Over 5 lakh Indians are visited the UK in 12 months since July 2018

Over five lakh Indians are visited the UK in twelve months since July 2018

Over 5 lakh Indians are visited the UK in 12 months since July 2018

Over 5 lakh Indians are visited the UK in 12 months since July 2018

Over 5 lakh Indians are visited the UK in 12 months since July 2018

More than 5 Lakh Indians visited the United Kingdom in a very year since July 2018, AN eleven percent increase over the previous twelve months, as per reports released by the UK’s Office for National Statistics. The British High Commissioner to India Dominic Asquith referred to as it “fantastic news” for the UK-India relationship.

“It appears like the number of Indian fans that traveled to the United Kingdom for the Cricket World Cup in England and Wales was even larger than we tend to notional,” he said, responding to the report.

The report printed quarterly by the UK’s workplace for National Statistics, said the number of Indians finding out within the UK has nearly doubled in three years and is currently at the best levels since 2011, it said.

The report shows that over 5,03,000 Indians received Visitor visas between July 2018 to June 2019.

“This was an eleven percent increase compared to the previous year,” the report said.

The report said that Indian and Chinese nationals along accounted for nearly half of all Visitor visas granted.

“In addition to the traveler visas, nearly 22,000 Indian nationals received a tier four (study) visa for the year ending June 2019 – up from close to 15,000 the previous year,” the report said.

The report further said that Indian nationals still receive a lot of experienced work visas than the remainder of the world combined, accounting for fifty-two percent of all tier 2 visas granted globally.

“More than 56,000 Indians received skilled work visas – a five percent increase compared to the previous year, that is additionally the most important increase for any country,” the report said.

Asquith said, “It also shows that the United Kingdom continues to be a welcoming place for Indians to work, study and vacation. I hope to check even a lot of guests from India within the future.”

“Lot of Indians visit, the stronger the living bridge becomes between our 2 countries. I anticipate to operating with our partners in India to make sure this spectacular record continues,” he said in a statement.

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

How Immigration Has Shaped the City of Montreal

How Immigration Has Shaped the City of Montreal

How Immigration Has Shaped the City of Montreal

How Immigration Has Shaped the City of Montreal

How Immigration Has Shaped the City of Montreal

A Glance at Cultural Influence in the City

Montreal is home to many well-defined cultural communities, each with their own unique collective identities.

These groups lay roots in different areas of the city, forming distinct communities and villages, differentiated by their architectural styles. As the political motive for immigration transitioned from one of employment to one of multiculturalism, each of Montreal’s largest immigrant communities has transformed the city through their own diaspora.

The continued vibrance of these diasporas speaks to the resilience of maintaining themselves in a constantly evolving population.

Montreal is home to many Italians, their immigration spanning over the course of a century.

As fifth-generation Italians call Canada their home, they contribute to a post-national identity within a country that is constantly evolving in its identity, according to Dr. Raluca Fratiloiu, in her 2006 dissertation.

Italian immigration to Canada was a part of a larger migration toward an economically developing North America. Immigration policy centered around national projects like the construction of the Canadian Pacific Railway, provoking the migration of thousands of Italians to Canada.

Two pillars emerged from what centered the idea of early Italian immigrant identity: one based upon their hometown and one of their sense of italianità (Italianess), provoked by the uncertainty of living in a new, foreign environment.

Creating buildings that stood for them as a community carried great symbolic importance. The vitality and determination of Montreal’s Italian community are symbolized in the cultural patrimony of the Casa d’Italia.

Opening in 1936, the Casa d’Italia was a festive and historic meeting place for Italians and their French-Canadian neighbours.

The twentieth-century art deco building, erected for newly settled Italian Canadians, became the heart and soul of Italian community life.

Post-war immigration policy saw a transformation that favoured Italian immigration for unskilled and semi-skilled labour to fill the gaps of industrial labour forces. Italians in the post-war context no longer immigrated to escape misery, but to advance economically, as there was an increasing need for jobs in the service industry.

This coincided with a 1962 change in immigration policy that abandoned Canada’s previous, overtly racist, Immigration Acts of 1910, 1919, and 1952.

These acts restricted admission to white American, British, and European applicants, favouring a points-based system with preference given to eligible of-age workers that spoke French, English, or both.

Due to an influx of immigrants of various backgrounds, Montreal was the most populated and wealthy city in Canada throughout the 1960s and a major center of North American industrialization and expansion.

From the 1970s until the early 1990s, new and important organizations anchored themselves within the Casa d’Italia.

These included the Quebec chapter of the National Congress of Italian-Canadians, the Italian-Canadian Community Foundation, the Italo-Canadian Seniors’ Council, the Servizi Comunitari Italo-Canadesi and became the home of the Italian cultural center.

Other sites of italianita evoke a discourse of nostalgia and belonging, such as the Café Italia on St. Laurent Blvd.

Within its walls, Italians can reconnect to a distant homeland and channel feelings of nostalgia a sense of italianita is evoked through the café’s products, its wooden tables and retro décor of soccer champions and Italian Canadian characters.

The café allows the stories of first-generation Italian Montrealers to come full circle as they fulfill a sense of belonging to their homeland, as a place that holds these emotions.

