Canada approved close to 400,000 applicants from China last year for a multiple-entry visa with a minimum stay period of six months at a time, as per statistics released by the newspaper daily, Business in Vancouver. Figures released by the newspaper show that the number of Chinese citizens approved for the 10-year visa back in 2010 was just 27,739, which is the same year in which Beijing declared Canada as the Approved Destination for Chinese Tourists. Approvals for the same visa went up to 83,000 by the year 2012 as China claimed top spot pushing India down to second spot for the 10-year visa. The figures saw a steady increase from 113,110 in 2013 to 337,066 in 2014 and an astounding 390,292 approvals last year. India again was at the second spot with a huge gap of 162,807 approvals last year.
Spokesperson for the issuing authority – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada, Nancy Caron stated that the long-term multiple entry visas are issued to genuine travellers who want to visit the country. She further added to her statement that since 6 February 2014, applicants for a visit visa are automatically considered under this visa category and an issuing officer is allowed to grant an applicant this visa despite submitting an application for a single-entry visa.
In addition to this, the number of applications for temporary residence visas has also risen in 2015 with 594,897 Chinese citizens submitting their applications. The percentage of Chinese citizens applying for Canadian study permits has increased by a whopping 95% for the period between 2010 and 2015. Even as these statistics increasingly show a significant influence of Chinese nationals who visit and settle in Toronto and Vancouver on the Canadian real estate market, the Canadian Government seems to undermine their role as per the 7 July residential real estate transaction report. Excerpts from the report state that only 5% of the foreign citizens accounted for the purchase of real estate for the purchase period of 10–29 June, 2016. However, the ratio of Chinese buyers over American investors was close to 11:1.
However, on 25 July, less than three weeks later, the Canadian government opened a four-day legislature sitting to announce a 15% tax on residential real estate purchased in Metro Vancouver area by taxable trustees, foreign citizens and companies that are foreign controlled with the exception of lands agreed upon the Tsawwassen First Nation treaty. An Insights West poll in June reported that close to 80% of the respondents thought it a good idea that non-resident property pay an additional tax and 83% of the respondents with East Asian roots took a similar stance. Recall of the Legislature by the BC Liberal government to amend the Canadian Real estate services act (allowed the real estate industry to self regulate itself since 2005) and the Vancouver Charter (allows the government to tax apartments and houses that are vacant in Vancouver city) has come into effect and was long awaited.
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