NZ contributes to global actions on migration

NZ contributes to global actions on migration

NZ contributes to global actions on migration

NZ contributes to global actions on migration

New Zealand contributes to global actions on migration and human rights

Three members of Parliament will represent New Zealand at an international forum focused on promoting democracy and human rights.

Rt Hon David Carter, is leading the delegation, including Deputy Speaker Hon Anne Tolley MP and Louisa Wall MP, to the 138th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly in Geneva, Switzerland from 24 to 28 March 2018.

Speaker, Rt Hon Trevor Mallard said, “The IPU is an important forum for political dialogue and positive democratic change. Our regular participation with the IPU ensures that the New Zealand Parliament’s perspectives on the many issues facing the international parliamentary community are presented. I am pleased that the delegation will be able to connect with colleagues from around the globe and they will share best practice, innovations, and solutions.”

New Zealand will contribute to the central debate on the theme ‘Strengthening the global regime for migrants and refugees: the need for evidence-based policy solutions’. Delegates will also participate in Standing Committees which will examine the role of parliaments in ending discrimination based on sexual orientation and gender identity, supporting sustainable development and renewable energy, health, and nuclear non-proliferation and disarmament. Meetings of women and young parliamentarians will be held, to discuss and develop mechanisms for ensuring diversity and representativeness in parliaments.

Immediately prior to the Assembly, New Zealand’s permanent representative to the IPU, Rt Hon David Carter will take part in a mission on behalf of the IPU Committee on the Human Rights of Parliamentarians to the Maldives. He will also represent New Zealand at the IPU’s roundtable on the Common Principles for Support to Parliaments following the Assembly.

The IPU brings together parliamentarians from over 170 countries, twice a year. Members have diverse systems of government, cultures, and histories, but share a commitment to peace and cooperation among peoples. The IPU was established in 1889 and remains the worldwide focal point for parliamentary dialogue and a global champion of representative democracy and human rights.

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Canada’s 2018-2020 Immigration plan is a step in right direction

Canada’s 2018-2020 immigration plan is a step in right direction, but more work is needed

Canada's 2018-2020 Immigration plan is a step in right direction

Canada’s 2018-2020 Immigration plan is a step in the right direction

Canadian Immigration Summit 2018 will focus on ways to make Canada’s immigration system stronger

In November 2017, the federal government tabled just the second multi-year immigration plan in Canadian history. In a forthcoming Conference Board of Canada study, we find that the 2018-2020 immigration plan puts us on the right track in terms of helping Canada mitigate the negative economic and fiscal impacts of its aging population and low birth rate.

The plan will see Canada up its intake from some 290,000 newcomers last year to 340,000 by 2020. Our new report shows that immigration will become increasingly important to Canada’s economic growth. In 2017, Canada’s economy grew by an impressive three percent—largely driven by strong consumer spending, a hot housing market, and the fastest employment growth in a decade. The situation has brought Canada’s unemployment rate to the lowest level on record—accelerating the fundamental labour market challenges related to retiring baby boomers.

Our current demographic trends suggest that immigration will account for an estimated one-third of Canada’s real GDP growth by 2030. If not for immigration, Canada’s population growth would slowly erode. Our natural increase, calculated by subtracting the number of deaths from births, is forecast to turn negative by 2034. This situation has already materialized in Atlantic Canada which has resulted in difficult economic and fiscal prospects for the region.

Growing Canada’s labour force essential

It is important to note, however, that population growth is not the key objective of supporting a flourishing economy. Rather, an important goal is to grow the labour force to have enough workers to keep our economy moving and pay the taxes we rely upon to fund important social priorities such as education and healthcare. Labour force and productivity growth are the two components that allow Canada to increase its economic output and living standards. In recent years, immigration has accounted for 90 percent of labour force growth and will soon account for all of it as more baby boomers exit the workforce. We project that Canada will need to up its intake to some 400,000 immigrants annually around 2034 (when natural increase turns negative) to help sustain healthy labour force and economic growth.

But, the relationship between immigration and economic growth is not so simple as “more is better.” More important is to ensure the success of new Canadians in the workforce. In a 2016 study, we found that immigrants lose up to $12.7 billion in wages each year due to employment barriers. We must tackle this challenge to ensure better outcomes for immigrants and our economy.

