Tuesday, January 31, 2012

New Immigration Group created to welcome immigrants and refugees to Canada

A new immigration group was launched in Canada last week comprising of local service providers, health care representatives, business people and politicians. The new Immigration Partnership Council will help immigrants and refugees integrate into Canadian life.
The group brainstormed ideas on how to best assist new immigrants and refugees to become part of the community for two years. Last Friday, the group officially launched their immigration council in Kitchener, Ontario.

This immigration organization aims to help immigrants and refugees settle, work and integrate into the community; It is one of 45 immigration councils across the province. The region's council has a budget of $680,000 for the next two years funded by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, the Region of Waterloo and the United Way of Kitchener Waterloo and Area.

Immigration Partnership Council manager, Arran Rowles noted that the local immigration partnership is important because it connects new foreign immigrants with the Waterloo Region Immigrant Employment Network through free seminars and networking events and by offering internship and mentoring programs.

Currently, 22 percent of the region's population are immigrants or refugees; That number is expected to increase to 30 percent by 2031, according to the Kitchener Waterloo Multicultural Centre.

On 6 February a discussion will be held on how to best welcome immigrants and refugees to Canada followed by a forum on March 26 about how immigrants can take part in civic leadership.
Global Visa Support offers a variety of programmes in Canada. Please visit our Canadian page for more information: http://globalvisasupport.com/canada.html

Monday, January 30, 2012

UK Tier 4 Student visa & Tier 1 visa changes coming soon - apply now!

The UK immigration has issued new information regarding inspections and reviews for Tier 4 student visa sponsors. There are also major changes coming to the Tier 4 and Tier 1 visas.

All current Tier 4 sponsors must be inspected by the appropriate reviewing body in order to retain their sponsorship status. These inspections and reviews will take place throughout 2012, and the results of each inspection or review will be published on the website of the appropriate educational oversight body. If the Tier 4 visa sponsor fails to achieve a satisfactory inspection outcome they may no longer be able to sponsor international students under Tier 4 of UK immigration's points-based system.

In particular these changes are likely to affect those looking to sponsor international students under Tier 4 of the Points Based System. More importantly though, beginning 1 April 2012, the following major changes will be made to the Tier 4 Student Visa and to the Tier 1 Visa:

  • Work placements will be restricted to one-third of the course, unless the course is at degree level and the sponsor is a higher education institution or the student is on a study abroad programme.
  • Tier 4 visa holders will be limited to the time they can spend at degree level to 5 years, with certain exemptions for longer courses and doctorates at higher education institutions.
  • Tier 1 Post-study work will be CLOSED from 1 April 2012. UK immigration will still offer visas through Tier 2 of the points-based system for graduates. In most cases only graduates who have an offer of a skilled job from a sponsoring employer under Tier 2 of the points-based system will be able to stay and work in the UK
Global Visa Support has a variety of programmes in UK. Please visit our UK page for more details: http://globalvisasupport.com/uk.html

Friday, January 27, 2012

US travel association pushes Congress to ease visitor visa restrictions

The US Travel Association is pushing Congress to pass new legislation to ease US visitor visa restrictions in the hope that tourism to the US will increase. International visitors are expected to spend more than $152 billion in the year 2012, but tourists could offer an even larger boost to the US economy if the current bill before Congress passes so that it is easier to obtain visitor visas.

The bill is designed to stimulate international tourism to the US; Supporters believe it will help the US economy and create more jobs. The proposed overhaul of the US visa system has been endorsed by the National Retail Federation, Four Seasons Hotels and Resorts, and Walt Disney Parks and Resorts.

It has been more than a decade since the US brought in tougher travel visa requirements following the September 11, 2001 terrorist attacks. Foreign visitors say that getting a visitor visa remains a daunting task. Currently, there are at least five bills waiting for passage in the US Senate and House that would make it easier for foreigners to obtain tourist visas.

Tourism leaders claim the extremely long waiting periods before being allowed to enter the US is discouraging international visitors resulting in a smaller US tourism sector than would otherwise be the case and fewer US jobs. They also said that the decline in foreign visitors during the past decade was costing American businesses and workers US$859 billion in untapped revenue and at least 500,000 potential jobs at a time when the economy needs both.

