U.S. immigration policies pushing tech talent to Canada

U.S. immigration policies pushing tech talent to Canada

U.S. immigration policies pushing tech talent to Canada

U.S. immigration policies pushing tech talent to Canada

Canadian immigration policies make it easier for the tech industry to hire north of the border

Mezyad AlMasoud holds two master’s degrees and is the CEO of a company that manages money for professional athletes. He is also one of the highly skilled immigrants forced to leave America because of immigration reforms in 2017.

AlMasoud had wanted to go to America since he was a child growing up in Kuwait.

“I had been loving the U.S. [I watched] NFL football, and I’m a big fan of many of the musicians of course,” he told CIC News.

In 2015 he moved to America with a temporary visa called the Optional Practical Training (OPT). He then started his company, Flair Inc. a year later in 2016.

At the time, AlMasoud could count on an Obama-era immigration program called the International Entrepreneur Rule (IER) to allow him to stay in the U.S.

However, in 2017, President Donald Trump’s administration moved to rescind the IER program. AlMasoud was told he would have to leave the country.

“It was a very sad moment for me,” AlMasoud said. “I was kind of confused and I didn’t know what to do next, and that’s when I started thinking about other opportunities.”

Data from the 2016 U.S. presidential election onward also show that more and more temporary skilled worker petitions for new employment, known as the H-1B, are being denied to foreign workers in the U.S.

The rates have shot up from six percent in 2015 to 32 percent in the first quarter of 2019, according to the National Foundation for American Policy.

Meanwhile, it’s a different story in Canada, where federal and provincial programs are opening their doors to the international tech talent like AlMasoud.

The number of employees in the professional, scientific, and technological sector rose by 4.5 percent between 2017 and 2018, according to Statistics Canada, and immigration is expected to be an important element of labour force growth over the next two decades.

It was a friend from business school who suggested that AlMasoud should move to Canada. He applied for the Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program and his application was processed in about a month, he said.

In February 2018 he landed in Vancouver, B.C., where he has been ever since.

“I am going hiking from time to time at least once per month,” he said. “And the food is amazing, and the community is very diverse … I have many new friends, so it’s great.”

Canada taking in talent denied by the U.S.

The friend who encouraged AlMasoud to consider Canada was Jake Tyler, co-founder and CEO of Finn AI, a Vancouver-based company offering artificial intelligence solutions to banks around the world.

The two knew each other from their studies at the IE Business School in Spain.

Tyler, who hails from Australia, co-founded Finn AI with fellow immigrant Guru Altu from India and Canadian entrepreneur Nathalie Cartwright, who serves as chief operating officer. Like AlMasoud, both Tyler and Altu were able to build their business in Canada via the Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program.

Cartwright told CIC News that immigrants make up a significant portion of the Finn AI talent pool and she recently hired someone who has a story similar to AlMasoud.

“We have hired someone who was kicked out of the U.S. who was an exceptionally talented data scientist,” she said. “We were able to take advantage of that opportunity and get them a position in Canada.”

Canada’s Global Talent Stream has allowed the company to bring in skilled foreign workers in as little as two weeks. Cartwright got to see the process in action while hiring one of Finn AI’s most recent employees.

“They got the approval within four days and were here within two weeks,” Cartwright said. “That certainty of bringing people in means we can find international talent.”

A spokesperson with Finn AI reports that 54 percent of their Vancouver office is comprised of immigrants. The company’s Toronto office currently has one employee, and the New York location is made up of three salespeople who are either American or hold American work permits.

While Cartwright said she doesn’t have much experience hiring international workers via the American immigration process, she describes it as “long” and “uncertain.”

“There’s a lot of uncertainty both for the individual and the company,” Cartwright said. “When we’re looking to hire someone, six months [of processing] is too long.”

American companies also report finding it easier to hire immigrants at their Canadian locations.

Thor Kallistad, the CEO of DataCloud, described Canada’s immigration policies as more “sane.”

DataCloud offers tech solutions to the mining industry and operates in California’s Silicon Valley and in the Canadian province of British Columbia, which has a robust mining sector.

“It’s very convenient … that the biggest drivers for [our business] happen to be in B.C.,” he told CIC News from his office in California. “And on top of that, immigration is a more predictable policy to get people in, which have worked out well for us.”

U.S. losing talent to Canada before Trump

Emmanuel Delaporte moved to Boston, Massachusetts, from France in 1999. The company where he worked as an IT analyst was sponsoring his American permanent residency application.

Delaporte needed to be employed by this particular company until he obtained his U.S. Green Card or permanent residency status.

In 2004, Delaporte realized the company was not doing well and the possibility of losing his job would put his Green Card application at risk. He would either need to start the process all over again with a different company or leave the country.

“I was not kicked out of the country,” Delaporte said. “I knew that it would be difficult for me to stay so I decided to prepare my exit before I was in a difficult situation.”

He started his application for a Quebec Selection Certificate and one year later, in 2005, he moved to Montreal, Quebec.

“I had no job offer… in Quebec, and Canada, you can apply just with your credentials and who you are and your resume,” Delaporte said. “You don’t need a company.”

Today Delaporte is still in Montreal, and working at CGI, a world-renowned IT consulting company.

“I’ve been here almost 15 years now,” he said. “I’m a local now.”

Delaporte would not name his former U.S. employer but said that the company has since closed.