Immigrants from across the globe have found similar communities in Montreal, all contributing their own thoughts, art, and inspirations.

A growing community of immigrants from Haiti demonstrated the multi-faceted nature of politics in Montreal. Harvin Hilaire, ex-VP External Affairs for the Haitian Students’ Association of Concordia, feels that the Haitian community has left an impact on Montreal’s cultural scene.

“Personally, I feel that the Haitian community has a great impact on Montreal’s culture from our food, the music we dance to, and to our language,” said Hilaire. “You can see that a lot of our culture has been adapted by other communities in Montreal. [The influence of Haitian immigrants] is probably due to the fact that there are so many Haitians [here], but it’s only normal due to the fact that Haiti is so close to here and the French language is easier to adopt for Haitian immigrants.”

In one way, their political struggle challenged preconceived notions of revolts in First and Third World countries. On one hand, Montreal could be seen as an imperial metropole, where those who held power in Western capital could direct the economic fate of the Caribbean.

Caribbean immigrants and emerging new political groups became essential to defining new democratic frameworks, as activists challenged racism and demanded real changes in economic, cultural, political, and educational spheres.

In the more distant past, Irish Montrealers, as a linguistic minority group, struggled against French Canadian exclusionary policy.

The Irish community in Montreal have served as a crucial bridge between the French, who adopted Irish orphans from the first arrival of migrants in the late nineteenth century, and the English, who share history and language.

A large settlement of Irish immigrants in the 1840s and 1850s led to violent outbursts with French Canadian rural labourers, both in fierce competition for seasonal jobs as longshoremen in Montreal’s port.

At the end of the nineteenth century, Montreal became a French-speaking city, within a province governed by a powerful English-speaking minority of Brits and Scots, that stood in juxtaposition to a struggling subgroup of Irish people originating from Great Britain.

The Irish improved their socio-economic status in this period, yet participated widely as both employer and employee in commerce, industry, and professional couriers. Irish settlers inhabited working-class neighborhoods in Montreal’s south-west such as Griffintown, Pointe Saint-Charles, Verdun, and Lasalle, in modest working-class to middle-class homes.

Researcher Charles Boberg at McGill University says that the Irish are the earliest social group to immigrate in large numbers.

Over time, Boberg believes that the Irish became the least distinct of a large group of immigrant settlers in Montreal and linguistically, have lost their identity.

As Irish neighborhoods broke up and intermarriage became widely accepted between them and French Canadians or other settlers from Great Britain, the Irish assimilated more into Francophone society, while the other portion blended in with other English-speaking European groups to form an Anglophone distinction on their own.

Irish identity is making a comeback through a historical commemoration project, making headway on the Montreal side of the Victoria Bridge.

A memorial park is to be constructed around the Black Rock to remember over 6,000 Irish immigrants who died and were buried there in 1847 as a result of typhus fever. Negotiations between the Montreal Irish Committee, Hydro-Québec, and the municipal government are ongoing for relocating Bridge Street so that visitors can stand directly in front of the Black Rock to easily read its inscription and commemorate a dark beginning.

Relative to other groups, the survival and development of Montreal’s Jewish community came out of the response of a “reluctant host” group.

Before World War II, the Jewish community was struggling with confronting the linguistic, political, and socio-economic institutions of the anglophone and francophone communities of Montreal.

As they endeavored to establish themselves, the Federal government was willing to open its doors to foreigners to develop Canada’s industry, but the Bourassa provincial government preferred to maintain the bilingual compact of Confederation and spread French-Canadian settlement across the province to develop the land.

The successes of the Jewish community ensured that inter-ethnic relations would plant the seeds for a vibrant ethnic pluralism in Montreal. Jonathan Mamane, a student at Concordia University, recounts the sense of vibrancy and celebration that holds Montreal’s Jewish community together.

“Jewish communities usually get together for celebrations, and we have lots of those,” he says. “In Jewish culture, celebrations can take place anywhere there are enough people to throw a party.”

While Jewish community gathering isn’t tied down to any particular place, Jewish schools, the Jewish General Hospital, and the Young Men’s-Young Women’s Hebrew Association demonstrate that Montreal’s Jewish community was compelled by the dominant anglophone and francophone counterparts to develop their own resources and institutional autonomy.

All public institutions in Montreal were regulated by Catholic and Protestant authority, which held an almost imperial force within society. This situation pushed the schooling system to request from the provincial government that Jews be identified as a neutral party, which received stark opposition from Jewish immigrants, objecting to their erasure.

School boards were unable to provide Jewish teachers or appoint Jewish Representatives to their Board of Governors until a court ruling stated that Quebec could create a separate Jewish education system within its mandate by 1930.

Even prior to World War II, religious prejudice was present in Montreal. Jewish people would encounter difficulties obtaining health care and finding employment in hospitals.

What began as a series of clinics in the early twentieth century expanded into a single hospital unit as more immigrants arrived within ten years.

The YM-YWHA started in Montreal in 1910, in a room rented for $7.50/month within the Baron de Hirsch Institute.

Sir Mortimer B. Davis was a philanthropist that granted a sizeable donation to expand the center into a larger facility in 1929, which later on became the namesake of the Jewish General Hospital. As both institutions overcame the financial strains of the Great Depression and benefitted from their popularity, they expanded their services as the Jewish General Hospital purchased land to develop wings in specialized care, and the YMHA was regarded as a community center as well as a private club.

