Friday, October 24, 2014

Last Chance for Canadian Federal Skilled Worker Visas

The Federal Skilled Worker Program in Canada will end at the end of this year, giving candidates interested in skilled immigration less than three months to apply.

The program is based on a points system, which it is hoped will mean that only candidates who are likely to establish themselves successfully in Canada will gain entry. To be eligible for the program you need to gain enough points and meet one of the basic eligibility requirements:
  • Work experience in one of the '50 eligible occupations'
  • In some circumstances employment in Canada.
  • Enrolment in a PhD program in Canada.

As well as the points system there are also minimum requirements, which every candidate needs to meet in order to apply:
  • At least one year (1560 hours) work experience in the same occupation within the past ten years.
  • Ability to pass a language test.
  • A Canadian diploma, or international equivalent.
  • Sufficient funds to support yourself and your family after arriving in Canada.

There is no limit to the number of visas that can be issued to people with a job in Canada. There is a cap on the number of visas that can be issued in each occupation under the eligible occupations sub-category, many of which are already nearing their limit. Successful applicants will gain permanent residence.

The Federal Skilled Worker program will be replaced in January by the Express Entry system. Under this new system, candidates will be added to a pool of applicants who qualify for one of the following programs
  • Federal Skilled Worker Program
  • Federal Skilled Trades Program
  • Canadian Experience Class
  • Provincial Nominee Program

The best candidates in each pool will then be hand-selected for visas, which will reportedly be processed within six months, instead of the current processing time of around a year.

It is still unclear how this new system will work: one of the advantages will be the quicker turnaround for the top candidates who are selected. However there may still be many candidates left in the pool uncertain of whether their visa will be approved.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Canada. Please visit our Canadian page for more information:

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Finding jobs in Australia could become easier with proposed visa changes

Proposed changes to the Subclass 457 Visa in Australia could mean that finding a job there will become easier.

A government-commissioned report has criticised the Temporary Skilled Worker visa program for being too complicated for applicants and employers alike.

The Subclass 457 visa allows employers to recruit overseas workers when there are no suitable Australians or permanent residents to fill the position. Since 2013 with the introduction of labour market testing and other changes it has been more difficult the meet the 457 visa requirements.

Labour market testing regulations applicable in many 457 visa cases means that employers must advertise positions locally first, and only if no suitable applicants are found then they can hire overseas workers. Employers must also provide documentary evidence of all their advertisements and attempts to hire Australian and permanent resident workers first.

Some of the recommendations made in the report include scrapping labour market testing, more support for sponsors, and changes to English Language requirements.

If approved, these changes will make it easier for candidates to meet visa requirements, and make it easier for employers to hire foreign workers.

Immigration Minister Scott Morrison said that labour market testing was unlikely to be abolished, however he welcomed the other proposed changes.

He said 'The English language requirements are unnecessarily restrictive, serving more as an industrial lock-out rather than an honest attempt to ensure appropriate language skills which the government does believe is important.'

Since the visa requirements were updated in July 2013 and labour market testing introduced later in the same year there has been a steady reduction in the number of 457 visas being approved. Prior to this there were around 66,000 successful applications each year.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Australia. Please check our Australian page for more information:

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Entrepreneurs will look elsewhere unless US visa system is overhauled

A Spanish-born entrepreneur has warned that unless the current visa system is changed, then other entrepreneurs will begin to look elsewhere.

IƱaki Berenguer recently sold his first company for $26.5m, and is now working on his second startup. He points out that many tech entrepreneurs still consider the US the ideal location for starting up a business as it offers infrastructure, capital, resources and customers. 'If you want to make it big, you have to come to the US,' he says.

Application process

However, he has also highlighted how difficult it is for foreign tech entrepreneurs to get a visa to work in the US. The lengthy and confusing application process and waiting times are discouraging applicants from applying to the US, and now many are considering other countries as an alternative. Countries like Canada, Singapore and Chile are now offering startup visas to attract foreign entrepreneurs and rival the dominance of the US.

The US EB-5 immigrant investor visa has remained largely unchanged since 1990 when it was first introduced. Critics of the current visa scheme say that it needs to be changed to take into account the current needs of the US economy



Startup visa

Part of the solution may be the proposed new startup visa, which is currently being debated in Congress. However the House of Representatives and the Senate seem unable to agree on a final version of the proposed bill, meaning that it seems unlikely it will be approved anytime soon.
Startup type visas have already been implemented successfully in other countries. A US startup visa for would enable graduates of US universities, who want to remain in the country to start new businesses.