Geoff Freeman, CEO of the US Travel Association said, "Every day a person is waiting for that interview is a day a person cannot be here supporting the American economy."

It is important to note that not all visitors to the US need to apply for a visa as nationals of many Countries are eligible to come under the visa waiver scheme by applying online under ESTA. The following is a list of countries that participate in the visa waiver program:

Andorra Hungary New Zealand
Australia Iceland Norway
Austria Ireland Portugal
Belgium Italy San Marino
Brunei Japan Singapore
Czech Republic Latvia Slovakia
Denmark Liechtenstein Slovenia
Estonia Lithuania South Korea
Finland Luxembourg Spain
France Malta Sweden
Germany Monaco Switzerland
Greece the Netherlands United Kingdom

Global Visa Support offers a variety of USA programs. Please visit our USA page for more information: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/usa.html

Thursday, January 26, 2012

Union demands review of Australia's 457 visa process

A review of Australian immigration's 457 visa is expected to happen later this year following complaints from the Australian Manufacturing Workers' Union (AMWU) that the process used to grant visas is flawed. Australia's manufacturing industry relies heavily on foreign workers, however, the ANWU says that some foreign workers are being exploited. It should be noted that the Australian economy is doing well and that in general salary rates are very good.

Last November, the AMWU made a statement to Australia's Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) demanding an overhaul of the consultation process for employers who seek to hire overseas workers on 457 visas. The AMWU claimed the process failed to genuinely test labour conditions.

"The only mechanism available to unions to ensure an introduction of 457 visa holders will not adversely impact local labour conditions is through consultation with the employer," said AMWU National President Paul Bastian. "As it currently stands there is little to no consultation. DIAC need to facilitate that process, with all consultation going through their office."

Under the current process, all employers seeking access to a 457 visa labour agreement are required to consult with unions about introducing foreign workers into their industry.
Unions have claimed that their responses to those meetings have been ignored or not followed up by the employer.

In general foreign workers in Australia on 457 visas are paid well and emigrate to Australia for higher wages. The average salary for those working in Australia is now around GBP35,000 (about 52,000 Australian dollars). There has recently been a large increase in foreign workers in Australia especially in the mining industry which is currently facing a skills shortage. This has meant upwards pressure on salary rates.

The positive aspects of immigration are that it enables companies to deal with skills shortages and remittances sent home also helps the economies of the home Countries of immigrants that are frequently not as prosperous as Australia.

DIAC is expected to announce their review of the 457 visa program early this year.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of Australian programmes. Please visit our Australian page for more information: http://globalvisasupport.com/australia.html

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Australian skilled migration visa program changes coming 1 July 2012 - Apply now!

Beginning 1 July 2012, Australian immigration will be introducing huge changes to their skilled migration program. This represents the most dramatic change to the Australian immigration system in many, many years. It is expected that under the Australian immigration system fewer people will qualify and processing times will be longer. If you wish to come under the current skilled immigration programme you should apply for a skills assessment as soon as possible. You need to be ready with your skills assessment and, have passed the English language test before you can submit your immigration application.

This is a really significant change from the current Australian immigration system. It is likely that fewer people will qualify under the new scheme because under the new scheme you will not only need to gain enough points but, in addition, Australia immigration will decide whether or not you will be allowed to submit an application. This is compared to the current system wherein if you gain enough points under the particular visa scheme you are likely to get in.

From 1 July 2012, all new prospective Australian skilled migration visa applicants will have to submit an EOI and wait for an invitation before they can lodge their visa application. For those who have lodged a visa application before that date, Australian immigration will process the application in accordance with any priority processing direction in effect at that time.

Australian visa applicants will be selected based on their points test score in a number of selection criteria. All prospective visa applicants will be required to meet the relevant English language requirements and obtain the necessary skills assessment prior to their EOI submission. However, unlike now you will have to also be approved by SkillSelect to obtain your visa. This brings in greater uncertainty compared to the current system.

