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Canada to Pass Changes to Canadian Citizenship Act

Government of Canada Aims to Pass Changes to Canadian Citizenship Act Into Law by July 1 is moving closer to bringing new measures into law that would allow immigrants to apply for Canadian citizenship earlier and more easily than is currently the case. Changing the existing Citizenship Act is considered a centrepiece of the new Liberal government’s legislative agenda.

The chair of the House Immigration Committee, MP Borys Wrzesnewskyj, said this month that he hopes the bill, known as C-6, will pass into law in time for Canada Day, which falls each year on July 1.

This would have great symbolic relevance, as Canadians are proud of their citizenship and the status, rights, and freedoms that it provides. Canada encourages new immigrants to consider becoming naturalized citizens and join the Canadian family. Canadian citizens may apply for a Canadian passport, vote in elections, stand for public office, and leave and re-enter Canada freely without being bound by residency obligations. Canada also recognizes dual citizenship, allowing immigrants to acquire Canadian citizenship without having to lose the citizenship they already hold.

Among the proposed amendments is a reduction in the amount of time permanent residents have to live in Canada in order to become eligible to apply for citizenship, from four out of six years to three out five years. Further, certain applicants who spent time in Canada on temporary status would be able to count a portion of this time towards the three-year requirement. The proposed amendments would also repeal the intent to reside provision and remove language proficiency requirements for certain applicants.

In addition, the new legislation would repeal a contentious provision that revoked citizenship from dual Canadian citizens convicted of terrorism, treason or espionage. With a majority government in place, it is expected that the proposals will become law in the near future. The only major potential stumbling block is how the bill may be treated in the Senate, with Immigration Minister John McCallum among a group of politicians who have expressed wariness over how the Conservative-dominated Senate may handle the bill.

Source: cic news

Australia enhances visa programme with Singapore 06 May 2016

The Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Peter Dutton today announced the introduction of two new visa initiatives that will enhance tourism, youth mobility and business links between Australia and Singapore. The new visa arrangements have been developed as part of the Australia-Singapore Comprehensive Strategic Partnership. Australia and Singapore have agreed to implement a Work and Holiday visa arrangement for young adults from both countries."This reciprocal Work and Holiday arrangement with Singapore will allow residents aged 18 to 30 years to travel, live, work and study in each other's country." Mr Dutton said. "This new arrangement will promote cultural exchange and strengthen people-to-people links by creating opportunities for young people to travel and undertake short-term work and study to supplement their holiday experience."

The Work and Holiday arrangement will make available 500 places in each country per year with the potential for growth in future years.This brings Australia's overall Working Holiday Maker visa programme to a total of 39 partner countries. In addition to the Work and Holiday visa initiative, the Australian Government will also soon introduce an option of a long validity, multiple-entry visitor visa for Singaporean nationals to visit Australia – an extension of the current one-year visa.

"Singapore is one of the top countries for visitors to Australia, with more than 203,000 visitor visas granted in 2014-15, up 4.6 per cent compared to 2013-14," Mr Dutton said. "The new visitor visa arrangement will further boost tourism and business links between Australia and Singapore and allowing for a longer validity period will encourage repeat visits and align with the Government's agenda to reduce unnecessary red tape." The option of a long validity, multiple-entry visitor visa for Singaporeans will be targeted at frequent short-term travellers to Australia. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection will continue to work closely with its counterparts in Singapore to implement the arrangements as soon as possible. Source:www.minister.border.gov

NT Migration Occupation List, April 2016

The Northern Territory (NT) Migration Occupation List includes occupations in demand across the NT. If your skilled occupation is not on the NT Migration Occupation List but is on the Consolidated Sponsored Occupation List (CSOL) you may still apply for NT Government nomination however, you must provide independent evidence of positive employment prospects in the NT either in your skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation and you can demonstrate strong, well established family connections in the NT. Due to the high number of applicants already residing and working in the Northern Territory, offshore applicants, for a number of occupations indicated on the NT Migration Occupation List, must provide evidence of having received an offer of employment in your nominated occupation or a closely related occupation.

International graduates who have not completed at least two years of study in the NT or are holders of Subclass 485 visas who completed their studies in another Australian state will be:

required to demonstrate that they have lived and worked in the NT in their skilled occupation or a closely related skilled occupation for no less than three months (six months for diploma level Welfare Workers) prior to applying for nomination, and considered for nomination for the Skilled Regional Nominated (Subclass 489) visa unless they can demonstrate close ties to the NT.

Eligible graduates who have undertaken at least two years of tertiary studies leading to one or more qualifications in the NT will be eligible to apply for nomination for the Skilled Regional Nominated (Provisional) (Subclass 489) visa and Skilled Nominated (Subclass 190) visa. Whether or not an applicant is offered nomination is at the discretion of the NT Government and informed by advice from industry and NT employers on the needs of employers and the nominee's employment prospects in the NT. Occupations on the NT Migration Occupation List do not represent specific job vacancies. A nomination from the NT Government does not carry a job guarantee and nominated applicants will compete for positions with all people in the NT labour market and will be responsible for finding their own employment and accommodation. While the NT Government provides information and some assistance to nominated skilled migrants, the NT Government does not provide an employment placement service or financial assistance.

Applicants should be aware in preparing their applications for nomination that the nomination will be assessed based on the skills profile they present and its relevance to the NT's labour market. Success in finding employment in the NT will relate to an employer's requirements, the nominee's qualifications, skills and experience and their level of English. Source:http://www.australiasnorthernterritory.com.au



Express Entry selection pattern, from January 1st 2015 till date:

Launch date:January 1st, 2015

  • 1st draw from the pool: January 31, 2015 - 886 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 2nd draw from the pool:February 7th, 2015 - 818 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 3rd draw from the pool:February 20th, 2015 - 808 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 4th draw from the pool:February 27th, 2015 - 735 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 5th draw from the pool:Â March 20th, 2015- 481 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 6th draw from the pool:March 27th, 2015- 453 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 7th draw from the pool:April 10th, 2015 - 469 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 8th draw from the pool:May 22nd, 2015- 755 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 9th draw from the pool:June 12th 2015- 482 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 10th draw from the pool: June 12th 2015- 482 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 11th draw from the pool: June 26th, 2015- 469 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 12th draw from the pool: July 10th 2015- 463 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 13th draw from the pool: July 17th 2015- 451 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 14th draw from the pool: August 7th, 2015- 471 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 15th draw from the pool: August 21st, 2015- 456 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 16th draw from the pool: September 8th, 2015- 459 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 17th draw from the pool: September 18th, 2015- 450 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 18th draw from the pool: October 2nd 2015- 450 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 19th draw from the pool: October 23rd, 2015- 489 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 20th draw from the pool: November 13th, 2015- 484 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 21st draw from the pool: November 27th, 2015- 472 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 22nd draw from the pool: December 4th, 2015- 461 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 23rd draw from the pool: December 18th, 2015- 460 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program

Express Entry 2016

  • 24th draw from the pool: January 6th, 2016- 461 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 25th draw from the pool: January 13th, 2016- 453 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 26th draw from the pool: January 27th, 2016- 457 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 27th draw from the pool: February 10th, 2016- 459 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 28th draw from the pool: February 24th, 2016- 453 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 29th draw from the pool: March 9th, 2016- 473 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 30th draw from the pool: March 30th, 2016- 470 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 31th draw from the pool: April 6th, 2016- 470 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 32th draw from the pool: April 20th, 2016- 468 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • 33th draw from the pool: May 6th, 2016- 534 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program

Canada Express Entry program is one of the best program to apply for skilled professionals. Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity, and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion.

The Superfast Australian Visa:

The Australian subclass visa 189 is now experiencing shorter durations to process. The average time has reduced to 3-6 months for prospective aspirants. This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member. With this visa, you can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia and eligible family members can be included in your application. This is a permanent visa and allows visa-holders to remain in Australia indefinitely with full work rights.

To be able to submit a valid application for this visa you need to first submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia. Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity, and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion

CANADA VISA NEWS BRIEFS May 2016

  • Canada's Start-Up Visa Program Sees Increase in New Permanent Residents
  • IRCC Issues 799 Invitations to Apply in Latest Express Entry Draw for Immigration to Canada
  • Quebec Entrepreneur Immigration Program Reaches Intake Cap, Though French Speakers May Still Apply
  • Canada and U.S. Agree New Preclearance System for Certain Border Crossings by Land
  • Ontario Places Temporary Pause on Certain Immigration Streams, Other Streams Remain Open
  • Alberta Announces Dedicated Phone Line for Immigrants and Foreign Workers After Fort McMurray Fire
  • Government of Canada Moves Closer to Major Changes in Citizenship Law
  • AINP Applicants Affected by Northern Alberta Wildfires Given Additional Time to Maintain Eligibility
  • British Columbia Has Immigration Allocation Increased, With More Candidates Issued Invitations in May 12 Draw, source: cic

Australia SOL / CSOL list changes to be applied on 1st July 2016

A new legislative instrument has been released containing the new SOL and CSOL list for the next program year 2016-2017.

If there are no other changes, the new list will take effect on 1st July 2016.

SOL to CSOL

The following 9 occupations will be REMOVED from the SOL list:

  • 233611: Mining Engineer (excluding Petroleum)
  • 233612: Petroleum Engineer
  • 234912: Metallurgist
  • 251311: Environmental Health Officer
  • 251312: Occupational Health and Safety Adviser
  • 411211: Dental Hygienist
  • 411212: Dental Prosthetist
  • 411213: Dental Technician
  • 411214: Dental Therapist

CSOL to SOL

The following 2 occupations will be ADDED to the SOL list:
  • 252711: Audiologist
  • 251912: Orthotist or Prosthetist

The new changes will be updated on Anzscosearch on 1st July. Until then, the current list applies.



Express Entry quick facts, from January 2015 to October 2017

  • Launch date: January 1, 2015
  • First draw from the pool: January 31, 2015
  • Most recent draw from the pool: October 04, 2017
  • Minimum CRS points required for selection in any one draw: 413, 415 (May 31st, 2017 & April 9th, 2017)
  • Largest number of invitations to apply issued in any one draw: 1,637 (March 27, 2015)
  • Fewest invitations to apply issued in any one draw: 543 (May 26th, 2015)
  • Largest decrease in CRS points required between two consecutive draws: 273 (from May 22, 2015 to June 12, 2015 draws)
  • Smallest decrease in CRS points required between two consecutive draws: 0 (from September 18, 2015 to October 2, 2015 draws)
  • Largest increase in CRS points required between two consecutive draws: 302 (from April 17, 2015 to May 22, 2015 draws)
  • Smallest increase in CRS points required between two consecutive draws: 0 (from September 18, 2015 to October 2, 2015 draws)
  • Longest gap between two consecutive draws: 35 days (from April 17, 2015 to May 22, 2015 draws)
  • Shortest gap between two consecutive draws: 5 days
  • Total number of ITAs issued since system was launched: 1,10,722
  • Total number of ITAs issued in 2017: 72,221
  • Total number of ITAs issued in 2016: 7,438
  • Total number of ITAs issued in 2015: 31,063

Express Entry selection pattern, from January 1st 2015 till date:

Canada Express Entry program is one of the best program to apply for skilled professionals.Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity, and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion.

The Superfast Australian Visa:

The Australian subclass visa 189 is now experiencing shorter durations to process. The average time has reduced to 3-6 months for prospective aspirants. This points-based visa is for skilled workers who are not sponsored by an employer, a state or territory, or a family member. With this visa, you can live and work permanently anywhere in Australia and eligible family members can be included in your application. This is a permanent visa and allows visa-holders to remain in Australia indefinitely with full work rights.

To be able to submit a valid application for this visa you need to first submit an Expression of Interest through SkillSelect. You can do this in or outside Australia. Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity, and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion

US hikes fees for H1-B and L-1 Visas:

US President Barack Obama shocked many countries including Indian companies and business investors who have a huge talent pool that travels every year to the US to work for companies that are based in India and abroad. This is a part of the ‘Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016’ which contains within its pages an omnibus fund which will run the US Federal Government up to the 30th of September, 2016. Signed is a colossal spending package of 1.8 trillion US Dollars, which includes within its pages the new fee hike for H1-B and L-1 visas. Changes have raised the fee for H1-B visa application to US$ 4000 and the fee for the L-1 visa application is much more at US$ 4500. This means that Indian IT companies need to shell out between UD$ 8000 to UD$ 1000 per H1-B Visa from April. Earlier the free stood as US$ 325.

Feel the prick of the fee hike
Companies already feel the prick with the currency exchange gap widening, but the raised amount will put a huge dent in the spending budget of many IT companies, which in turn will affect international experience of many skilled individuals. In addition to these heavy charges, there are also attorney fees, Prevention and Defection fee, Employer Sponsorship fee, and Medicare and Social Security. These companies rely, especially on the non-refundable H1-B visa to send their employees to the US. There are a lot of adverse reactions from the industry who say that the text is discriminatory as the fee would have to be born by only major IT companies. The L-1 visa, which is much less popular, will also feel the pinch as it is directed to the Intra company Transferees who are in the top bracket of international immigrants. This visa targets the executives, managers and of ‘specialized knowledge’ employed by foreign business entities. Its targets are direct employers of US workforce, by investing in a new business or branch related to US businesses.

Who will be affected?
This price tag which comes into effect from the 1st of April, 2016, will be levied on companies that have more than 50 employees and having more than 50 percent of its workforce on the H1-B visa in the US.

Reactions from IMF
The bill was approved and signed in by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2010, but was stonewalled till now as it could not get the essential signature to pass through the US Congress. IMF Managing Director, Christina Lagarde said this bill will help it control a lot more of the financials with the IMF playing a secondary role of supporting the stability of the fragile global financial structure.

Original Source: Financial Express

Quebec Skilled Worker Program for Immigration to Canada to Reopen This Summer FEBRUARY, 2016:

The Canadian province of Quebec has confirmed that its flagship immigration program, the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP), will have at least one more application intake period in 2016. An exact opening date has not yet been made public, but the government of Quebec has stated that it is scheduled for the summer months.

Through the QSWP, successful applicants and their families may obtain Canadian permanent resident status after receiving a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ) from the government of Quebec.