Fortunately, Canada has taken positive steps on this issue. The Express Entry application management system is more dynamic which allows employers to hire immigrants overseas and bring them to Canada in six months or less. Its quick processing standard encourages employers to use the immigration system and attaches immigrants to jobs in their field. The Provincial Nominee Program has grown in prominence since becoming permanent in 1998 and helps match immigrants with the employment needs of Canada’s provinces and territories.

Other promising developments include more pre-arrival information and settlement supports for newcomers, and Canada facilitating more immigration pathways for temporary residents such as through the Quebec Experience Program—research shows that international students and temporary foreign workers integrate very well into Canada’s economy.

Improving labour market performance of immigrants

Nonetheless, we have much more work to do. For instance, employers continue to report challenges using the immigration system so we need to identify how we can make it easier for them. We can, for example, introduce a ‘trusted employer’ program to expedite the selection process. We are already doing this on a smaller scale through the Atlantic Immigration Pilot and Global Talent Stream. We also need to encourage Canadian employers to give immigrants a fair shot. It is understandable why some may be hesitant to hire immigrants but it is critical for us to help them appreciate that immigrants are skilled, motivated, and can provide employers with a competitive edge.

Canada’s immigrant intake has been the subject of intense scrutiny throughout our country’s history and remained a hot topic leading up to the November 2017 announcement. But, the actual number of new Canadians that we welcome is not as important as the key issue: what we do with them. We must place more focus on improving their labour market performance so that the rising inflow produces greater economic benefits for immigrants and Canadians alike.

Join us at the Canadian Immigration Summit 2018

Join us in Ottawa on May 30-31, 2018, to explore how we can make our immigration system even stronger. Featured speakers include the Hon. Louise Arbour, UN Special Representative for International Migration, the Hon. Lena Metlege Diab, Minister of Immigration for Nova Scotia and Corinne Prince St-Amand, Director General for Settlement and Integration Policy with Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada.

Posted in British Columbia, Canada, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, Ontario, Quebec, Saskatchewan, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The latest Canada Express Entry invited 3500 Candidates

April 11 sees largest Express Entry draw of 2018

The latest Canada Express Entry invited 3500 Candidates

The latest Canada Express Entry invited 3500 Candidates

3,500 candidates invited with CRS scores as low as 444

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada has issued 3,500 invitations to apply to candidates in the Express Entry pool in a draw that took place on Wednesday, April 11.

The minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score required to obtain an Invitation to Apply (ITA) during this draw was 444.

The cut-off score is two points lower than the previous invitation round, which took place on March 26 and had a CRS minimum of 446. The March 26 draw took place 12 days after the previous invitation round on March 14 and saw the CRS cut-off score drop by 10 points over that previous invitation round.

Today’s draw broke the recent trend of 3,000 ITAs being issued, which was also the case in the four previous draws going back to February 7. The Government of Canada has issued 21,000 ITAs since the start of 2018.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) applied the tie-break rule in the April 11 draw. For this invitation round, the time and date of the tie-break was March 26, 2018 at 08:25:40 UTC. This means that all candidates with a CRS score above 444, as well as those candidates with scores of 444 who submitted their profile before this time, received an ITA.

To enter the Express Entry pool and be assigned a CRS score, individuals need to be eligible under one of Canada’s federal economic immigration programs: the Federal Skilled Worker Class (FSWC), the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), or the Federal Skilled Trades Class (FSTC).

According to targets set in Canada’s multi-year immigration levels plan for 2018-2020, the federal government set a target of 74,900 admissions for the three economic immigration classes administered through the Express Entry system.

Larger draws, like the one conducted today, may help the government reach its higher Express Entry admission targets for 2018 and 2019.

How the Government of Canada will continue working towards the 2018 and 2019 targets remains to be seen. It could mean larger draws or more frequent draws, or some other approach.

Looking at last year, April 2017 was one of the busiest months for Express Entry with three draws and a total of 11,341 ITAs issued. The lowest CRS minimum cut-off score last April was 415.