The SkillSelect system will affect applicants for the following Australian skilled visas:

  • Independent Skilled Migration (subclasses 175 and 885)
  • State Sponsored Skilled Migration (subclasses 176 and 886)
  • Business Skills (subclasses 132, 161, 162, 163, 164, 165, 890, 891, 892, 893)
  • Employer Nomination Scheme (subclasses 121 and 856)
  • Regional Sponsored Nomination Scheme (subclasses 119 and 857)
  • Subclass 457 Temporary Business (Long Stay) visa (subclass 457).
Remember if you wish to apply for a skilled immigration visa you should start preparing now so that you are ready to submit your application before 1 July 2012.

Once the new system in implemented, SkillSelect will begin issuing invitations to eligible applicants in August 2012. Invitations will be issued to the highest ranking EOIs in descending order. The date and time of submission of the completed EOI may be used to separate those who score equally, so apply as soon as possible. Australian immigration will also announce a cap for occupations to limit how many people are selected from a certain occupation group. This ensures that the migration program is not dominated by a narrow range of occupations.

Global Visa Support offers various Australian programmes. Please check our Australian page for more information: http://globalvisasupport.com/australia.html


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Several UK visa application centres to be closed 3 & 5 February 2012

UK immigration has announced that a number of UK visa application centres around the world will be unable to take biometric information on certain days in February due to IT upgrades.

During the major IT maintenance work on the specific dates, visa applicants will not be able to submit UK visa applications. The centres will remain open for the collection of documents at the usual times.

On Friday 03 February 2012, the following UK visa application centres will be unable to process biometric information: Switzerland, New Zealand, Australia, Lebanon, Tunisia, Turkey, Gaza, Kazakhstan, India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, China, Indonesia, Brunei, Japan, Morocco, Cambodia, Burma, Thailand, South Korea, Philippines, Singapore, and Malaysia.

Application centres in a number of major cities will also be affected on 03 February including Madrid, Spain; Jerusalem, Israel; Rome, Italy and Paris, France.

On Sunday 05 February 2012 the following UK visa application centres will be unable to process biometric information: Iraq, Jordan, Bangladesh, and Egypt.

"We apologise for any inconvenience this may cause. If you have a genuinely urgent or compassionate need to travel please contact our visa information service," said a UK Border Agency spokesman.

In addition to this, beginning 30 January 2012 all applications for a UK visa submitted in Georgia, Turkey, Jordan and Hong Kong must be paid for online in US Dollars.

UK immigration has also introduced a priority visa service in Ukraine and Thailand. The priority visa service will allow eligible visa applicants to pay an additional fee to have their visa application processed ahead of others.

Also, the visa application centres in Panama, Guatemala and Belize have closed. This means UK Visa applicants in Guatemala, Belize, and Panama will now need to use the monthly biometric clinic in Panama City or visit the visa application centre in Bogota, Columbia to submit their biometric information. Also, applicants from Costa Rica, El Salvador, Honduras and Nicaragua will need to go to Bogota as well as there are no UK visa application centres in these countries.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of UK programmes. Please visit our UK page for more information: http://globalvisasupport.com/uk.html


Monday, January 23, 2012

Filipinos encouraged to apply for Australian visas; Should help reduce Australian labour shortages

The Philippine Overseas Employment Administration (POEA) is encouraging Filipinos to apply for available job opportunities for nurses and for other skilled worker positions in Australia this year. POEA Administrator Carlos Cao Jr. said Filipinos should take advantage of the shortage of Australian workers in the nursing, mining, and manufacturing sectors.

"This is now the opportune time to provide viable solutions to the growing number of jobless and under-employed Filipino nurses now already numbering close to 300,000, including the 68,000 who just recently passed the latest nursing board examinations," Cao said.

A report by the Philippine Overseas Labor Office revealed that the shortage of nurses in Australia is estimated to be 40,000 positions over the next three years. Additionally, the report stated the shortage of workers in Australia's construction industry is projected to be up to 750,000 positions over the next 20 years.

"With its mining and construction boom that run short of skilled workers and its healthcare system now with an acute need for registered nurses and other allied professionals, there are tremendous opportunities to widen the gateway for jobs for Filipinos in Australia across all industries and across all states and territories," Cao added.