‘A feeling of freedom’

Andrei Charepka, from Belarus, is a software developer at a company that makes electrical systems for the aerospace industry. He and his wife, who is originally from Russia, live in Ottawa, Ontario, where they settled after eight years of working in the U.S.

Charepka met his wife at an American summer camp where they worked in 1998. Soon after they tried to get into Canada by applying for a student visa but at the time they did not have enough funds to qualify.

Instead, Charepka did his Bachelor of Science in the U.S., but the goal was always to come to Canada.

“After staying in the States for several years it became clear that there was no future for us,” Charepka said. “I could renew the [temporary] visa again but it didn’t seem reasonable that I could get a [Green Card] there… and [Canada] had an actual immigration program that we would qualify for and be able to come here.”

After graduating he was on the H-1B temporary work permit, which he had to keep renewing every three years.

“If you stay with the same employer, the employer can apply for a Green Card,” Charepka said. “It’s a lot of effort on the part of the employer to prove that the candidate can’t be found locally.”

When he and his wife finally applied to Canada’s Federal Skilled Worker Program, Charepka said it took about a year and a half to process his application. With Charepka as the principal applicant, they were able to come to Canada in 2006.

“It was a weird feeling because it was a feeling of freedom… because we finally found a place where we belong,” Charepka said. “With the PR status, we could come and go in peace. We felt that we were full members of society.”

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, USA, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Could Toronto become the largest tech talent hub in North America?

Could Toronto become the largest tech talent hub in North America?

Could Toronto become the largest tech talent hub in North America?

Could Toronto become the largest tech talent hub in North America?

Canadian immigration policies are driving U.S. companies to expand their operations in Toronto

Look at the careers webpage of almost any U.S. tech giant and you will find openings in Toronto.

The Amazon careers page has posted approximately 20 job openings for their Toronto location in the last 14 days alone. Microsoft is opening up a new headquarters in September 2020, expecting to add an additional 500 full-time jobs and 500 internship/co-ops by 2022.

Toronto has also seen the most “brain gain” over the past five years, according to the CBRE’s 2019 Scoring Tech Talent report. Between 2013 and 2018, there were 80,100 tech jobs created in Toronto, as well as 22,466 tech degrees issued— which means there were 57,634 more tech jobs than tech grads.

“Toronto and the San Francisco Bay Area stand out as strong tech talent job creators each adding at least 54,000 more tech talent jobs than graduates,” the CBRE report says. “On the other end of the spectrum, Washington D.C., Boston, and Los Angeles post the deepest deficits in employing their tech graduates locally.”

American companies prefer Canada’s immigration policies over U.S.

Nearly two thirds (65 percent) of U.S. companies that participated in a recent survey said they prefer Canadian immigration policies over those in the U.S., and more than half have either considered expanding north or already have.

Over 300 U.S. companies participated in Envoy Global’s 2019 Immigration Trends Report. Most companies (63 percent) said they were increasing their presence in Canada, whereas 37 percent said they were not.

The majority of those U.S. companies hiring in Canada (35 percent) said they were both transferring their current employees north of the border, and hiring international talent for their Canadian branches.

More were only hiring foreign nationals (15 percent) than were only sending current employees (13 percent).

A more streamlined work permit process

The Global Talent Stream (GTS) is a pathway for employers to bring their new hires to Canada fast.

Canada established the GTS program in 2017 with the goal of processing Labour Market Impact Assessments (LMIAs) for highly-skilled temporary foreign workers within two weeks.

There are two sub-streams within the GTS:

  • Category A refers to people who received a nomination from employers on a designated list. MaRS Discovery District, a non-profit in Toronto that commercializes publicly-funded medical and technological research, is an example of an entity under this category.
  • Category B is for people who have skills in specific occupations that have been determined to be in-demand in Canada. Many of the jobs listed fall into the technology sector such as computer engineers, web designers, and database analysts.

Over the past two years, more than 24,000 highly skilled people have come to Canada under this stream.

Expedited process for companies sending talent to Canada

While the GTS requires an LMIA, there are other work permit programs that allow companies to skip this step, helping businesses to relocate their employees in a faster and more straightforward manner.

International companies who wish to send employees to their Canadian locations can opt for an Intra-Company Transfer Work Permit (ICT). This program is for temporary foreign workers whose presence in Canada will amount to “significant benefit” for the country’s economy. Workers must have at least one year of full-time work experience with foreign enterprise and be coming to Canada to perform comparable work.

Technology firms may also use the NAFTA Professionals Work Permit category if the employee’s job falls into one of the listed occupations. Individuals who are computer systems analysts or graphic designers may qualify under this category.

American and Mexican citizens do not require a Temporary Resident Visa (TRV) to enter Canada, so NAFTA applications may be done either online or by paper at a Port of Entry (such as a border crossing or airport), or at a Visa office.

Workers and employers who use the ICT and NAFTA programs must comply with all provisions governing temporary work in Canada.

Ontario opening doors to skilled foreign workers

Skilled foreign workers looking to settle in Toronto can apply through one of the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program’s (OINP) categories.

The Human Capital Priority Stream is a sub-category managed by the OINP that leverages the Express Entry system to invite candidates for Canadian permanent residence through periodic draws from the Express Entry pool.

The OINP has held two draws in the month of August, targeting candidates that had work experience in certain in-demand occupations.