It is interesting to note that similar motivations pushed Jewish and Italian parents to select anglophone schooling.

They were guided by the same desire to prepare their children for a competitive job market, looking to the Canadian nation as a whole, much to clerical discontent in Montreal.

By having ethnically sensitive schooling systems that adopted a trilingual approach, the city’s plurilingual character allowed opportunities for anglophone communities to assist in fulfilling the ambitions of immigrants wanting to settle into Montreal’s metropolitan society.

Overall, Montreal resembles other northeastern cities that had similar immigration flows over the nineteenth and twentieth centuries.

Political organizing and institutional independence have never ceased amongst any of these groups, thus becoming their own nations in the city.

As each of these groups exists in response to French Canadian institutions and cultural imposition, it causes one to question if there really is a foreign or anglophone scare to justify erecting exclusionary policies.

Many of these groups continually clash with agendas of language, education, and civic engagement, despite what some groups share cultural exchanges with French Canadians as francophone minorities.

Montreal remains a city trapped between an immigration-led pluralistic society, bound by multicultural monuments and organizations, and a provincial government seeking francophone uniformity.

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Montreal, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Setting the record straight on the benefits, and heavy costs, of immigration to Canada

Setting the record straight on the benefits, and heavy costs, of immigration to Canada

Setting the record straight on the benefits, and heavy costs, of immigration to Canada

Setting the record straight on the benefits, and heavy costs, of immigration to Canada

Setting the record straight on the benefits, and heavy costs, of immigration to Canada

The average recent immigrant in Canada imposes a fiscal burden of $5,300 annually

In a recent campaign speech, Maxime Bernier, leader of the People’s Party of Canada, cited the results of one of our studies, which showed that recent immigrants are imposing a heavy fiscal burden on Canadians. He used this information to justify his plan to reduce future levels of immigration.

The CBC had journalist Jonathon Gatehouse do a “fact check” of Bernier’s claim about the fiscal burden. In a publication sponsored by the CBC, he concludes that this claim is “false.” Since this verdict implies that our study also reached false conclusions, we feel compelled to do our own fact check of the analysis produced by Gatehouse.

The author makes much of the well-known fact that immigrants have a positive effect on aggregate national income (GDP), which says nothing about the fiscal burden. He also fails to note that recent immigrants have lowered Canada’s per capita income since, according to official statistics, they have lower average incomes than other Canadians.

He also cites a number of published studies and data he considers relevant. They involve well-known facts and again tell us nothing about the fiscal burden. For example, he notes that the gap in the unemployment rate between recent immigrants and native-born Canadian males has narrowed, but neglects to mention that this always happens when an economic boom creates increased demand for labour and leads to the hiring of previously unemployable workers.

Another statistic Gatehouse cited is that the wages received by immigrants who entered the labour market in 2017 were the highest ever. These wages have indeed been increasing every year, along with the wages of all new labour force entrants. The fact that the average incomes of immigrants who arrived in 2006 increased consistently over the following 10 years simply reflects the normal increase in incomes of all workers through time due to increased skills and work experience. As working immigrants go through this cycle, their average income rises relative to the average income of Canadians of all ages.

Estimating the fiscal burden immigrants impose on Canadians requires data on the average taxes paid and government benefits received by immigrants. Data from the 2016 Census also cited by Gatehouse shows that the average income of recent immigrants aged 25-54 continues to fall short of that of non-immigrants, which means they continue to pay less in taxes on average.

In our most recent study we used basic statistics from the previous census and the National Household Survey to estimate that because of Canada’s progressive income tax system, recent immigrants paid much lower income taxes than non-immigrants. We added to this amount other taxes related to income and wealth, such as the GST and capital gains taxes, and concluded that in 2008-09, recent immigrants on average paid $13,100 in tax compared with $18,000 paid by other Canadians, yielding a shortfall of $4,900 per year.

The government publishes statistics on how much it spends to provide different types of benefits. In the absence of all the required information, we assumed that immigrants received the same benefits on average as did other Canadians. This assumption seems reasonable since nearly all spending was on universal health care, social insurance, education, security and conservation of the environment.

In response to criticism, we estimated that with their lower incomes immigrants benefit less from government spending on protection but, because they have more children on average, benefit more from spending on education. The net effect of these adjustments is that immigrants on average receive $414 more than non-immigrants in benefits.

Gatehouse noted that in our study we had not taken account of welfare and other social benefits received by immigrants, which some believe to be excessive and others believe to be less than what non-immigrants receive. We deliberately avoided this controversial issue and assumed simply that both groups received the same average amount of such benefits. The greatest differences between recent immigrants and others are on the tax, not the spending side of the government accounts.

When we combined our estimates of taxes paid and benefits received we found that the average recent immigrant in Canada imposes a fiscal burden of $5,300 annually.

According to government statistics, in 2010 the number of recent immigrants (since 1985) was about 3.7 million. Multiplying this number by $5,300 brings the estimated fiscal burden that year to $20 billion. Since then the stock of immigrants has increased by 250,000 a year and raised the annual fiscal burden in 2018 to over $30 billion.

