Dictionary, Census of Population, 2016
Immigrant status

Release date: May 3, 2017 Updated on: October 25, 2017


'Immigrant status' refers to whether the person is a non-immigrant, an immigrant or a non-permanent resident.

Statistical unit(s)



Immigrant status

Reported in

2016 (25% sample); 2011Note 1 (30% sample); 2006, 2001, 1996 and 1991 (20% sample).

Reported for

Population in private households

Question number(s)

Derived variable: Questions 13 and 14


Immigrant status is derived from the responses to the citizenship question (Question 13) and the landed immigrant status question (Question 14).

The standard classification for Immigrant status is 'Non-immigrant,' 'Immigrant' and 'Non-permanent resident.'


In the 2016 Census of Population, the landed immigrant status question (Question 14) and the citizenship question (Question 13) are used to identify non-immigrants (Canadian citizens by birth), immigrants and non-permanent residents.

The landed immigrant status question (Question 14) asked: "Is this person now, or has this person ever been, a landed immigrant?" Notes accompanying the landed immigrant question stated:

As well, additional instructions were provided to respondents in the 2016 Census of Population Long-form Guide:

Respondents who mark 'Yes' to the landed immigrant status question (Question 14) are 'immigrants.'

Respondents who mark 'No' to the landed immigrant status question (Question 14) are either 'non-immigrants' or 'non-permanent residents.'

The citizenship question (Question 13) is used to derive the two groups. If a respondent is a Canadian citizen by birth according to Question 13, then he is a non-immigrant. If a respondent does not have Canadian citizenship and is not a landed immigrant, he is a non-permanent resident.

Within the immigrant status variable, the three categories are defined as follows:

'Non-immigrant' includes persons who are Canadian citizens by birth.

'Immigrant' includes persons who are, or who have ever been, landed immigrants or permanent residents. Such persons have been granted the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities. Immigrants who have obtained Canadian citizenship by naturalization are included in this category. In the 2016 Census of Population, 'Immigrant' includes immigrants who landed in Canada on or prior to May 10, 2016.

'Non-permanent resident' includes persons from another country who have a work or study permit or who are refugee claimants, and their family members sharing the same permit and living in Canada with them.

To better understand the relationship between the concepts of immigration and place of birth, please refer to Figure 5.1.

To better understand the relationship between the concepts of immigration and citizenship, please refer to Figure 5.2.

For more information on the citizenship question in the 2016 Census of Population, refer to the definition for citizenship.

For more information on immigration variables, including information on their classifications, the questions from which they are derived, data quality and their comparability with other sources of data, please refer to the Place of Birth, Generation Status, Citizenship and Immigration Reference Guide, Census of Population, 2016.


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