Global Visa Support offers various Australian programs. Please visit our Australia page fore more information: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/australia.html

Friday, January 20, 2012

Proposed US immigration bill would give foreign graduates a US green card

Colorado US Senator Michael Bennet introduced a bill last month that would grant greencard visas to foreign students graduating in specialties in science, technology, engineering and maths. The hope, he said, is that international students trained in America will stay in the country to help fill shortages in high-tech fields instead of returning to their home countries and perhaps ending up helping overseas companies compete with US companies.
The proposed bill would create a new green card category for students graduating from US universities with advanced degrees in science, technology, engineering and mathematics. The bill would also give illegal immigrants a student visa if they enroll in a science, math or technology program as undergraduates.

According to Bennet's office, more than 50 percent of the doctoral degrees that US universities awarded in 2009 in the fields of physics, economics, computer science, chemistry and other high-tech fields were to foreign students. Bennet noted that US immigration policies are causing US companies to lose out; Overseas companies are gaining a competitive advantage over US companies by employing US educated students.

"We're saying, 'America is closed for business,'" Bennet said. "Why force our best and brightest students, those whom we have invested in so significantly, to leave just as they are best positioned to contribute to our society?"

More than 40 percent of the 2010 Fortune 500 companies were founded by immigrants or their children, according to Bennet. In turn, these companies employ more than 3.6 million people nationally and generate more than US$4.2 trillion in revenue annually, which his staffers say creates jobs for Americans and fuels the economy.

Global Visa Support has various USA programs, please visit our USA page for more information: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/usa.html

Thursday, January 19, 2012

High Court rules immigrant spouses must speak English before moving to UK

The High Court in the UK has dismissed a legal challenge to a new immigration rule requiring people to be able to speak English before coming to the UK to live with their spouse.
The law was implemented back in November 2010 and had recently been challenged by three couples who deemed the rules to be unfair and racist. However the UK High Court dismissed the challenges.

Justice Beatson, presiding judge over the appeals, stated, "The new language test was not a disproportionate interference with the couples' right to family life."

UK Immigration Minister Damian Green commented on the case saying, "We believe it is entirely reasonable that someone intending to live in the UK should understand English, so that they can integrate and participate fully in our society. We are very pleased that the courts agree with us."

Theresa May added that "the policy was designed to improve integration."

The law had primarily been introduced because the Home Office is attempting to reduce the cost of having to hire translators for public services such as the NHS. The cost of covering translator services to deal with a growing population who do not speak the English language has further added to the pressures of tackling UK Immigration issues.

The Joint Council for the Welfare of Immigrants stated that the ruling "would affect many UK citizens."

Global Visa Support  offers a variety of UK programs. Please check our UK page for more information: http://globalvisasupport.com/uk.html

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

UK immigration to begin processing visitor visas for Olympic Games

The 2012 Olympic Games are fast approaching; It is expected that there will be a huge increase in the number of visitors travelling to London to watch the games and take part in the festivities. Beginning 1 January 2012 UK immigration will start processing visitor visas for those coming from outside the UK to watch the Olympic and Paralympic Games. Not everyone will need a visit visa. Normally, this is only required for nationals of Countries who already require a visit visa to visit the UK.
The press release from UK Border Agency noted that the Games are expected to be the biggest event that the UK has ever hosted and that many extra visitors will arrive during the busy summer period in 2012.

We advise you to apply as soon as possible so UK immigration officials can process your application in a timely manner. If you meet the requirements, you will be issued a UK visitor visa with a start date that will cover you for the whole Olympic and Paralympic Games period. Once you receive your UK visitor visa, you can then travel to the UK for the Games from the beginning of 2012.

You can check here to find out if you need to apply for a UK visitor visa. If you are coming to the UK to watch the Olympic Games as a visitor, you will be allowed to stay in the UK for up to 6 months in most cases.

Global Visa Support offers various UK programs. Please check UK page for more information: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/uk.html

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

UK business leaders call for lax immigration rules

The UK's North East Chamber of Commerce (NECC) have called for a relaxation of UK immigration controls in the North East region arguing that businesses are being held back by a lack of skilled labour.

NECC is a business organization in the UK that represents more than 4,000 companies in the North East of England. They are seeking changes in UK immigration legislation that takes into account regional labour market needs and available skills. This follows a study they conducted which shows the importance of foreign workers to large businesses in the region. The NECC Workforce Survey said that many businesses with more than 50 employees are reliant on overseas workers.