Another route might be the L-1 visa, which allows multinational companies to transfer employees (usually managers or specialists) from its foreign operations to come and work in the US. These L-1 visas are initially granted for three years, but can be extended for up to seven years for managers and executives and five years for specialised knowledge workers.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in United States. Please visit our USA page for more information:

Friday, October 3, 2014

Seven Reasons People Get Refused For A Canadian Permanent Resident Visa

Every year, thousands of applicants for permanent residence in Canada have their applications refused for a multitude of reasons, many of which are entirely avoidable. These unfortunate situations typically result in much disappointment and distress for applicants and their families. Canada provides numerous immigration options for foreign nationals, but navigating the processes in place can sometimes be challenging. Here is a list of seven common reasons why people get refused for permanent residence in Canada, which should help anybody thinking of, or in the process of, immigrating to Canada.

1.       Misrepresentation

Some cases of misrepresentation originate from the applicant either misreading a question on a form, omitting items of information from a form, or misunderstanding the instructions for completing a form. While the term ‘misrepresentation’ may seem to imply a deliberate attempt on the part of the applicant to conceal or distort certain information, this not always the case. Some instances of misrepresentation are accidental and preventable. The result of this transgression is not only that the application is refused, but also that the applicant may be banned from reapplying for two years (five years for Quebec applications).

2.       Health

All applicants for permanent residence in Canada and their dependents are required to take a medical examination with a doctor recognised by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC). Certain health issues may result in refusal. Applicants for permanent residence who require medication for Diabetes or Hepatitis A, for example, could be deemed to be a potential burden on Canada’s universal healthcare system, and CIC reserves the right to refuse an otherwise eligible application for permanent residence on health grounds. There are, however, ways to overcome inadmissibility on health grounds. For example,  a report from a specialist on the condition could help an applicant’s case and help to avoid further medical examinations, delays and/or refusal.

3.       Criminality

Criminal background checks from every country the applicant has resided in for six months or longer since he or she turned 18 years of age are mandatory. Canada understandably wants to ensure that immigrants to its communities do not have a criminal background that could potentially threaten the health and safety of other residents. If you don’t have any charges or convictions in your past, this stage is just about getting the paperwork done. If you do have a past criminal offence on your record, however, this could present issues during your application.

A foreign national may be criminally inadmissible to Canada on the grounds of serious criminality. For an applicant with a past conviction on his or her record, learning more about criminal inadmissibility, as well as the difference between deemed rehabilitation and individual rehabilitation, is key. Consulting an immigration lawyer with experience in issues pertaining to criminal inadmissibility is always a good idea for such applicants.

4.       Missing a deadline

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) attempts to make the immigration process faster for applicants by imposing deadlines for the submission of certain forms and documents. Missing one of these deadlines, however, could result in an application being refused. Therefore, knowing how and when to obtain certain documents, and how and when to complete certain forms, is hugely important. Missing a deadline is usually avoidable, so being prepared and organised before and during the immigration process can make the difference between immigrating to Canada and having an application refused. While CIC will occasionally grant extensions, it is important to properly explain the grounds for extension and give reasons and/or supporting documents.

5.       Reconsiderations — CIC makes mistakes

In most cases, CIC follows its own procedures and rules in a straightforward and consistent manner. Visa offices, however, are capable of errors and/or inconsistencies in their work. It is possible that they can misinterpret the law and refuse an application on unjustified grounds. Hiring the services of an immigration attorney can mitigate these factors. The attorney may be able to build a case based on established precedents similar or identical to the situation faced by an applicant who has had his or her application refused, and then represent the applicant in a case for reconsideration or appeals to the appropriate court.

6.       Failure to attach documents

CIC provides a thorough but clear list of documents required of the applicant, as well as a tracking number, in order to bring an application to completion. It is up to the applicant to locate these documents and submit them to the correct CIC office with the tracking number. Failure to do so could result in the application being refused.

7.       Applying without knowing eligibility requirements

Canada offers more than 60 immigration programs, each of which is unique. Depending on a number of factors, such as a person’s age, education, net worth, occupation and work experience, he or she may be eligible for one, more than one, or none of these programs. A superficial glance at the criteria for a given program might lead to an applicant believing that he or she is eligible, but it may be the case that he or she is not, in fact, eligible for that program. A detailed review of the application criteria against the applicant’s credentials is needed to assess eligibility for an immigration program.
Some applicants see their applications refused because they are not eligible for the program for which they have applied, even though they may have been eligible for another Canadian immigration program. This situation is preventable if the applicant correctly determines his or her eligibility for Canadian immigration before making an application in the first place. Failure to do so is often a waste of time, energy and money for the applicant.

Global Visa Support offers a variety of programs in Canada. Please visit our Canadian page for more information: