The Jamaican diaspora living in Canada continues to grow at a rapid rate each year.
According to data from the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), Jamaicans top the number of Caribbean migrants making their way to Canada.
Over 21,000 Jamaicans have legally moved to Canada in the last six years, accounting for 45 percent of the 47,265 CARICOM nationals who have immigrated there since 2015.
In 2015, 3,415 Jamaicans migrated to Canada; 3,560 in 2016; 3,830 in 2017; 3,875 in 2018, 3,980 in 2019, 2,030 in 2020; and 525 between January and March 2021.
Nationals from Haiti ( 12,885) and Guyana (2,605) are the second and third-leading Caribbean immigrants to Canada.
The IRCC data showed that most Jamaicans immigrated through sponsorship from a spouse or partner. They also singled out health-care and economic stability as the two most common reasons for Jamaicans resettling in Canada.
Education and cultural diversity are among the other top factors that account for relocation.
Over the years, Canada has steadily been recruiting immigrants, including Caribbean nationals, who can contribute to the growth of the country’s economy.
In April this year, Canada Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Marco E. L. Mendicino, had announced what he described as “an innovative pathway” to permanent residence for over 90,000 essential workers and international graduates, including Caribbean nationals, who are currently in the country.
Mendicino said these special public policies will grant permanent status to temporary workers and international graduates who are already in the country and who possess the skills and experience that the country need to fight the pandemic and accelerate the economic recovery.
“The focus of this new pathway will be on temporary workers employed in our hospitals and long-term care homes, and on the frontlines of other essential sectors, as well as international graduates who are driving the economy of tomorrow,” he said.
To be eligible, Mendicino said workers must have at least one year of Canadian work experience in a healthcare profession or another pre-approved essential occupation.