Indian-Americans hold rally to support merit-based immigration

Indian-Americans hold rally to support merit-based immigration

Indian-Americans hold rally to support merit-based immigration

Indian-Americans hold rally to support merit-based immigration

Several hundred highly-skilled Indians workers, in long agonising green card wait, along with their children and spouses held a rally in front of the White House here in support of President Donald Trump’s plan for a merit-based immigration system that among other things ends chain migration and diversity lottery visa.

Flying to the US capital from as far as California, Texas and Chicago and driving several hundred miles from places like Florida, Florida and Massachusetts, these highly skilled Indians, living in the US for the past several years and in many cases for more than a decade, urged Trump to end the per country limit on legal permanent residency so as to eliminate the massive Green Card backlog of highly skilled Indians.

“We are looking strictly for a merit-based immigration. That will bring prosperity and fast economic growth of the US,” Krishna Bansal, national policy and political director of Republican Hindu Coalition, told the rally of highly skilled Indians, who want to make the US now their permanent home.

“We are with President Trump for taking initiative towards a merit-based immigration system,” Bansal said, adding that his group is working with the White House and lawmakers towards a comprehensive immigration bill that should include all these things.

Giving green cards to thousands of highly skilled professionals from India would help them realise their full potential and boost country’s growth and prosperity, he said.

The participants, many of the software engineers, at yesterday’s rally had banner and posters with slogans like ‘Cut Green Card backlog’, ‘strictly merit-based point system’, ‘end country limit’, ‘we need to support legal dreamers’, and ‘We support Trump.’

This was one of the rare pro-Trump immigration rallies at the White House.

“Green Card backlogs have been taunting most High Skilled Immigrants who have come to this country for a better life. The wait expectancy for a Green Card for a High Skilled immigrant from India tends to be somewhat from 12 Years to 70+ Years, hen most of the world can get their Green Card in less than 2 years,” said Akshita Ramesh, 13, a student of Ronald Regan Middle School in Virginia.

Thanjavur-born, Akshita was one and half year old when she moved to the US along with her father Ramesh Ranathan, who is in the IT profession and had a H-1B visa.

Describing herself as legal H-4 dreamer, Akshita said the current green card waiting period for Indians means that her parents are unlikely to get legal permanent residency for next few decades.

“I have always known I was born in India, and that I was on H4 Visa with my dad having an approved petition to apply for Green Card, but I didn’t know about everything to the full extent. I didn’t know that being on a H4 could mean that it will be much harder for colleges to accept me, no matter how good my grades are,” she said.

“I didn’t know that having a H4 until 21 would mean possibly getting pretty much ‘kicked out’ of the US, the only home I’ve ever known, the land that I felt all the happiness of achievement, and the burning anger of disappointment,” Akshita said in a passionate plea.

“And all of this just because I was born in a different country that I barely even lived in? Don’t you think that’s unfair?” she said, adding that she feels that her dreams would be shattered.

“It sounds scary when I think the day I would turn 21, I would be made to feel a bit like an outcast, or a misfit in the country that I grew up in, how would you feel if you were the only one kid in an area who will be stamped as an alien, a foreigner when you turn 21, even though you’ve lived in the country your whole life?” she asked.

“I urge all lawmakers and the President to hear me and support us in every way you can to solve the backlogs ASAP, and guarantee that this problem is solved once and for all, and no single ambitious kid and parent will have to go through the same scenario as me,” Akshita said.

According to Republican Hindu Coalition, there are nearly 200,000 children of legal immigrants-in-line from India, who have never broken the law, but who simply age out at 21 and have to go back, because their parents have a 60 year wait to get their green card after it is approved.

“US Economy if it was to grow four per cent per year will need another 400,000 high-skilled workers added to the work force each year. Immigration reform needs to address this issue as well. The Hindu and Indian community has some anxiety related to Immigration issues,” said Anil Sharma a member of the organizing team.

Souptik Mukherjee, another member, said that for the high skilled professional with advanced degrees the green card wait seems to be endless. “Any initiative to move towards a merit- based immigration.

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Manitoba invites 546 candidates to apply for provincial nomination

Manitoba invites 546 candidates to apply for provincial nomination

Manitoba invites 546 candidates to apply for provincial nomination

Manitoba invites 546 candidates to apply for provincial nomination

Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program

Latest draw includes 148 Letters of Advice to Apply issued to Express Entry candidates

Manitoba has conducted a new draw under its Expression of Interest system, including 148 invitations issued through its new Express Entry Pathway.

Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP) said it issued 148 Letters of Advice to Apply (LAAs) to Express Entry candidates who have a job seeker validation code and at least six months of recent experience in an occupation on the MPNP’s In-Demand Occupations List.

The lowest-ranked Express Entry candidate invited had a ranking score under Manitoba’s Expression of Interest (EOI) system of 560.

A total of 191 candidates in the Skilled Workers in Manitoba were also issued LAAs, with the lowest-ranked candidate having an EOI ranking score of 647.

A further 64 candidates were issued LAAs under a Strategic Recruitment Initiative through the Skilled Workers Overseas Stream, with the lowest-ranked candidate having a score 647.

Strategic Recruitment Initiatives include:

  • Recruitment missions. These overseas employment/immigration fairs involve MPNP representatives interviewing foreign skilled workers and subsequently inviting them to apply after they have made a formal Expression of Interest (EOI) to the MPNP.
  • Exploratory visits. The MPNP may invite people who have undertaken a pre-approved Exploratory Visit and passed an interview with a program official.

