Canada named No. 1 destination for 2017

Canada named No. 1 destination for 2017: a nation of ‘tolerance and hope’

Canada named No. 1 destination for 2017: a nation of ‘tolerance and hope’

Canada named No. 1 destination for 2017: a nation of ‘tolerance and hope’

For being a beacon of hope, welcoming refugees and immigrants with open arms and for its unspoiled environments and dynamic cities, Canada has been named the Travel + Leisure magazine’s Destination of the Year 2017.

The praise and accolades are enough to make any Canuck blush.

They come fast and furious in the U.S. travel magazine’s editorial, which pays homage to their northern neighbour.

“In 2017 all signs pointed north,” editors wrote, adding that Canada has become an influential global leader — “a nation defined by tolerance and hope.”

To determine the winner, experts looked for destinations that best capture the travel zeitgeist of the moment.

Along with celebrating a milestone anniversary — Canada marked its 150th anniversary this year — the country distinguished itself during a particularly divisive time, editors said, presenting itself as a “unifier of communities and cultures.”

The result? Global interest in the country, which has long languished quietly under the shadow of its formidable U.S. neighbour, has grown significantly, with its world-class cities, “epic natural wonders,” and burgeoning, creative food and arts scenes, finally coming to light.

Past No. 1 destinations include Portugal, which was crowned the 2016 Destination of the Year, and Cuba in 2015.

Trump slump

Travel + Leisure isn’t the only publication to shine the spotlight on Canada this year. Back in 2016, experts at Lonely Planet also named Canada as their pick for the top country to visit in 2017.

Likewise, the findings of a recent industry report from market research provider Euromonitor International suggest that Canada will stand to gain from the “Trump slump” phenomenon and the U.S. president’s controversial administration.

Unveiled at the World Travel Market in London, England, last week, analysts credited Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, described as “young, trendy, clever, articulate and welcoming” as a boon for Canadian tourism.

“Canadian cities Toronto and Vancouver are in a strong growth period, as the low Canadian dollar ensures Canada is an affordable holiday destination for many,” analysts wrote.

Canada is also likely benefiting from some substitution effect, as its current political vision is the near-opposite of its southern neighbour, advocating openness and stronger ties with other countries.”

Travel + Leisure’s comprehensive guide to the best of Canada hits newsstands Dec. 1.

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Ontario reaches nomination allocation for 2017

Ontario reaches nomination allocation for 2017

Ontario reaches nomination allocation for 2017

Ontario reaches nomination allocation for 2017

The Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP), one of Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs, has reached its provincial nomination allocation for 2017.

The announcement caps a busy year for the OINP, which accepts applications under 10 different immigration streams. Canada’s most populous province had been allotted 6,000 nominations for the year and the OINP announced November 22 that this total had been reached.

The OINP said all paid applications that have already been submitted will be processed. Approved applications will receive a provincial nomination certificate in early 2018 and applicants will be notified at that time.

Active year for Human Capital Priorities, International Graduate streams

It was an especially active year for the OINP’s popular Express Entry-linked Human Capital Priorities (HCP) Stream, which allows Ontario immigration authorities to search the federal Express Entry pool for eligible potential applicants who can integrate quickly into the province’s labour market.

The HCP stream opened and closed on a number of occasions in 2017, most recently in November. For a period in May, NOIs were issued through the HCP stream on a weekly basis. In June, the stream briefly removed the requirement to have at least 400 Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points for certain candidates with work experience in the Information and Communications Technology Sector.

The past year also saw the OINP’s International Masters and PhD Graduate streams open on a number of occasions. Both streams allow international students with a Master’s or Ph.D. degree obtained in Ontario to live and work permanently in the province. Applicants without a job offer can apply.

New and improved streams

In addition to the Human Capital Priorities Stream, the OINP introduced a third Express Entry-aligned stream for skilled trades workers in 2017. Ontario also has an Express Entry-linked French-Speaking Skilled Worker streams.

The new Express Entry Skilled Trades Stream targets Express Entry candidates with experience in Ontario in the construction and agricultural sectors and invites them to apply based on labour market needs within those industries. The OINP said the stream could be expanded to include other workers from other sectors in the future.