"With unemployment expected to peak in 2012, business is expected to play its part in creating growth and jobs. The research shows that many firms are unable to find the skilled workers they need in the UK," said NECC chief executive James Ramsbotham.

The survey shows that businesses wishing to expand and grow their workforce have become frustrated by a lack of skilled labour in the region and therefore have had little choice but to recruit overseas workers. The survey also revealed that less than a third of businesses in the region believe that the UK workforce is more skilled than other EU countries and that almost half of firms with more than 50 staff employ some migrant workers.

"It is vital that we improve skills in the North East to meet the needs of business, but this will take time and firms need the freedom to bring the best people into the region's workforce rather than lose out to competitors elsewhere. For some, hiring workers from overseas allows them to access the skills they need," added Ramsbotham.

The chamber added that the UK immigration's agenda to reduce net migration is "of particular concern".
Global Visa Support offers various UK programm, please see our UK page for more information: http://globalvisasupport.com/uk.html

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Australia has increased demand for IT professionals

A new report released by the Economist Intelligence Unit (EIU), says that Australia ranks third in the Asia-Pacific region for Countries with the most positive competitive conditions for IT firms. Only South Korea, and Taiwan do better. Positive competitive conditions; The country's quality of IT and communications infrastructure and the overall business environment.

Additionally, the report, entitled, "The Means to Compete: Benchmarking IT industry Competitiveness", also ranks Australia 5th in the world in terms of the overall competitiveness of its IT industry; The US is in 1st place followed by Japan, South Korea, and the UK.

Australia also performed extremely well in terms of Advanced IT and communications infrastructure as it was ranked fourth in the world, preceded only by US, Canada, and Switzerland and ranked first in the Asia-Pacific region.

Australia's highly regarded IT infrastructure is thanks to extensive PC ownership, high broadband penetration at 33%, topped only by the Netherlands and South Korea, and substantial spending on IT. The report also stated that Australia's mobile phone penetration is also high at 94.5%.

Australia's IT industry is experiencing an increased demand for IT professionals as Australia's IT industry braces itself for a serious skills shortage; Thousands of new IT positions need to be filled. Also, due to the skills shortages affecting the industry salaries have been driven up, creating a number of highly paid IT job opportunities.

Many Australian employers are now looking oversees to recruit and then employ skilled IT professionals.

Global Visa Support is offering various programs in Australia. Please visit our Australia page for more information: http://globalvisasupport.com/australia.html

Saturday, January 14, 2012

London most popular immigration destination for foreign professionals

According to new research half of all foreign professionals would consider immigrating to London if they ever looked to work overseas. Next on the list of popular destination cities was New York at 28 percent, Singapore at 16 percent, Paris at 15 percent and Sydney at 10 percent. Dubai, Tokyo, and Shanghai were also in the top destination Cities for foreign professionals.

160,000 job-seekers in a range of sectors from banking to telecommunications participated in the survey. The survey findings revealed that London with its banking, legal and creative industries is still a major attraction to workers from all over the world.

According to the statistics, the majority of the professionals immigrating to London are foreign workers from countries facing economic difficulties - particularly from Portugal, Ireland and Greece. Additionally, nearly half of survey participants also cited the higher standard of living in the UK as the main reason to move to and work in London.

"Jobseekers have become more flexible on where they'll work, and with English as their first language they have a advantage," said Mike Booker of totaljobs.com, which conducted the survey.

Interestingly the report also found that 63 percent of UK professionals would be happy to work abroad, up from 47 percent from two years ago; Many are looking for higher living standards abroad.

Global Visa Support offers various UK programs, please see our UK page for more information: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/uk.html

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

Changes to New Zealand Immigration Skills Shortage List

Agricultural science jobs have now been added to New Zealand's Long Term Skills Shortage List; At the same time a number of teaching occupations have been removed.

New Zealand's Department of Labour regularly reviews the Essential Skills in Demand Lists in order to remain responsive to the needs of New Zealand employers and the economy. The lists include the Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL), the Immediate Skill Shortage List and the Canterbury Skill Shortage List. The Canterbury Skill Shortage List was recently created in response to the rebuilding requirements following the 6.3 magnitude earthquake that hit the Canterbury region in February 2011.

