Canada reports slight increase in permanent residents from Latvia

The number of persons from Latvia earning permanent resident status in Canada increased in 2009, but remains significantly lower than the figure recorded a decade ago, according to government statistics.

A total of 86 persons from Latvia became permanent residents of Canada last year, up from 66 in 2008, according to data compiled by Citizenship and Immigration Canada and released in September.

Under Canadian law, permanent residents must live in the country for at least two years within a five-year period. Otherwise, they risk losing their status. While permanent residents share many of the same rights as Canadian citizens, they may not vote in elections.

Ten years ago, 230 persons from Latvia became permanent residents, increasing to 286 in 2001.

The number steadily declined through 2006, when just 73 new permanent residents were recorded. However, the number jumped to 113 in 2007.

In the past decade, a total of 1,491 persons from Latvia have become permanent residents of Canada, according to the data. That is more than from Lithuania, which contributed 1,355 new permanent residents during the same period, or Estonia, with contributed just 403.

Last year, more than 250,000 persons from around the world became new permanent residents of Canada. China, the Philippines and India are the top three source countries, according to the data.

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