Canada needs a full discussion of its immigration policy that considers both its benefits, which are discussed by politicians and the media all the time, but also its very real costs, which involve not just the fiscal burden but also traffic congestion, overcrowding of hospitals, schools and recreational facilities, deteriorating environment and lack of affordable housing, which governments cannot address in part because of the fiscal burden. A lot of roads, affordable housing and cleaner environment could be purchased with that $30 billion.

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Indian students set to benefit from UK’s 2-year post-study work visa offer

Indian students set to benefit from UK’s 2-year post-study work visa offer

Indian students set to benefit from UK's 2-year post-study work visa offer

Indian students set to benefit from UK’s 2-year post-study work visa offer

Indian students set to benefit from UK’s 2-year post-study work visa offer

In a move that addresses a long-standing demand to boost Indian student numbers choosing British universities, the UK government on Wednesday announced a new two-year post-study work visa route for all international students.

The new ‘Graduate’ route, to be in place by next year, will be open to all overseas nationals who have valid UK immigration status as a student and have successfully completed a course of study in any subject at undergraduate level or above at a government-approved UK higher education institution.

The visa will allow eligible students to work, or crucially look for work, in any career or position of their choice, for two years after completing their studies.

British Prime Minister Boris Johnson, who has effectively re-instated a policy ended by his predecessor Theresa May around nine years ago, said the change would see students “unlock their potential” to begin careers in the UK.

“The new Graduate Route will mean talented international students, whether in science and maths or technology and engineering, can study in the UK and then gain valuable work experience as they go on to build successful careers,” said UK home secretary Priti Patel, the senior-most Indian-origin member of Johnson’s Cabinet.

“It demonstrates our global outlook and will ensure that we continue to attract the best and brightest,” she said.

The UK ended its two-year post-study work visa offer during May’s term as UK home secretary in 2012, widely seen as responsible for a major drop in student numbers from countries like India.

“The withdrawal of the PSW [post-study work] visa was attributed with a decline in international student recruitment in the UK from key markets, notably India. Between 2010-11 and 2016-17, the number of higher education students from India more than halved,” noted a report by the UK’s All Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) for International Students.

The government’s latest announcement was widely welcomed by university chiefs and representatives, who highlight that Indian students were particularly prone to make their higher education choices based on being able to gain some work experience at the end of their degree.

“Although 82 percent of our Indian graduates are satisfied with their careers wherever they are working, we know that they value the opportunity to spend some time in the UK working after their degree. This visa will make it significantly easier for them to do that,” said Vivienne Stern, Director, and Universities UK International, which has been lobbying for such a visa for many years.

“The UK ranks first for international student satisfaction overall, compared to other major study destinations, but having a more attractive post-study work offer will open the UK up to even more international students. It will also allow employers in all parts of the UK to benefit from access to talented graduates from around the world,” she said.

Indian students coming to the UK registered a hike over the last three years, hitting around 22,000 in the year ending June 2018. This was a 42 percent increase on the previous year, a reversal from a downward trend in the past.

“I’m delighted that the numbers of Indian students coming to study in the UK are constantly increasing, having doubled over the last three years. Last year alone we saw a massive 42 percent increase. This exciting announcement will help ensure that the UK remains one of the best destinations for students across the world,” said Sir Dominic Asquith, British High Commissioner to India.

The latest announcement follows the creation of a new fast-track visa route for scientists and the removal of the limit on Ph.D. students moving into the skilled work visa route, which collectively aims to cement the UK as a science superpower and a world-leader in the STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) sector.

According to official UK figures, almost half of all Indian students – 130,000 since 2008-9 – heading to the UK in the last 10 years chose a STEM subject.

The new Graduate route will launch for the 2020-21 intake of students to UK universities.

After the two years, they will be able to switch onto the skilled work visa if they find a job which meets the skill requirement of the route.

The new visa, more details of which will be unveiled in the coming months, will offer opportunities to work or look for work after graduating. However, unlike the route which closed in 2012, the UK government stressed that the new route will also include safeguards to ensure only “genuine, credible students” is eligible.

The announcement coincides with the launch of a 200-million pound genetics project at the UK Biobank, a charity and health resource that contains information and samples from 500,000 people.

Posted in Europe, Study Abroad, UK, Uncategorized, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australian Skilled Occupations List to Be Revamped

Australian Skilled Occupations List to Be Revamped

Australia skilled Occupations

Australia skilled Occupations

Australian Skilled Occupations List to Be Revamped

This week, the Australian government commenced a review of the Australian skilled migration occupation lists with the updated lists due to being released on March 2020.

On the heels of cutting down Australia’s immigration intake by 30,000 places in 2019/20 and with two new regional visas coming soon in November, the government commenced a review of skilled migration occupations list on Wednesday.

Each year the Australian government reviews the list of skilled occupations which determine the kind of skilled migrants needed across Australia. With more places for migration allotted to regional Australia, the government has hinted the new list will focus on the skills needed in these regions with the government specifically seeking feedback from regional stakeholders.

Minister for Immigration, Citizenship, Migrant Services, and Multicultural Affairs, Mr David Coleman, said the Government’s migration program was focused on ensuring employers can access workers to fill critical skills shortages, particularly in regional Australia.