On August 1, the OINP issued 1773 invitations as a part of its new OINP Tech Draws. These draws target individuals with experience in the technology sector. Invited candidates were required to have a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) scores between 435 and 458. Software engineers and web designers were among the list of occupations eligible for the tech draw.

The second draw, which took place on August 15 draw, issued 997 invitations to apply for a provincial nomination. These individuals had CRS scores between 439 and 465 and had work experience targeted occupations such as registered nurses; financial managers; corporate sales managers, and others.

Candidates did not require a job offer in order to be chosen, however, they were required to have an Express Entry profile.

Posted in Canada, Express Entry, Immigration, Ontario, Toronto, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Australia Global Talent Scheme – Employer Sponsored Program

Australia Global Talent Scheme – Employer Sponsored Program

Australia Global Talent Scheme

Australia Global Talent Scheme

Global Talent Scheme- Employer Sponsored (GTES)

Bringing global talent to Australia

The Global Talent – Employer Sponsored (formerly the Global Talent Scheme) (GTES) is a niche scheme under the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa program launched as a 12 month pilot on 1 July 2018. The pilot will continue to be open to applications after 1 July 2019 until further notified.

The Australian Government has introduced the GTES as a pilot scheme so it can be refined in consultation with industry to ensure it achieves its purpose.

The GTES allows employers to sponsor overseas workers for highly-skilled positions that cannot be filled:

  • by Australian workers
  • through other standard visa programs – in particular, the Short-term stream and Medium-term stream of the Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa

The GTES is only for highly-skilled niche occupations that cannot be accessed through existing skilled programs. Before the Department enters into an agreement, businesses must be able to demonstrate that they can’t fill the position through existing skilled visa programs.

You will then be able to sponsor workers for a TSS visa under the GTES.

Purpose

The GTES is designed to benefit Australia and Australian workers.

It aims to bring globally mobile, highly-skilled and specialised individuals to Australia who can act as ‘job multipliers‘ in Australian businesses, helping them to hire more local staff and fill critical areas of need.

Any position filled through a GTES agreement must provide opportunities for Australians by, for example:

  • creating new jobs for Australians
  • transferring skills and knowledge to Australian workers

You must demonstrate how you realise these opportunities throughout the GTES agreement period.

Relationship between the TSS program, Labour Agreement Stream and GTES

The standard TSS program (Short-Term stream and Medium-Term stream)

  • This allows an employer to sponsor skilled workers where there is no suitable Australian available.
  • The TSS is the main employer-sponsored temporary work visa replacing the subclass 457 visa.
  • The visa requirements are set out in Migration Regulations.
  • The Short-term stream allows a 2-year stay unless international obligations apply; the Medium-term stream allows 4 years.
  • Applicants must nominate an ANZSCO occupation on the current Skilled Occupation List, which is reviewed regularly.

The standard Labour Agreement stream

This stream of the TSS program is available when the standard TSS program does not cover employers’ needs. It includes industry agreements for lower-skilled positions and concessions from standard TSS requirements. For further information see Labour Agreements.

We have strong measures in place to protect the integrity of the TSS program.

  • You can negotiate variations on the standard TSS visa requirements.
  • Agreements can be company-specific or designed for use in a specific industry or geographic area.
  • You can access occupations that are not on current occupation lists at ANZSCO skill levels 1-4.
  • This stream of the visa allows a stay of up to 4 years, and the holder can negotiate access to a pathway to permanent residence.

The GTES

Approved businesses must meet specific criteria and requirements to be considered for the GTES.

The main features of the GTES are:

  • there are 2 streams – Established business and Startups
  • the earning threshold for applicants is higher than under the standard TSS stream
  • you can negotiate variations on the standard TSS visa requirements
  • we prioritise the processing of GTES agreements
  • trusted employers can access highly-skilled roles – you are not restricted to occupation lists for the TSS visa short-term or medium-term streams
  • the visa is valid for up to 4 years and allows access to a permanent residence pathway
  • you can negotiate age requirements for the permanent residence pathway

2 GTES streams

Established Business stream

The Established Business stream, lets employers who are accredited sponsors employ workers with cutting-edge skills to help innovate in an established business and make Australian businesses and their Australian employees the best at what they do.

Startup stream

The Startup stream lets employers sponsor workers with cutting-edge skills to contribute to Australia’s developing startup ecosystem and bring new ideas, new jobs, new skills, and new technology into Australia. This stream is for startups operating in a tech-based or STEM (science, technology, engineering, and mathematics) field.

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

Quebec Introduced new integration program for newcomers

Quebec introduces new personalized integration program for newcomers

Quebec Introduced new integration program for newcomers

Quebec Introduced new integration program for newcomers

Prospective Quebec immigrants will have support available before they even land in the province

As a part of Quebec’s new integration services, prospective immigrants will be assigned an immigration assistant officer that will follow their case through a step-by-step process.

Details on the personalized support program were announced on August 8 by Quebec’s Minister of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion, Simon Jolin-Barrette.

The new personalized support program, which is a part of the Quebec government’s immigration law reforms that passed legislation in June,  is designed to “implement the best possible tools” to help newcomers “successfully integrate into Quebec society,” according to a news release from the ministry.

In order to immigrate to Quebec as permanent residents, foreign nationals must first obtain a Quebec Selection Certificate (CSQ) issued by the Ministry of Immigration, Diversity, and Inclusion (MIDI). Quebec assesses and selects immigrants according to their own criteria. After receiving a CSQ, candidates must apply to the federal government to become permanent residents.

