Indian visitors to Oz up 20 percent with online visa processing

Indian visitors to Oz up 20 percent with online visa processing

Indian visitors to Oz up 20 percent with online visa processing

Indian visitors to Oz up 20 percent with online visa processing

The number of Indian visitors flocking to Australia is expected to reach around half a million by 2025, according to Tourism Australia.

Over 300,000 Indians visited Australia during the year ending March 2018, the largest number of Indian visitors to Australia in a single year.

It’s a 20 percent increase compared to 2016, as per the latest figures released by Tourism Australia.

The boom is being attributed to the online visa processing scheme introduced by the Australian government for Indian visitors in July 2017.

“The expansion of online lodgment of Indian applicants is an important step in managing a large number of visitor visa applications processed in India. Processing times for visas are now faster, as both applications and supporting documentation are immediately available to the processing office,” Tania Gerlach, the Chief Migration Officer at the Department of Home Affairs told TOI.

Amritpal Singh Makkar, a travel agent from Amritsar city in the northern Indian state of Punjab who specializes in Australian tourist visas told SBS Punjabi that his agency lodged over 200 tourist visas online since November, out of which at least 80 percent were processed in a record time of 10 days.

“We had a nearly 100 percent success rate and the best part is that most of the visa applications were processed in less than two weeks, all thanks to online visa system,” told Mr. Makkar.

“Until last year, it would take at least a month and a half just to process a simple, no hassle tourist visa, and our staffers had to physically go and submit the documentation for the applicants, but now we are lodging at least 10 applications per day from just one city.”

One of Mr. Makkar’s clients is 30-year-old Mandeep Kaur who has just received her tourist visa a few days ago.

The ecstatic Ms. Kaur who’s been dreaming of visiting Australia since her days in school told SBS Punjabi that she cannot believe that she has “lucked out”.

“I got my visa in eight days,” told Ms. Kaur whose excitement knows no bound and is now looking forward to enjoying a “hotly brewed coffee while overlooking the Sydney harbour.”

Over hundreds of thousands of Indian visitors are expected to join the likes of Ms. Kaur in the coming decade, a number that is forecast to reach about half a million by 2025.

Posted in Australia, Immigration, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration, Western Australia | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian government announces new visa program global talent scheme

Australian government announces new visa program global talent scheme

Australian government announces new visa program global talent scheme

Australian government announces new visa program global talent scheme

Innovation is a key long-term driver of economic prosperity, jobs and growth. We support the Australian Government’s innovation agenda through visa options. This helps Australia connect to the world’s best and brightest.

In March 2018, the Government announced 2 pilot schemes targeted at supporting talent and innovation in Australia. These schemes are the Global Talent Scheme and Supporting Innovation in South Australia. Together, these aim to support business growth, skills transfer and job creation by attracting highly-skilled global talent to help foster innovative businesses in Australia.

These will support innovation in different ways:

  • The Global Talent Scheme will provide:
    • businesses, including Australian startups, with a way to sponsor highly-skilled and specialised workers not covered by the standard Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) program
    • The cutting-edge skills Australia needs to compete globally.
  • The Supporting Innovation in South Australia scheme will help support South Australia to attract foreign entrepreneurs to take forward innovative ideas and launch seed-stage startups.

Global Talent Scheme

What is the Global Talent Scheme (GTS)?

The GTS is a niche pilot scheme under the TSS visa program. The 12-month pilot will run from 1 July 2018.

Introducing the GTS as a pilot allows the Government to make refinements in consultation with industry to ensure it achieves its purpose.

The GTS is only for employers to fill highly-skilled positions that cannot be filled:

  • by Australian workers
  • Through other visa programs, in particular the short-term and medium-term streams of the TSS visa.

Access to the GTS is not guaranteed. You must be able to demonstrate your need to access the scheme. If you can do this, you will be invited to enter into an agreement with the Government under the agreement stream of the TSS visa. Only then will you be able to sponsor workers for a TSS visa under the GTS.

The following information is to help employers decide whether to approach us to access the GTS.

What is the purpose of the GTS?

The GTS is designed to benefit Australia and Australian workers.

It is for bringing globally mobile, highly-skilled and experienced staff to Australia, who can act as ‘job multipliers’ in Australian businesses, helping them to hire more local staff and fill critical areas of need.

Any position filled through a GTS agreement must provide opportunities for Australians. These opportunities include the:

  1. creation of new jobs for Australians
  2. Transfer of skills and knowledge to Australian workers.