The announcement that another intake period will take place in just a few months will give candidates who do not successfully submit an application over the course of the current intake period another opportunity to submit an application later in 2016.

Moreover, potential candidates who do not currently have an account in the government of Quebec’s secure online space Mon projet Québec — through which all applications for the QSWP must be submitted —are, at the time of writing, scheduled to be able to register an account as of February 18, 2016. Registration in Mon projet Québec has been closed since January 25 in anticipation of the current intake period, which was scheduled to open on February 16 but has been slightly delayed due to a technical issue. The current intake period may run until March 31 at the latest, but the 2,800 available spaces are widely expected to be filled soon after the system finally opens for the submission of new applications.

The QSWP: How does it work?
The QSWP uses a points-based system, where points are awarded for an applicant’s area of training, work experience, age, language proficiency, prior relationship with Quebec (through visits or family), the human capital factors of the applicant’s spouse or common-law partner (if applicable), and whether or not the applicant has a validated job offer in Quebec. If an individual satisfies the minimum points requirement for these factors, he or she may then gain additional points for any accompanying dependent children and proof of financial self-sufficiency. Candidates should note that a job offer is not required for the QSWP.

Applicants should also note that they may be awarded points for French proficiency, though it is not an eligibility requirement for the program. Applicants who do not have knowledge of French, but who have strong credentials in other areas, may still be eligible to apply.

Summer intake period may be the last of its kind.
This latest immigration news from Quebec is perhaps the most significant to come from the province over recent months. The Ministère de l’Immigration, de la Diversité et de l’Inclusion (MIDI), the government ministry overseeing immigration to Quebec, has made a number of changes to program procedures over the past year, including the removal of the time-consuming adaptability interview and modifications to the area of training factor.

Currently, the QSWP operates on a first-come, first-served basis. Quebec’s Minister of Immigration recently proposed a bill that, if passed, would likely result in Quebec implementing an economic immigration system similar to the Express Entry system currently used by the government of Canada, whereby candidates must make an ‘Expression of Interest’ before being invited to apply based on their credentials.

It is expected that the QSWP application intake period that opens this summer will operate on the same first-come, first-served basis that is currently in place. Consequently, the summer 2016 QSWP application intake period may be the last of its kind a way to apply for immigration to Canada through an economic immigration program without having to first be invited to apply.

It is unknown exactly how many applications may be accepted during the planned summer intake period. However, the MIDI has said that up to 7,000 applications may be accepted for the period 2016-2017.
Source: www.cicnews.com

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) Rebrands as Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) FEBRUARY, 2016

The Canadian federal government department that used to be called Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has been renamed Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). Usage of the new name began soon after the new government of Canada took office in November, 2015, but has become more apparent over the opening weeks of 2016.

IRCC facilitates the arrival of immigrants to Canada, provides protection to refugees, and offers programs to help newcomers settle in Canada. IRCC’s mandate also extends to granting citizenship, issuing travel documents (such as passports) to Canadians, and promoting multiculturalism.

While the acronym ‘CIC’ continues to be used in some cases, particularly on older webpages and program guides, it has become increasingly apparent over the first few months of the present government’s term in office that ‘IRCC’ is preferred in most official publications and communications.

To avoid any confusion, stakeholders should note that CIC and IRCC are not two separate departments. If documents or publications refer to CIC in one instance and IRCC in another, they are actually referring to the same department. IRCC is not so much a new department, but the successor to one that has existed for many years. However, the name CIC may continue to be used for some time by some stakeholders, such as Canadian provincial and territorial governments.

The addition of the word ‘refugees’ in the official name of the government department reflects the current government’s focus on humanitarian and refugee immigration to Canada. That being said, the government has made it clear that Canada will uphold an open and welcoming immigration policy for skilled immigrants and family class programs. There is no evidence to suggest that economic immigration or family reunification is less important to this government than its predecessors; indeed, the government has pledged to increase funding allocated to IRCC to improve program delivery and processing times.

In addition, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau has issued a public mandate to the Minister overseeing IRCC, John McCallum, to increase the maximum age for dependents to 22, from 19, to allow more Canadians to bring their children to Canada. Minister McCallum has also been asked to look into giving additional points under the Entry Express immigration selection system to provide more opportunities for applicants who have Canadian siblings.

Immigration
The ‘Immigration’ portion of the department title refers to Canada’s efforts to build and maintain a policy of welcoming newcomers in a way that is beneficial to Canadians and newcomers alike. Canada has traditionally been a country with a progressive, open immigration policy, with most Canadians being able to trace foreign ancestry within just a few generations. As Canada faces a demographic challenge and wishes to have strong economic growth and security, immigration is likely to continue to play an important role in Canada’s future.

Refugees
The word ‘Refugees’ is the one and only word that has been added to the department’s new name. Instability and conflict over recent years in some regions of the world has led to an increase in the number of refugees globally. These individuals and families have been forced from their homes and are often in extremely vulnerable situations. The United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (UNHCR) estimates that there are 60 million such persons in the world.

The current government of Canada has responded to this reality not only by making a semantic change to a government department, but also through concrete action. A huge effort has been made to expedite the arrival of refugees from Syria, with the government now on target to meet its commitment to settle 25,000 Syrian refugees by the end of February.

Citizenship
One of the defining characteristics of Canada’s immigration policy is that it provides a pathway to Canadian citizenship for individuals who make the major life decision to immigrate to Canada. Becoming a Canadian citizen and joining the Canadian family is very often a humbling and emotional benchmark in an immigrant’s life.

Citizenship remains an important component of IRCC, as it was before the department was renamed.
Source: www.cicnews.com

British Columbia asks Federal Government for Increased PNP Allocation, February 2016

The government of British Columbia (B.C.) has stated that it has asked the federal government for a significant boost in the number of immigrants who can come to the province through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP). B.C. is asking for its allocation to be increased from 5,500 to 9,000.

The request was made by B.C. Premier Christy Clark at a national jobs roundtable in Ottawa on Thursday. The government of B.C. and other stakeholders, including business leaders, are lobbying for higher immigration numbers to fill vacancies for which not enough people can be found in the province. B.C. is expected to lead the country in economic expansion in 2016 and beyond.

“They [the federal government] are open to hearing the argument,” Ms. Clark said. “The most important component of it is the PNP [Provincial Nominee Program], which allows the province to decide which specific skills are being allowed into the province. It’s at about 5,500 now; we need it to be 9,000 because we need to skills match people who are going to become Canadian citizens.”

Last week, B.C. launched a dynamic intake management system that allows the province to prioritize candidates for provincial nomination through the BC PNP. The Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS) is a points-based system whereby candidates receive a score based on the information they provide upon registration. This score will determine whether a candidate receives an Invitation to Apply for nomination from BC PNP through the Skills Immigration and Express Entry B.C. streams.
Source: www.cicnews.com

1,505 Candidates Invited to Apply for Immigration to Canada in 27th Express Entry Draw February 2016

Latest draw from the Express Entry pool has seen a total of 1,505 candidates being issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence. The 27th draw took place on February 10, 2016, and each candidate who received an ITA had 459 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points. The Express Entry immigration selection system allows Canada to invite candidates who have made an 'Expression of Interest' in immigrating to Canada to apply on a priority basis.

While the CRS point requirement for this draw has seen a marginal increase, relative to the previous (26th) draw, this latest draw is the fourth draw that has taken place over the first six weeks of 2016. Moreover, since the Canadian federal election took place in October, 2015, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC, formerly known as CIC) has performed a total of nine Express Entry draws. Each of these draws has selected a portion of candidates who do not have a qualifying job offer in Canada or a nomination from a Canadian province.

Express Entry is Canada's immigration management system for the federal economic immigration programs, namely: Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades, and the Canadian Experience Class. The system was first launched on January 1, 2015.

Eligible candidates may submit a profile into the Express Entry pool, where they are ranked according to the CRS. The government of Canada selects the top-ranked candidates on a priority basis when it performs one of its frequent draws from the pool. Candidates who are issued an ITA for permanent residence then have 60 days to submit a complete e-application, from which point the government of Canada aims to process the application within six months.
Source: www.cicnews.com

Immigration Remains Main Driver of Population Growth in Canadian Census Metropolitan Areas February 2016

A Statistics Canada report has found that international migration remains the principal source of population growth in census metropolitan areas (CMAs), particularly in Western Canada. The study covers the years 2014/2015.

While immigration was the source of 60% of population growth in CMAs, its contribution was down from 2013/2014 (66%).

Statistics Canada estimates indicate that the seven CMAs with the highest relative rate of population growth were all located in Western Canada. Of these, Kelowna (+3.1%) and Abbotsford-Mission (+1.4%) are located in British Columbia; Calgary and Edmonton (both +2.4%) are in Alberta; Saskatoon (+2%) and Regina (+1.9%) are in Saskatchewan; and Winnipeg (+1.4%) is in Manitoba.

In contrast, the CMAs that posted population decreases were all located in Eastern or Central Canada. The population decreased in the CMAs of Saint John, NB (-0.4%), Greater Sudbury, ON (-0.3%), Saguenay, QC (-0.2%), Peterborough (-0.2%), ON, and Thunder Bay (-0.2%), ON.

Around 7 out of every 10 residents of Canada, or 25,164,126 people, reside in CMAs. Population aging is increasing outside CMAs, with non-CMA areas having a median population of 43.9 years, as opposed to 39.3 in CMAs. Canada's overall population is estimated to be 35,851,774.

Over the period 2005–2015, overall population growth in non-CMA areas was 4%. In contrast, CMAs saw an average population increase of 15% over this time. The CMAs with the most rapid population increases were Calgary (+32%) and Edmonton (+31%), while Toronto (+17%), Vancouver (+16%), Ottawa (+15%) and Montreal (+11%) also experienced population growth at or above the national average of 11%.

A CMA is an area consisting of one or more neighbouring municipalities situated around a core. A CMA must have a total population of at least 100,000, of which 50,000 or more live in the core. Canada currently has 33 CMAs; regions that are not CMAs are categorized as non-CMAs.
Source: www.cicnews.com

Indian student immigration in the US grows in 2015 and more to come February 2016

India now stands second, behind only to China, as the country of origin for most foreign students studying in the US currently and India is outpacing China’s growth in this area. This makes it official that India stands second only to China as the country of origin for most foreign students in the US. But the gap between the two Asian giants is closing. If you are looking to pursue immigration to the USA for education or any other US immigration, please fill our enquiry form so that one of our consultants will reach you to entertain your queries.

Saskatchewan Reopens Express Entry Stream for Canadian Immigration for Fourth Time in 2015

The end-of-year rush on Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) Express Entry nominations being issued continues, with Saskatchewan having announced on December 16, 2015 that, effective immediately, 500 additional applications will be accepted under the ‘International Skilled Worker – Express Entry’ sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP).

Saskatchewan also announced a corresponding increase to the year’s application quota for this sub-category, from 2,500 to 3,000.

As this is an enhanced immigration stream, a successful nomination will result in applicants being awarded 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and receiving an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.

The latest SINP announcement marks the second time this month, and fourth time this year, that the International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category has opened. Each time this sub-category has opened it has also filled quickly. The previous intake period lasted just four days, and the current application intake is also expected to be filled quickly.

This sub-category is limited to candidates in the Express Entry pool who, in addition to meeting the requirements of a federal immigration program (Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class or Canadian Experience Class), must also satisfy the requirements of the SINP International Skilled Worker Express Entry sub category. This includes obtaining 60 points on Saskatchewan’s point assessment grid.

In addition, candidates must:

  • demonstrate proficiency in either English or French; and
  • have completed a minimum of one year of post-secondary education or training that has resulted in a degree, diploma, certificate, or a certificate equivalent to a trade certificate and which is comparable to the Canadian education system, as verified by an Educational Credential Assessment.
A potential candidate must also demonstrate a minimum level of work experience related to his or her field of education or training. This work experience may be either:

  • at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled profession (non-trades); or
  • at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade in the past five years; or
  • at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada in the past three years (trades and non-trades). This work experience must be in a high skilled occupation (NOC “0”, “A” or “B”) that is considered to be in-demand in Saskatchewan.
A complete list of in-demand occupations can be found at the end of this article.

The application process

Candidates eligible for and interested in applying to the Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category should follow these steps:

  1. Submit an online profile on CIC’s Express Entry immigration selection system and get accepted into the Express Entry pool.
  2. Apply to the SINP for provincial nomination. Documents and all forms need to be attached to the SINP application. If approved for a nomination, the SINP will enter the details of the nomination into CIC’s Express Entry system and send a nomination letter to the candidate explaining the next steps.
  3. After the SINP enters the nomination information into a candidate’s Express Entry profile, he or she will be awarded an additional 600 points for a nomination under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool. From the moment a candidate receives an invitation to apply for permanent residence, he or she will have 60 days to submit an application for permanent residence.

US hikes fees for H1-B and L-1 Visas

December 21, 2015

US President Barack Obama shocked many countries including Indian companies and business investors who have a huge talent pool that travels every year to the US to work for companies that are based in India and abroad. This is a part of the ‘Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016’ which contains within its pages an omnibus fund which will run the US Federal Government up to the 30th of September, 2016. Signed is a colossal spending package of 1.8 trillion US Dollars, which includes within its pages the new fee hike for H1-B and L-1 visas. Changes have raised the fee for H1-B visa application to US$ 4000 and the fee for the L-1 visa application is much more at US$ 4500. This means that Indian IT companies need to shell out between UD$ 8000 to UD$ 1000 per H1-B Visa from April. Earlier the free stood as US$ 325.

Feel the prick of the fee hike

Companies already feel the prick with the currency exchange gap widening, but the raised amount will put a huge dent in the spending budget of many IT companies, which in turn will affect international experience of many skilled individuals. In addition to these heavy charges, there are also attorney fees, Prevention and Defection fee, Employer Sponsorship fee, and Medicare and Social Security. These companies rely, especially on the non-refundable H1-B visa to send their employees to the US. There are a lot of adverse reactions from the industry who say that the text is discriminatory as the fee would have to be born by only major IT companies. The L-1 visa, which is much less popular, will also feel the pinch as it is directed to the Intra company Transferees who are in the top bracket of international immigrants. This visa targets the executives, managers and of ‘specialized knowledge’ employed by foreign business entities. Its targets are direct employers of US workforce, by investing in a new business or branch related to US businesses.