“We’ve allocated 23,000 regional migration places, introduced two new regional visas and signed Designated Area Migration Agreements around the country to attract migrants to the regions, help towns grow and to fill some of the 60,000 job vacancies in regional Australia,” Minister Coleman said.

“The Morrison Government is continuing to look closely at ways of filling these skills gaps in regional areas and giving businesses more certainty and confidence that they can get the workers they need when they need them.”

Tech Jobs also under the spotlight

Technology jobs already dominate Australia’s skilled migration, taking up the top three most commonly used occupations: developer, software engineer, and ICT business analyst. The ICT sector accounted for about 7600 of the 82,000 total skilled visas issued by the government in 2018-19.

The current occupation list includes about 500 jobs. To be included, a job must be listed on the ANZSCO standard worker classification, effectively ruling out a number of popular tech jobs until the ANZSCO list is also updated.

The skills shortages and talent gaps facing Australian startups and tech firms is a central issue in the sector currently, and more needs to be done to improve access to overseas talent until it is on offer locally,

Employment and skills minister Michaelia Cash launched the review on Wednesday to ensure the list is “responsive to genuine skills needs”.

“As a government, our role is to ensure that Australian employers can access workers with the skills needed to fill the jobs of today and tomorrow when they can’t be met by the domestic workforce,” Senator Cash said in a statement.

“As part of the review, my department will consult with industry, employers, unions, and individuals in developing advice for the Morrison government on the occupations required to meet the labour market needs of the Australian economy.”

What are the Australian skilled migration occupation lists?

Australia’s employer-sponsored, Points-tested and state nominated visa programs are underpinned by three kinds of Skilled Occupations lists:

  1. The Short-Term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL);
  2. The Medium and Long-Term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL); and,
  3. The Regional Occupation List (ROL).
Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The new regional skilled visas and the pathway to PR in australia

THE NEW REGIONAL SKILLED VISAS AND THE PATHWAY TO PERMANENT RESIDENCY IN AUSTRALIA

Australia Regional Skilled Visa

Australia Regional Skilled Visa

The new regional skilled visas and the pathway to PR in Australia

Two new regional visas will be introduced from 16 November 2019.  These visas will lead to permanent residency after a period of 3 years. The visas are applicable to regional Australia and everywhere except for Sydney, Melbourne, Perth, Brisbane, and the Gold Coast.

SUBCLASS 491 SKILLED WORK REGIONAL (PROVISIONAL) VISA

The key points are:

  • It replaces the current subclass 489 visa
  • It will have 14,000 places allocated per year
  • It will be initially granted for 5 years
  • It is a skilled visa which will be points tested
  • It requires either state government nomination or sponsorship by an eligible family member who is settled in a designated regional area
  • You must have a positive skills assessment
  • You must be under 45 years of age.

SUBCLASS 494 SKILLED EMPLOYER SPONSORED

The key points are:

  • It replaces the current subclass 187 visa
  • It will have 9,000 places allocated per year
  • It will be initially granted for 5 years
  • It requires an employer to sponsor you in a position that is likely to exist for 5 years
  • You must have competent English
  • You must have the support for the Regional Certifying Body in the location to support the need for the position.
  • You must meet the annual market salary rate for the position.
  • You must have at least 3 years of skilled employment
  • You can move between jobs but will have 90 days to find a new nominator
  • You must have a positive skills assessment
  • You must be under 45 years of age

The Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme Visa (subclass 187) and the Skilled Regional (Provisional) Visa (subclass 489) will close to new applicants from November 16, 2019.

Transitional arrangements will be put in place for applications which have been lodged and are undecided at that time, as well as applicants whose pathway currently targets the permanent Skilled Regional Visa (subclass 887).

One important factor to note is that when you are a subclass 491 or 494 you cannot apply for any of the following visas unless you have held the 491 or 494 for at least 3 years:

If you’re interested in the new regional skilled visas and the pathway to permanent residency in Australia, please contact our team of Registered Immigration Consultants to discuss your immigration options.

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

New Brunswick eyes major increase in immigration over the next five years

New Brunswick eyes major increase in immigration over the next five years

New Brunswick

New Brunswick

Immigration ‘critical’ to reversing population decline in province, the government says

The Government of New Brunswick is calling for a significant increase in immigration to the province over the next five years to address the economic and social challenges posed by its aging population.

The government’s new population growth strategy would see the number of economic immigrants settling in New Brunswick each year reach 7,500 by 2024.

This would raise New Brunswick’s immigration rate to almost one percent of its total population and nearly double the current number of immigrants settling in the province.

“Population growth is crucial to the future success of our province,” New Brunswick’s Minister of Post-Secondary Education, Training and Labour, Trevor Holder, said in a statement.

“The attraction and retention of new Canadians are critical in helping us increase our province’s population and meet the needs of our employers.”

The report says around 120,000 jobs will become available in New Brunswick over the next 10 years. Statistics compiled by the New Brunswick Multicultural Council (NBMC) show the province’s labour force losing 110,000 workers during this same period, primarily to retirement.

The report notes that New Brunswick’s current working-age population is too small to fill these opportunities and its declining birth rate means this situation will only worsen if immigration is not increased.