An employer must demonstrate how these opportunities are being realised throughout the life of any GTS agreement.

What are the 2 GTS streams?

Established Business stream allows employers who are accredited sponsors to employ highly-skilled individuals with cutting-edge skills to contribute to innovation in an established business, and help make Australian businesses and their Australian employees the best at what they do.

Startup stream allows employers to sponsor highly-skilled individuals with cutting-edge skills to contribute to Australia’s developing startup ecosystem and bring new ideas, new jobs, new skills and new technology for Australia. This stream is for startups operating in a technology-based or STEM (science, technology, engineering and mathematics) related field. Startups must be endorsed by the independent GTS startup advisory panel.

Is the GTS right for my business’ need?

Before considering the GTS pilot, you must first determine that the position(s) cannot be filled by Australian workers.

You will also need to be able to demonstrate that you cannot fill the positions through the existing skilled visa programs.

Many of these visa options are subject to occupations being available on the Lists of eligible skilled occupations. These lists are reviewed regularly by the Department of Jobs and Small Business to ensure they are responsive to changes in the Australian labour market and regional variations across Australia. For further information about existing pathways see Skilled Visa Options.

Employer criteria

For startups, in order to seek endorsement, your startup will need to meet at least one of the following requirements:

  1. the startup has received an investment of at least AUD50,000 from an investment fund registered as an Early Stage Venture Capital Limited Partnership
  2. the startup has received an Accelerating Commercialization Grant at any time.

As the pilot progresses, we will review criteria for startups to consider how the GTS can assist a broader range of startup businesses in the future.

What is the relationship between the TSS program, Labour Agreement Stream and GTS?

The standard TSS program (Short-Term Stream and Medium-Term Stream)

This allows an employer to sponsor skilled workers where there is no Australian available. The main features of the standard TSS program are:

  • main employer-sponsored temporary work visa – (replaced the subclass 457 visa)
  • visa requirements set out in Migration Regulations
  • short-term stream (2 years) unless international obligations apply, medium-term stream (4 years)
  • applicants must nominate an ANZSCO occupation on current skilled occupation lists
  • Occupation lists reviewed regularly.

The standard Labour Agreement stream

This stream of the TSS program is available when the standard TSS program does not cover employers’ needs. It includes industry agreements for lower skilled positions and concessions from standard TSS requirements. There are strong measures to protect the integrity of the TSS program. The main features of the Labour Agreement stream are:

  1. the option to negotiate variance from standard TSS visa requirements
  2. agreements can be company specific or designed for use in a specific industry or geographic area
  3. access to occupations that are not on current occupation lists at ANZSCO skill levels 1-4
  4. Visa validity of up to 4 years, and can negotiate access to permanent residency pathway.


A GTS agreement is available where an employer needs to fill a small number of high-skill, niche roles that cannot be filled through existing visa programs. Compared to standard Labour Agreements, the GTS provides faster processing and more flexible concessions. Approved businesses must first meet specific criteria and requirements to be considered for the GTS.

The main features of the GTS are:

  1. 2 streams – established business and startups
  2. higher earnings thresholds for visa applicants than under the standard TSS stream
  3. the ability to negotiate variance from standard TSS visa requirements
  4. agreement processing is prioritised
  5. access to highly-skilled roles for trusted employers – not restricted to occupation lists
  6. visa validity of up to 4 years, and access to permanent residency pathway
  7. Negotiable age requirements on permanent residence pathway.
Posted in Australia, Business / Investor Visa, Dependent Visa, Immigration, Study Abroad, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration, Western Australia, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canada Job Market currently has 400,000 plus vacant jobs

Canada Job Market currently has 400,000 plus vacant jobs!

Canada Job Market currently has 400,000 plus vacant jobs

Canada Job Market currently has 400,000 plus vacant jobs

Canada Job Market currently has 400,000 plus vacant jobs that have been unfilled for 4 months or more as per the latest report. The job vacancy rate in the Maple Leaf Nation is currently at the lowest. This implies that several jobs in Canada remain unfilled for many months now.

Thus, this is the right time to immigrate to Canada for aspiring overseas immigrants. They need to have skills in any one of the diverse industries in Canada, as quoted by the CIC News.

The Q2 2018 recorded the highest rate of a job vacancy in Canada since the records are being kept for the same from 2004. The rate of the job vacancy in Canada reached 3.1% in Q2 2018, the highest level so far.