Who will be affected?

This price tag which comes into effect from the 1st of April, 2016, will be levied on companies that have more than 50 employees and having more than 50 percent of its workforce on the H1-B visa in the US.

Reactions from IMF

The bill was approved and signed in by the International Monetary Fund (IMF) in 2010, but was stonewalled till now as it could not get the essential signature to pass through the US Congress. IMF Managing Director, Christina Lagarde said this bill will help it control a lot more of the financials with the IMF playing a secondary role of supporting the stability of the fragile global financial structure.

Original Source:Financial Express

Increasing Number of Candidates for Canadian Immigration Expected to be Invited to Apply in 2016.

December, 2015

The year that was 2015 has been a transitional one with respect to Canadian economic immigration programs. Beginning with the launch of the Express Entry selection system on January 1, 2015, and with a newly-installed government that promises to deliver more for future and existing candidates for immigration to Canada, it has been a year with much change in the air.

2016 looks set to continue in the same manner, and the prospects for Express Entry candidates in particular appear positive.

What’s in store for 2016?

During a webinar hosted by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on December 16, 2015, a CIC Policy Analyst made some important announcements regarding the short- and medium-term future of Express Entry:

“The number of invitations issued per round is expected to increase as the pre-Express Entry inventory of applications is finalised. In turn, it is expected that the minimum score of those that are invited to apply will drop,” she stated.

Moreover, while answering a question about international students in Canada, the Policy Analyst added that:

“We [CIC] are not currently planning on changing the points for international students. We are monitoring how international students are doing in the system, and we expect that in the new year when our rounds start growing — to meet our new levels plan — that the score will reduce and that international students will continue to do well at that time.”

These pronouncements follow similar ones made by CIC at the Annual Immigration Law Summit, which was held in November.

Source: www.cicnews.com

Canada Visa News Briefs for Mid-December, 2015

Quebec’s Minister of Immigration Formally Proposes Changes to Immigration Act

The Quebec Minister of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion, Kathleen Weil, has tabled a draft law that, if passed, may make significant changes to the Quebec Immigration Act. Adopted in 1968, the Immigration Act in Quebec has undergone successive amendments but has never been reformed.

Saskatchewan Reopens Express Entry Sub-Category for Canadian Immigration

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan has announced the reopening of the ‘International Skilled Worker – Express Entry’ sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). Up to 500 further applications will be accepted, as of December 2, 2015.

22nd Express Entry Draw for Canadian Immigration Sees CRS Point Requirement Decrease Once Again

The 22nd draw for Canadian immigration through the Express Entry selection system has been performed by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) on December 4, 2015. A total of 1,451 Invitations to Apply(ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence were issued to candidates with 461 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.

Saskatchewan Express Entry Sub-Category Capped Out Within Days Yet Again

The Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) ‘International Skilled Worker – Express Entry’ sub-category for Canadian immigration has reached its allocation cap within four days of reopening. This is the second time in a few weeks that this sub-category of the SINP has capped out in such a short period of time.

Canadian Employers may use Email Submission for Job Offers if Technical Difficulties in Employer Portal Persist

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has announced a program update concerning the International Mobility Program (IMP) and the Employer Portal.

Canada Extends Pilot Program Allowing Certain Sponsored Spouses and Partners to Obtain Work Permits

A popular pilot program that allows certain spouses and common-law partners of Canadian citizens and permanent residents to work while awaiting permanent resident (PR) status has been extended for another year. The pilot program has allowed many spouses to provide for themselves and their families, as well as gain valuable Canadian work experience, while awaiting PR status.

Source: www.cicnews.com

Canada becomes more attractive to immigrants with its new taxation policy!

December 11, 2015

For people looking towards migration based on tax saving, Canada was not a very popular option, but this is likely to change with the modifications coming up in the taxing program to be implemented by the liberal government, that has been newly elected. The change that will take place soon, is likely to be more beneficial to people belonging to the lower income group as well as the middle income group.

Who will benefit the most?

Under this system, the people in the category of higher income, will have to pay a higher percentage of tax. To provide more clarity on this aspect, people who are earning between the range of $45,282- $90,563, will have to pay only 20.5% which is a reduction from what was being paid earlier. Earlier people whose earnings were within the above mentioned range paid 22%.

Bringing about these changes, will cause another set of people earning 2,00,000 dollars to be taxed nothing less than 33%. A major part of this change is directly related to the introduction of tax free savings account [TFSA]. Its introduction is expected to improve the inflow immigrants to a great extent, because of the way it is designed to benefit people.

The immigrants must look forward to…

The new scheme related to this, which comes in the form of tax free savings account, is a great savings options for immigrants who come to Canada. The new rule has set the maximum amount to be deposited every year in this account at 5,500 dollars. The other advantage with the newly implemented rule is that, it does not mandate the need to have previous savings in the country.

This was not the case earlier with regard to Registered Retirement Saving Plan (RRSP). This plan made it compulsory for one to have previous savings in Canada. To further differentiate between the TFSA and the RRSP, withdrawal from the former, does not effect the other benefits. Also, whatever you contribute to TSFA is not tax deductable while contributions made to RRSP are tax deductable.

The new government will be implementing these beneficial changes on the 1st of January 2016.

Source:Emirates 247

New Zealand Digitizes its Visa processes for Students, Job Seekers and Visitors

December 10, 2015

With an aim to modernize its travel procedures of foreign nationals to the island nation of New Zealand, the immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse has come up with an idea of convenience to invite students, job seekers and visitors from various countries. The option has been chosen to make the entire process simpler, cheaper and very easy.

The e-visa is currently open to people coming in as students, job seekers or visitors, whether they live within the country or outside of it. With the implementation of this change, the applicants no longer need to struggle to get a visa and this makes the entire process a lot simpler than the one presently in use.

The reason behind this move

The main target of the modernization process is to attract and improve the number of people entering the country as tourists and students. The education and tourism sectors are likely to get a significant boost with this change. According to many newspapers from the region, New Zealand believes that it is a wonderful example of how the government has began to make the best use of technology to improve its economy and promote its development.

Mutual benefits

The modernization of the visa application and approval process will enable students and tourists to have easier access to the country. They can now prepare for a better future in New Zealand and give a better shape to their career. Similarly, it also provides a great opportunity for tourists who choose New Zealand as their travel destination. In fact, the situation is mutually beneficial for the visitors, students, job seekers and the country being visited. Travelers have easy access to enjoy a refreshing holiday, good quality education and greater job opportunities, while giving a boost to the economy of New Zealand.

With this development, there will no longer be any physical mark of visa approval on the passport. Hereon, the applicant will receive online notifications regarding the start and end dates and conditions of the e-visa. These changes will come into force from the year 2016.

Original Source: business Scoop

Quebec Skilled Worker Program for Canadian Immigration to Open on November 4

The much-anticipated Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) will reopen with postal applications to be accepted from November 4, 2015. The QSWP is a popular Canadian immigration program, with successful applicants and their families obtaining Canadian permanent resident status.

A maximum of 6,300 applications will be received for this program. The most recent QSWP application cycle opened in 2014 with an intake of 6,500 applications. This cap was reached within four months, and it is expected that demand for the upcoming application cycle will be similarly popular, perhaps even more so than the 2014 cycle.

The 2014 QSWP application cycle operated on a first-come, first-served basis, and no changes to the imminent application cycle have yet been announced. This feature marks the QSWP as a more assured and straightforward way of obtaining Canadian permanent residence compared with the federal economic immigration programs that are processed through the Express Entry selection system. If an applicant is eligible for the QSWP and submits a complete application within the timeframe set by the government of Quebec, he or she may have a clear path towards Canadian immigration.

Over the past number of months, the government has made slight changes to the QSWP criteria, including the release of a new Area of Training list. In addition, in August, 2015, the government of Quebec lowered the pass mark required to obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate/certificat de selection du Québec (CSQ) and, at the same time, removed the ‘adaptability’ factor from the points-based program. Consequently, candidates who may not have been eligible for a previous application cycle of the QSWP may now be eligible to submit an application.

The government of Quebec has announced that the application cycle will be split into two periods. The first, which will run from November 4 to December 15, 2015, will accept up to 3,500 postal applications only. The second, which will run from January 18 to March 31, 2016, will process up to 2,800 applications online.

The government of Quebec had previously announced that an online system would be in place for this application cycle and, while the government remains true to its word, the fact that a postal intake period will precede the online processing period is a welcome bonus for potential applicants, as it gives them an opportunity to submit an application quickly before the online system is launched. Moreover, it remains to be seen how the online system may operate.

Source: CIC news

International Skilled Worker – Saskatchewan Express Entry Sub-Category Reopened

November 2, 2015 - The International Skilled Worker – Saskatchewan Express Entry Sub-Category is now reopened to accept an additional 500 applications.

The SINP is an immigration program under which the Province of Saskatchewan selects individuals from other countries who intend to settle in Saskatchewan and nominates them to the federal government for permanent residency. The SINP eligibility criteria reflect the specific needs of Saskatchewan's labour market and economy. Program criteria may change without notice and applications will be assessed according to the criteria on this website when the SINP receives your completed application. Please be advised the SINP is subject to a nomination limit set by the federal government and application intake thresholds.

CIC Makes 18th Express Entry Draw for Canadian Immigration

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has issued 1,530 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) in the eighteenth draw from the Express Entry pool, which took place today, October 2. Candidates in the pool with 450 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points are being invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence, with processing times of six months or less.

This draw from the Express Entry pool marks the ninth draw in succession in which a number of candidates without a qualifying job offer or an enhanced provincial nomination certificate were selected. It is also the ninth draw in a row in which more than 1,400 candidates were selected.

The previous Express Entry draw, which took place on September 18, marked a landmark moment in the short history of the Express Entry selection system for Canadian immigration, as it was the first occasion where the CRS requirement had dipped to 450.

The latest draw keeps the CRS requirement at 450. Consequently, each candidate who receives an ITA as a result of this draw has either entered the Express Entry pool at some stage over the past two weeks or increased his or her CRS score in that time. With an increasing number of Canadian provinces having introduced Express Entry streams as part of their Provincial Nominee Programs, candidates in the Express Entry pool have been able to take advantage of opportunities for increasing their ranking and obtaining the all-important ITA. The provinces of Ontario and Saskatchewan, as well as the Maritime provinces of Nova Scotia and New Brunswick, have all introduced such streams in recent months. In addition, it was announced earlier this month that Nova Scotia has been given an increased allocation for the Express Entry streams of its Nova Scotia Nominee Program.

If a candidate in the pool obtains a qualifying job offer or an enhanced provincial nomination certificate, he or she is awarded 600 CRS points and will receive an invitation to apply at a subsequent draw from the pool.

Source: CIC news

TPP deal may allow for more Temporary Foreign Workers CANADA

The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal may allow international companies operating in Canada to bring temporary foreign workers to their operations in Canada without first being required to offer jobs to Canadians.

The government of Canada signed on to the TPP earlier this month. The TPP would create a free-trade zone among 12 nations around the Pacific, making it the world’s largest. Ratification would create the largest trade zone in the world, spanning four continents and 800 million people. The countries within its scope account for 40 per cent of the world’s economic output.

Under the agreement, companies from TPP countries would be able to bring temporary foreign workers to their operations in Canada. Employers from some of those countries would also be exempt from a wage floor established by the government of Canada in 2014 to ensure foreign workers on intra-company transfers are paid at or above the prevailing wage for their occupation.

With Canadian set to vote in a federal election in just a few days, the TPP deal has come under a great deal of scrutiny. Of the three main party leaders, incumbent Prime Minister and leader of the Conservative Party, Stephen Harper, has championed the deal, while NDP leader Tom Mulcair opposes it. Liberal Party leader Justin Trudeau has said his party is pro-trade, but has not taken a definitive position on the TPP.

So far, the twelve signatories to the deal are: Brunei, Chile, New Zealand, Singapore, Australia, Canada, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, Peru, the United States, and Vietnam.

Source: CIC news

Immigrants form a large chunk of American population

As much as 75 percent of the population of the United States of America is contributed by the legal immigrants in the family category. It has been the case especially since the year 2000, when such immigrants started pouring in to the United States in large numbers. Predictions reveal that if things continue to remain this way, another 100 million people will be added to this population.

How the past has been

Official reports say that this addition will take place by the year 2065. This is a piece of information revealed by Negative Population Growth. It has been observed that in the 1970s more than half of the immigrants that have come to the United States are all within the category of family immigrants.

In the year 2013, the share of people in this category came up to 66 percent. Such type of immigration has been given the name chain immigration. It has been found that the cause of migration to the United States cannot be stated as better employment opportunities anymore. It has more has to do with the immigration policy of the country. The more flexible they are, the more number of people will come in.

A probable solution

To keep a check on this, Jessica Vaughan, the director of policy studies at the Center for Immigration Studies has recommended imposing of caps on some of the family based immigrants that the United States of America takes in very often. Apart from this, it has also been recommended to impose restrictions on other areas like getting spouse or parents on dependent visas.

Vaughan observes that with an easy immigration policy, it is not only easy for people to come in but also difficult to detect the fraud that likely to take place more often in such a situation.

Original Source: Breitbart

INDIANS an important technology workforce in USA

The government of the United States of America has found that, as much as 86 percent of the H1B visa holders are Indians. Some members in the government hold the opinion that if the situation continues to remain this way then, soon the Indians will overthrow the native Americans in the key jobs of the country. This is also the opinion held by Republican presidential front-runner Donald Trump.

As a remedy for this, he suggests that the minimum wage for the H1B visa holders should be hiked which will in turn prevent employers from hiring them. A deeper look into this issue reveals that most of the holders of this visa are working in outsourcing companies such as Infosys and Tata Consultancy Services (TCS).

The official numbers

While Indians account for 86 percent of the H1B visa, the Chinese are left way behind in this regard where they account for not more than 5 percent. This means that only five percent of the Chinese applicants are granted work permits. There is a roughness in the entire process as U.S technology firms claim that they are compelled to hire foreigners as there is a lack of technology experts in their country.

London visa likely to have special provisions for Indian students

London mayor Boris Johnson is trying to persuade for a special visa for Commonwealth citizens to stay and work in the UK to prevent the drop in numbers of the Indian students.