“International migration is a key strategy to lessen the impact of this decline,” the strategy reads.

A key concern outlined in the strategy is New Brunswick’s ability to support critical social services like health care. The report says the number of working-age individuals in New Brunswick for each senior citizen decreased from 4.6 to 3.1 between 2008 and 2018 and could reach 2.3 by 2027.

“This will have a significant impact on the province’s ability to fund economic and social services,” the report says. “In the short and long term, to meet the needs of supporting an aging population with a shrinking tax base, New Brunswick needs to encourage movement into the province to improve our population outlook.”

Building momentum

The strategy says increasing immigration to the province will be achieved mainly through the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) and the Atlantic Immigration Pilot.

The NBPNP allows New Brunswick to nominate a set number of eligible skilled workers, entrepreneurs and international graduates from New Brunswick’s post-secondary institutions for permanent residence each year.

The Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program is an employer-driven federal-provincial partnership launched last year to help employers in the Atlantic Canada region hire foreign workers to fill labour gaps.

The province’s allocation under these programs is 2,100 in 2019, the strategy says, up from 625 in 2014.

“We need to build on this momentum and focus on continued population growth and the increased migration of newcomers who meet the targeted economic and labour market needs of the province,” the strategy says.

Among other goals, the strategy also calls for achieving an immigrant retention rate of 85 per cent by 2024 and raising the number of French-speaking immigrants by two per cent annually over the next five years up to a total of 33 percent of all immigration to the province, which recognizes both English and French as its official languages

7,500 target ‘very achievable’

The government’s strategy echoes the findings of a report issued last November by the NBMC, which also called for increasing immigration to the province to one percent of New Brunswick’s population.

Alex LeBlanc, executive director of the NBMC, told CIC News the province’s target is “very achievable” and the timeframe will allow the province to prepare support systems that will help communities to properly welcome and assist newcomers as they settle in New Brunswick.

“This strategy really symbolizes the transformation New Brunswick is going through,” LeBlanc said in a phone interview. “We are, as a province, fully behind the value of immigration, the contributions that newcomers make, and are committed to welcoming many more people to New Brunswick in the years ahead.”

Plan of Action

New Brunswick aims to achieve its population growth targets through a 60-point action plan based on four broad objectives:

  • Attract a skilled workforce that aligns with our labour market needs;
  • Recruit entrepreneurs that encourage sustainable economic growth;
  • Create an environment where newcomers and their families can settle and succeed; and
  • Engage communities to foster a more diverse and welcoming province.

On immigration, the objectives contain a number of key actions concerning francophones, international students, international entrepreneurs and skilled workers, businesses, and communities.

Here are some of the key immigration actions listed in the Population Growth Action Plan:

  • create a suite of tools and resources that will educate, inform and aid New Brunswick employers in their use of immigration to meet their workforce needs;
  • encourage international students to stay and settle in New Brunswick after graduation;
  • address foreign credential recognition issues for immigration candidates and their spouses;
  • promote provincial immigration programs in francophone markets;
  • support public engagement efforts that break stereotypes or misconceptions with a focus on the demographic realities in the province, the benefits of immigration and the importance of welcoming communities;
  • review the Entrepreneur Stream of the NBPNP to ensure it best allows new arrivals to start businesses and succeed;
  • assist immigrant settlement agencies in offering the settlement services required to meet the needs of newcomer spouses and children;
  • engage local governments and community stakeholders to support a process around exploratory visits for newcomers;
  • promote cultural competency training to New Brunswick employers.
Posted in Atlantic Canada, Business / Investor Visa, Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, New Brunswick, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Ontario must encourage immigration outside the Greater Toronto Area

Ontario must encourage immigration outside the Greater Toronto Area

Ontario must encourage immigration outside the Greater Toronto Area

Ontario must encourage immigration outside the Greater Toronto Area

Ontario must encourage immigration outside the Greater Toronto Area, a new study says

Regional Immigration Strategy would assist existing efforts and set targets for growing immigration around Ontario

Ontario must identify new ways of ensuring more immigrants settle outside the Greater Toronto Area in order to guarantee more balanced population growth across the province and maintain a “high quality of life” for all its residents in the coming years, a new Conference Board of Canada study shows.

The Greater Toronto Area, or GTA, currently welcomes 77 percent of new immigrants to Ontario, which translated to 106,000 newcomers to the GTA in 2018.

The remaining 23 percent of newcomers to the province settle in other areas of the province, with 15 census metropolitan areas (CMAs) outside the GTA taking in 20.5 percent.

With a population of more than 6.4 million people — 46 percent of whom are immigrants — the GTA is Canada’s most populous and multicultural metropolitan area. It encompasses the city of Toronto and 25 other municipalities and is considered Canada’s business and financial capital, producing nearly 20 percent of Canada’s GDP.

This reality, the study says, “puts the rest of [Ontario’s] CMAs at a disadvantage in attracting immigrants,” who typically seek settlement destinations with reliable job opportunities and “community and family ties.”

This disparity will have important economic consequences for Ontario’s other CMAs if they fail to draw a greater share of immigrants in the coming years and grow their labour force, which the Conference Board says is key to spurring economic growth and “crucial to maintaining the high quality of life for [Ontario’s] residents.”