As soon as prospective immigrants receive their CSQ,  they will have access to resources and a designated immigration officer. Candidates will be provided with information on the regions of Quebec, recognition of their professional qualifications and the option to take an online French course.

Upon arrival, newcomers will be greeted at the airport and invited to meet with a designated integration assistance officer within five days to create an individualized action plan.

There are four steps to the new process:

  • Arrival
  • Francization
  • Integration into the job market
  • Community integration

There is an optional course for those who want to learn about the sociocultural realities and job market in Quebec. The Province is offering an incentive of $185 for those who participate.

“The Personalized Support program takes into account the fact that there is not only one integration trajectory, but each person also has unique needs and experience,” Jolin-Barrette said in the French media release. “The new program allows us to take this into account and direct people to the appropriate resources where they will find adapted and individualized services and support.”

Jolin-Barrette said the initiative represents a 20 million dollar annual investment and will include the creation of 84 new government jobs; 78 Integration Support Officers and six Coordinators.

“We are convinced that adequate support is crucial to the success of the integration process for immigrants,” Jolin-Barrette said in the release. “With this new measure, the government is taking concrete action to promote and ensure the successful integration of immigrants into Quebec society.”

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Express Entry draw sees 3,600 invitations apply for PR the CRS Score is 457

Express Entry draw sees 3,600 invitations apply for PR the CRS Score is 457

express-entry-draw

express-entry-draw

Second Express Entry draw in eight days sees 3,600 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence

Minimum CRS score drops to 457— lowest since May 1

An Express Entry draw took place on Tuesday, August 20, where a total of 3,600 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence were issued to candidates with ranking scores of 457 and above.

The Express Entry system is Canada’s main source of skilled foreign workers. Eligible candidates enter the Express Entry pool and are issued a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French, among other factors. The highest-ranked candidates are issued Invitations to Apply (ITA) for Canadian permanent residence during regular draws from the pool.

This rare Tuesday draw saw the lowest minimum CRS score requirement since May 1. Also, there hasn’t been a draw on a Tuesday since September 8, 2015.

In order to enter the Express Entry pool, candidates must first meet the eligibility requirements for one of Canada’s three Federal High Skilled economic-class immigration categories —the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class.

Immigration Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) applied a tie break rule in the August 20 draw; candidates had to have submitted their profiles before March 24, 2019, at 15:32:42 UTC. This means that all candidates with CRS scores above 457, as well as those with scores of 457 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before this date and time, received an ITA.

IRCC has been issuing 3,600 ITAs at a time since July 10. Between January 30 and June 26, IRCC was issuing 3,350 ITAs per all-program Express Entry draw, meaning the past four draws have yielded 250 more ITAs than most of the draws held this year.

These expanded draw sizes could help IRCC exceed its single-year ITA record of 89,800 invitations that was set last year.

It is also not very often that draws are held so close to each other. Draws typically occur every two weeks and an elongated period between draws allows the Express Entry pool more time to replenish with higher-scoring candidates. The last time draws were held fewer than eight days apart was in January 2019.

Many of Canada’s provinces also participate in Express Entry and have dedicated streams that allow candidates in the Express Entry pool to apply for provincial nomination.

An Express Entry candidate who obtains a nomination from a province receives an additional 600 CRS points and is effectively guaranteed an ITA during a subsequent Express Entry draw.

In addition to the two federal Express Entry draws held over the past eight days, there have been quite a few provincial draws, which have included Express Entry candidates.

British Columbia’s latest Tech Pilot draw invited 73 Skills Immigration and Express Entry candidates to apply for a provincial nomination, on August 13. Candidates needed to have job offers in one of 29 eligible occupations in B.C.’s technology sector.

Prince Edward Island also held a draw this week, issuing 143 invitations to apply for a provincial nomination, on August 15. Not all of these invites were linked to the Express Entry system.

That same day, August 15, Saskatchewan held a draw issuing a total of 150 invitations— 45 of those were Express Entry linked.

Ontario held a draw yesterday, August 19, inviting 997 candidates in the Express Entry pool to apply for a provincial nomination through its Human Capital Priorities Stream. These candidates had to have work experience in one of ten specific occupations in order to be selected.

The first step towards pursuing many of Canada’s Express Entry aligned provincial nomination streams is to submit an Express Entry profile.

The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in the August 20 draw:

Omar and Sabrina are married and are 34 and 29 years old respectively. Each holds a Bachelor’s degree and has advanced English language proficiency. They have both been working as graphic designers for the past four years. While neither has ever worked or studied in Canada, Omar has a sister who is a Canadian permanent resident residing in Toronto. They entered the pool with Sabrina as the principal applicant. Their CRS score of 458 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA in the August 20 Express Entry draw.

Selena is 33, holds a Masters degree and has been working as a teacher for four years. She has advanced English language proficiency. While Selena has never worked or studied in Canada, her CRS score of 459 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA during the August 20 Express Entry draw.

“With Canada’s high immigration targets for 2019 and 2020, it is refreshing to see an Express Entry draw occur so soon after another,” said David Cohen, senior partner with the Campbell, Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal. “Larger or more frequent draws can have the effect of lowering the CRS score cut off.”

“It has also been a busy month for Canada’s provinces, many of whom have been addressing their own labour market needs by targeting some of the high-skilled candidates in the Express Entry pool.”

