Raising immigration levels would benefit Canada

Raising immigration levels would benefit Canada, study finds

Raising immigration levels would benefit Canada

Raising immigration levels would benefit Canada

Raising Canada’s current annual intake of 300,000 immigrants could greatly help Canadians overcome the mounting challenges posed by an aging population and low birth rate, the Conference Board of Canada says.

“Our forecast suggests that the status quo would be best for improving real gross domestic product per capita, but would have the smallest impact on alleviating Canada’s economic and fiscal pressures,” it says in a new report, “450,000 Immigrants Annually?” released Monday.

“Immigration has a small effect on domestic workers. As such, it does not appear likely that higher levels would have an adverse impact on wages and employment rates in Canada.”

Using the country’s current yearly immigration level of 0.82 percent of the population as the base, the study projected how higher intake percentages — 1 percent and 1.11 percent — would impact Canada’s population size, its population aged 65 and over, workers-per-retiree ratio, GDP, GDP per capita and health-care costs.

The projections were made assuming the composition of immigrants remains unchanged: 60 percent in the economic class, 28 percent in family class and 12 percent as refugees.

In the status quo scenario, the country’s GDP, or economic performance, would grow at an average annual rate of 1.85 percent between 2017 and 2040.

The GDP growth would reach 1.94 percent and 2.05 percent over the same period if the annual immigration levels were increased to 1 percent and 1.11 percent, respectively, the 44-page study by the conference board’s National Immigration Centre says.

In 2016, people age 65 and over made up 16.5 percent of Canada’s total population. The share will continue to rise in the coming years, reaching 24 percent by 2040.

The country’s current natural population increase (births minus deaths) adds roughly 114,000 people to the population, but the report said it will progressively drop to nearly zero by 2033 as the number of deaths surpasses births.

“We forecast that immigration will begin to account for all of Canada’s population growth by 2033, assuming that the annual immigration rate remains around 0.82 percent of the population,” said the report.

Under the status quo, seniors would reach 24 percent of the population by 2040, with the workers-to-retirees ratio dropping from 3.64 in 2017 to 2.37. Over the same period, aging will cause health-care costs to rise by an average of 4.66-percent annually, accounting for 42.6 percent of provincial revenues, up from 35 percent in 2017.

In the medium immigration scenario at 1 percent, seniors would make up 23.2 percent of the population; each worker would stand to support 2.44 retirees; and health-care costs would equal 40.7 percent of provincial revenues, almost two percentage points less than the status quo scenario.

Increasing the annual immigration intake to 1.11 percent of the population could further slow the aging of the population, bringing Canada’s over-65 demographic down to 22.5 percent, the workers-per-retiree ratio to 2.53 and the health-care share of the provincial revenues to 40.5 percent.

While the GDP per capita increases across all three scenarios, it is lower in the medium and high immigration scenarios compared to the status quo. The report said this does not imply the living standards of the average Canadians would be negatively affected.

“The medium and high scenarios … reduce the proportion of the population that is 65 and over, reduce health-care costs as a share of provincial revenues and slightly improve the workers-per-retirees ratio in comparison to the status quo,” the study pointed out.

The report, however, cautions Ottawa to address the long-standing challenges immigrants face in the job market in order to reap the full potential of immigration.

“There could be negative economic and fiscal consequences, especially if immigration levels increase and Canada does not effectively address the labour market challenges that immigrants commonly face,” the study says.

“With Canada becoming more reliant on immigrants to meet its labour market needs, the success of its immigration system will greatly depend on its ability to improve the labour market outcomes of immigrants, expand its absorptive capacity and maintain public support for immigration.”

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Once you have finished your studies in Australia what you will do

Once you have finished your studies in Australia what you will do

Once you have finished your studies in Australia what you will do

Once you have finished your studies in Australia what you will do

When your studies in Australia come to an end, you have a range of options. Most institutions will provide you with information about your options once you have graduated, as well as advice on returning home, migrating and gaining employment. You might choose to do one of the following:

  • Complete further studies
  • Return to your home country
  • Extend your stay in Australia
  • Apply for permanent residency
  • Complete further studies

Many international students choose to stay on in Australia to complete further studies or gain a higher qualification (progressing from a bachelor degree to an honors year or masters degree, for example). Continuing your studies will enable you to maximise your time in Australia and gain more advanced qualifications and skills that will assist you in gaining employment. You may choose to continue studying at your current institution or move to a different institution (or even a different city) to try a new experience.

If you wish to continue your studies in Australia, you will need to:

  • Lodge an application for a new Student Visa from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection before your current visa expires
  • Make sure you have enough money to continue paying for your studies and living expenses
  • Extend your Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC)
  • Apply for your chosen course by the deadline.

Return to your home country

If you do not wish to travel, live or work in Australia after you graduate, you will most likely be returning to your home country. After years of living in Australia, it can be difficult to pack everything up and move. You will need to cancel services such as electricity, bank accounts, and your mobile phone account; pay final bills; sell any large items that you can’t take home with you, and (if you are renting) end your lease and hand back the keys.