According to official statistics, the number of Indian students coming to study in Britain has halved from 39,090 in 2010-2011 to 19,750 in 2013-2014.

The key reason behind this dramatic drop has been attributed to the restrictions on the post-study work visa, which had allowed many of these students to stay and look for a job for up to two years after completing their course. Under the current system, students have only four months to find work and must be paid a minimum salary of 20,800 pounds, compared to earlier when they had two years for the job-hunt process.

Indian high commissioner to the UK Ranjan Mathai suggested that top-tier British universities should be more involved in vetting students alongside the Home Office. "We strongly feel that the universities should be part of this process of ensuring that students are able to come if they meet the requirements, and they should be part of the dialogue," as reported in PTI.

"We believe that in our interconnected world, students should be able to access the best in higher education. We have a huge number of foreign students coming to India also, so it's not just a one-way process," he said.

However, under immense pressure to reduce net migration into the UK from its current record high of 330,000, UK home secretary Theresa May is up for a clash with her other cabinet colleagues who believe foreign students should be kept out of the total net migration figures.

Original Source: IndiaToday

US Universities Witness 32 Per cent Increase in Indian Students Since 2014

Washington, United States:There has been a 32 per cent increase in the number of students from India to universities and colleges in the US, compared to last year, according to the latest official figures released. The number of Indian students going overseas for suited has witnessed a nine per cent jump over last year as well.

This has been stated in "SEVIS by the Numbers," a quarterly report on international students studying in the US, released by the Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP), which is part of US Immigration and Customs Enforcement.

The report also mentions that 76 per cent of all international students are from Asia.The top 10 countries of citizenship for international students included China, India, South Korea, Saudi Arabia, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Vietnam, Mexico and Brazil.India and Vietnam had the greatest percentage increase in students studying in the US at 31.9 and 25.9 per cent respectively when compared to last year's statistics extracted from SEVIS.

"24 per cent of all F & M students studying at schools in the state of Texas are from India, followed by 17 per cent from China," SEVP said. China with about 300,000 has the maximum number of international students in the US, followed by India with nearly 150,000.

The University of Southern California, New York University, Columbia University, the University of Illinois and Purdue University, were ranked in the top five among US schools with the most international students. There are currently 1.5 million international students in the US who get F and M visa for studying in the country. Under this, students can only attend an SEVP-certified school, and need to apply for a student visa to the US only after receiving acceptance from such schools.

As many as 81 per cent of the Indian students are in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields in the US, the highest for any country, the report said.

Original Source:NDTV

Candidates with 456 points and above invited to apply under Canada FSW in the 15th CRS draw.

The last CRS draw that was carried out on 21st August 2015, where the candidates who scored 456 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program. This clearly indicates that an applicant can get a positive selection without Job offer or Canadian experience or Canadian Qualifications based only on their own credentials - Education, Language, experience and other factors

Key features:

  • Applications stay in the express entry pool at least for an year and can get selected in the next years quota as well,
  • Canada's Express Entry opened on January 2015 with an intention of taking in 1,75,000 in one year.
  • Candidates can reapply even if not selected in the first year,
  • The point system is still the same - 67 points
  • Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), candidates can get selected from the Express Entry Pool, even without confirmed offer from a Canadian employer or Canadian experience or qualifications;
  • Applications can be lodged in on single or married status
  • There is no individual occupation quota
  • Majority of occupations can qualify.

Canada Express Entry program is one of the best program to apply for skilled professionals.Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity, and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion.

British passport holders can now visit India on an e-tourist visa! - August 2015

India's e-Tourist Visa scheme has been extended for travellers from the UK.

From today, "casual" business travellers holding a British passport can apply and pay for an online visa via the Indian government's tourist visa website.

This should make the process of obtaining a visa easier and cheaper. Travellers will not have to make an appointment at the embassy and the cost has been reduced from £89.44 to £39.

Visas are not issued immediately - once an online application is submitted, travellers can expect to receive entry documents via email within four days.

An application must be submitted four days in advance of arrival and the visa will only be single entry, valid for 30 days, and cannot be extended.

The arrival of e-visas comes months after the Indian government backed down on plans that would have seen travellers make appointments at application centres across the UK for "biometric data collection", where fingerprint data and facial imagery would have been a "mandatory requirement" for all visa applicants.

Travellers entering India on an e-visa must arrive at one of 16 designated airports, which include Mumbai, Delhi, Kolkata and Chennai. Biometric data, including fingerprinting, will be collected on arrival at the border.

The Indian government said e-Tourist visas are only valid for recreation, sightseeing, meeting friends or family, short duration medical treatment, or for a casual business visit.

The UK joins 77 other countries that are eligible for e-Tourist visas.

Source: BusinessTraveller

Donald Trump Announces 5-Point Plan about ILLEGAL IMMIGRATION! August 2015

The liberal media and his primary opponents have falsely accused Donald Trump of not having specific policy plans.

But conservative Donald Trump just announced his bold, aggressive plan to secure the border. The 5 points are very specific, and would turn the tide against two terms of President Barack Obama’s amnesty agenda!

He is focused on the 14th Amendment, which falsely grants citizenship to babies born in America of illegal aliens. He wants to change that, and has 5 ideas on how to secure the border.

Here are Donald Trump’s 5 points about illegal immigration. This changes everything….

1) Build a fence, deploy 25,000 additional border agents, utilize Predator drones

Trump said there has been “mediocre success rates of the current crop of virtual fences that have been developed and tested.” However, large fences have been successful in various parts of Arizona. That’s why America needs a large border fence and more agents to stop the endless flood of alien criminals who cross everyday.

2) Enforce immigration law

There are strict immigration laws already in place. Sadly, America doesn’t have a President willing to enforce them. As Trump opined, “This wholesale abdication of a president’s constitutional duties is as shocking as it is foolish,” he wrote of Obama’s actions. “It’s political pandering of the worst kind.”

3) No more cozy detention centers

These centers are basically vacation resorts for illegal aliens. They are shameful. Illegal aliens should be deported now!

4) Oppose “DREAM Act”

5) No future tuition benefits

Far too many American students pay more than illegal aliens, who receive generous taxpayer subsidies and lower in-state tuition rates. Trump would stop this immediately.

Source: The Political Insider

International students increasing and bringing benefits to Canada, August 2015

International students are beginning to arrive on campuses large and small across Canada these days. Some returning for the next year of study, some for the beginning of a stay in Canada that may be transformative, and could be the beginning of a life here.

Students have been coming to Canada since just after the second world war. But now their numbers are increasing dramatically and Canadian colleges and universities are welcoming them warmly.

“in 2001 there were 2.1 million students studying abroad. In 2014 there were 4.5 million”

Jennifer Humphries, VP of Membership, Public Policy and Communications at the Canadian Bureau for International Education, says there’s been an ”explosion” of international student mobility. She says in 2001 there were 2.1 million students studying abroad, in 2014 there were 4.5 million, and in 2025 there will be 7.5 million studying outside their home-countries. Canada hosts about 5 per cent of these students.

In 2014 the Canadian government announced plans to double the number of international students and researchers in Canada by 2022 to 450,000. The government estimated the increase would generate some 86,000 new jobs and add an additional $10 billion to the domestic economy each year. Where a Canadian student pays on average about C$6000 a year in university fees, an international student pays C$20,000; money most appreciated in increasingly cash-strapped educational institutions.

International students at St. Thomas University in Fredericton, New Brunswich celebration the graduation of some of their classmates.

Jennifer Humphries says Canada’s number of international students has grown over 10 to 12 per cent a year over the last decade. The figures for 2014 indicate a growth of 10 per cent over 2013. They’re now tracking increases in students from countries such as Nigeria, Brazil, Russia, France, and Viet Nam. For many years China has been a steady source of nearly one third of international students in Canada.

Ms. Humphries says even more high school students are coming from abroad now to position themselves for entry into a Canadian university. And colleges and institutes of applied study are becoming more attractive to international students.

This growing academic population brings several benefits to Canada. Jennifer Humphries says many graduate students come here and play a key role in knowledge generation in research. There are tourist spin-offs when parents come to visit. The students provide social benefits when they connect with the local communities, and she says for many administrators, “the internationalization of the academy” is paramount.

Humphries says in the face of changing demographics in Canada and with skills gaps, international students are a part of the future. International graduates can work for three years in Canada. In January of this year, the federal government created a new category of immigration called ‘Express Entry’ that will help many graduates if they’d like to stay. This is in tandem with the ‘Canadian Experience’ stream of immigration, which provides the opportunity for students who have been working, and begin to feel very much at home in their academic communities.

Source: Rcinet

CIC Releases Mid-Year Express Entry Report August, 2015

According to the new rules that been implemented since the first of January this year, the future rounds for the express entry pool are the major sources, for annual Canadian immigration levels to bet by individuals.

July also sees landmark Express Entry draw with lowest CRS requirement ever.

In a wide-ranging and informative report, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has provided valuable insights on the Express Entry selection system for immigration to Canada, which came into operation on January 1, 2015.

This detailed report —a snapshot of the system for the initial six months of implementation, based on a data extract as of July 6, 2015 — provides solid grounds for optimism for individuals who are either in the pool today or thinking of creating a profile in the near future. Among a host of important statements, CIC disclosed that ‘Future rounds from the Express Entry pool will become the main source of applications to meet annual Canadian immigration levels targets for certain economic immigration programs under the Express Entry system as the older inventories are reduced.

This news has been warmly welcomed by candidates in the pool, as it reveals a commitment on CIC’s part to increase the number of invitations to apply issued in the not too distant future.

Through the report, we also learned the following:

  • The pool is growing by about 1,500 persons/profiles per week.
  • The number of profiles completed was 112,701, with 48,723 of these not being eligible. The size of the pool is expected to remain large.
  • A large number of foreign nationals already working in Canada have received invitations to apply because they have job offers supported by a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This was especially the case during the earlier draws, and has resulted in Canada being the dominant country of residence for invited candidates (85.5% of all invited candidates).
  • The most dominant countries of citizenship of invited candidates are India and the Philippines, each of whichsupplied around one-fifth of those invited to apply.
  • Through the first 11 draws, 29.4% of those invited to apply did not have a qualifying job offer or enhanced provincial nomination certificate.
  • 65% had a qualifying job offer.
  • 5.4% had an enhanced provincial nomination certificate.
  • Discounting the first four draws, however — in which only applicants with a CRS score above 600 were invited to apply — 41% of those invited to apply did not have a qualifying job offer or an enhanced provincial nomination certificate.
  • A majority of candidates selected in the sixth (March 27), eighth (April 17) and eleventh (June 27) draws had neither a qualifying job offer nor a provincial nomination certificate.
  • A total of 5,534 of the overall 12,928 invitations to apply issued had been to candidates under the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), with Federal Skilled Workers (FSW, 4,809), Federal Skilled Trades (FST, 1,887) and Provincial Nominees (PN, 698) following. Though provincial nominees have provided the fewest invitees so far, the number of candidates being invited to apply having obtained an enhanced provincial nomination certificate has increased over the most recent draws. This is likely because certain provinces have had the time to assess applications submitted earlier this year. - See more at: http://www.cicnews.com/2015/08/cic-releases-midyear-express-entry-report-085687.html#sthash.CUTsFFlV.dpuf

Kindly visit www.cicnews.com for more detailed information.

Source: CIC News

The Economic Benefits of Immigration

America's economic growth is hovering around 2 percent, public debt is $16 trillion and rising, and job creation and labor market participation remain low. Embracing a more flexible legal immigration system can dramatically improve this situation. This paper describes the link between economic growth and immigration, the need for policy change, the misguided history of America's political opposition to immigration, and a rational immigration policy.

Immigrants increase economic efficiency by reducing labor shortages in low- and high-skilled markets because their educational backgrounds fill holes in the native-born labor market. However, the share of immigrants in the U.S. workforce has declined since its 1991 peak. Increased immigration would expand the American work-force, and encourage more business start-ups. Businesses ranging from Apple Corporation to apple growers would be able to find the workers they need in America.

Current law has inhibited such positive developments.

H-1B temporary visas for new skilled immigrant workers, limited at 85,000 annually, do not meet demand. This quota represents just over one twentieth of one percent of the overall labor force. Acquiring permanent residency (a "green card") is a lengthy and potentially costly process. When immigrant talent, such as the 51 percent of engineering doctorate earners and the 41 percent of physical sciences doctorate earners who are foreignborn, are forced to leave the United States, private and taxpayer investment in research loses value.

Such limitations have been the result of opposition, based largely on false premises, to more open immigration.

Opposition to immigration is as old as immigration itself. American anti-immigrant groups have long feared the possibility that immigrants drive nativeborn workers out of jobs. However, this occurs only in the negligible proportion of occupations where native-born and immigrant skill sets overlap. Many economists have shown that immigration increases the wages of native-born Americans.

A growth-oriented immigration policy would allow a greater number of immigrants to legally enter, stay, and work in the United States. Arlene Holen, using Congressional Budget Office methodology, has estimated that if no green card or H-1B visa constraints had existed in the period 2003–07, an additional 182,000 foreign graduates in science and technology fields would have remained in the U.S. Their contribution to GDP would have been $14 billion in 2008, including $2.7 to $3.6 billion in tax payments. Three hundred thousand H-1B visa holders would also have remained in the U.S. labor force, earning $23 billion in 2008 and generating $34—$47 billion in tax revenue over the next decade.

An immigration policy focused on increasing economic growth would seek ways to admit more immigrants with the advanced education levels desired by domestic employers. One approach to increasing legal immigration in a growth-oriented way, suggested by economists Pia Orrenius and Madeline Zavodny, is to auction permits to employers with demand-based minimum prices. This would raise public revenues while creating a market for permits and guaranteeing that immigrants would arrive with employment. Differing prices could be charged for workers with particular skill sets, given demand. Initial revenues could be as much as $6 billion, which could be invested in services that immigrants use.