Posted in British Columbia, Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Prince Edward Island, Saskatchewan, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Express Entry system called ‘most elaborate selection system’ in OECD

Express Entry system called ‘most elaborate selection system’ in OECD

Canada’s economic immigration system a ‘role model’ among OECD countries

Express Entry system called 'most elaborate selection system' in OECD

Express Entry system called ‘most elaborate selection system’ in OECD

Canada’s economic immigration system is the “most carefully designed” among the Organization for Economic Development and Cooperation’s 36 member countries and serves as a role model for those looking to improve how they manage migration, the Paris-based organization says.

According to a new report, Canada has the “largest, longest-standing and most comprehensive and elaborate skilled labour migration system in the OECD,” whose members include Australia, France, Germany, the United Kingdom, and the United States.

The report commended Canada for its success in the realms of attraction, selection, integration, and retention of economic immigrants and for promoting a “whole-of-family approach”  that takes into account the needs of all family members — not just the principal applicant.

Among other strengths, Canada builds on “a welcoming host society, which considers immigration as a part of its national heritage,” the report says.

‘Improvement based on solid evaluation and research’

At a gathering to unveil the report in Toronto, Thomas Liebig, a senior immigration specialist with the OECD, said the independent assessment of Canada’s economic immigration system is the tenth in a series of reviews performed by the OECD.

“So, Canada is not the only country we have done, but clearly Canada stands out for a number of reasons,” he said.

Top of mind for Liebig was Canada’s “constant drive for improvement based on solid evaluation and research.”

Liebig said this is most apparent in its approach to the Express Entry system, which manages the pool of applicants for three of Canada’s principal economic immigration programs — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class.

The report calls Express Entry “the most elaborate selection system in the OECD,” one that allows for “a more refined selection of labour immigrants than in peer countries.”

Liebig said Canada’s Express Entry system serves as a “role model” for managing economic migration that many OECD countries look to for guidance.

Since its introduction in 2015, the system has undergone two major reforms to address what Liebig called “initial shortcomings” such as an over-emphasis on a job offer under Express Entry’s Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

“This quick reaction and constant improvement is actually a quite interesting contrast to the debates we have in other OECD countries on migration,” Liebig said, claiming most countries don’t like to tinker with their immigration system.

“No system is forever, and I think the Canadian example shows this very clearly.”

Liebig said Express Entry is also unique because it was designed based on a “comprehensive evaluation” of the factors that are considered essential to an immigrant’s success as well as interactions of these factors, such as foreign work experience and proficiency in English or French.

Canada’s economic immigration system is also “highly reactive to new developments,” the report observes, and Canadian immigration policy is “more strongly evidence-based than elsewhere.”

Liebig said the strength of Canada’s immigration system has resulted in high public support for immigration among Canadians.

“High acceptance is linked with the perception that migration is both well-managed and beneficial to Canada,” he said.

Provincial Nominee Programs boost labour market outcomes and retention

Canada has also been successful in spreading the benefits of immigration beyond its most populated provinces, namely through its various provincial and territorial nominee programs.

“They succeed not only in providing not only for a more balanced distribution of migrants across the country but also that they complement federal selection quite well because migrants selected by provincial governments have lower skill levels on average but generally boast better initial labour market outcomes and high retention,” Liebig said.

Increasing the amount of regional selection conducted through the Express Entry system is one of the OECD’s key recommendations for Canada.

Each Canadian province and territory with a nominee program already has at least one stream that allows it to select or “nominate” Express Entry candidates.

Express Entry candidates nominated by a province or territory receive an additional 600 CRS points and are effectively guaranteed an invitation to apply for Canadian permanent residence.

The report said directing future PNP growth through Express Entry is “a way to ensure that selection of provincial nominees remains consistent with overall Canadian skill needs.”

The OECD also highlighted the early successes of the Atlantic Immigration Pilot, an employer-driven program introduced in 2017 that allows employers in Canada’s four Atlantic Provinces to recruit foreign workers for jobs they haven’t been able to fill locally.

Other recommendations included:

  • Abolishing the Federal Skilled Trades Class and moving to a single set of core minimum eligibility criteria based on the current core factors of the Comprehensive Ranking System. The OECD said doing so “would simplify the system and ensure common language and education standards for all federal labour migrants.”
  • Awarding core CRS points for Canadian work experience based on the wage of the last Canadian job instead of the duration of work experience and occupational classification.
  • Allow Express Entry candidates who wish to work in a licensed professional to enter Canada on a short-term visa to start the licensing process.
  • Create a provincial pilot for temporary foreign workers that targets specific regional shortages.

In a statement, Canada’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship, Ahmed Hussen, said he was “honoured” that the OECD identifies Canada as a role model on successful migration management.

“Immigration is the central pillar of this country’s future economic success and our government will continue to support immigration policies and programs that enhance the economic, social and demographic vitality of communities across Canada,” Hussen said.

Posted in Canada, Canada Open Work Permit, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

New US rule could disqualify half of the visa applicants

Bad news for US visa seekers: New rules could disqualify half of the applicants

New US rule could disqualify half of the visa applicants

New US rule could disqualify half of the visa applicants

New US rule could disqualify half of the visa applicants

US President Trump has unveiled a new rule that could deny visas and permanent residency to people for being too poor

US President Donald Trump’s administration unveiled a new rule on Monday that could deny visas & permanent residency to hundreds of thousands of people for being too poor.

