Surge in Indian Migration to Canada Amid Favorable Immigration Policies

  1. Increase in Immigration Numbers: The number of Indians immigrating to Canada has increased dramatically, more than quadrupling from 32,828 in 2013 to 139,715 in 2023, a rise of 326%.
  2. Educational Decisions: Many Indian students are choosing Canadian universities over U.S. ones due to more favorable immigration policies in Canada. These policies make it easier for them to work temporarily and secure permanent residency.
  3. Canadian Immigration Policies: Canada does not have an annual limit on high-skilled temporary visas and processes most visas for high-skilled foreign nationals within two weeks. In contrast, the U.S. has a cap on H-1B visas and a challenging path to permanent residency, especially for Indians, who face a decades-long wait.
  4. Impact of Diplomatic and Policy Issues: Recent diplomatic tensions between India and Canada and a temporary Canadian cap on new international student permits may affect the number of Indians able to secure student visas in the short term.
  5. Long-term Prospects: Canada offers attractive options for obtaining permanent residence, especially for graduates. This contrasts with the U.S., where policy changes under the Trump administration made it more challenging for international students to obtain work visas and permanent residence.
  6. International Student Enrollment Trends: Enrollment of Indian students in Canadian universities increased by 5,800% from 2000 to 2021, while U.S. universities saw a decline in Indian students from 2016 to 2019. However, U.S. universities experienced a rebound in Indian student enrollment in the 2022-23 academic year.
  7. Future of U.S. Policies: The NFAP analysis suggests that unless the U.S. makes its immigration policies more welcoming, it may continue to lose international students to Canada and other countries.

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