Such policy innovations would require, as well, resolution of the status of the estimated 11 million undocumented "illegal immigrants" now living and (generally) working in the U.S. The Brookings-Duke Institute Roundtable has suggested that a solution to the problem of undocumented immigrants would begin with the establishment of a workplace verification system, proven to be effective, which allows employers to know promptly whether a potential employee has the right to work in the United States. This would be followed by a series of steps toward legalization—including payment of back taxes, a mandatory fine, employment and background checks, and a citizenship-type test for those wanting to remain in America. These steps were the basis of the 2005 and 2007 McCainKennedy comprehensive immigration proposals, and form the core of the Senate bipartisan agreement announced in January. Provisional visas and a path to permanent residency and citizenship could be provided for immigrants without criminal records, provided all requirements are completed.

Immigration benefits the economy, and America must adopt more flexible immigration policies that spur growth.

Source: Berkeley Review | Manhattan Institute of Policy Research | Economic Help | The Migration Observatory

Candidates with 469 points and above invited to apply under Canada FSW in the Eleventh CRS draw.

The last CRS draw that was carried out on 26 June 2015, where the candidates who scored 469 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program. This clearly indicates that an applicant can get a positive selection without Job offer or Canadian experience or Canadian Qualifications based only on their own credentials - Education, Language, experience and other factors

Key features:

  • Applications stay in the express entry pool at least for an year and can get selected in the next years quota as well,
  • Candidates can reapply even if not selected in the first year,
  • The point system is still the same - 67 points
  • Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), candidates can get selected from the Express Entry Pool, even without confirmed offer from a Canadian employer or Canadian experience or qualifications;
  • Applications can be lodged in on single or married status
  • There is no individual occupation quota
  • Majority of occupations can qualify.

Canada Express Entry program is one of the best program to apply for skilled professionals.Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity, and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion.

Canada EE Selection Pattern

On 1st January 2015, Canada launched its new Express Entry visa system for applicants qualifying for the Skilled Worker program, Skilled Trades program or the Canadian Experience Class will have to apply for permanent residence to Canada through the online Express Entry system (“EE”). The system aims at improving the visa selection process for permanent residency and speeding up decision times to six months or less.

The key features of the Canada Express Entry Program:

  • Express Entry uses electronic profiles to highlight a person’s best attributes including education, work experience and language skills, among others.
  • Experience in range of occupations such as IT, Engineers, Healthcare, Trades, Finance, Accountants, Teachers, Sales, Marketing, Insurance, Public Relations, HR and Customer Service professionals amongst many others are eligible to apply, as they want to maximize the number of people applying. Majority of occupations can qualify.
  • All these profiles are looked at under the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program or Canadian Experience Class and then put into a pool of candidates.
  • Applications stay in the express entry pool at least for a year and can get selected in the next year’s quota as well.
  • An individual will wait in this pool until given an invitation to apply for permanent residence
  • Once invited, an individual has 60 days to submit an application for permanent residence.
  • A job offer is not a requirement to get an ITA. But applicants will have to register with the Job Bank in Canada as part of the process.
  • Candidates can reapply even if not selected in the first year.
  • The point system is still the same - 67 points
  • Applications can be lodged in on single or married status
  • There is no individual occupation quota

Express Entry selection pattern, from January 1st 2015 till date:

  • Launch date: January 1st, 2015
  • First draw from the pool: January 31, 2015 - 886 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Second draw from the pool: February 7th, 2015 - 818 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Third draw from the pool: February 20th, 2015 - 808 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Fourth draw from the pool: February 27th, 2015 - 735 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Fifth draw from the pool: March 20th, 2015- 481 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Sixth draw from the pool: March 27th, 2015- 453 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Seventh draw from the pool: April 10th , 2015 - 469 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Eight draw from the pool: April 17th, 2015- 453 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Ninth draw- To be announced soon.
  • Tenth draw from the pool: June 12th 2015- 482 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Eleventh draw from the pool: June 26th, 2015- 469 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program
  • Twelfth draw from the pool: To be announced soon.

The good news for candidates who have not yet been issued an invitation to apply is that the required CRS score has decreased with each new draw. With CIC having selected a number of candidates without job offers or provincial nominations in recent weeks, this provides real incentive for all those who did not apply yet to make efforts and file their application into pool. Canada will conduct up to 25 or more draws this year to meet its immigration targets of 1,85,000 new economic immigrants under the 2015 immigration plan;

Canada aims to select tens of thousands of new immigrants through Express Entry in 2015. Therefore, it isn’t too late for you to apply!

Canada Express Entry program is one of the best program to apply for skilled professionals. Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity, and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion.

Australian Immigration undergoes new changes

Increase in Australian Visa Application Charges from 1 July 2015

Visa Application Charges (VACs) will change from 1 July 2015.

The visa fee for many visa categories will be increased to fund investments in Australia. Most of the visas would be increased by 5%. A detailed chart of the fee increase is given in a form of a chart as given by the government of Australia. To get more details on this kindly visit www.akkam.in or speak to our business manager on the numbers given on the website.

Accounting Bodies Raise Bar for Migration Skills Assessment

The Accounting Professional Bodies have announced changes to the skills assessment requirements. These will make it more difficult to meet the educational requirements for skills assessment from 1 July 2015.The changes see the current 12 core accounting areas reduced to 9. Most applicants will need to show that they meet 7 of these, though some occupations will require applicants to meet 8 of them.

Assessing Bodies Affected

All accounting professional bodies will change their criteria from 1 July. This includes:

  • Chartered Accountants Australia and New Zealand
  • CPA Australia
  • Institute of Public Accountants

Occupations Affected

The changes will affect all occupations assessed by the accounting professional bodies, including:

  • Finance Manager ANZSCO 132211
  • Accountant (General) ANZSCO 221111
  • Management Accountant ANZSCO 221112
  • Taxation Accountant ANZSCO 221113
  • Corporate Treasurer ANZSCO 221212
  • External Auditor ANZSCO 221213

Overview of Assessment Criteria

For most applicants applying for a permanent skills assessment, the following must be met:

  • Qualification: a qualification comparable to an Australian bachelor degree. There is no change to this requirement.
  • Core Accounting Knowledge Areas: you must have covered certain compulsory subjects in your qualification. The changes from 1 July are in relation to which subjects are required.
  • English Language: you must undertake an English test. Requirements are similar to those for Proficient English. There is no change to this requirement.

Compulsory Subjects - All Occupations

The range of compulsory subjects for assessment has increased from 4 to 7 for most occupations. This gives applicants less choice in how they make up the required subject areas. The compulsory subjects from 1 July will be:

  • Accounting Systems and Processes: No Change - previously required for all applicants
  • Financial Accounting and Reporting: now made up of Financial Accounting (an advanced subject covering accounting for corporate groups and reporting) and Accounting Theory (another advanced subject covering accounting standards and new developments in accounting). Previously, Accounting Theory was compulsory only for the Accountant (General) and Management Accountant occupations.
  • Management Accounting: No Change - previously required for all applicants
  • Finance: Previously optional for most applicants, apart from Finance Managers and Corporate Treasurers
  • Business Law: Previously optional for all applicants. This will now include both Commercial Law (covering contracts and typically employment law) as well as Corporations Law (general a fairly detailed subject covering laws applying to companies).
  • Economics: previously optional for all applicants
  • Quantitative Methods: previously optional for all applicants

Compulsory Subjects - External Auditors and Tax Accountants

In addition to the above core areas, External Auditors will need to complete Audit & Assurance, and Tax Accountants will need to complete Australian Taxation Laws.

This means that for these occupations, 8 core areas will need to be covered, rather than 7 as required for other occupations.

Accounting Information Systems

Accounting Information Systems has been removed from the list of core knowledge areas. Many applicants have completed subjects which met the requirement for this core area (effectively an introduction to computing in a business context).

Conclusion

The changes may have a significant impact on some applicants, and effectively require the same compulsory core accounting areas to be completed by all applicants.

External Auditors and Tax Accountants will need to complete one more essential core subject as compared to other accounting professions. Previously, all applicants needed to cover the same number of core subjects (9).

Source: acacia-au.com

Australia Announces the New SOL and CSOL list program year 2015-2016.

The current Skilled Occupation List (SOL) has been published on the 1st July 2015. Kindly visit www.akkam.in to get the complete list.

The 190 occupations of the SOL list are (all) eligible for Skilled Visa 189 application. A new legislative instrument has been published specifying the SOL and CSOL from 1 July 2015

This List is relevant for applicants for:

  • Independent points-based skilled migration who are not nominated by a state or territory government agency
  • A Family Sponsored Points Tested visa
  • Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) - Graduate Work stream
Other changes to the occupation list
  • South Australia - State Nominated Occupation Lists.

80 occupations have been removed from the State Occupations list with respect to the previous list. On the other hand, 85 new occupations have been added.

A new legislative instrument has been published specifying the SOL and CSOL from 1 July 2015

Removal from SOL and added to CSOL

232611: Urban and Regional Planner

252311: Dental Specialist

252312: Dentist

Removed from CSOL and added to SOL

324111: Panelbeater

394111: Cabinetmaker

Removed from CSOL

241213: Primary School Teacher

The Department of Immigration and Border protection launched a new website www.border.gov.au on the 1st of July 2015 when the functions of the Department and the Australian Customs and Border Protection Service were integrated.

Ontario Opens Its Doors To Express Entry Candidates For Canadian Immigration

The Canadian province of Ontario has opened two new immigration streams through its Opportunities Ontario Provincial Nominee Program (OOPNP) for Canadian immigration: the Human Capital Priorities stream and the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream. Both streams are aligned with the federal Express Entry immigration selection system.

For successful candidates, nomination from Ontario through one of these streams will result in an additional 600 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points being awarded and an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence being issued. Candidates may only obtain a provincial nomination through one of these streams after receiving a Provincial/Territorial (PT) Notification of Interest from the OONPNP.

Many candidates in the Express Entry pool, as well as many of those thinking of creating an Express Entry profile, have been waiting patiently for Ontario to announce details about how the OOPNP may be adjusted to attract skilled immigrants through Express Entry. As covered recently by CIC news, Ontario, Canada’s most populated province, continues to be the most sought after province by prospective immigrants to Canada.

Objective criteria have been established for both new streams, and a unique aspect of the OOPNP, compared with other PNPs that contain Express Entry streams, is that eligible candidates cannot make an application without first entering the Express Entry pool. These OOPNP streams place eligibility criteria above and beyond the criteria to enter the pool; candidates must either have at least 400 CRS points or have French language proficiency in order to obtain a PT Notification of Interest from the OOPNP.

Human Capital Priorities

The OOPNP Human Capital Priorities stream has attracted a great deal of attention in recent days and weeks, principally due to the fact that candidates are already receiving PT Notifications of Interest.

Candidates who register for Express Entry and wish to obtain a PT Notification of Interest must indicate their intent in immigrating to either Ontario or “All Provinces and Territories.” They must also be eligible to enter the pool through either the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) or the Canadian Experience Class (CEC). Candidates who are only eligible to enter the pool through the Federal Skilled Trades Program are not considered for this stream.

OOPNP searches the Express Entry pool and identifies potential candidates who:

  • Have a minimum of 400 CRS points (additional information below);
  • Created an Express Entry profile on or after June 1, 2015; and
  • Meet other criteria of Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream.

Candidates identified by the OOPNP receive a PT Notification of Interest from Ontario, allowing them to apply to the OOPNP for nomination under the Human Capital Priorities stream. From this point, selected candidates have 45 days to apply to the OOPNP.

One interesting aspect of this stream is that candidates who created a profile before June 1 and have 400 or more CRS points can withdraw their original profile and create a new one. Indeed, some candidates who performed this action have already received a PT Notification of Interest.

To be eligible to apply for the Ontario Human Capital Priorities Stream, candidates must meet the following criteria:

  • CRS score: All candidates must score a minimum of 400 points under the CRS. The score must remain at or above 400 during both the Ontario nomination processing stage and at the federal application for permanent residence processing stage.
  • Work Experience: FSWP candidates must have a minimum of one year of continuous full-time employment (1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in continuous part-time paid work experience in a National Occupation Classification (NOC) level 0, A, or B occupation in the past five years from the date of the PT Notification of Interest from Ontario. This work experience must have been completed in one specific NOC occupation. CEC candidates are required to have a minimum of one year of cumulative full-time employment (1,560 hours or more) or an equal amount in part-time paid work experience in a NOC 0, A, or B occupation in Canada in the past three years.
  • Education: All candidates must have a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. degree or an Educational Credential Assessment (ECA) report produced by a designated organization indicating that their foreign education is the equivalent of a Canadian Bachelor’s, Master’s or Ph.D. degree.
  • Language Proficiency: All candidates must have a language level of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7 or above in all language competencies (reading, writing, listening, and speaking) in either English or French, as proven by language test results from a standardised language test recognised by the governments of Canada and Ontario.
  • Settlement Funds: All applicants must possess sufficient funds that are readily transferable in a convertible currency to cover settlement costs in Ontario. This must be supported by bank statements.
  • Intention to Reside in Ontario: All applicants must intend to reside in Ontario, as demonstrated by a statement of intent and indication of ties to Ontario.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool who fulfil all of the above criteria except for the requirement to have at least 400 CRS points have a couple of options for becoming eligible for the stream. They can increase their CRS score by improving language ability in English and/or French, gain additional skilled work experience, complete a study program at a higher education level, or find out whether their CRS score would improve if an accompanying spouse or common-law partner’s factors are added to the profile. Moreover, candidates are also advised to search for a qualifying job offer from a Canadian employer, which may also result in an additional 600 CRS points being awarded.

French-Speaking Skilled Worker

The French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream has so far not attracted the same initial level of interest as the Human Capital Priorities stream, but is likely to catch the attention of French-speaking skilled workers who also have strong English language abilities and who want to live and work permanently in Ontario. Candidates are required to have at least adequate-intermediate French language skills.

In effect, the French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream has the same eligibility criteria as the Human Capital stream, except for the following two aspects:

  • There is no requirement to have at least 400 CRS points
  • Candidates must have a minimum of Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) level of 7 in French and CLB 6 in English, as demonstrated by results from a standardised language test recognised by the governments of Canada and Ontario

While some candidates may, on first glance, be discouraged by the French requirement, a proficiency of CLB 7 is far from being perfectly fluent. Candidates who studied French in high (secondary) school or have previously been exposed to the language may, with a bit of additional effort and revision, reach adequate-intermediate proficiency and potentially benefit from this new option for Canadian immigration. The new Canada Immigration Language Converter tool allows candidates to compare CLBs with language descriptions and test requirements.