Active Express Entry-linked Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs)

In the first quarter of 2018, various Canadian provinces have made use of their Express-Entry (or ‘enhanced’) PNPs. With a provincial nomination, Express Entry candidates obtain an additional 600 points toward their CRS score, leaving them well-positioned for an ITA.

Learn how Canadian provinces have been utilizing their PNPs to select Express Entry candidates and meet their annual admission targets.

The following hypothetical scenario illustrates how a candidate could have obtained an ITA during the April 11 draw:

Michael is 35 years old, has a Master’s degree and has been working as a software engineer for 5 years. He wrote the IELTS and scored an 8 in each category. While Michael has never worked or studied in Canada, his CRS score of 445 would have been sufficient to obtain and ITA during the April 11 Express Entry Draw.

“The largest draw of 2018 is very exciting news. The Government of Canada has higher admission targets for each of the next three years, and larger draws may be one of the ways of achieving this,” said Attorney David Cohen, senior partner with the Canadian immigration law firm Campbell, Cohen.

“Even though this draw was more than 2 weeks after the previous draw, the larger draw size still helped reduce the minimum CRS score required.”

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Visas available to Work or Training in an Eligible Skilled Occupation in Australia

List of Visas Available to Work or Training in an eligible skilled occupation in Australia

Visas available to Work or Training in an Eligible Skilled Occupation in Australia

Visas available to Work or Training in an Eligible Skilled Occupation in Australia

Lists of eligible skilled occupations

The following visas are available to individuals who are qualified to work or train in an eligible skilled occupation in Australia and can meet all other requirements:

  • Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186)
  • Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187)
  • Skilled Independent visa (subclass 189) – Points-tested stream
  • Skilled Nominated visa (subclass 190)
  • Training visa (subclass 407)
  • Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482)
  • Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) – Graduate Work
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) visa (subclass 489)

The occupations available are reviewed regularly by the Department of Jobs and Small Business to ensure their responsiveness to changes in the Australian labour market and regional variations across Australia. For more information, including how to make a submission in relation to a particular occupation.

The most recent update to these lists occurred on 18 March 2018 – see Summary of 18 March 2018 changes to the lists of eligible skilled occupations. This update was, however, outside of the regular review schedule and was implemented to coincide with the introduction of the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482) and related changes to the permanent employer-sponsored skilled visas. For information on recent reforms to Australia’s skilled visa programs – see Abolition and replacement of the 457 visa – Government reforms to employer-sponsored skilled migration visas.

A current list of eligible skilled occupations can be found in a legislative instrument for the relevant visa program (see below). In order to determine which visa program may be available to you depending on your occupation, we recommend that you first check the combined current list of eligible skilled occupations.

This single alphabetical list of the eligible skilled occupations also provides information regarding:

  1. Whether the occupation is included on the Medium and Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), the Short-term Skilled Occupation List (STSOL) or the Regional Occupation List (ROL) for the particular visa program
  2. The Assessing Authorities which you must contact if you are required to complete a skills assessment for your visa application. There will be a charge for this service and the assessing authority will provide all necessary application forms and associated information
  3. The Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) code for each occupation. The ANZSCO provides information on the skill levels of jobs, qualifications and/or experience needed to work in occupations – see Australian Bureau of Statistics
  4. Whether any caveats apply to your particular occupation. Caveats in the list exclude the occupations in certain circumstances from use under the subclass 186 and TSS visa programs only. A summary of Caveats on occupations is available.
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Australia’s new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Regulations

Australia’s new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Regulations

Australia's new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Regulations

Australia’s new Temporary Skill Shortage Visa Regulations

TSS Visa Update: Employer’s Guide to New Regulations

The Department of Immigration (Australia) officially concluded the subclass 457 visa program and replaced it with the new Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) visa (subclass 482).

The TSS visa will feature a Short and Medium to the Long-term program, with applicants to both streams needing to satisfy additional new criteria, including:

Increased English language requirements.    

Short-term applicants will require an International Language Testing score of 5 overall—or an equivalent—with a minimum score of 4.5 in each component.

Medium-term stream applicants will need a score of 5 overall, with a minimum score of 5 in each component.

Two year’s work experience relevant to the position that is being applied for.