"Regular reviews of the lists are important to ensure that the Department's policy is flexible and responsive as the economy continues to experience volatility and fluctuations to the labour market," Vasantha Krishnan, general manager of the Labour and Immigration Research Centre explained.

The following occupations were added to the LTSSL:

  • Agricultural Scientist (Farm Systems Scientist)
  • Social Professional nec (Applied Social Scientist)
  • Life Scientist nec (Animal Scientist or Bioinformatics)
  • Biotechnologist (Genetics Scientist), and
  • Environmental Research Scientist (Water Quality Analyst).
The occupations removed from the LTSSL were:

  • Secondary School Teacher, and
  • Early Childhood (Pre-primary School Teacher).
The LTSSL identifies occupations that have an ongoing shortage of skilled workers throughout New Zealand. Immigrants who gain employment in one of these occupations may be granted a work visa.

To emigrate to New Zealand under the Skilled Migrant Category you should firstly make sure that you gain at least one hundred points under the points test. You can claim 50-60 points for an existing job or a job offer in New Zealand that requires specialist, technical, or management expertise. You can also score points for various points scoring criteria such as age, experience, employability, qualifications, etc. If you think that you will score at least one hundred points it may be worth submitting an Expression of Interest under the New Zealand Skilled Migrant Category.

Global Visa Support  offers various New Zealand programmes, please visit our New Zealand page: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/nz.html

Report reveals UK immigration numbers expected to fall in 2012

A recent report by the Institute for Public Policy Research, an independent think-tank, predicted that the number of migrants coming to the UK from outside the EU will fall by about 10 per cent in 2012. The continuing financial crisis, in addition to the government's attempts to reduce the number of immigrants coming into the UK, is expected to lead to the decrease in immigrant numbers.
Although UK immigration numbers were lower in 2011 than in 2010, the numbers far exceed the government's original goal of reducing immigration to "tens of thousands", according to the report.

The report also gave a critical assessment of the government's approach to immigration numbers, stating that UK immigration's strategy to lower immigrant numbers is likely to harm any prospect of economic recovery. UK immigration policies identified as having a negative effect on the economy include attempts to reduce foreign student numbers. It is now more difficult to obtain a Tier 4 student visa. Fewer Students are now allowed to work in the UK. In addition, in April 2012 the Tier 1 Post-study work visa ends, which allows students to work in the UK for 2 years after their course ends. All these factors make the UK less attractive to overseas students and results in a reduction in Tier 4 visa student applicants.

Global Visa Support offers various UK programs, please visit our UK page: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/uk.html for more information.

Monday, January 9, 2012

US universities report increase in enrollment of foreign students on F-1 student visas

The number of international students on F-1 student visas enrolled in post-graduate business schools in the US has been rapidly increasing. According to a recent BusinessWeek article, the average international student enrollment in the top 20 full-time US MBA programs "is now 33.4 percent, up from 30.2 percent at the height of the economic crisis, when visa and financing issues prevented many international applicants from enrolling."
A recent report conducted by the Graduate Management Admission Council, shows that 46 percent of programs in 2011 reported growth in applications from foreign students wishing to come to study on F-1 student visas. Prospective students from Asian-Pacific countries sent the highest number of applications. It is interesting to note that there are also more women from countries like China, Vietnam and Taiwan that are pursuing post-graduate business degrees.

According to Businessweek, part of the reason for the increase in international students is because there is a higher approval rate for F-1 student visas, in part due to US Secretary Hillary Clinton's push to get more international students to study in the US.

"Because of the excellence and diversity of our colleges and universities, more students worldwide are choosing to study in the United States," said Ann Stock, Assistant Secretary of State. "Young people who study abroad gain the global skills necessary to create solutions to 21st Century challenges. In turn, international students globalize our campuses and communities."
Global Visa Support has several programs in USA, please see our USA page for more details: http://www.globalvisasupport.com/usa.html

Sunday, January 8, 2012

Canadian immigration announces faster permanent residency for foreign caregivers

Canadian immigration has now shortened the procedures needed for foreign live-in caregivers to obtain permanent resident status and has also announced several changes which they say will protect the caregivers from abusive employers. Canadian Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney stated the changes were the Canadian government's response to reports of abuse to foreign caregivers by their employers.

