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Chinese interest in emigrating to Canada jumps 28 times

January 1, 2023

By Vancouver Sun |

China’s most popular internet search engine experienced a 28-times surge in residents looking up the terms “conditions to immigrate to Canada” during the populous country’s severe COVID-19 pandemic lockdowns.

According to an internal Canadian immigration department report obtained under access to information requests by a Vancouver immigration lawyer, the search engine Baidu saw soaring interest in “immigration to Canada” and “immigration” before it suspended use of the terms in April.

There are other signs this year revealing that Chinese citizens, some of whom have launched protests against the country’s zero-COVID policies, have developed an outsized desire to potentially immigrate to Canada or other Western countries.

China’s social media and messaging app, WeChat, noted on April 3 that viewing of Chinese videos related to “immigration” spiked by 14 times. The word “immigration” was searched 50 million times in one day, says the Canadian immigration department memo.

As well, Canada’s immigration office in China’s capital of Beijing had the highest participation ever on April 14 for its webinar on gaining permanent resident status in Canada, with more than 400 participants.

This is in addition to a separate internal account from a Canadian immigration department staff member in Hong Kong, who said “Canada remains one of the top countries” for the many who are rapidly trying to depart the city because of pandemic rules, unrest and the “heavy handed political policies” of China.

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