Manitoba plans to give STEM graduates opportunity to apply for PR

Manitoba plans to give STEM graduates opportunity to apply for PR

Manitoba plans to give STEM graduates opportunity to apply for PR

Manitoba plans to give STEM graduates opportunity to apply for PR

Manitoba, the Canadian province, is introducing an International Education Stream, giving international STEM graduates an opportunity to apply for permanent residency immediately after they complete their studies.

This new scheme has been termed ‘generous’ because it will let some recent graduates directly apply for permanent residency, even if they have not been offered a job. The program at the outset appears to be a measure to keep up with the successful ‘Stay in Scotia’ campaign of Nova Scotia that gives international students a pathway to stay in this North American country after they complete their studies.

But Ben Rempel, Manitoba’s assistant deputy minister of immigration and economic opportunities, was quoted by The PIE News as saying that the new technique of the province is actually targeted at students who switched to other study programs to improve their chances of settling in Canada.

Rempel said that students were opting for the quickest programs, though they were not aligned with their career interests, and were employed in jobs that weren’t actually improving those career goals to be able to be eligible for a nomination.

He added that their goal, in a nutshell, was to make them study in the courses that were appropriate and crucial for their career opportunities, and they wanted the students to find and attain success in a job opportunity where they could use that training.

Any international STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) student who has completed an internship or an equivalent as part of a master’s or a doctoral program in Manitoba will be eligible to apply for residency immediately after he/she graduates.

Eligible to apply are bachelor’s students, but they need to have a job offer in hand related to their field of study, and that job ought to be on the province’s approved list of in-demand occupations.

Also eligible to apply to Manitoba Stream’s Skilled Workers are international students, who completed their studies in other provinces in Canada.

This is not a novel idea in Canada because almost all provinces in the country have a kind of post-study work pathway for foreign students. When the Manitoba scheme gets underway in April 2018, only Alberta will be the province of Canada not to have such a scheme. Meanwhile, the federal government of Canada also has other post-study work routes.

According to Rempel, the government of Manitoba will view this new program as the first move to advance potential pathway choices for the province’s students.

He concluded by saying that this was the beginning and if new pathways, which are innovative and responsive, are found meeting the demands of specific industries or sectors, they would surely pursue them.

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The Evolution of New Express Entry Report

The Evolution of New Express Entry Report

The Evolution of New Express Entry Report

The Evolution of New Express Entry Report

No job offer? No problem, new Express Entry report confirms

90% of invitations in the first half of 2017 went to candidates without a Canadian job offer

New statistics released by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) reveal that Express Entry candidates without a Canadian job offer have been the big beneficiaries of targeted improvements to the way candidates are ranked.

According to IRCC, 90 percent of Express Entry candidates who received an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in the first half of 2017 did not have a Canadian job offer, up from 62 percent in the 11 months before IRCC reduced the number of points it awards for a job offer in November 2016.

The data confirms that this move has significantly shifted the number of ITAs for Canadian permanent residence in favour of candidates with higher so-called human capital scores, namely candidates in Express Entry’s Federal Skilled Worker Class.

Human capital factors include age, proficiency in English and French, education, and work experience. Combined, they provide what is known as a candidate’s core Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, which can reach a maximum of 600 points. In its study, IRCC says “these factors are strongly correlated to higher earning potential.”

The change to additional CRS points for a Canadian job offer saw them cut from 600 to between 50 and 200 points, depending on the position.

Other changes were also introduced at the same time, namely points for Canadian study, and the broadening of what constitutes a qualifying job, and an increase in the amount of time that candidates with an ITA had to submit their completed applications for Canadian permanent residence.

The data released by IRCC compares the 11.5 months prior to the changes and a roughly six-month period after they were introduced, from November 19, 2016, to May 31, 2017.

IRCC’s comparison confirms the following:

  1. The proportion of invited candidates without a Canadian job offer rose from 62 percent to 90 percent.
  2. The proportion of invited candidates who studied in Canada has increased from 30 percent to 40 percent.
  3. The proportion of Federal Skilled Worker candidates invited to apply increased from 25 percent to 48 percent.
  4. The number of profiles deemed eligible for the Express Entry pool increased as a result of the changes.
  5. The changes resulted in shifts in the occupations and countries of citizenship of candidates being invited to apply.
  6. The changes helped narrow the gender gap among invited candidates.

Number of ITAs issued to candidates with and without job offers,

and with and without Canadian study experience

  Pre-November 2016 changes Post-November 2016 changes
With job offer 10,795 (38%) 5,151 (10%)
Without job offer 17,614 (62%) 48,098 (90%)
With Canadian study experience 8,592 (30%) 21,433 (40%)
No Canadian study experience 19,817 (70%) 31,816 (60%)

*Pre-November 2016 changes cover the period from January 1, 2016, to November 18, 2016. Post-November 2016 changes cover the period from November 19, 2016, to May 31, 2017.

More skilled worker ITAs

While a job offer is not necessary to submit an Express Entry profile or apply for permanent residence, the 600 additional points that one resulted in prior to the November 2016 changes provided a significant advantage to candidates who had one. A core CRS score of 200 rose to 800 with a job offer, putting an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence within reach.

That’s now changed with the reduction in job offer points, which IRCC says is making candidates in the Express Entry pool more reliant on their human capital scores for an ITA.

Prior to the CRS modifications, 45 percent of all candidates who received an ITA had a core CRS score under 400, a figure that dropped to 11 percent after the CRS improvements were introduced. In the first five months of 2017, the average core CRS score of invited candidates was 417.

While Canadian job offers have become less relevant, some factors that can significantly improve a candidate’s CRS score have become more prominent since November 2016, namely Provincial Nominee Programs that still result in an additional 600 CRS points. The study showed 3,722 ITAs issued to Express Entry candidates with provincial nominations in the first half of 2017.

Another product of the November 2016 changes is the fact that 48 percent of all candidates invited to apply in the first half of 2017 were candidates in the Federal Skilled Worker Class. Prior to the CRS changes, FSW candidates accounted for 25 percent of invitations through Express Entry. IRCC said it expects these candidates to become the “main source of invitations” with the continuation of larger draws from the Express Entry pool.

“IRCC’s findings confirm what we’ve been witnessing in Express Entry, namely the system’s growing emphasis on human capital scores,” says Attorney David Cohen, senior partner at the immigration law firm Cohen Campbell in Montreal.

“Dropping the value of a job offer has brought more objectivity to Express Entry’s ranking system, and that’s good news for candidates who are relying on their core CRS scores. Candidates should also remember that Express Entry’s ranking system is dynamic, meaning their scores, and their ranking, can be improved.”

Shifting occupation rankings

IRCC says the drop in job offer points also “appears to have had a significant impact” on the occupation mix of invited Express Entry candidates.

For example, prior to the change, Industrial, Electrical and Construction Trades (NOC 72) ranked fourth in the top 10 occupations represented by invited Express Entry candidates thanks to the 600 additional job offer points. After they were reduced, these trades dropped to 14th overall by June 2017.

Top 10 occupation categories of invited Express Entry candidates after job offer change

NOC 21 – Professional occupations in natural and applied sciences

NOC 11 – Professional occupations in business and finance

NOC 01-05 – Specialized middle management occupations

NOC 12 – Administrative and financial supervisors

NOC 22 – Technical occupations related to natural and applied sciences

NOC 40 – Professional occupations in education services

NOC 62 – Retail sales supervisors and specialized sales occupations

NOC 31 – Professional occupations in health (except Nursing)

NOC 05 – Middle management in retail and wholesale trade and customer services

NOC 63 – Service supervisors and specialized service occupations

Canadian study points producing more eligible profiles

IRCC describes former international students, defined as any candidate with a Canadian education credential above high school, as “a key source of candidates in Express Entry because of their age, education, skills and experience.”

