Canada has long been a chosen destination for migrants to start a new life and over the past decades there has been a massive influx of Asian immigrants, particularly to the cities on the western coast of the country. It has however now emerged that many immigrants with permanent residency status for Canada are not taking advantage of the opportunity to become Canadian citizens. Statistics recently released highlight the trend. They show that more than 21,000 immigrants in possession of permanent residency cards who have been offered Canadian citizenship have declined the offer in the since 2014 surprising many researchers and officials alike.
The report says that there are more and more residents giving up their citizenship after five years instead of choosing to renew their residency as they are no longer working in Canada and fail to meet the conditions of the residency. Tt goes on to say that many of their families stay in Canada for education and employment. Meanwhile those that have renounced their citizenship use 10 year visas to travel to Canada to see their families while not having to meet regulations covering minimum stays in Canada under strict residency requirements meaning they are required to spend two years out of five in Canada.
This is so popular that they have been dubbed ‘astronaut parents’ who work outside of Canada but travel back to visit spouses and children. Many of those taking advantage of this are Chinese (over 5000 in the past two years) followed by Indians (2400). Many of these families live in Vancouver, Toronto and Montreal.
Other advantages is that they can avoid paying taxes in Canada even though they own property in the country. And, of course it allows them to keep their passport and citizenship in their home countries – China and India do not allow citizens to hold more than one passport. The government is currently monitoring the situation to see if changes need to be made to the system to avoid the practice getting more popular in the future.