“If they do not attract more immigrants, Ontario’s CMAs will see their potential economic output slow, and face the possibility of financial resources being directed away from them to fund the increasing demand for infrastructure and services in the GTA,” the report reads.

Create a Regional Immigration Strategy

While noting steps taken by Ontario’s municipal and provincial governments to regionalize immigration and the federal governments new Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot, the Conference Board study says such efforts could be assisted by the creation of an Ontario Regional Immigration Strategy.

The purpose of the strategy would be to encompass “a shared vision for the future, including short-, medium-, and long-term regionalization targets, regional economic priorities, performance measures to track progress, and an operational plan featuring the roles and responsibilities of each party in achieving the targets.”

Parties to the strategy would include Ontario’s Municipal Immigration Committee, government representatives and stakeholders such as business, workforce development groups, immigrant-serving organizations, universities, and colleges, among others.

The Conference Board study provides the example of a medium-term target that would see the share of newcomers settling outside the GTA increase to 35 percent by 2030.

Refine the OINP

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) could also be used “to help steer more immigrants to CMAs beyond the GTA,” the study says.

The OINP allows Ontario to nominate a set number of economic class principal applicants who meet its labour market and economic development priorities for Canadian permanent residence each year.

The Conference Board said the OINP could establish an annual regional allocation target for areas of the province that have had difficulties recruiting immigrants, such as the northeast and northwest Ontario, and refine the eligibility requirements for certain immigration streams to reflect local economic conditions.

The study also calls for the creation of a new Community and Family Support Stream under the OINP.

The Conference Board says examples of similar streams, such as Nova Scotia’s Community-Identified Stream, suggest they support regionalization by channeling immigrants to CMAs where they have an existing community or family ties.

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Ontario | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Why We Need an Ontario Regional Immigration Strategy

Why We Need an Ontario Regional Immigration Strategy

Why We Need an Ontario Regional Immigration Strategy

Why We Need an Ontario Regional Immigration Strategy

Ontario Regional Immigration Strategy

Connecting immigrants with good job opportunities beyond the Greater Toronto Area would benefit them as well as Ontario

In 2018, the Greater Toronto Area (GTA) welcomed 106,000 new permanent residents. In other words, the GTA welcomed more immigrants than Quebec, Manitoba, Saskatchewan, and the four Atlantic provinces combined.

Immigration to the GTA is not slowing down as the region has already welcomed nearly 60,000 immigrants in the first half of 2019—significantly more immigrants than any province is able to attract over an entire year.

Immigration is undoubtedly beneficial to the GTA as it makes the region one of the most culturally vibrant in the world, and also economically and fiscally healthier than the rest of Ontario. At the same time, it would be beneficial for immigrants, the GTA, and Ontario to identify how to encourage more immigrants to build a life in other parts of the province.

Today, the GTA constitutes 45 percent of Ontario’s population but attracts nearly 80 percent of its immigrants. This means that 55 percent of the province benefits from just 20 percent of its newcomers. This comes at a time when immigrants are needed more than ever to alleviate the economic and fiscal challenges that are posed by Canada’s aging population and low birth rate.

Connecting immigrants with good job opportunities in other parts of Ontario would benefit them as they would be able to start their lives in Canada in communities that are more affordable than the GTA.

These communities would benefit from attracting more global talent who would be a major source of labour, consumption, and tax revenues. Meanwhile, the GTA would benefit since this would help to alleviate the infrastructure challenges it faces (e.g., public transit, affordable housing) due to the rapid population growth caused by large flows of Canadians and immigrants alike to the region.

The federal and provincial governments recognize the importance of promoting the broader distribution of immigrants across Ontario. For instance, the Canada-Ontario Immigration Agreement, which guides the relationship between the two parties, formalizes their commitment to work together on this front. In its 2019 budget, the Ontario government noted it will test new pilot programs so that smaller communities can attract more immigrants. The federal government launched a major new initiative of its own earlier this year called the Rural and Northern Immigration Pilot that aims to help communities across Canada including in northern Ontario benefit from more immigration.

In a new report that I authored for the Conference Board of Canada, I provide five additional ways that such efforts can be complemented:

  • Create an Ontario Regional Immigration Strategy
  • Refine the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program
  • Strengthen economic connections between global talent and employers
  • Market communities across Ontario
  • Build public awareness of immigration

Stakeholders such as the three levels of government, employer groups, post-secondary institutions, and immigrant-serving organizations need to come together to develop a strategy on how they can work together to achieve their shared objective of promoting immigration beyond the GTA. The strategy should comprise short- and long-term objectives with an operational plan that would enable stakeholders to measure their progress and adjust accordingly to ensure they are on the right track.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program can be refined to award more points to candidates interested in living outside of the GTA. For example, preference could be given to international students and temporary foreign workers who already live in such communities.

Immigrants will not move to these communities unless they have access to job opportunities aligned with their skills. Hence, more efforts can be taken by the likes of business groups such as chambers of commerce to guide employers on the benefits of hiring immigrants and what steps they can take to onboard global talent.

Immigrants to Canada may not know much about the benefits of living outside of the GTA. One way that lesser-known Ontario cities can put themselves on the map is by working with existing diaspora groups in their communities to connect with people of similar backgrounds overseas who are looking to move to Canada.