The work experience obligation must also be met in addition to any ANZSCO requirements that the applicant is subject to.

Genuine Temporary Entrant requirement.

Applicants will be required to meet the “Genuine Temporary Entrant” requirement to demonstrate that they intend to undertake temporary work and not maintain a continuing residency in Australia.

Additional character checks, health checks and police clearances.

Applicants will be required to provide police clearance certificates where appropriate, as well as meeting the visa’s health criteria.

Employers will no longer be able to meet the health criteria by way of a health undertaking.

Employers will also be subject to new mandatory labour market testing, as well as new requirements pertaining to non-discriminatory workforce testing and minimum salary requirements.

The Department has indicated that exemptions will be made in instances where certain international trade obligations apply, with transitional arrangement also to be made available for some current 457 visa holders.

Other changes have also been made to the Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) visa (subclass 186), and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) visa (subclass 187).

Sponsorship Charges and Market Testing Requirements

The fee structure for the sponsorship of TSS visa workers has currently been set to the following:

Standard Business Sponsorship.

$420

TSS Nomination.

$330

TSS Visa Short-Term Stream.

$1150

TSS Visa Medium-Term Stream.

$2400

Labour Market Testing will now be a mandatory requirement for all TSS visa applications going forward.

This means that any nomination that was lodged with the Department on or after March 18 and before June 18 will be required to meet the labour market testing obligations that were applicable during the 12-month period immediately preceding the nomination’s lodgement.

All nominations that are made on or after June 18 will need to meet this requirement within the six-month period prior to its lodgement.

Workforce Testing and International Trade Exemptions

Businesses wishing to sponsor temporary migrant workers will now also be subjected to mandatory non-discriminatory workforce testing to ensure that local workers are not being passed over in favour of foreign nationals.

The testing will not be conducted on all TSS visa applicants, however the Department has said that further testing can be expected for companies with a workforce makeup that does not conform to the industry standard.

International trade obligations may provide businesses with some exemptions from the new TSS visa requirements if the nominated employee is from a World Trade Organisation (WTO) member country, or a country with whom Australia has an international treaty obligation.

The government is also expected to introduce the new Skilling Australians Fund (SAF) tax in the near future, although the legislation surrounding the levy has yet to officially finalised in Parliament.

The current Training Benchmark obligations will continue to apply to existing sponsors until further notice. However, new sponsors will be not be required to demonstrate compliance with the existing training benchmarks until the new levy is officially introduced.

Changes to Transitional Arrangements and the ENS and RSMS Program

The government has also introduced a series of new regulations which have mandated changes to the ENS (subclass 186) and RSMS (subclass 187) visa program.

Visa applicants to the ENS or RSMS program will now be required to satisfy the following revised criteria:

Minimum Salary Requirements.

Employers will be required to pay the annual market salary rate and meet the Temporary Skilled Migration Income Threshold (TSMIT).

Age Limit

Applicants must now be below the maximum age of 45 at the time of their application, as opposed to the previous maximum age of 50.

Previous Work Experience

Prospective visa applicants must demonstrate that they have completed at least three years of work experience relevant to the role that they are applying for.

This requirement applies in addition to the ANZSCO work experience requirement for the nominated occupation.

Occupation List

The nominee’s occupation must be on the Medium to Long-term Strategic Skills List (MLTSSL), unless the business is in a regional area.

The RSMS List will remain unchanged at this stage, with possible amendments to be introduced in July 2018 upon completion of stakeholder consultation.

Residency Period

Migrant workers who are part of the Temporary Residence Transition stream will now become eligible for permanent residency after three years rather than two.

Foreign nationals who were part of the 457-visa program—or who had a 457 application pending on or before April 18, 2017—may also be eligible for certain transitional arrangements leading to permanent residency under the Temporary Residence Transition stream.

Any visa holders who transition from a 457 to a TSS visa will be automatically eligible to apply for the TSS program onshore with a limit of two application to be made from within Australia.

If 457 holders wish to transfer their employment to a new sponsor then they have the option of doing so by lodging a TSS visa nomination, although if this requires a change in occupation then it will necessitate the lodgement of a new TSS application.

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