From July to September this year, the number of Chinese people applying to immigrate to Canada increased by 15%.

Canada’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship received 9,925 applications from Chinese for permanent residence in the third quarter, 15% more than in the same quarter of 2021.

The exodus was mainly from middle-class families and high-earning business professionals.

This shows widespread public dissatisfaction with life in China. The strict pandemic policy of the past three years that has crippled economic growth and curtailed individual freedoms.

Lin Litong, who emigrated from China to Canada six years ago, said there is a deep sense of discontent throughout the business, political elite, and middle class.

Xiao Zhang, a Shanghai resident, believed that the increase in searches for “emigration” was a kind of vote of no confidence in the government.

China announced strict restrictions on “non-essential” foreign travel by its citizens in May. Many people believe that it is because of the strict pandemic policy.  As soon as the policy was eased recently, the keyword ‘emigration’ was searched more and more.

However, according to Xiao Zhang, the travel ban is more about controlling people and capital outflows.Huang Tianle, an immigration adviser, said that the current wave of Chinese emigration to Canada was preceded by a similar wave of people leaving Hong Kong after China cracked down on dissent and political opposition in 2019.

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