The long-anticipated rule, pushed by Trump’s leading aide on immigration, Stephen Miller, takes effect October 15 and would reject applicants for temporary or permanent visas for failing to meet income standards or for receiving public assistance such as welfare, food stamps, public housing or Medicaid.

Such a change would ensure that immigrants “are self-sufficient,” in that they “do not depend on public resources to meet their needs, but rather rely on their own capabilities, as well as the resources of family members, sponsors, and private organizations,” a notice published in the Federal Register said.

“The principle driving it is an old American value and that’s self-sufficiency,” Ken Cuccinelli, the acting director of US Citizenship and Immigration Services, said in a Fox News interview published on Monday.

“It will also have the long-term benefit of protecting taxpayers by ensuring people who are immigrating to this country don’t become public burdens, that they can stand on their own two feet, as immigrants in years past have done,” he said.

The overhaul is part of President Donald Trump’s efforts to curb both legal and illegal immigration, an issue he has made a cornerstone of his presidency.

He has pledged to build a wall along the US southern border with Mexico – initially saying Mexico would pay for it – and has pressed for changes to immigration laws. Both efforts have made little progress with lawmakers.

This rule change on benefits could be the most drastic of all the Trump administration’s immigration policies, experts have said. Advocates for immigrants have criticized the plan as an effort to cut legal immigration without going through Congress to change US law.

Under the new rules, more than half of all family-based green card applicants would be denied, according to the Migration Policy Institute, a research organization. Some 800,000 green cards were granted in 2016.

The new rule is derived from the Immigration Act of 1882, which allows the US government to deny a visa to anyone likely to become a “public charge.” Immigration officers in recent years have defined visa applicants as a public charge if they are likely to become primarily dependent on government assistance

Most immigrants are ineligible for the major aid programs until they get green cards but the new rule published by the Department of Homeland Security expands the definition of a public charge that stands to disqualify more people.

Applicants will now need to show higher levels of income to get a visa and the rule greatly expands the list of government benefits that would disqualify them from obtaining US residency.

Immigrant advocates have expressed concern the rule could negatively affect public health by dissuading immigrants from using health or food aid to which they or their children are entitled.

Other parts of the Trump administration have taken or are contemplating similar approaches to penalize immigrants’ use of public assistance

The State Department changed its foreign affairs manual in January 2018 to give diplomats wider discretion in deciding visa denials on public-charge grounds. In the 2018 fiscal year, which ended last September, the number of visas denied on those grounds quadrupled compared to the previous year.

The Justice Department also is considering a regulation that would dramatically expand the category of people who could be subject to deportation on the grounds that they use public benefits.

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India to be included in Australia’s working holiday visa programme

India to be included in Australia’s working holiday visa programme

India to be included in Australia's working holiday visa programme

India to be included in Australia’s working holiday visa programme

India to be included in Australia’s working holiday visa programme

Under the current programme that allowed backpackers to work while they stay was witnessing a decline thus creating workers shortage issue in regional parts of the country.

Australia plans to expand the ‘Working Holiday Maker’ visa programme to over a dozen countries, including India, to recruit workers to regional areas to solve the labour shortages particularly on farms, Immigration Minister David Coleman said on Wednesday.

The Australian government is in discussions to extend the scheme to include backpackers from 13 countries to find workers wanted by regional businesses to work on farms.

The Australian Government’s ‘Working Holiday Maker Programme‘, which includes the ‘Working Holiday visa and the Work and Holiday visa‘, is a cultural exchange programme which enables young travellers to have an extended holiday and earn money through short-term employment.

Apart from India, other nations which were being targeted by Australia to expand the work and holiday visa were from Brazil, Mexico, the Philippines, Switzerland, Fiji, Solomon Islands, Croatia, Latvia, Lithuania, Andorra, Monaco and Mongolia.

Coleman said the government was working on expanding work and holiday visa conditions in an effort to recruit workers to regional areas, according to a report by the Australian Broadcasting Corporation.

Under the current programme that allowed backpackers to work while they stay was witnessing a decline thus creating workers shortage issue in regional parts of the country.

About 150,000 people were in Australia on a working holiday visa in March, but the programme has actually shrunk over the past five years.

Coleman said the changes were designed to resolve labour shortages in regional areas, particularly on farms.

“We know that working holiday-makers travel further into regional areas than most other international visitors,” he said, adding “They also spend substantial amounts, helping to boost regional economies.”

While countries in the uncapped 417 visa scheme are typical backpacker nations such as the UK, Canada, Germany and Sweden, the 462 visa (known as “work and holiday”) scheme includes more developing countries like Singapore, Thailand, Turkey, Vietnam, Indonesia, China and Bangladesh.

In a recently released video, Australia has advertised itself as “the best workplace in the world” for international markets.

Coleman countered suggestions that the scheme was becoming a channel for low-skill migrant workers.

“Work and holiday applicants must meet minimum requirements before a visa can be granted, including having a functional level of English and they must hold or be studying towards tertiary qualifications,” he said.

Last year, Prime Minister Scott Morrison said his government had not ruled out an agricultural visa in a bid to attract more backpackers to work on farms.

Changes to the backpacker visa have been welcomed by farmers but have concerned some academics.

Currently, Australia offers the two types of Work and Holiday programme visa under Subclass 417 and subclass 462 with Indian passport holders not eligible for both the categories.