The rate of job vacancy refers to the % of job openings that remain unfilled for 4 months or more. The higher rate of job vacancy implies well for the nation’s economy. Thus, the economy of Canada is growing at a faster pace. It has a shortage of skilled workers to fill the vacant job positions. This is amazing news for skilled overseas workers who can fill these Canadian job vacancies.

British Columbia, Ontario, and Quebec are the 3 Canadian provinces with the highest rate of the job vacancy. These 3 are also very renowned amongst the freshly arrived immigrants. Vancouver, Toronto, and Montreal are the cities that have lively immigrant communities.

Hospitality, Transport, and Construction are the industries in Canada with high availability of jobs. Skilled overseas immigrants can take advantage of the job opportunities in these sectors for immigrating to Canada. They have are 3 different options for immigration:

  1. FSW – Skilled Worker Federal
  2. QSW – Skilled Worker Quebec
  3. PNP – Provincial Nominee Programs

Global Gateways offers a wide range of visa and immigration services as well as products to overseas immigrants including Business Visa for Canada, Work Visa for Canada, Canada Migrant Ready Professional Services for Express Entry Full Service, Canada Migrant Ready Professional Services for Express Entry PR Application, Canada Migrant Ready Professional Services for Provinces, and Education Credential Assessment.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, Call to Global Gateways

Posted in Canada, Canada Open Work Permit, Canada PNP, Dependent Visa, Express Entry, Immigration, Study Abroad, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

IRCC planning more self-service options online

IRCC planning more self-service options online

IRCC planning more self-service options online

IRCC planning more self-service options online

IN the next 12 months, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) say it is planning improvements to offer clients more self-service options online.

New initiatives will be implemented, such as the expansion of online applications and adding new functionalities to clients’ online accounts. It will continue to improve how it communicates anticipated processing times, so they make more sense to clients, according to an IRCC press release on Monday.

Ahmed Hussen, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, highlighted some of the substantial improvements that IRCC claims it has made over the past year.

IRCC claims it has been able to reduce backlogs significantly and make family reunification a priority, thanks to a historic multi-year immigration levels plan. For example, the Live-In Caregiver Program (LCP) inventory was reduced from a high of 62,000 in May 2014, to less than 12,000 by April 2018. IRCC is on track to meet its 2017 commitment to process at least 80% of the remaining LCP backlog by the end of 2018 and is processing new LCP permanent residence applications within 12 months.

IRCC also recently began using an improved method to estimate processing times for some new permanent residence applications.

In addition, IRCC claims it reduced the spousal sponsorship inventory from a high of 75,000 to 15,000 as of December 31, 2017, and is processing new spousal sponsorship applications within 12 months. To help spouses further, it extended the Open Work Permit Pilot for spousal sponsorship applicants and simplified the guides and checklists.

IRCC also made changes to the Citizenship Act that give more flexibility to citizenship applicants to meet the requirements for Canadian citizenship and encourage more immigrants to take the path to citizenship.

This year, IRCC says it also helped workers and students. In June it celebrated the successful first year of the Global Skills Strategy, which has supported Canada’s economy and benefited 10,000 highly skilled workers and more than 100 employers. It also launched the Student Direct Stream to help students from China, India, the Philippines and Vietnam get their study permits faster.

Other substantial improvements include:

– IRCC partnered on new initiatives to better support Francophone immigration, such as the creation of a new Francophone Immigration Policy hub to support the Action Plan for Increasing Francophone Immigration Outside of Quebec. It also improved Francophone immigration services at Toronto’s Pearson International Airport.

– It changed its medical inadmissibility policy to ensure that its immigration policies better reflect the importance that the Government places on the inclusion of persons with disabilities.

– IRCC increased its presence in China, with seven new visa application centers.

– To continue supporting clients applying from overseas, IRCC plans to add additional visa applications centers internationally in 2018 and 2019.

– It changed the definition of the age of dependants from “under 19” to “under 22”, to enable more families stay together in Canada.

– The IRCC invested in an innovative pilot project to employ up to 1,300 newcomers in sustainable, long-term jobs in the hotel industry.

– It continues to meet the six-month processing time for Express Entry applications in the Federal Skilled Worker Program and Canadian Experience Class.

Hussen said: “IRCC has made great progress in the past few years with these larger initiatives that will positively impact many of our clients. But what we’ve learned in speaking to our clients is that sometimes even tiny interventions in the journey can have a big impact. We are committed to improving our programs and are rethinking the way we provide services. We know that we can do things better and we are committed to doing that.”