The move to award points for Canadian study was made to both encourage and facilitate their transition to permanent residence.  Since the change took effect, IRCC reports the average number of eligible profile submissions by former international students rising to 3,481 per month, up from an average of 1,866 per month in the pre-change period of 2016. “Introducing these new additional points, in conjunction with larger round sizes that progressively decrease the CRS cut-off score, likely provide incentives for more former international students to submit Express Entry profile,” the report says.

The advent of Canadian study points has coincided with a 10 percent rise in the proportion of ITAs issued to candidates with a Canadian education credential over the pre-change period in 2016.

Invitations by country of citizenship

Citizens of India were issued the most ITAs, both before and after the job offer change, with their share jumping by 12 percentage points after the change from 31 percent of ITAs to 43 percent. Chinese citizens were second, with 10 percent post-change. Nigerian citizens placed third, with their share rising by two percentage points to five percent of all ITAs in the six months after the job offer change in November 2016.

Countries whose citizens saw their numbers drop after the changes included the United Kingdom (five percent to three percent) and the United States (four percent to two percent).

Application time limit extension

IRCC says its move to give invited candidates 90 days to submit their application to permanent residence in November 2016 allows candidates more time to collect the necessary documentation and submit a complete application.

Over the 11 months prior to the change, 10 percent of applicants missed the deadline, which at the time was 60 days after their ITA was received. IRCC says the addition of 30 days has cut the number of late submissions to two percent.

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Will Australian citizenship requirements change in 2018?

Will Australian citizenship requirements change in 2018?

Will Australian citizenship requirements change in 2018?

Will Australian citizenship requirements change in 2018?

Will Australian citizenship requirements change in 2018?

Though a date has not been set for bringing the bill back to the Parliament, the Home Affairs website has shared the new requirements for citizenship which will come into effect from July 1st 2018

On October 18th 2017, before the controversial citizenship bill was struck down, the Government proposed amendments to the Citizenship Bill.

Immigration Minister Peter Dutton’s last-ditch effort to water down the English requirement from ‘competent’ to ‘modest’ and delay the implementation to July 2018 failed after the government missed the deadline in the Senate, thus striking off the bill by default.

The Australian Citizenship Legislation Amendment (Strengthening the Requirements for Australian Citizenship and Other Measures) Bill 2017 saw staunch opposition from Labor, the Greens and the Nick Xenophon Team.

However, Mr. Dutton is determined to make those changes. A day after the bill was struck down; he said the government had not abandoned the bill.

Mr. Dutton said he won’t abandon the changes to Australia’s citizenship laws.

“Our discussions with the independent senators will continue because we will not be distracted by a political stunt in the Senate between the Labor Party and the Greens,” Mr. Dutton had said.

“They (Labor) have been caught out dancing again intimately with the Greens and if they are putting their own political interests ahead of the national interest, they should be condemned for that.”

WHAT ARE THE NEW REQUIREMENTS?

As a result of the proposed amendments and subject to the passage of legislation, the new requirements for citizenship include:

Increasing the general residence requirement, which means applicants for Australian citizenship, will need to have a minimum of four years permanent residence immediately prior to their application for citizenship with no more than one year spent outside Australia during that period

Completing a separate English language test, where applicants will need to demonstrate English language listening, speaking, reading and writing skills at the modest level before applying for citizenship by conferral

Strengthening the Australian values statement to include reference to allegiance to Australia and requiring applicants to undertake to integrate into and contribute to the Australian community

Strengthening the test for Australian citizenship through the addition of new test questions about Australian values and the privileges and responsibilities of Australian citizenship

A requirement for applicants to demonstrate their integration into the Australian community

Strengthening the pledge to refer to allegiance to Australia, and extending the requirement to make the pledge to applicants aged 16 years and over for all streams of citizenship by application, including citizenship by descent, adoption and resumption.

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