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New Express Entry Draw invited 3600 Candidates to apply Canadian PR

New Express Entry draw invites 3,600 candidates to apply for Canadian permanent residence

New Express Entry Draw invited 3600 Candidates to apply Canadian PR

New Express Entry Draw invited 3600 Candidates to apply Canadian PR

New Express Entry Draw invited 3600 Candidates to apply Canadian PR

The cut-off score in the August 12 draw was 466

A new Express Entry draw took place Monday, August 12, in which a total of 3,600 invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence were issued to candidates with scores of 466 and above.

The cut-off score of 466 draws was seven points above the minimum score of 459 in the previous invitation round on July 24.

The Express Entry system is Canada’s main source of skilled foreign workers. Candidates in the Express Entry pool are issued a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score based on their age, education, skilled work experience and proficiency in English or French, among other factors.

A set number of the highest-ranked candidates are issued invitations to apply for Canadian permanent residence (ITAs) through regular draws from the pool.

In order to enter the Express Entry pool, candidates must first meet the eligibility requirements for one of Canada’s three Federal High Skilled economic-class immigration categories —the Federal Skilled Worker Class, Federal Skilled Trades Class, and Canadian Experience Class.

This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 466, as well as those with scores of 466 who entered their profile in the Express Entry pool before this date and time, received an ITA.

The 3,600 ITAs issued in today’s draw brings the total number issued in 2019 to 52,600.

This continued IRCC’s trend of issuing 3,600 ITAs that has now defined each of the three draws held since July 10. This is an increase of 250 over the 3,350 ITAs issued in each of the 10 all-program Express Entry draws held between January 30 and June 26, 2019.

These expanded draw sizes could help IRCC exceed its single-year ITA record of 89,800 invitations that was set last year.

The higher CRS minimum score in today’s draw may be in part attributable to the three weeks that elapsed between draws from the Express Entry pool.

Draws are typically held every two weeks and an elongated period between draws allows the Express Entry pool more time to replenish with higher-scoring candidates.

A higher number of ITAs this year may be necessary given Canada expanded admissions targets for 2019 and 2020 through the three Express Entry-managed programs and its Provincial Nominee Program, which is also partially managed by Express Entry system.

Candidates with CRS scores lower than today’s cut-off who are looking to improve their ranking in the Express Entry pool may want to consider their options for a provincial nomination.

Several Canadian provinces have immigration streams that are linked to the Express Entry system. Express Entry candidates who receive a provincial nomination are awarded an additional 600 CRS points and move to the front of the line for an ITA.

Express Entry-linked nomination streams in Ontario, Saskatchewan, and Alberta have been active in recent weeks, with Ontario’s Human Capital Priorities Stream alone issuing 1,773 invitations to Express Entry candidates with work experience in six tech occupations and CRS scores as low as 435, among other criteria.

In Saskatchewan, the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program issued 104 invitations through its Express Entry sub-category to candidates with work experience in one of 19 in-demand occupations in the province, among other qualifications.

Alberta has selected Express Entry candidates with CRS scores as low as 300 through the Alberta Express Entry Stream on four occasions in 2019. Three draws had a minimum CRS score of 301 and one other had a cut-off CRS score of 302.

Examples

The following are hypothetical examples of candidates who would have obtained an ITA in the August 12 draw:

Annan is 31, has a master’s degree and has been working as a management consultant for three years. He wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While Annan has never worked or studied in Canada, his CRS of 467 would have been high enough to obtain an ITA in the August 12 Express Entry draw.

Adel and Sara are married and are 36 and 31 years old, respectively. They have each been working as accountants for over four years and each has an advanced English language proficiency. They have both completed a bachelor’s degree plus an additional one-year post-secondary credential. Neither Adel nor Sara have ever worked or studied in Canada. They entered the pool with Sara as the principal applicant and a CRS score of 466.

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Reasons for Canada is an awesome place for new Immigrants

Reasons for Canada is an awesome place for new Immigrants

Reasons for Canada is an awesome place for new Immigrants

Reasons for Canada is an awesome place for new Immigrants

Reasons for Canada is an awesome place for new Immigrants

Canada Still Top Immigrant Destination

Many nations are still reeling from anti-immigration attitudes around the world, especially in the most developed countries. This narrows opportunity for those who are looking to start a new life elsewhere because they fear they will not be welcomed. However, foreign nationals find that the decision to Immigrate to Canada has been one of the best (if not the best) they have made due to the welcoming nature of Canadian citizens and residents.

Life in Canada is measured by unparalleled civil liberties and flourishing expat communities in all of its 13 provinces and territories. According to the 2018 World Happiness Report, Canada ranks in the globe’s topmost welcoming nations when it comes to immigrants or those born outside of the country. This statistic is reinforced by the government’s plans to invite well over a million workers to join its economy within the next three years. If you are looking for a place that cherishes diversity and multiculturalism, look no further than Canada, still a safe haven for those looking to settle in a different country.

Canada is the 10th largest economy in the world

Canada punches above its weight when it comes to the world economy. Despite having the 38th largest population in the world, Canada has the 10th largest economy, with an output of 1.6 trillion or $48,100 per capita. Canada overtook Russia in 2015 to claim a top 10 spot. Though Canada is well-known for its wealth of natural resources, Canada’s economy is actually heavily service-oriented, with 78.9% of Canadians working in a service-related job, according to Statistics Canada. Though the goods-producing sector is relatively small in comparison to the service sector, Canada’s manufacturing and oil and petroleum industries have experienced small but steady annual growth over the last several years.