According to the 2011 Canadian census, Ontario is now home to 611,500 Franco-Ontarians, representing 4.8 percent of Ontario’s population. French is particularly strong in Eastern Ontario. A further 1,000,000 Ontarians self-declared French to be one of multiple mother tongues

Source: cicnews.com

Saskatchewan Engages With Federal System For Canadian Immigration, Opens Express Entry Stream

The Canadian province of Saskatchewan has opened its Express Entry category for Canadian immigration under the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP). This category enables the SINP to nominate individuals in Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Express Entry pool and who have the education, skilled work experience, language ability and other factors to help them to successfully establish and integrate into Saskatchewan’s labour market and communities. Up to 775 nomination certificates will be issued under this stream of the SINP this year.

A successful nomination through this stream will result in successful applicants being awarded 600 points under the Comprehensive Ranking System and an invitation to apply at a subsequent draw from the pool.

Located in the Prairie region of Western Canada, Saskatchewan is one of Canada’s most economically stable provinces. Successful candidates and their families will obtain Canadian permanent residence, with the government of Canada aiming to process applications within six months of a complete application being submitted at the federal stage. As candidates are selected by the province from the federal Express Entry pool, all candidates must be eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

In addition, candidates must score at least 60 points on the SINP point assessment grid. Points are awarded on the basis of five factors:

Selection factor Points
Education & Training Maximum 23 points
Work experience Maximum 15 points
Language ability Maximum 20 points
Age Maximum 12 points
Connection to SK labour market & adaptability Maximum 30 points*
Pass mark: 60 points

*Close relative = 20 points. The relative must be a Canadian citizen or permanent resident residing in Saskatchewan – includes: parent, sibling, grandparent, aunt, uncle, niece, nephew, cousin and step-family members or in-laws of the same relationships.

*Previous work experience in Saskatchewan = 5 points. The applicant worked in Saskatchewan for at least twelve months in the past five years on a valid work permit.

*Previous student experience in Saskatchewan = 5 points. The applicant studied at a recognized Saskatchewan education institution for at least one full time academic year on a valid study permit.

Candidates must:
  • demonstrate proficiency in either English or French, in order to enter the Express Entry pool. Language ability is determined by the candidate sitting a standardised language test, the most common of which are the IELTS or CELPIP for English and TEF for French; and
  • have completed a minimum of one year of post-secondary education or training that has resulted in a degree, diploma, certificate, or a certificate equivalent to a trade certificate and which is comparable to the Canadian education system, as verified by an Educational Credential Assessment.

A potential candidate must also demonstrate a minimum level of work experience related to his or her field of education or training. This work experience may be either:

  • at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled profession (non-trades); or
  • at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade in the past five years; or
  • at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada in the past three years (trades and non-trades). This work experience must be in a high skilled occupation (NOC “0”, “A” or “B”) that is considered to be in-demand in Saskatchewan.

A complete list of in-demand occupations can be found at the end of this article.

The application process

Candidates eligible for and interested in applying to the Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category should follow these steps:

1. Submit an online profile on CIC’s Express Entry immigration selection system and get accepted into the Express Entry pool.

2. Apply to the SINP for provincial nomination. Documents and all forms need to be attached to the SINP application. If approved for a nomination, the SINP will enter the details of the nomination into CIC’s Express Entry system and send a nomination letter to the candidate explaining the next steps.

3. After the SINP enters the nomination information into a candidate’s Express Entry profile, he or she will be awarded an additional 600 points for a nomination under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System and receive an invitation to apply for permanent residence at a subsequent draw from the pool. From the moment a candidate receives an invitation to apply for permanent residence, he or she will have 60 days to submit an application for permanent residence.

Source: cicnews.com

Canada - Citizenship rules undergo a change

Canada’s has announced the new citizenship rules with effect from June 11, 2015. They require PR holders to spend more time in the country in order to become eligible to apply for citizenship and also require them to follow other such requirements.

The New Rules are as below:
  • Applicants must declare intent to reside in the country and ensure that all tax obligations are met before filing an application
  • Permanent Resident must stay in Canada for 1,460 days (4 years) in the last 6 years; and be physically present for no less than 183 days in each of four years
  • All applicants between age 14 and 64 must take basic language and knowledge requirements test
  • Misrepresentation of facts for citizenship could lead to $100,000 penalty or 5 years jail-term

New forms have also been introduced from June 11th 2015. All new applications after the mentioned date need to have the updated forms.

Canada has always been one of the most desirable country for immigration as the benefits it offers to its residents and permanent residents surpasses many countries.

UK Could Deport 7,000 Foreign Nurses by 2020, June 24th 2015

UK’s new immigration rules could result in deportation of almost 7,000 non-European nurses, many of whom are from India, by 2020. The immigration cap set under the new rules could result in skill shortage at Britain’s National Health Services (NHS). The salary threshold has also been raised to £35,000 per year, thus affecting as many as 30,000 nurses currently working at the NHS.

India is only next to Philippines when it comes to sending nursing staff to NHS. The Times of India reported RCN General Secretary Peter Carter saying, “The immigration rules will cause chaos for the NHS and other care services. At a time when demand is increasing, the UK is perversely making it harder to employ staff from overseas.”

Under the new immigration rules, nurses working with NHS for six years but do not meet the income threshold will be send home. The move will start from 2011 batch. The nurses who started working in 2011 will be sent back by 2017. And the process will follow year after year till 2020.

The rules are likely to result in loss of skill and knowledge these nurses have gained over years. The UK will have to start the whole process of recruitment, training and retention all over again.

There was no income threshold nor was there a six year time limit previously for foreign, mostly non-European nurses. The new rules are likely to come into force and send back those who failed to hit the £35,000 income mark after working 6 years with the NHS. But, the Royal College of Nurses estimates that 90% of the nurses may not meet the threshold even after the set time limit.

Source: The Times of India

Candidates with 453 points and above invited to apply under Canada FSW in the Eighth CRS draw.

The last that is the eighth CRS draw was carried out on 17 April 2015, where the candidates who scored 453 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program. This clearly indicates that an applicant can get a positive selection without Job offer or Canadian experience or Canadian Qualifications based only on their own credentials - Education, Language, experience and other factors

Key features:

  • Applications stay in the express entry pool at least for an year and can get selected in the next years quota as well,
  • Candidates can reapply even if not selected in the first year,
  • The point system is still the same - 67 points
  • Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), candidates can get selected from the Express Entry Pool, even without confirmed offer from a Canadian employer or Canadian experience or qualifications;
  • Applications can be lodged in on single or married status
  • There is no individual occupation quota
  • Majority of occupations can qualify.

Canada Express Entry program is one of the best program to apply for skilled professionals. Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity, and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion.

Australia Makes Changes to Working Holiday Visa Programme - May 11 2015

Australia’s Department of Immigration and Border Protection (DIBP) has announced changes to the popular working holiday visa programme. The programme has First Holiday Working Visa and Second Holiday Working Visa and the amendments are related to the latter.

DIBP defines the First and Second Holiday Working Visas as:-

First Holiday Working Visa

You must be outside Australia when you apply for your first Working Holiday visa and when the visa is decided.

Second Holiday Working Visa

If you apply in Australia, you must be in Australia when the visa is granted. If you apply outside Australia, you must be outside Australia when the visa is granted.

What is the Change?

The first working holiday visa allows people aged between 18 and 30, working with a partner company, to stay and work in Australia for 12 months and extend it for another 12 months, if they have worked for 3 months either in Agriculture or other positions in Regional Australia.

Michaelia Cash, Assistant Minister for Immigration and Border Protection, said there are issues being reported regarding the working holiday visa. She said that visa holders are being exploited by a handful of employers who pay low wages and send a wrong message about the programme.

The changes are therefore made in the second holiday work visa. Currently, visa holders under holiday visa programme can undertake voluntary works and still be eligible for second holiday work visa, but the case won’t be the same anymore. People who undertake voluntary works would not be eligible to qualify for the second holiday work visa. And anyone applying for it has to present Payslip from the employer to show that their regional work term is completed.

‘The current arrangements can provide a perverse incentive for visa holders to agree to less than acceptable conditions in order to secure another visa. As is the case with all visa programmes, it is essential that integrity in the working holiday visa programme is maintained so as to prevent exploitation and ensure public confidence in the system is upheld,” She said.

The changes in the programme will be rolled out soon and details of the same will be announced on the department’s website, reported Australia Forum.

Source: Australia Form, DIBP

Quebec to Revise Immigration Rules- May 7, 2015

The government of Quebec is set to introduce an online system to lure global skilled professionals. It has announced that the Quebec Skilled Worker Program (QSWP) rules will be revised and a new online tool will be introduced for applicants willing to migrate to Canada under QSWP. This will be effective from Oct 1, 2015.

The details of the online tool are not yet disclosed by the government of Quebec, however it is said that it will simplify the application process for coming seasons of QSWP. Applicants would be able to submit and also check the real time status of their applications online.

British Columbia also introduced express entry program for the province. And now, Quebec too will be simplifying the process for skilled workers through this new online application system.

The amendment in immigration rules across major Canadian provinces show that Canada is willing to accommodate more and more skilled workers.

Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program Reopened- May 2, 2015

Manitoba, a Canadian Province, has reopened Provincial Nominee Program to attract skilled professionals from across the world. The program will extend Canadian permanent residency to candidates and their dependents willing to migrate, work and settle in Manitoba permanently.

Interested people can send their applications and express their willingness to move to Manitoba on a Canadian PR. Those who have friends or family or have good work experience in a profession that is in demand, or hold Manitoba education are eligible to apply. However, candidates will also have to meet other eligibility criteria.

The program is reopened with improvements in the overall processing system – the application management will be better, faster and there would not be intake pauses. The immigration department will be able to quickly respond to the applicants about eligibility or ineligibility of their profile.

The first step to apply under Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) would be to submit an ‘Expression of Interest.’ The applications of those who meet the eligibility criteria will be placed in a pool and thereafter ranked as per their language, skills, age, work experience, education qualifications, etc. The highest ranking applicants will be sent an invitation to apply asking them to submit a complete application to the MPNP.

On receiving a complete application, the PR would be processed within few months. This time MPNP is going the Express Entry way – a program introduced by CIC in January this year to help skilled professionals find jobs and migrate to Canada on a PR.

One can file for MPNP throughout the year, but should meet the eligibility criteria and must be from an occupation that is in demand in Manitoba’s labour market.

USCIS: H-1B Premium Processing to Begin from April 27, 2015

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) closed the H-1B cap after receiving excess applications within first 5 days of filing season. A week later it completed the computer based selection process/lottery process and also announced that Premium Processing shall begin from April 27, 2015.

The premium processing would include petitions from individuals with a U.S. Master’s degree or higher who seek exemption. The news release by the USCIS said, “Will begin premium processing for cap-subject H-1B petitions requesting premium processing, including petitions seeking an exemption for individuals with a U.S. master’s degree or higher.”

For H-1B petitions, premium processing will be done in 15 days processing period set by 8 CFR 103.7(e)(2) and it is expected to begin next Monday i.e. April 27, 2015.

H-1B cap of 65,000 for general petitions and 20,000 for advanced US degree petitions will be processed soon to ensure that selected candidates are able to join employers by October this year.

Individuals who have submitted their applications and are waiting for an update from USCIS can subscribe for email updates from USCIS. You can visit this USCIS page to receive updates on your application.

Source: USCIS

India Renames Visa-on-Arrival to E-Tourist Visa

India introduced Visa-on-Arrival Electronic Travel Authorization (VoA ETA) service for nationals of 43 nations in November 2014, later it added few more countries taking the count to 50 nations.

Since the service was introduced last year till today, India has witnessed a jump in tourist arrivals by more than 200%. The home ministry of India reported that there is surge in Indian tourism after the VoA ETA service was introduced. However, the name caused some misconceptions among foreign tourists. They considered it as a visa-on-arrival at an Indian airport, though it is not the case. Therefore, the change in name with effect from 15th April, 2015.

It will remove the confusion among tourists as it means that they will get an Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA) delivered to their inbox. Earlier this week, NDTV reported Union Tourism Minister Mahesh Sharma saying, “We declared it as Visa on Arrival. (But) Basically it is Electronic Travel Authorisation (ETA)”.

The government is making every possible effort to make India one of the most preferred tourist destinations. Because Indian tourism industry has a potential to create millions of direct and indirect jobs for youth in the country.

Renaming the service will give more clarity on the Indian visa to foreign tourists willing to come to India for holiday, business events, seminars or for healthcare purposes.

Source: The Times of India | NDTV

27th March 2015 - Candidates with 453 points and above invited to apply under Canada FSW.

The latest CRS draw was carried out on 27.03.2015, where the candidates who scored 453 points or more under the CRS have been invited to apply (ITA) under Canada FSW program. This clearly indicates that an applicant can get a positive selection without Job offer or Canadian experience or Canadian Qualifications based only on their own credentials - Education, Language, experience and other factors.

Key features:

  • Applications stay in the express entry pool at least for an year and can get selected in the next years qouta as well,
  • Candidates can reapply even if not selected in the first year,
  • The point system is still the same - 67 points
  • Under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS), candidates can get selected from the Express Entry Pool, even without confirmed offer from a Canadian employer or Canadian experience or qualifications;
  • Applications can be lodged in on single or married status
  • There is no individual occupation quota
  • Majority of occupations can qualify.

Canada Express Entry program is one of the best program to apply for Skilled professionals. Apply ASAP, grab this opportunity ,and send your details to contact@akkam.in for free of charge assessment of your and family profile or call our immigration expert to have a detailed one to one discussion.

481 and Above makes it to the Express Entry Pool.

As per the 5th Draw for Express Entry, 1620 foreign nationals whose applications were already logged in and having a total of 481 or more assigned points under the Ranking system have been invited to apply for Permanent Residence Visa. They would require to lodge the applications within 60 days.

The draw clearly shows that applications without Job offer or Canadian experience or Canadian Qualifications have a good chance of being selected from the Express Entry Pool.