Extend your stay in Australia

There are many reasons why international students may wish to stay in Australia after their studies are completed. Visit the Extending Your Stay section of the Department of Immigration and Border Protection website for more information.

If you don’t intend on completing further studies, you may wish to extend your time in Australia to work or travel. While you will no longer receive a student visa, there are a range of other temporary visa options that you can apply for through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection. You may wish to extend your stay for the following reasons:

Travel: Many students decide to take a break when they finish their studies before they return home or start looking for a full-time job. Australia is a large, beautiful and diverse country — if you want to spend some time exploring the country, a Tourist Visa is a good option that will let you stay in the country for a period of up to three, six or 12 months. If you wish to work in order to fund your travels, you will need to apply for a Working Holiday Visa (see below).

Attend your graduation ceremony: Those wishing to stay in Australia to attend their Australian graduation ceremony are also able to apply for a Tourist Visa from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection to extend their stay. Many Australian institutions also hold graduation ceremonies overseas, which may allow you to return home after completing your studies and attend a graduation ceremony closer to home.

Take a working holiday: People aged between 18 and 30 from approved countries are able to apply for a Working Holiday Visa or a Work and Holiday Visa from the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, both of which allow you to work and travel in Australia for up to 12 months.

Continue working for your current employer: If you wish to stay working with your current employer and they are willing to sponsor you either temporarily or permanently through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Employer Nomination Scheme, you are able to live and work in Australia for as long as you work for that employer.

Gain professional work experience: Engineering, accounting, and computer science graduates are able to complete a Professional Year Program, which is a structured 12-month program designed to help them develop industry-specific skills through study and work experience. This program is ideal for students who want to qualify for permanent residency in Australia — those who complete a program earn an extra five points in the skilled migrant visa points test.

Develop your skills: The Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Temporary Graduate Visa (Subclass 485) allows international students to remain in Australia for up to 18 months after they complete their studies to travel, gain work experience or improve their English language skills. This is a good option for students who wish to extend their stay for quite some time and work towards achieving permanent residency. The post-study work stream of this visa allows international students completing an Australian bachelor, masters or doctoral degree to remain in Australia to gain practical work experience after they graduate. Graduates of bachelor and masters by coursework degrees can apply for a two-year work visa at the completion of their degree; masters by research graduates are eligible for a three-year visa, and Ph.D. graduates can apply for a four-year work visa.

Apply for permanent residency

Many international students enjoy their time in Australia so much that they apply for permanent residency so they can continue to live and work in Australia. You can express your interest in applying for permanent residency through the Department of Immigration and Border Protection’s Skill Select migration program, which could lead to permanent residency through a Skilled Independent Visa, the Employer Nomination Scheme or the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme. For more information, see the Migrating to Australia section.

After having your skills assessed through a points test (resulting in a points score), you may then be invited to apply for a visa. Those students who do not pass the points test or meet the requirements of Skill Select may be able to complete further studies or apply for one of the temporary visa options above to stay in Australia and develop their skills.

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International students guide to working in Australia

International students guide to working in Australia

International students guide to working in Australia

International students guide to working in Australia

While you are studying as an international student, you are automatically granted permission to work in Australia. You can work a total of 40 hours per fortnight during the semester and unlimited hours during the holidays. This arrangement is valid throughout your course, however, once your student visa expires, you are no longer able to legally work.

So, what are your options to work in Australia once you have completed your studies?

Skilled migration visas

Once you have completed your studies, Australia is still keen to keep you employed and use your skills to build and contribute to the economy and society. There is no automatic right for graduates to stay in Australia once studies are complete and you will need to go through the same process as other migrants. This means meeting the criteria of the points system. You will be allocated a number of points based on:

  • Your English language ability
  • The current demand for your specialist occupation
  • Being aged between 19 and 44
  • The length and breadth of your work experience
  • The types of qualifications you have gained in Australia
  • Whether you have an employer lined up who could sponsor you to stay.

The types of visas available for skilled migrants

There are a number of visas designed to keep you in the country for longer.

485 Skilled Graduate Temporary Visa

The most common visa available to international students after they graduate. If you have completed at least two years of study in Australia, this visa allows you to stay another 18 months to gain work experience.

402 Training and Research Visa

Similar in scope to the 485, the 402 is designed for students to improve their work skills by staying in the country for two years. However, it does require sponsorship from an employer.

487 Regional Sponsored Visa

A pathway to permanent residency, the 487 Regional Sponsored Visa allows you to work for three years, with sponsorship, in a regional area.

887 Skilled Regional Residence Visa

If you have already lived in Australia for two years, you may be eligible for this visa. It awards you permanent residency and is valid for work in a regional setting. You must have a year of work experience and meet the point’s requirement.

885 Skilled Independent Residence Visa

This visa enables you to live as a permanent resident and work without needing to be sponsored. It has more stringent requirements than other post-graduation visas.

886 Skilled Sponsor Resident Visa

Similar to the 885 visa, the 886 visa allows an overseas student to apply for permanent residency and work while being sponsored by an employer.

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