An additional 143 LAAs were issued to skilled workers outside the province who met the following criteria:

  • A close relative residing in Manitoba or past education or work experience in Manitoba;
  • At least six months of recent experience in an occupation on Manitoba’s In-demand Occupations list; and
  • A minimum language proficiency of CLB 5 unless work experience is primarily in a regulated occupation (minimum 7) or a compulsory trade (CLB 6).

The lowest-ranked candidate in this category had a score of 605.

This was the second EOI draw to invite candidates through the MPNP’s new Express Entry Pathway, which was created as part of a general restructuring of the MPNP in November 2017.

Express Entry candidates who apply successfully for a provincial nomination receive an additional 600 points toward their Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score, putting an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence well within reach.

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Canadian Immigration: Express Entry Explained

Canadian Immigration: Express Entry Explained

Canadian Immigration: Express Entry Explained

Canadian Immigration: Express Entry Explained

Immigrating to Canada is a goal shared by millions around the world, so what can you do to distinguish yourself and improve your chances of success? Quite a lot, in fact. Join us on Thursday, March 8 at 10:00 a.m. EST for a live webinar featuring Canadian immigration lawyer David Cohen, who will teach you a few tricks of his trade, including:

  • Tips for perfecting your profile.
  • The advantage of proactive preparation.

As a senior partner at the immigration law firm Campbell Cohen, David has more than 40 years’ experience helping clients achieve their Canadian dream.

What You Can Expect

With its switch to the merit-based Express Entry economic immigration system in 2015, Canada’s immigrant selection process is now largely determined by so-called human capital factors that include age, proficiency in English and/or French, education, and work experience in Canada and/or abroad.

Express Entry is used to manage applications for three of Canada’s economic immigration categories: the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and the Canadian Experience Class.

Under what’s called the Comprehensive Ranking System, or CRS, Express Entry candidates receive a core score based on their human capital factors and combinations thereof, up to a maximum of 600 points. This score, combined with possible additional factors, provides them with their ranking in the Express Entry pool.

The beauty of the Express Entry system for candidates is that it’s dynamic. This means your score isn’t fixed but can be improved if you’re willing to put in the effort.

There are benefits to submitting the most accurate profile possible (also, there are penalties for submitting an inaccurate profile). Here are a few of the points we will touch on in this regard:

Best language score possible: A Federal Skilled Worker candidate who is fluent in English but does not have a great language test score might enter the pool with only the minimum required proficiency. However, by improving their test results, candidates can increase their score by up to 118 points. It is also worth noting that for candidates with a spouse, there are 20 points available for a spouse demonstrating his or her language proficiency.

Get your education evaluated: A candidate in the Canadian Experience Class may enter the pool with no Education Credential Assessment (ECA) and then increase their score by up to 200 points by having a degree assessed. Even a Federal Skilled Worker candidate with two bachelor’s degrees might only have one of them assessed in order to enter the pool and be missing out on another possible 58 points for their second degree. Candidates with a spouse may also be entitled to 10 points for their spouse’s demonstrated education.

Declaring work experience correctly: A Federal Skilled Worker candidate may have claimed only one year of full-time continuous skilled work experience when entering the pool. But what if they also have a year or more of work experience in a different occupation, and several years of part-time work? For candidates who have never worked in Canada, leaving out this experience may cost them up to 25 points. Candidates with Canadian work experience may be depriving themselves of over 100 points.

Candidates should also determine the proper occupation classification for each year they worked and add years beyond the maximum CRS score. This is also important for Provincial Nominee Programs that may need a candidate with work experience in a specific occupation (IT manager vs. programmer, for example). For more on these programs, keep reading!

Proactive Preparation

“Be prepared” aren’t just words for Scouts to live by, but a motto for every candidate in the Express Entry pool. It’s important that you proactively prepare all the documents required should you receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through Express Entry.

Here are some of the main points we’ll discuss on the topic of proactive preparation:

Express Entry’s 90-day ITA window: From the moment you receive an ITA, you have 90 days to submit your application for permanent residence. Some of the required documents can take a while to obtain, like work experience letters, so don’t wait until the last minute to request them. More than 40 percent of applications for permanent residence submitted in the first five months of 2017 were received in the last 30 days of the 90-day period, which is too close for comfort.

Provincial Nominee Programs: Most Canadian provinces and territories have what’s called a Provincial Nomination Program (PNP) that allows them to nominate an allotted number of immigrants each year for permanent residence. Many PNPs have at least one stream that’s aligned with the Express Entry system, some of which operate on a first-come, first-served basis. Having the necessary documents ready to go when one of those streams opens is crucial because they tend to reach their quotas quickly. The payoff? An Express Entry candidate with a provincial nomination gets an additional 600 points towards their CRS score, putting an ITA well within reach. The following are examples of Express-Entry-aligned PNPs:

  • Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream (opened multiple times in 2017)
  • Saskatchewan’s International Skilled Worker—Express Entry sub-category (opened five times in 2017)
  • Nova Scotia’s Demand: Express Entry (opened three times in 2017)
  • Manitoba Skilled Worker Overseas—Express Entry Pathway (new in 2018, already opened once)

Open Mind, More Options

Proactive preparation paired with an open mind in terms of where you’re willing to reside in Canada can increase your likelihood of obtaining an ITA. Toronto may be your first destination of choice, but PNPs in other provinces may offer a faster track to permanent residence. As noted above, Saskatchewan and Nova Scotia have some of Canada’s most active Express Entry-aligned PNPs, and they could very well be your ticket to Canadian permanent residence.

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