The occupation list is large and extensive and, almost every occupation is qualified to make an application and has an chance of being picked up from the pool and invited to make an application – depending on the ranking. Even if an applicant does not have a confirmed job offer from Canada or nor Canadian qualifications or experience, they still have high chances of going forward.

Canada is simplifying its immigration rules year after year. This year it has introduced a new system, Canada Express Entry, to manage PR applications and to invite more than 180,000 skilled professionals to work and settle in Canada.

From the date of its launch in January till date, CIC has conducted 5 draws and shortlisted on the basis of their ranking in the pool. Most people who received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) either had a job offer or a provincial nomination. However, CIC aims to invite people without job offers as well in the next draws throughout 2015.

Don't wait anymore, get in touch with a Business Manager at Akkam to provide you all inputs and kick start your process ASAP.

Canada’s New Express Entry System: Impacts to the Permanent Residence Process for Foreign Nationals

On January 1, 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (“CIC”) announced the new Express Entry (“EE”) Program, a new permanent residence (“PR”) system that aims to provide greater access for foreign nationals seeking PR and benefits for employers seeking workers.

The EE program has several new features. In terms of process, eligible applicants will be entered into a pool with other candidates and CIC will then choose candidates from that pool and invite them to apply for PR. It also introduces a Comprehensive Ranking System (“CRS”) that gives each applicant a score (up to a maximum of 1200) that will factor into them being selected.

Arranged Employment or Provincial Nomination Required

Applicants must fall under one of the existing federal economic programs (i.e. Canadian Experience Class, Federal Skilled Worker, Federal Skilled Trades Program, and Provincial Nominee Program), but that is not enough on its own. In addition, they must register a Job Seeker profile on the Job Bank to be matched with an employer or:

1) currently have a Labour Market Opinion/Labour Market Impact Assessment-based work permit with a Canadian employer (worth 600 points); or

2) have an employer willing to make a full-time permanent job offer and obtain a LMIA BEFORE they are allowed into the pool of candidates (worth 600 points); or

3) have an employer willing to make a full-time permanent job offer and obtain a Provincial Nomination Certificate BEFORE they are allowed into the pool of candidates (worth 600 points).

Without a LMIA, provincial nomination, or Job Bank registration, applicants will not be able to enter the pool of candidates, and will not be eligible to receive an invitation to apply for PR. This includes foreign nationals presently in Canada on LMIA-exempt work permits, like intra company transferees, NAFTA work permit holders and students with post-graduate work permits.

Regular Draws from the Pool of Candidates

CIC has indicated that they will draw candidates from the pool and invite them to apply for PR regularly (about once a month). The Minister of CIC will issue instructions on the type of draw and number of applicants chosen before each draw; however, there is no way to know exactly when or how the draws will take place in advance.

The first draw was announced a few seconds before midnight on January 31, 2015 and the draw ended on February 1, 2015; so, not a long window. The first draw saw 779 applicants picked, all of which had 886 points or more.

http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/373936/work+visas/Canadas+New+Express+Entry
+System+Impacts+to+the+Permanent+Residence+Process+for+Foreign+Nationals

Cap Reached For Canadian Experience Class Program: Applicants Must Now Use Express Entry

February 3, 2015 – Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has indicated that the cap for the Canadian Experience Class (CEC) stream was reached on October 20, 2014. The Canadian Experience Class stream accepted 8,000 applications for Permanent Residency between May 1, 2014 and December 31, 2014. Despite reaching the cap in October, CIC did not update their website to reflect that the program was effectively closed.

With the impending launch of Express Entry – Canada’s new application management system – in January of this year, applications surged as applicants rushed to be considered for Permanent Residency under the old rules.

Who is affected?

All applicantions for Permanent Residence through the Canadian Experience Class stream received after October 20, 2014 are affected. Applicants through the Provincial Nominee Program and Federal Skilled Worker/Trades programs are not currently affected

What does this mean?

All applications received after October 20, 2014 will be returned along with unprocessed application fees. Any new application must be made through the Express Entry system.

What should I do?

If you wish to resubmit an application for Permanent Residency, you must now make your application using the new Express Entry system. Express Entry is Canada’s new application management system. In order to apply, you must:

  1. Qualify for one of Canada’s three application streams
  2. Complete an online profile through Express Entry
  3. Register with the Job Bank (if you do not have a qualifying job offer)
  4. Keep your profile up to date and wait.

Profiles in the Express Entry pool will be regularly reviewed and those selected to proceed will be issued an “Invitation to Apply” for Permanent Residence. Once selected, you must complete your application within 60 days.

http://www.mondaq.com/canada/x/371688/work+visas/Cap+Reached+For+Canadian+Experience
+Class+Program+Applicants+Must+Now+Use+Express+Entry

Immigration in Denmark at an all-time high

2014 was a record year for immigration in Denmark thanks in large part to Syrians and a rapidly-growing number of Western immigrants.

New figures from Statistics Denmark show that nearly 65,000 foreigners moved to Denmark in 2014, an all-time record for the highest number of immigrants in a single year. The 64,874 foreign nationals who came to Denmark last year represented a 15 percent increase over 2013, which held the previous record.

Although the largest single group of immigrants were the 5,377 Syrians who came to Denmark, the record 40,059 immigrants from Western countries far outpaced the 24,815 who came from non-Western countries.

The number of Western immigrants in Denmark has grown rapidly, having more than doubled since 2004 and increasing fivefold since 1984.

Tiny Maerschalk, the head of the Aarhus-based expat network International Community, said she wasn’t surprised to see such a sharp rise in Western immigrants.

“Companies in Denmark need certain skills that they can’t find within the country, so they need an extra inflow from abroad,” she told The Local.

Maerschalk said that despite the often negative tone that surrounds the topic of immigration in Denmark, both employers and foreign workers benefit from the growing number of Western immigrants in the country.

“Studies have shown that immigrants working in Denmark contribute to the economy and bring new experiences and knowledge that help Danish companies become more competitive. And those companies have worked hard to make sure that it is easy for highly-skilled foreigners to come here,” she said.

Maerschalk told The Local that the International Community hearsmostly positive feedback about living and working in Denmark from its more than 3,000 members in the Aarhus area.

“Highly-skilled immigrants working and living in Denmark are quite positive about the country and they are quite happy working here. One thing we hear a lot is that the work-life balance leaves a lot of time for workers’ personal and family lives,” she said.

In addition to the 40,059 Western and 24,815 non-Western immigrants who came to Denmark in 2014, 21,809 Danish citizens returned to the country. At the same time, 20,123 Danes, 21,817 Westerners and 7,278 non-Westerners left Denmark.

Behind Syria as the countries that produced the most immigrants in Denmark were Romania, Poland, the United States and Germany.

http://www.thelocal.dk/20150210/immigration-into-denmark-at-an-all-time-high

Spouses of H1B visa holders can apply for US work permit from May 26

The US on Wednesday announced that it will provide work permits to spouses of H-1B visa holders beginning May 26, a move that is expected to benefit thousands of talented and professional Indian spouses who come to America but are unable to work.

Under existing laws, spouses of H-1B visa holders, many of whom are Indians, are not eligible to work.

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin accepting applications for work visas from H-1B spouses on May 26.

Once USCIS approves the ‘Form I-765′ and the H-4 dependent spouse receives an Employment Authorisation Card, he or she may begin working in the United States.

USCIS estimates the number of individuals eligible to apply for employment authorisation under this rule could be as high as 179,600 in the first year and 55,000 annually in subsequent years. The move has been welcomed by Indian- Americans.

South Asian Americans Leading Together (SAALT) in a statement applauded the US government for announcing that it will extend work authorisation, effective May 26, 2015, to some H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B visa holders who are seeking employment-based lawful permanent resident (LPR) status.

The USCIS, in a statement, said the Department of Homeland Security is extending the eligibility for employment authorisation (EAD) to certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants who are seeking employment based Permanent Residency.

Eligible individuals include certain H-4 dependent spouses of H-1B non-immigrants (principal H1B worker) who are the beneficiaries of an approved ‘Form I-140′, Immigrant Petition for Alien Worker, or satisfy at least one or more of the three conditions.

The conditions include that the principal H1B worker has an approved ‘I-140′ or is currently on an extended H1B status beyond the 6-year limitation based upon an I-140 petition application pending for at least 365 days (one calendar year).

“This decision is going to directly affect many of our life members as they would now be able to join the professional workforce and chase the ‘American Dream’,” the Telugu Association of North America said in a statement.

Recent State Department figures show that approximately 76 per cent of those who received H-4 status in 2013 were from South Asian countries.

http://indiatoday.intoday.in/story/us-citizenship-immigration-visa-holders-h1b-spouses-work-permit/1/420828.html

E-5 Investor Visa in High Demand

The EB-5 investor visa has been in high demand lately, largely due to a sharp increase in applications from China. The EB-5 visa program is available for investors who invest a minimum amount of capital in a U.S. business. In order to qualify for the EB-5 investor visa, the business investment must meet one of the following requirements:

  • The foreign national applicant must invest at least $ 1 million in a new commercial enterprise that creates at least 10 new jobs for U.S. citizens or lawful permanent residents within two years of the investor’s admission into the United States.
  • The foreign national must invest $500,000 in a Regional Center in a targeted area in a United States.
  • The foreign national must invest at least $500,000 in a commercial enterprise in a targeted employment area, which is a rural of less than 20,000 residents or an area that has experienced high unemployment of at least 150% of the national average.

Each year, there are 10,000 EB-5 visas available to foreigners who invest at least $500,000 in U.S. development projects. In exchange for investing in U.S. development projects, the foreign investor and his or her family members are eligible for green cards, or permanent residency, within two years.

As a result of the high demand for EB-5 visas from China, last summer the State Department deemed the visa “unavailable” to Chinese investors under the 2015 year, which began on October 1, 2014.

Moreover, according to the Wall Street Journal, a senior government official estimated a two-year wait for EB-5 applicants to obtain a visa, starting this spring. “Such a long backlog will cause problems both for investors and U.S. companies that want EB-5 money to start or finish their projects,” said Mr. Yale-Loehr to the Wall Street Journal.

According to the Wall Street Journal, the EB-5 program accounts for less than 1% of the visas issued by the U.S. each year and, until recently, demand for EB-5 visas hadn’t come close to surpassing the supply. In 2013, the U.S. issued 8,564 visas and in fiscal 2012, the total was 7,641.

In addition to high demand from Chinese applicants, applications from South Korea, India, and Mexico are also plentiful. Immigration law prohibits any single country from receiving more than 7% of the visas available in any year, but when a country’s cap isn’t reached, the State Department allows leftover visas to be transferred to another country. Consequently, China has been able to receive more than its 7% share of the allotment.

Experts point out that part of the reason for the increased demand for the EB-5 visa may be Canada’s termination of its investor program, which allowed foreigners to apply for permanent residency in exchange for investing 800,000 Canadian dollars in a multiyear, interest-free loan to the government. Canada eliminated the program in early 2014, saying that it didn’t provide enough economic benefit.

http://www.jdsupra.com/legalnews/e-5-investor-visa-in-high-demand-65506/

Significant Investor Visa Program reforms could boost venture capital pool for Australian business

Proposed changes to the Significant Investor Visa Program (SIV) will allow Australian businesses to tap into a bigger pool of venture capital funding from July this year.

Overseas investors would be required to allocate a minimum of 20% of the required $5 million investment into venture capital, in exchange for Australian permanent residency after four years.

Under the current scheme, investors have mostly directed their money to safe investments such as government bonds rather than early-stage venture capital, a high risk high return prospect. The Australian reports the changes are being made at the insistence of Trade and Investment Minister Andrew Robb.

Chief executive of the Australian Private Equity and Venture Capital Association, (AVCAL) Yasser El-Ansary, endorsed the move and stressed the “significant” role venture capital managers play in developing an innovative and entrepreneurial economy.

“Every year venture capital managers meet with thousands of business founders who are looking for access to the capital and skills and experience that venture capital can bring,” he says.

“A very small fraction of those founders are able to be backed by the industry at the moment, because there is a constraint on the availability of the capital in this area of our economy.”

According to AVCAL, the financial year 2014 saw venture capital raising $120 million in funds while venture funds invested $516 million in 93 businesses.

El-Ansary says the economy would have to make a decisive shift in the coming years to better support Australian businesses with potential for high growth.

Since the launch of the SIV in November 2012, out of almost 1500 applications some 600 people have been approved, with Chinese investors making up 90% of the successful applicants.

http://www.startupsmart.com.au/financing-a-business/proposed-significant-investor-visa-program-reforms-
could-see-bigger-pool-of-venture-capital-for-australian-business/2015021214133.html

Biometric residence permits will now be mandatory for all first time visa applicants to UK

The UK government is making it mandatory for all first time visa applicants to the UK to apply for a biometric residence permit (BRP), according to a report by Relocate magazine.

The move is an extension of the current rule, which requires non-European economic area nationals to apply for a BRP only when granted permission to extend their stay in the UK for more than a six-month period.

All foreigners will be issued with a short validity “travel” sticker that allows them to enter the UK and collect their BRP within 10 days of arrival, instead of the previous system of simply having the visa sticker placed on their passport or travel document.

As a result, applicants will now have to ensure they enter the UK within the valid time period of the initial “vignette” and collect the BRP within 10 days of their arrival.

Despite these changes, the visa application fee will remain at the same price. The new initiative will be rolled out in phases, country by country, over a four-month period starting next month.

The BRP, which was introduced in 2008 as the result of European Union regulation 380/2008, is a secure document containing biometric data including fingerprints and a photograph.

The BRP is an easy way to prove that the holder is legally allowed to work in the UK. It is one of the principal documents that employers can accept when conducting ‘right to work’ checks.

With the new overseas BRP, employers will be able to either conduct the right to work check using the BRP before employment commences (as well as a second check when the employee’s permission to be in the UK and work expires), or allow employment to commence before the employee is able to collect their BRP, which will result in two checks

http://www.biometricupdate.com/201502/biometric-residence-permits-will-now-be-mandatory-for-all-first-time-visa-applicants-to-uk

Easy entry for skilled foreigners

Companies would be allowed to bring employees to Australia for up to a year without applying for 457 skilled worker visas under a migration-rule revamp being considered by the government.