Canada’s education system is world-class

Canada spends more on education per capita than any other industrialized nation in the world and has been named the most educated country in the world. Canada’s K-12 public education system is regarded as one of the best in the world. Canada is also home to some of the world’s top universities, with McGill University, the University of Toronto, McMaster University, and the University of British Columbia ranking among the world’s top 100 institutions. According to Statistics Canada, 54% of Canadians 25-64 have a post-secondary degree, and an additional 10.8% have completed an apprenticeship or a trades certificate. In some provinces, the cost of tuition is fully or partially covered by low-income students.

Canada’s tech industry is growing rapidly

The tech sector is Canada’s fastest-growing industry, which spells good things for Canada’s future, as the need for tech professionals continues to boom. Government support and investment in Canada’s tech industry is strong, as well, with grants and other tools available to help Canadian startups. Canada is rapidly becoming a destination of choice for employers seeking skilled tech talent. Toronto leads the pack, with big names like Google’s Sidewalk Labs, Shopify, Salesforce and Facebook setting up shop in the city. While Toronto gets a lot of attention for its plentiful tech talent, it’s not alone. Other Canadian cities are pulling in tech talent, too. Montreal quietly established itself as an epicenter for innovation in AI and game development. Vancouver and Calgary, meanwhile, are known for innovation in cleantech, among other things.

Canadians enjoy access to universal healthcare

Canada’s universal healthcare system was adopted in the 1960s. Under the program, every province or territory in Canada has a healthcare plan which provides all residents with reasonable access to medical services, without paying out of pocket for healthcare services such as hospital visits or access to doctors. In 2017, Canada spent $6,323 per person on healthcare, according to the OECD. Despite spending about half of what the US does per capita, Canada’s quality of care has been rated significantly higher. Thanks to the reliable healthcare programs available to everyone in the country, Canada has one of the world’s highest life expectancy rates at just below 82 years. That places Canada’s life expectancy at 18th in the world.

Canada has the best benefits, holidays and paid leave in North America

Canada is a progressive country with many policies in place to protect workers. It’s the only country in North America with mandated vacation leave, with 2 guaranteed weeks of paid vacation for all employees, in addition to 6 to 10 statutory holidays, depending on the province. Canadians are also guaranteed access to a variety of monetary protections including Employment Insurance (EI), old age security, the Canadian Pension Plan (CPP), and a federal childcare benefit.

The minimum wage in Canada is also one of the highest in the world, though it ranges from $11 to $14 depending on your province of residence. Canada’s maternity and parental leave policies are also progressive. Canadian workers are permitted to take up to 18 months of parental leave, with the mother and father able to share the leave however they choose.

Canada is extremely safe

Canada regularly ranks among the top 10 safest nations in the world on various polls and indexes. According to the Global Peace Index of 2018, Canada was ranked the 6th most peaceful nation in the world. The index weighs a variety of factors including homicide rates, militarization, political stability, diplomatic relations, ongoing conflicts, incarceration rates, and terrorism impact, among others. Canada is well known for its strong gun control and relatively peaceful approach to foreign diplomacy. In general, Canada’s crime rates are low and have declined significantly since their peak in the 1980s.

Canada’s banks are extremely stable

For years Canada’s banks have been ranked the world’s most stable according to the World Economic Forum. In Canada, you can rest easy knowing that if you deposit your money into a major bank it’s going to be safe and sound. Canada hasn’t had a bank failure since 1983. Also, unlike the US, which continues to use magstripe cards, Canada has moved towards PIN and chip technology, which is a lot more secure. Canadians are also very forward-thinking when it comes to using bank tech, with 68% of Canadians doing their day-to-day banking online or through mobile apps.

Canada is a beautiful place to live

There’s no denying that Canada has some epic scenery to enjoy. From BC’s mountains to PEI’s coastal views, to Montreal’s historic buildings (the city just celebrated its 375th birthday and is looking pretty good for its age!) there’s no shortage of places to visit and things to see in Canada. The country boasts hundreds of nationally protected parks, reserves, historical sites, and hiking trails.

From world-renowned parks like Banff and Jasper in Alberta to Cape Breton in Nova Scotia, to Georgian Bay in Ontario, there’s no shortage of natural wonders to enjoy from coast to coast. Speaking of coasts, Canada also has more coastline than any other country in the world, with over 200,000 kilometers of coastline, almost 4 times as much the next closest (Indonesia.) So while Canada may not exactly be known for its warm weather beaches, there’s plenty of beautiful coastal scenery to enjoy when the weather does heat up. If you’re more of a city person, Canadian cities like Calgary and Toronto are regularly listed among the world’s cleanest cities.

Canada has a stable, democratic political system

Though Canadian governments shift between various liberal and conservative parties depending on the political climate, in general, all of Canada’s political parties have relatively centrist stances on hot-button issues such as women’s and LGBT rights, environmental concerns and immigration, which are sometimes highly divisive in other democratic nations. Canadians also have faith in and respect for the political system and government bodies. Though scandals break occasionally, they tend to be fairly mild and there’s little in the way of widespread corruption, fraud or government distrust. Canada’s political campaigns are also short and inexpensive for taxpayers compared to other democratic nations. Even at a national level, political campaigns rarely last more than a few months.

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