"Too many live-in caregivers have completed their work obligations but must continue living in the home of their employer, waiting for their application for permanent residence to be reviewed," said Kenney. "This is understandably frustrating. That's why we have started issuing open work permits to live-in caregivers as soon as they have completed their obligations and submitted an application for permanent residence."

Under the new procedures, a foreign caregiver can apply for permanent residence after 3,900 work hours, rather than after two years of work as a caregiver in Canada as required under the old system, ensuring overtime is appropriately recognized. The Live-in Caregiver Program allows Canadian families to hire workers from abroad to provide care to a child, an elderly person or an adult with disabilities when there is a demonstrated shortage of Canadians and permanent residents to fill available positions.

"The change I have announced today will help caregivers settle into their new life in Canada while they wait for their permanent resident applications to be processed," Kenney added. "And with the significant improvements being made to our global case processing system, my department's officers will be better able to manage the file load between Canada and missions abroad and improve the efficiency of that processing."

In 2010, Canadian immigration admitted a record number of permanent residents through the Live-in Caregiver Class—nearly 14,000 in all— This is similar to the number of live-in caregivers who entered the country as temporary foreign workers in 2007.

The changes announced by Canadian immigration include:
  • the elimination of the need for a second medical examination when the caregiver applies for permanent residence;
  • increasing the amount of time a caregiver has to complete the required 3,900 hours for permanent residence from three years to four;
  • the adoption of a standardized employment contract that ensures both parties agree to the salary, hours of work, vacation time, overtime, holidays, sick leave, and the terms of termination and resignation;
  • defining the costs the employer is obliged to pay, including the caregiver's travel expenses in coming to Canada, medical insurance, workplace safety insurance and third-party representative fees;
  • emergency processing of work permits and employer authorizations to hire live-in caregivers who have been abused and need to leave their employment immediately; and
  • an assessment of the genuineness of the job offer, as well as confirming the employer has sufficient financial resources to pay the wages of the caregiver and whether the accommodations being provided are adequate.
Global Visa Support offers several Canadian programs. Please visit our website for more information: http://globalvisasupport.com/canada.html

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Canadian Immigration to increase Federal Skilled Worker Program quota

The Department of Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) have announced they plan to accept even more immigrants under the Federal Skilled Worker program in 2012.
In its report to the Parliament of Canada, CIC has indicated that in 2010 they admitted over 280,000 immigrants, an increase of over 11.3 percent over the previous year, and the highest number of immigrants in the last 50 years. Around 67 percent of those admitted were economic immigrants with 40 percent of these being Federal Skilled workers.

In 2012, Canadian immigration plans to accept 55,000–57,000 Federal Skilled Workers, which is up from 47,000–47,400 in 2011. The Canadian government stressed that these additional numbers will help meet market demand, as well as reduce the backlog of applicants for the skilled worker immigration program from previous years.

The Federal Skilled Worker Program is Canada's most popular immigration route for immigrants to obtain permanent residency. Under this program, potential candidates are awarded points for their ability to adapt and contribute to Canada's economic development. In order to be eligible you must either:

  • have a job offer with an eligible employer;
  • have been legally residing in Canada for at least one year as a temporary foreign worker or an international student; or

In a recent speech, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Jason Kenney expressed his optimism about the program and about Canadian immigration, "The government's number one priority remains the economy. We recognize the importance of immigration to our labour market and we value the contributions of skilled immigrants who add to our international competitiveness."

Canadian immigration completed an extensive review of the Federal Skilled Worker Program in 2010, which seemed to suggest that the program was working well and was leading to the selection of immigrants who perform well economically. The report also found that 89 percent of Federal Skilled Workers were employed or self-employed three years after landing in Canada. This would appear to suggest a strong continuing need for skilled immigrants in Canada.

"CIC will continue to ramp up efforts to modernize our immigration system to make it more nimble and responsive to labour market needs," said Kenney.

Global Visa Support will be happy to assist you with your application for Canada.