The Department of Immigration and Border Protection is proposing a new temporary entry visa for foreign workers that would not require the candidates to pass language or skills requirements. Nor would employers have to prove they cannot find an Australian to fill the position.

The proposed “short-term mobility” subclass of visas would be available for “specialised work which may include intra-company transfers and foreign correspondents”, says a proposal paper obtained byThe Australian Financial Review.

Fly-in, fly-out commuters, global partners or specialists who need to ¬provide short periods of work or consultation to a company would be ¬covered. The visa would allow for multiple entries.

The paper is part of a review announced in October and billed by the Abbott government as the biggest re-examination of skilled migration in 25 years. The government wants to cut red tape and give companies more flexibility to grow and compete for talent. ¬But the changes would upset unions, which are mostly hostile to foreign labour.

Skilled migration researcher Bob Birrell said the government would be picking a big fight with white-collar unions and professional groups by allowing global companies greater scope to bring people in for short-term appointments.

“There are already significant problems with graduate employment in professions such as dentistry, computer science, medicine and engineering,” he said.

“Liberalisation such that being mooted is going to crash head-on with that situation. The government is going to have some angry professional associations on its hands.”

A short-term mobility category would replace the existing category 400 visa, which allows skilled or specialist entrants to work for up to six weeks.

There were 4587 visas of this type granted when it was first offered in 2012-13. That jumped to 32,984 in 2013-14. Applicants are concentrated in mining, manufacturing, construction and education.

Employer groups have been pushing for a less onerous visa than the 457 to allow them to bring in specialists for shorter-term projects. They say the six weeks offered under the 400 visa is too short and the department often re¬directs applicants to 457 visas.

Australian Council of Trade Unions president Ged Kearney said with unemployment at a 12-year-high of 6.3 per cent, the focus should be on employing and training locals.

“The review of Australia’s skilled migration system must strengthen requirements for employers to advertise jobs locally before recruiting ¬workers from overseas, not make it easier for companies to bypass Australian workers, university graduates and apprentices,” she said.

Mark Glazbrook, the managing director of Adelaide-based Migration Solutions, said the extended mobility visa would be eagerly welcomed. “The current policy settings and regulations are quite strict and don’t allow a lot of flexibility where there’s very specialised or unique work to be done,” he said.

“If you consider a big international- based company with Australian operations, if they have a specialised piece of equipment that’s in Australia and no one knows how to install it, they want to be able to bring someone, possibly on multiple occasions, on a genuinely temporary basis.”

The existing employer-sponsored 457 visa would be absorbed into a new “temporary-skilled” category, according to the proposal paper. It would continue to require candidates to meet English language, skills and labour market tests.

There would also be “permanent-independent” and “permanent-skilled” subclasses.

The “permanent-independent” subclass would be for “highly skilled individuals to independently apply for permanent residence to work in Australia”. It would replace existing distinguished talent visas.

Applicants in the permanent-skilled category would have to prove they are filling a genuine vacancy in the local labour market. This category would subsume the existing 186 and 187 visas.

“Competition for migrants amongst growth countries such as China and India, as well as our traditional competitors, will require that our skilled programs are no longer designed to passively receive migrants, but are designed to aggressively target ‘talented’ migrants in a highly competitive environment,” the paper says.

Australian Mines and Metals Association director Scott Barklamb said Australia would benefit from “mobile, highly skilled professionals who temporarily live and work where their specialised skills are most in need”. “Australians working in the resource sector often have opportunities to work and live temporarily all over the world and the Australian industry must similarly benefit from global engagement.”

In a submission to the government, Master Builders Australia said: “Some projects are shorter duration – for example three months – and going through the time-consuming and costly process of applying and securing 457 visa holders is not flexible enough.”

The “genuine-temporary-entrant” test that has been applied to student visas would be used for the short-term mobility subclass to prevent rorting.

The short-term mobility subclass would include a visa valid for three months or a year. Candidates for the shorter visa could be bought in at the invitation of an Australian company.

For the visa to be valid for up to 12 months, candidates would require a “statement of guarantee or undertaking from the Australian organisation detailing salary and any employment conditions reflective of the Australian standard for the duration of the stay must be provided”.

There is also a review of the integrity of the 457 visa system, the significant investor visa program and an inquiry into the Business Innovation and Investment Program.

The government said it would be premature to comment during the consultation period. A spokesman said the proposal paper was drafted by the department, not the government.

Dr Birrell said: “The main proposal is to free up temporary migration by creating a new set of visa subclasses for people coming in for less than a year,” he said.

“The implication is that this would not include the rules and regulations currently governing the 457 visa, including some labour market testing.”

http://www.afr.com/p/national/easy_entry_for_skilled_foreigners_NAsgC6BDewljc4CgdCEgEI

Saskatchewan Launches Express Entry Category For Canadian Immigration

Saskatchewan, a Canadian province located in the Prairie region of Western Canada, has made some interesting adjustments to its Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) for Canadian immigration for 2015. Principal among these changes is the new Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category, which enables the province to nominate individuals who are in Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Express Entry pool and have the education, skilled work experience, language ability and other factors to help them to settle successfully and integrate into Saskatchewan’s labour market and communities.

This stream, which has been allocated 775 spaces, is particularly exciting because individuals do not necessarily need a job offer in order to apply. Successful applicants will have the opportunity to live and work in a province with a high standard of living, buoyant economy, and the lowest unemployment rate of any Canadian province.

Who can apply?

Candidates for the Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category will be selected from the federalExpress Entry pool. Candidates eligible to enter the pool must be eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs, namely the Federal Skilled Worker Program, the Federal Skilled Trades Program, and the Canadian Experience Class.

Candidates must:

  • demonstrate proficiency in an official language of Canada, either English or French, in order to enter the Express Entry pool. Language ability is determined by the candidate sitting a standardised language test, the most common of which are the IELTS or CELPIP for English and TEF for French; and
  • have completed a minimum of one year of post-secondary education or training that has resulted in a degree, diploma, certificate, or a certificate equivalent to a trade certificate and which is comparable to the Canadian education system, as verified by an Educational Credential Assessment.

A potential candidate must also demonstrate a minimum level of work experience related to his or her field of education or training. This work experience may be either:

  • at least one year of work experience in the past 10 years in a skilled profession (non-trades); or
  • at least two years of work experience in a skilled trade in the past five years; or
  • at least one year of skilled work experience in Canada in the past three years (trades and non-trades). This work experience must be in a high skilled occupation (NOC “0”, “A” or “B”) that is considered to be in-demand in Saskatchewan.

In addition, candidates must score at least 60 points on the SINP point assessment grid. Points are awarded on the basis of five factors:

  • education and training
  • skilled work experience
  • language ability
  • age
  • connections to the Saskatchewan labour market

The application process

Candidates eligible for and interested in applying to the Saskatchewan Express Entry sub-category should follow these steps:

  1. Submit an online profile on CIC’s Express Entry immigration selection system and get accepted into the Express Entry pool.
  2. Apply to the SINP for provincial nomination. Documents and all forms need to be attached to the SINP application. If approved for a nomination, the SINP will enter the details of the nomination into CIC’s Express Entry system and send a nomination letter to the candidate explaining the next steps.
  3. After the SINP enters the nomination information into a candidate’s Express Entry profile, he or she will be awarded an additional 600 points for a nomination under the Express Entry Comprehensive Ranking System. When CIC performs the next draw from the Express Entry pool, an invitation to apply for permanent residence will be issued to the candidate. From the moment a candidate receives an invitation to apply for permanent residence, he or she will have 60 days to submit an application for permanent residence to CICSaskatchewan quick facts

Capital: Regina

Largest city: Saskatoon

Population: 1,114,000

Main language: English

Climate: High seasonal variation, with warm summers, very cold and snowy winters, and short, mild transitional seasons.

http://www.cicnews.com/2015/01/saskatchewan-launches-express-entry-category-canadian-immigration-2-014432.html

British Columbia Launches Express Entry Immigration Stream: No Job Offer Needed For Certain Students

The Canadian province of British Columbia (B.C.) has added a new stream to its British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program(BC PNP) for Canadian immigration called Express Entry British Columbia. This stream allows the province to nominate 1,350 more candidates for Canadian permanent residence through the BC PNP than was the case in 2014.

The new stream, which aligns with the federal government’sExpress Entry immigration selection system, should significantly reduce application processing times. The Express Entry British Columbia stream allows eligible applicants to receive priority processing of both their B.C. PNP application, and if nominated, their permanent residence application.

Potential candidates will have to meet minimum provincial eligibility criteria for one of the following categories under the B.C. PNP:

  • International Post Graduates
  • International Graduates
  • Skilled Workers (including Health Care Professionals)

In addition, candidates must also be eligible for one of the federal economic immigration programs in order to enter the Express Entry pool:

  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class

The federal economic immigration programs require candidates to meet a mandatory language proficiency level and demonstrate sufficient funds to support the applicant and their family on arrival in Canada. Candidates eligible under the Federal Skilled Worker Program are also required to submit the results of an Educational Credential Assessment.

Apply without a job offer: The International Post Graduate Category

B.C. employers are seeking workers with graduate degrees in the sciences, and the government of B.C. has reacted accordingly. Candidates do not require a job offer in order to be eligible under the International Post Graduate category.

Individuals with a master’s or doctoral degree in the sciences received within the past two years from an eligible program at a post-secondary institution in B.C. may be eligible to apply under the International Post Graduate category, as long as the post graduate degree was obtained in one of the following natural, applied or health sciences:

  • Agriculture
  • Biological and biomedical sciences
  • Computer and information sciences and support services
  • Engineering
  • Engineering technology
  • Health professions and related clinical sciences
  • Mathematics and statistics
  • Natural resources conservation and research
  • Physical sciences

Candidates must provide evidence of their intention to reside in B.C. This evidence may include:

  • the length of any previous and/or current period of residence in B.C.;
  • connections to B.C. through work, study or family; and/or
  • a description of any actions taken to settle in B.C., such as finding a job or place to live.

International Graduates Category

International graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within the past two years may be eligible to apply under the International Graduates category. Candidates applying under the International Graduates category must have a full-time permanent qualifying job offer in a skilled occupation from a B.C. employer.

Candidates eligible under this category must have a degree, diploma or certificate from a recognized post-secondary institution in Canada. Diplomas and certificates obtained from private institutions are not eligible under this category. The program must have entailed at least eight months (two semesters) of full-time study. Candidates who spent more than one-quarter of the program time in a co-op work term or internship are not eligible under the Graduates category.

Skilled Worker Category (including Health Care Professionals)

The Skilled Worker category is for international skilled workers who have post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation. The candidate’s occupation must be classified under the National Occupational Classification (NOC) matrix as skill level 0, A, or B.

Candidates applying under the Skilled Worker category must have a full-time permanent qualifying job offer in a skilled occupation from a B.C. employer. Candidates with a job offer in a regulated occupation that requires mandatory certification or licensing must demonstrate that they meet provincial requirements for the particular occupation when they make their application under this category.

A particular sub-category of the Skilled Worker category is the Health Care Professionals category. Foreign health care workers with a full-time job offer from a Public Health Authority in B.C., directly related work experience and applicable licensing may be eligible if their occupation is one of the following:

  • Physicians
  • Specialists
  • Registered nurses
  • Registered psychiatric nurses
  • Nurse practitioners
  • Allied health professionals such as:
    • Diagnostic medical sonographers
    • Clinical pharmacists
    • Medical laboratory technologists
    • Medical radiation technologists
    • Occupational therapists
    • Physiotherapists

Physicians and specialists must be sponsored by one of B.C.’s five regional health authorities or the Provincial Health Services Authority.

Candidates with a nursing occupation must be registered with the College of Registered Nurses of BC or, for psychiatric nurses, the College of Registered Psychiatric Nurses of BC.

Midwives must be registered with the College of Midwives of British Columbia and have a letter of confirmation an established practice group in British Columbia confirming their acceptance into the group as an affiliated midwife for a period of at least six months.

Allied health professionals must be registered with the relevant provincial licensing body that regulates their profession.

http://www.cicnews.com/2015/01/british-columbia-launches-express-entry-immigration-stream-job-offer-needed-students-014429.html

Canada Starts Receiving Applications For Its Immigrant Investor Programme Offering Permanent Residency

Canada will start accepting applications for its new Immigrant Investor Venture Capital program from Jan. 28, Wednesday. The program offers permanent residency to international investors who can invest $2 million in Canada.

The applications will be received from Jan. 28 to Feb. 11 or until a maximum of 500 applications are received. “This pilot program is designed to attract immigrant investors who will significantly benefit the Canadian economy and better integrate into our society, which will contribute to our long-term prosperity and economic growth,” said Immigration Minister Chris Alexander in a written statement, reports CBC News.

The government has already announced that though it will accept up to 500 applications, permanent resident visas will be given only to a maximum of 60 applicants. The number has been restricted to 60, to evaluate whether the new pilot program is capable of achieving its goals and can work in the best interest of Canada’s economy, said a senior government official.

Selection Procedure

The new program mandates each investor to make a non-guaranteed investment of $2 million for approximately 15 years into a fund managed by BDC Capital, which is the investment arm of the Business Development Bank of Canada. The government, in turn, will use the fund “to invest in innovative Canadian start-ups with high growth potential.” Proceeds from the fund will be distributed to the investors periodically.

The new investor program is a repackaged version of Canada’s controversial Immigrant Investor Program, scrapped a year ago. In the he new program, the emphasis is on attracting fewer but richer immigrants.

Under the eligibility stipulations, the candidates have to prove proficiency in either English or French with their post-secondary education credentials. Applicants also have to obtain a due diligence report that demonstrates their net worth of at least $10 million from lawful, profit-making business activities, reports BIV News.

Garnering Experience

Industry Minister James Moore asserted that the pilot program is part of Canada’s efforts “to attract experienced business leaders to Canada while leveraging their business expertise and personal investments.”

In the scrapped immigrant investor program, applicants were required to have a minimum worth of $1.6 million to loan Canada $800,000 interest-free for a period of five years. However, a detailed study of the program revealed that the net gain to Canada was only $20,000 per applicant, because the provinces invested the immigrant loans in low-yield Canada bonds.

http://au.ibtimes.com/canada-starts-receiving-applications-its-immigrant-investor-programme-offering-permanent-residency



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