Dictionary, Census of Population, 2021
Admission category

Release date: November 17, 2021Updated on: October 26, 2022


Admission category refers to the name of the immigration program or group of programs under which an immigrant has been granted for the first time the right to live in Canada permanently by immigration authorities.

In the 2021 Census of Population, data on admission category are available for immigrants who were admitted to Canada between January 1, 1980, and May 11, 2021.

Statistical unit(s)


Reported in

2021 and 2016 (25% sample).

Reported for

Persons in private households who are, or who have ever been, landed immigrants or permanent residents since 1980.

Question number(s)

Data on admission category were obtained from Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada's administrative records.


The four main categories of admission category are "Economic immigrant," "Immigrant sponsored by family," "Refugee" and "Other immigrant."

For the detailed list of admission categories disseminated for the 2021 Census of Population, refer to Appendix 2.9. For a visual representation of the classification, refer to Figure 2.8.


Admission category provides information on the conditions under which immigrants have been granted the right to live in Canada, and allows us to further our understanding of the socioeconomic outcomes of different categories of immigrants (e.g., economic immigrants, immigrants sponsored by family, refugees) after they have been admitted to Canada.

For additional information regarding admission category, please refer to the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada website.

For more information on immigration variables, including information on 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, 2021.

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