Posted in Alberta, Atlantic Canada, Canada, Canada Open Work Permit, Canada PNP, Denmark, Express Entry, Immigration, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Prince Edward Island, Quebec, Toronto, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Outrage as the UK excludes India from relaxed student visa rules

Outrage as the UK excludes India from relaxed student visa rules

Outrage as the UK excludes India from relaxed student visa rules

Outrage as the UK excludes India from relaxed student visa rules

The UK government has caused outrage with its decision to exclude Indian students from a new list of countries considered “low risk” in order to facilitate an easier visa application process to UK universities.

In changes to its immigration policy tabled in Parliament yesterday, the UK Home Office announced a relaxation of the Tier 4 visa category for overseas students from around 25 countries.

On a list already covering countries like the US, Canada and New Zealand, the Home Office has added on the likes of China, Bahrain and Serbia as countries from where students would face reduced checks on educational, financial and English language skill requirements to study at British universities.

The changes, which come into effect on July 6, aim to make it easier for international students to come to study in the UK.

However, India has been left out of this new expanded list, which means Indian students applying for similar courses will continue to face rigorous checks and documentary requirements.

Lord Karan Bilimoria, Indian-origin entrepreneur and President of the UK Council for International Student Affairs (UKCISA), described the move as an “insult” to India and another example of Britain’s “economically illiterate and hostile attitude to immigration”.

“I consider this another kick in the teeth for India… This sends entirely the wrong message to India, to exclude it from these Tier 4 measures. The government has simply got it wrong,” said Bilimoria, while welcoming the overall visa relaxation measures introduced by UK Home Secretary Sajid Javid.

Bilimoria, the founder of Cobra Beer and founding-chair of UK India Business Council (UKIBC), added, “It is completely hypocritical that this is announced at the same time that Britain is talking about doing a post-Brexit free trade agreement (FTA) with India. If this is the way they treat India, they can dream on about an FTA with India”.

“India has always been one of Britain’s closest allies and an emerging global economic superpower. Excluding India from this list is myopically short-sighted and is damaging what has always been a special relationship between our countries,” he said.

The National Indian Students and Alumni Union (NISAU) UK also expressed disappointment at India’s exclusion from the list, which it said effectively categorises Indian students as “high risk”. The representative body for Indian students in the UK said it was unfair that Indian students should be treated differently from Chinese or other nationals on the list.

“It is important to note that today’s announcement makes no change to the process of application for Indian students, but it is the perception of this message among Indian students that worries us. And, this raises another question – will China continue to get even more favorable actions while India gets the rhetoric,” questioned Sanam Arora, president of NISAU UK.

According to the latest Office of National Statistics (ONS) data, India is among the top three countries from where overseas students come in to study at UK universities, after China and the US. While Indian students registered a hike of 30 percent to hit 15,171 Tier 4 visas last year, the numbers remain a far cry from around 30,000 six years ago.

The latest development will add to growing concern within Indian government circles, given that ministers and diplomats have repeatedly highlighted the need for a more welcoming immigration regime for Indian students.

Last week, Indian High Commissioner to the UK, Y K Sinha, held a meeting with the UK’s minister for universities, Sam Gyimah, during which he once again raised the issue of “smoother and greater student and faculty mobility between the two countries”.

“It is unfortunate that in the last six years we have seen a steep drop (in Indian student numbers). What should be troubling universities here is that Indian students are now going in much greater numbers to the US, Australia – even France and Germany,” Sinha has said in the past.

The UK Home Office said in order to make it easier for students to come and study in the UK’s world-leading education sector; it has expanded the list of countries from which students will be able to benefit from a streamlined application process.

“Students from an additional 11 countries, including China, will be able to provide a reduced level of documentation when applying for their Tier 4 visa,” the Home Office statement notes.

On being asked why India had been omitted from this expanded list, a spokesperson said, “We welcome Indian students who want to come to the UK to study at our world-leading educational institutions. We issue more visas to students from India than any other country except China and the USA.”

The Home Office stressed that 90 percent of Indian students who apply for a UK visa get one, a figure up from 86 percent in 2014 and 83 percent the year before that.

It added, “In addition, the proportion of Indian students coming to study in the UK at a university has increased from around 50 percent in 2010 to around 90 percent in 2016. Indian student visa applications are up 30 percent on last year. We continue to have regular discussions with the Indian government on a range of issues including on visas and UK immigration policy,” it said.

Posted in Study Abroad, UK, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment