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Immigration
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Canada, which has a warm and welcoming policy towards immigrants, has been ranked the second-best country to live as an immigrant by the US News and World Report. The first place was won by Sweden. The U.S. News and World Report assessed 80 countries on a slew of social and economic criteria such as economic stability, income equality and labour markerts to prepare the ranking. Around 21000 people were also surveyed for the purpose. The share of migrants in a country's population, the amount of money they send abroad and the United Nations rankings of integration policies in different countries were also taken into consideration.

Canada emerged strong not only because of its stable economy but for the integration efforts for immigrants such as language training. Moreover, Canada has the first position as far as the Education criterion is concerned. Canada provides free and mandatory primary and secondary education and the provinces are allowed to design their education system taking the local factors into consideration.

The first five positions in the ranking have been won by Sweden, Canada, Switzerland, Australia and Germany. Canada has been ranked better than countries such as Australia and New Zealand, which have ‘Expression of Interest’ economic immigration systems similar to the Express Entry system of Canada. Canada also has higher rank than countries that have similar climate such as Finland and Norway. And the countries like the United States which also have similar mixed market economies do not even offer a competition to Canada.

Canada has first rank in Quality of Life by doing best in factors such as economic stability, good job market, safety, political stability, family friendliness, well-developed public education system, well-developed public health system and income quality. Canada also has fourth rank in citizenship and seventh rank in entrepreneurship.

A number of immigration initiatives have recently been launched by Canada, as the country will be welcoming around 300,000 new immigrants to the country in the year 2017. Changes were introduced to the country’s Express Entry system twice recently in favour of aspiring immigrants. Those who have siblings living in Canada and knowledge of French language can now have more points. Last year, additional points have also been added for international graduates from Canadian universities. Additionally, those eligible for a qualified job offer will be given more points for education and experience. This change was introduced last year. The country has also introduced a two-week Canada visa processing system as part of the Global Talent Stream, through which competent candidates can enter the country through one of the quickest visa awarding process in the world.



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The Government of Northwest Territories has released its Northwest Territories Immigration Strategy 2017-2022: Building a Skilled Workforce and a Vibrant Economy that primarily aims to assist employers to build a skilled workforce while also supporting the immigration of foreign nationals who contribute to the economic development and success of the NWT.

As part of this strategy, the Government of Northwest Territories, in cooperation with The Conference Board of Canada, studied the expected labor demand over the 15 years. The results indicate that there will be 28,500 to 36,700 job openings in the NWT over the next 15 years. Seventy-eight percent of these jobs would require some form of post-secondary education and/or extensive work experience and seniority. Another forecast is that around 98 percent of the 28,500 job openings will be to replace workers who have retired or moved from the NWT.

NWT Immigration Strategy Action Plan

The strategy has an action plan that has set out five distinct goals. They are:

  1. Attract foreign nationals to the NWT whose skills are aligned with current workforce needs.
  2. Attract foreign investment through the establishment or purchase of a business by a foreign national, to benefit the economy.
  3. Support and be responsive to settlement and integration needs.
  4. Support the workforce by educating foreign nationals and NWT employers on workers’ rights and responsibilities.
  5. Consolidate administrative efforts between the departments of Education, Culture and Employment (ECE) and Immigration, Tourism and Investment (ITI).

Government of Northwest Territories Nominee Program

GNWT implements its Nominee Program in cooperation with Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).  The Nominee program is divided into two streams—the Employer Stream and the Business Stream.  ECE delivers the Employer stream, and ITI delivers the Business stream.

The Employer stream is meant to support the recruitment and retention of foreign nationals in the absence of qualified Northerners or permanent residents. The employers must submit a completed application package in order to meet the program’s mandatory eligibility criteria and identify a foreign national whom they wish to employ.

The Employer stream consists of the following categories:

Critical impact workers: Critical impact workers are intended to  increase the labour pool for entry level jobs

Skilled workers:  Skilled workers category aims to attract qualified  individuals for occupations that demand formal education and/or specialized training and experience.

Express Entry for skilled workers: This category is exclusively meant for skilled foreign nationals who have been accepted into Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada’s Express Entry pool.