Finally, while finding a job is the number one priority of immigrants, they also want to arrive in a community that embraces them. Encouraging dialogue within smaller Ontario communities about the need for immigrants can help to promote more welcoming communities.

Immigrants will continue to be lured by the GTA’s vast economy and diaspora communities. Unlike the past, however, Ontario cannot afford to sit idle since the large wave of baby boomer retirements over the coming decade will create significant economic and fiscal challenges across the province.

It is high time we identify how the other 55 percent of Ontario can reap even greater economic and cultural benefits from immigration.

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Ontario, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto among the top 10 most liveable cities in the world

Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto among the top 10 most ‘liveable’ cities in the world

Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto among top 10 most liveable cities in the world

Calgary, Vancouver, Toronto among top 10 most liveable cities in the world

Canadian cities ranked high on the Global Livability Index based on stability, culture, healthcare, infrastructure, and education

Three of Canada’s biggest cities are among the 10 most liveable in the world, according to the latest Economist Intelligence Unit Global Livability Index.

Calgary, Alberta, was the highest-ranked Canadian city on the annual index, placing fifth out of the 140 cities surveyed.

Vancouver and Toronto held on to their rankings from last year, ranking sixth and seventh, respectively.

The most liveable city in the world was Vienna, Austria, for the second year in a row.

The Economist Intelligence Unit is a division of The Economist Group, which operates the popular magazine The Economist.

The 140 cities reviewed received a liveability score based on qualitative and quantitative factors under each of the following five categories:

  • Stability: This category examines the prevalence of crime and the threat of terror, military conflict or civil unrest.
  • Healthcare: This category focuses on the availability and quality of private and public healthcare, over-the-counter drugs and other general healthcare indicators.
  • Culture and Environment: This category looks at temperature rating; climate; the level of corruption; social or religious restrictions; food and drink; and other social components.
  • Education: This category covers the availability and quality of private and public education.
  • Infrastructure: An assessment of the quality of roads, public transportation, availability of housing, and other elements.

If a city gets a rating of 100 in a specific category it means the conditions are ideal, whereas a rating of 1 is considered intolerable.

How Calgary, Vancouver, and Toronto fared

Calgary’s overall liveability score was 97.5; aided by perfect scores in four of the five categories; only its Culture and Environment score came up short at 90 out of 100.

Vancouver was the only city in the top 10 to receive a perfect score in the Culture and Environment category and also scored 100 in both Healthcare and Education. However, it came up short in the Infrastructure and Stability categories with scores of 92.9 and 95, respectively.

Toronto earned perfect scores in Stability, Healthcare and Education, but was the lowest-ranked in the top 10 for Infrastructure at 89.3. Its score in Culture and Environment was 97.2.

Calgary for newcomers

Calgary is a top destination for the oil and gas industry.

It is the largest city in Alberta, and the fourth-largest in Canada at 1.2 million people.

Data from the 2016 StatsCan census profile shows that Calgary gained more immigrants compared to the rest of the province between 2011 and 2016.

During this period 46 percent of all immigrants to Alberta moved to Calgary.

The Government of Alberta offers several options for foreigners interested in immigrating to Alberta through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP).

Currently, the AINP has three streams:

Alberta Opportunity Stream — This stream is for eligible candidates in specific in-demand occupations.

Alberta Self-Employed Farmer Stream — this option is for international farmers who want to own and operate a farm in Alberta.

Alberta Express Entry Stream — The Express Entry system is the Canadian Government’s main source of skilled foreign talent. Alberta’s Express Entry Stream allows the province to search the Express Entry pool for candidates who match its economic development priorities.

Vancouver, Hollywood North

Vancouver, British Columbia, is Canada’s third most populous city, home to over 2.4 million people. Many films and TV shows are produced in Vancouver, which is the third-largest film production location in North America.

More than 142,000 immigrants came to Vancouver between 2011 and 2016, accounting for 81 percent of all immigrants to B.C.

There are two main immigration streams under the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP):

  • Entrepreneur Immigration — This stream is for international entrepreneurs who want to invest and settle in B.C.
  • Skills Immigration (including Express Entry British Columbia) — The BC PNP holds weekly draws for eligible candidates in several Skills Immigration and Express Entry British Columbia subcategories.

Toronto tech hub

Canada’s largest city, Toronto, Ontario, has a technology sector that is directly competing with Silicon Valley and Seattle. It’s estimated that 80,100 tech jobs have been created in Toronto since 2013.

Around 76 percent of immigrants who moved to Ontario between 2011 and 2016 chose Toronto as their new home. Of the 6.4 million people who call the Greater Toronto Area home, 46 percent are immigrants.

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP) accepts applications under three immigration categories:

  • Human Capital Category — This category has five immigration streams, including three that are linked to Canada’s Express Entry system. One of these, the Human Capital Priorities Stream, now holds occasional draws targeting Express Entry candidates with work experience in specific tech occupations.
  • Employer Job Offer Category — Foreign workers and international students with an eligible job offer from an Ontario employer may be eligible under one of this category’s three streams.
  • Business Category — Foreign entrepreneurs who want to establish or buy a business in Ontario can express their interest to the OINP under this category.
Posted in British Columbia, Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Toronto, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment