Citizenship and Immigration Minister, Jason Kenney, was in Bejing last week to meet with Chinese officials. China is one of the most important source countries for Canadian immigration. Now, more Chinese visitors and students are also coming to Canada than ever before.

In terms of immigration, China remains the number one source country for Canada. Minister Kenney stated, “Canada has benefited enormously from immigration from China.”

In the first quarter of 2010, almost 15% more visitors from China came to Canada compared to 2009. The increase jumps to almost 50% when compared to 2005 levels.

The number of visitors from China will only continue to rise given the recent implementation of Approved Destination Status for Canada, which permits Chinese travel agencies to market, promote, and organize tour groups to Canada. More Chinese nationals will be visiting their families and friends in Canada.

The number of international students from China has increased more than 300% in the last 10 years, and continues to rise. Last year, close to 50,000 students from China resided in Canada. That number is expected to grow thanks to the expansion of the Student Partners Program (SPP). The SPP was developed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) in cooperation with the Association of Canadian Community Colleges (ACCC).

China is the top source country for students studying in Canada with almost 50,000 Chinese students residing in Canada in 2009. Minister Kenney is encouraging even more Chinese students to study in Canada.

“International students bring with them new ideas and experiences and contribute both financially and culturally to the communities and institutions where they study,” said Minister Kenney. “We look forward to welcoming more Chinese students to Canadian colleges in the years to come.”

“The Student Partners Program has already helped to welcome thousands of students from India,” said Minister Kenney. “Thousands from China will also benefit from the program.”

When international students from China have finished their study programs, these graduates may elect to remain in Canada by applying to immigrate under the Canadian Experience Class, which enables them to continue to contribute to our country’s social and economic fabric.