Business stream

The Business stream will attract entrepreneurs with business expertise and investment capital to settle in the NWT. The applicants in this stream must have a working business concept and a plan to move to NWT. They must meet the requirements and criteria in the application guidelines and submit a complete application along with a business plan.

In addition to the nominee program, the NWT may also welcome newcomers through federal programs.



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Australia is currently facing a scarcity of skilled workers in the country and is, therefore, wholeheartedly welcoming skilled immigrants from different parts of the world. The fact that Australia has a strong economy and high standard of living, it is a much sought-after place among aspiring immigrants. If you are a skilled worker planning to immigrate to Australia, it is important to know about the Skilled Worker Visa for Australian migration.

Australia General Skilled Migration Visa

The first step towards attaining an Australian visa in General Skilled Migration (GSM) category is earning enough points to prove your eligibility. These points are given based on the age, trade, experience, English language ability and more. You will get additional points if you have close relatives in Australia.  You will also get more points if you have been sponsored by the state. Getting the scores is not enough, but you have to submit an Expression of Interest (EOI) via SkillSelect. If you receive an invitation, you can submit the visa application within 60 days. Skilled Worker Visas for Australian migration: Best options Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa Skilled Independent Subclass 189 Visa is a permanent GSM visa and it does not require sponsorship from an Australian State/Territory Government or family member in the country. In order to get this visa, you must first submit an EoI through SkillSelect, and receive an invitation from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) to apply for a visa. After receiving the invitation, you must submit the application within 60 days. Other criteria for applicants are:
  • Obtain minimum pass mark in the Skilled Migration Points Test, which presently is 60
  • Be in the age group of 18 to 44 years
  • Sail through Skills Assessment in a profession on the Occupations List for the Skilled Independent visas
  • Have reasonably good English skills
  • Fulfill the health & character conditions

Skilled Nominated Subcategory 190 Visa

In order to apply for this particular General Migration Visa, the candidate must have a nomination from a State or Territory Administration. You must first submit an Expression of Interest (EoI) through SkillSelect and receive an invitation to apply. After you get an invitation to present an application for a skilled visa, you must submit the application within 60 days. Other requirements are:
  • Pass the skilled migration points test
  • Be in the age group of 18 to 44
  • Undergo and succeed in the Skills Assessment in a line of work on the State/Territory Nominated Occupations List
  • Possess at least Competent English level.
  • Meet health & character requirements.


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Manitoba is the first Canadian province to establish an immigration program of its own, the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). It is estimated that around 15000 immigrants settle in Manitoba every year. The results of a recent survey showed that 85 per cent of Manitoba nominees were working three months after arrival, 76 per cent were homeowners within five years and 95 per cent of families settled permanently in the community.

In a draw held on July 11, the Province of Manitoba invited 494 skilled workers apply for immigration through Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP). This has opened the doors of permanent residency in Manitoba for these workers and their family members.

MPNP has a special 'Expression of Interest' (EOI) system for skilled workers. The first step in the application process is submitting an EOI. Then the candidates are awarded points on the basis of various stipulated factors. The candidates are chosen based on a score out of 1000. Those who earn highest points are issued a Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA). Upon being nominated, the candidate can apply for permanent residence to the Federal Government.

In this manner, 458 candidates selected in the last draw have received LAAs under the sub category, Skilled Workers in Manitoba. The lowest score was 612. The rest of 36 LAAs were sent to candidates who were invited directly by the MPNP under a Strategic Recruitment Initiative under Skilled Workers Overseas Subcategory. All these candidates had a score of above 712.

The Manitoba Immigration Authorities have informed that Expressions of Interest from Skilled Workers Overseas in the following occupations were not considered in the last draw.

  • Registered Nurses
  • Secondary and Elementary School Teachers
  • Vocational and College Instructors
  • University Professors
  • General and Specialist Physicians

 

The reasons were the high number of applications yet to be assessed, low labor market demand and/or significant barriers to labor market participation.

Only those candidates who have said to be working in a regulated occupation or are fully licensed to work in Manitoba have been selected in this draw. But their applications may be declined at a later stage if they fail to produce proof of having undergone all the steps needed to have license to work in Manitoba.



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The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 or the Australian Citizenship Bill, was introduced to the Parliament on June 15, 2017. Though the bill is yet to be passed in the Parliament, the changes introduced through the bill will be applicable to all applications for citizenship submitted from April 20, 2017 onwards. Major changes proposed in the bill are regarding:
  • General Residence
  • Competent English
  • Pledge of Allegiance
General Residence
  • The applicant must, in general, have been present in Australia for a period of four years as a permanent resident
  • The applicant must not have come into conflict with law during this period
  • If the applicant has travelled abroad during this four-year period, the days he spent outside Australia must not be more than 365 days
In short, in order to apply for Australian citizenship, the applicant must hold the permanent visa for four years. Earlier, it was only one year. Language efficiency As per the Bill, the applicant must demonstrate Competent English, which demands a minimum of 6 in each band of IELTS or equivalent. Evidence of Competent English will have to be presented during lodgement for all applicants aged above 16 years.  Test results up to three years can be used.
  • According to the Explanatory Statement, the following categories may be eligible for exemptions:
  • Passport holders of the UK, Ireland, Canada, USA or NZ
  • Specified English language studies at a recognized Australian education provider
  • Applicants with a permanent or enduring physical or mental incapacity
  • Applicants aged 60 or over
  • Applicants with hearing, speech or sight impairment
Pledge of Allegiance As per the Australian Citizenship Bill, Pledge of Commitment will be renamed as the Pledge of Allegiance. The Pledge of Allegiance is mandatory for citizenship by conferral for all applicants aged 16 or above. The new changes will require Pledge of Allegiance from those who would acquire citizenship through the following ways, which was not required earlier.
  • Citizenship by Descent - children born overseas to Australian citizen parents
  • Adopted children (Hague Convention or bilateral agreement)
  • People resuming Australian Citizenship
  • Children born to a former Australian citizen
  • People obtaining citizenship due to being stateless or born in Papua during certain periods of time
Meanwhile, the Australian Labour Party has informed that it will oppose the Citizenship Bill. The party has also raised concerns over raising the requirements for both residence and English language. The Bill now needs the support of the cross-benches to pass and it has been referred to the Legal and Constitutional Affairs Legislation Committee. The Committee will report on the Bill on 4 September 2017.

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The Government of Ontario has recently issued a warning against fraudsters who send fake emails claiming to be from Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program(OINP), the Provincial Nominee Program(PNP) of Ontario. Ontario has requested those who have received such emails to report it to the authorities. These fraudulent emails claiming to be from OINP demand the receiver to pay a 'Right of Permanent Residence Fee'. They will also contain a fake Ontario Certificate of Nomination bearing the logo of the Government of Ontario and the address of 400 University Avenue, Toronto. OINP has clarified that it will never send a confirmation letter or nomination certificate to those who have not applied to the program and those who do not have an application pending. In order to protect yourself from fraud, please remember the following facts:
  1. OINP will never email a Certificate of Nomination to you
  2. The telephone and fax number on the certificate contains a 708 area code. This area code is not used in Ontario and is not connected to the OINP in any way.
  3. The false nomination certificate refers to the CIC Visa Office. The Federal Government of Canada has changed the name of the department that deals with Canadian immigration and it is now called Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).
  4. You will never be asked to make a payment to the OINP through a wire transfer, and you will never be asked to pay a ‘Right of Permanent Residence Fee’. Applicants to the OINP pay a one-time upfront administration fee to the program, through the online system, and do not pay for a nomination certificate when and if it is granted.
In the warning statement, OINP also makes it clear that the program never asks to make a payment through email or phone. If anybody is asked to do so, they are supposed to inform OINP at ProgramIntegrityTeam@ontario.ca OINP has also advised against sharing personal information such as account numbers, mother's maiden name, and passwords in response to unsolicited emails or phone calls. If you are a victim of such fraud, you can report it to the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre by: Calling: 1-888-495-8501 Visiting: //www.antifraudcentre-centreantifraude.ca/

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Starting from July 20, the government of Ontario has been accepting applications for the Employer Job Offer Stream-in both Foreign Workers and International Students categories under the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).  Applications will be accepted within the limits of Ontario's federal nomination allocation, which is 6000 for 2017. The candidates must submit the applications through the OINP e-filing portal within 21 days of registering their profiles. The OINP page will be updated when they stop accepting applications.