The OINP also modified its Employer Job Offer Stream and updated its Entrepreneur Stream during the past year. The Employer Job Offer Stream streamlined its application approach for international students and foreign workers with a job offer from an employer in Ontario.  The change made nominees responsible for preparing their application, meaningless documentation is required from the employer.

Changes to the Entrepreneur Stream saw its minimum language level lowered and applicants awarded additional points on their Expression of Interest if they wish to establish their business, or buy an existing business, in a community outside the Greater Toronto Area (GTA).

The year ahead

Ontario will likely benefit from a slightly larger allotment in 2018 under the federal government’s multi-year immigration plan, which was announced in early November. In 2017, Canada had a Provincial Nominee Program allotment target of 51,000, which is due to increase to 55,000 in 2018. The federal plan calls for a 32 percent increase in PNP targets between 2017 and 2020.

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British Columbia Invites 379 More Workers and Graduates in the Latest Draw

British Columbia Invites 379 More Workers and Graduates in the Latest Draw

British Columbia Invites 379 More Workers and Graduates in the Latest Draw

British Columbia Invites 379 More Workers and Graduates in the Latest Draw

British Columbia continues to invite more workers and international graduates at low points thresholds in the latest draws on November 8 and November 15.

Through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP), a total of 379 candidates received an invitation to apply for a provincial nomination at these occasions.

Many of the BC PNP categories are managed under BC’s Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS). For eligible candidates to apply through the SIRS, they are required to first register an account, after which they are assigned a score based on their individual skill sets.

Those with the highest scores are then invited to apply when the government BC conducts one of its draws. It is important to note that all BC PNP categories managed under the SIRS require candidates to have a job offer from an employer in BC.

A portion of the candidates in the most recent draws was invited through an Express Entry-aligned sub-category. Those candidates are now in a position to apply for an ‘enhanced’ Provincial Nomination. A successful nomination results in applicants receiving 600 additional points under the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and an Invitation To Apply (ITA) at a later draw from the federal Express Entry pool. An invitation to apply for the BC PNP is not the same as the ITA issued at the federal Express Entry level.

Candidates under the BC PNP Skills Immigration sub-categories, who received invitations, will have their applications for permanent residence processed outside the Express Entry system.

The November 15 draw was conducted to invite candidates through the recently created BC Tech pilot. BC did not specify how many ITAs have been issued in the tech-only draw.

Date Category Minimum Score Required Number of ITAs Issued
 

November 8, 2017 (Includes tech-only draw on November 15, 2017)

EEBC – Skilled Worker 67 379
EEBC – International Graduate 67
SI – Skilled Worker 73
SI – International Graduate 67
SI – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled 40

Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker

The Express Entry BC – Skilled Worker category is for international skilled workers who have post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a professional, management, technical, trade or other skilled occupation. Candidates must be eligible to enter the federal Express Entry pool. A successful application under this category results in the candidate receiving 600 points under the CRS  and a subsequent ITA at the federal level.

Express Entry BC – International Graduate

International graduates who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within the past two years may be eligible to apply under the Express Entry BC – International Graduate category. Interestingly, this category is open to eligible graduates who graduated from a university or college in any location in Canada; it is not restricted to graduates from BC universities and colleges. This category is also aligned with the federal Express Entry system.

Skills Immigration – Skilled Worker

This base category is open to workers with post-secondary education or training and employment experience in a skilled occupation. A job offer is required.

Skills Immigration – International Graduate

This category is for international students who have graduated from a Canadian university or college within two years of applying to the BC PNP. While applicants do not necessarily need prior work experience, applicants are required to obtain a job offer from a B.C. employer.

Skills Immigration – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled

This category is open to candidates who may not be eligible for other Canadian immigration programs, as it allows certain non-skilled workers to apply for permanent residence. Candidates must work in an eligible occupation within the tourism/hospitality, long-haul trucking, or food processing industries, or in a NOC skill level C or D occupation in the Northeast Development Region of the province.

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