department.
And if the proposed refugee laws are accepted, then there will be an increase of nearly 20 percent in the number of privately sponsored as well as government-assisted refugees in Canada.