International Student with a Job Offer Stream applicants must:

    1. Have completed at least half of their studies in Canada.  Or, must have already graduated or be graduating from a publicly funded college or university in Canada.
    2. Have completed a two-year degree or diploma program on a full-time basis from Canada or abroad. Or must have completed a one-year post-graduate degree or certificate program.
    3. Have a permanent, full-time job offer in a skilled occupation (NOC Levels 0, A, or B). The employer must apply for Opportunities Ontario. The offer must be approved and remain valid at the time the applicant’s application is approved. A Joint Verification form and a Pre-Screen Position form are also required from the employer.
    4. Submit the application no later than two years after the date that the student received their Canadian degree or diploma or submit it as early as the last semester of the student’s studies.
    5. Have legal status of living in Canada.
  1.  

Employer Job Offer Stream is designed for skilled foreign workers with a job offer from an employer in Ontario.

The applicant must have:

  1. Two years of work experience in their respective occupation within the past five years.
  2. The appropriate registration in the province if he/she has a regulated occupation.
  3. Paid and verifiable work experience.
  4. A permanent, full-time job offer in a skilled occupation from an Ontario employer. According to the Canadian National Occupational Classification (NOC), skilled work experience means Managerial jobs (NOC skill type level 0), Professional jobs (NOC skill type level A) and Technical jobs/skilled trade (NOC skill type B).
  5. Legal status if living in Canada during application.
  6. A signed Joint Verification form and a Pre-Screen Position form by the employer.

The employer must:

  • Submit an application that needs to be approved by Opportunities Ontario and needs to be valid until the time his/her application is approved.
  1. Have an active business for at least three years.
  2. Have gross revenue of at least $1,000,000 with at least five permanent full-time employees for those companies in Greater Toronto Area or have gross revenue of at least $500,000 with at least three permanent full-time employees for companies outside this area.
  3. Offer a job that is located inside of the province of Ontario.

The job offer must:

  1. Be a permanent, full-time position.
  2. Meet the wage levels for the respective position in Ontario.
  3. Not affect the settlement of any labour dispute the company or its employees are involved in.
  4. Not have a negative effect on the employment or training opportunities for Canadian citizens and permanent residents.
  5. Offer a position that is necessary for the operation of the company.

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The Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has released the Skilled Occupations List (SOL), which came into effect on July 1, 2017. The list contains 178 occupations eligible for the Temporary Work (Skilled) visa (subclass 457) and the Employer Nominated Scheme (subclass 186) visa programmes.

The occupations in the list have been divided into the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL) and the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL). MLTSSL is applicable for General Skilled migration visas including Subclass 189 (Skilled Independent Visa), Subclass 491 (Skilled Regional Provisional Visa for those who are not nominated by a State or Territory government agency) and Subclass 485 (Graduate Temporary Visa).

STSOL is applicable for Subclass 190 (Skilled—Nominated visa) and Subclass 491 (Skilled—Regional - Provisional - visa).

As per the new changes, six jobs have been removed from the list for Skilled Independent and family sponsored 491 visas including Sea Transport Professionals and Psychotherapists, Senior Managers, Statisticians, Economists, Mining Engineers, Engineering Professionals NEC and Chemists, have been removed from the approved lists entirely. Production Manager (Mining) and Anaesthetists are still available for State/Territory Nomination.

At the same time, 16 occupations have been added to the State/Territory Nominated list. They include Air Transport Professionals, ICT Support Staff, Butchers and Retail Buyers.

From the Employer Sponsored Occupations List (ESOL), a total of 18 occupations have been removed entirely. They include marine transport professionals, psychotherapists, medical administrators and property associate professionals. At the same time, 27 occupations have been added to the approved lists including R&D Managers, life scientists, air transport professionals, ICT Support roles, butchers, Music professionals, metallurgists and horse trainers.

A total of 22 occupations have been shifted to the MLTSSL from the STSOL. They include senior management roles, environmental scientists and university lecturers.

Caveats which previously applied only to 457 visa applications will now be applicable to ENS Direct entry applications as well.

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