Auckland remains world third best city for quality of life

Auckland remains world’s third best city for quality of life

Auckland remains world's third best city for quality of life

Auckland remains world’s third best city for quality of life

Auckland has again been ranked the third best city in the world for quality of life, according to an international survey.

Consultancy giant Mercer’s Quality of Living Index has ranked the Super City third out of 450 cities. Austrian capital Vienna was top, and Switzerland’s largest city, Zurich, was second. Auckland shared third place with German city Munich.

Wellington came in at 15th place, followed by Melbourne at 16th place. Sydney was Australia’s top-ranked city at 10.

Mercer New Zealand CEO Martin Lewington said the City of Sails remained an attractive place to do business.

“There are a number of factors which have contributed to companies looking at establishing headquarters or relocating expats to Auckland,”  he said.

“New Zealand’s natural environment and subtropical climate, stable political and social environment, and good medical and health services are the top three contributing factors for Auckland retaining third spot in the global rankings.”

This year, Mercer introduced a separate ranking on city sanitation, which analysed cities’ waste removal and sewage infrastructure, levels of infectious disease, air pollution, water availability and quality.

Auckland ranked 5th and Wellington 6th in sanitation, with Honolulu taking first place, followed by Helsinki and Ottawa sharing second place.

“With Auckland and Wellington’s air and water quality being among the world’s cleanest, compared to some other popular expat destinations, it means that New Zealand becomes more attractive for global talent,” said Lewington.


Here’s why we think Auckland deserves it’s third-place ranking.

  1. Beaches – Never have a city’s residents been so spoilt for choice for a stunning array of freely accessible beaches. Within an hours drive from Auckland CBD Aucklanders can frolic on the west coast’s black sand beaches of Piha, Karekare and Muriwai, enjoy inner harbour Mission Bay or head out northeast to pink sand Pakiri.
  2. Food – Forget about fine dining, multicultural Auckland has clusters of affordable ethnic restaurants dotted around the ithmus serving authentic and downright tasty food.
  3. Festivals – Every year thousands flock to a multitude of festivals embracing Auckland’s myriad ethnicities, for starters there’s Diwali, the Chinese Lantern Festival and Pasifika Festival.
  4. Village people – Although Auckland has a CBD, the sprawling city maintains a village feel. Titirangi village in the Waitakeres is far removed from Newmarket shopping precinct as is Mangere’s street life community feel.
  5. Cone heads – Rome has its seven hills, Rio has Corcovado Mountain and Cape Town Table Mountain, but Auckland has 48 maunga, or volcanic cones.
Posted in Business / Investor Visa, Dependent Visa, Immigration, New Zealand, Switzerland, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

More money to support immigrant women


More money to support immigrant women

More money to support immigrant women

In the federal budget for 2018, the government of Canada has committed historic amounts of money to help women enter the workforce. This includes more than $30 million specifically dedicated to helping newcomer women with finding employment in Canada!

Canada’s federal budget was released on February 27th, 2018. The budget is strongly committed to supporting equality between men and women, including a number of measures to support women who want to join the workforce. The government recognizes that immigrant women have unique needs when they arrive in Canada. For this reason, the government has dedicated $31.8 million for programs to help newcomer women of visible minority communities.

The government has promised funds to help newcomer women gain the skills needed to find work in Canada. One program supported by the funds will be language training. The funds will also support affordable childcare, so mothers can ensure their children are well cared for while they are working. While the government has not released full details about all programs supported by the funds, it is clear that immigrant women will have incredible opportunities in Canada in the coming years!

“Employment is key to the successful integration of newcomers to Canada, supporting their financial independence and allowing them to make social connections and retain and build job skills,” the government states in the federal budget. “However, newcomers sometimes face significant barriers to finding and keeping good jobs, including language challenges, lack of Canadian experience, a lack of social networks and, in some cases, discrimination.” With the dedication of these new funds, newcomer women will be able to overcome these hurdles and establish successful lives in Canada!


In addition to the measures specific to women, the federal budget also outlined nearly $440 million to support Canada’s increased immigration quotas. The government has committed to welcoming almost 1 million new immigrants over the next three years. By directing nearly half a billion dollars of funding towards immigration, Canada is proving its dedication to new immigrants.

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Can i work in Canada without a Work permit?


Can i work in Canada without a Work permit?

Can i work in Canada without a Work permit?

If you want to work in Canada, chances are you need a work permit! But, in a few cases it is possible to work in Canada without holding a work permit. We’ve put together a list of the cases where a work permit is not required.


A work permit is a legal document issued by Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). This document gives its holder the permission to work and receive compensation from a Canadian employer. Working in Canada without the proper authorization can have serious consequences. If you are discovered to have violated the terms of your status in Canada, it can jeopardize all future Canadian immigration applications.


In certain rare situations a person may work in Canada without a work permit. Usually, these positions are for short-term employment in specific areas. For example, an emergency service provider who needs to enter Canada briefly to provide support in an emergency situation, or a musician who is entering Canada for a single performance.

The following types of jobs may not require a work permit for foreign nationals to engage in Canadian employment. It should be noted that just because a job is on this list it does not mean that a person will be eligible for a work permit exemption. In order to qualify for a work permit exemption, a person’s job must be on this list and they must meet the additional exemption criteria for their specific job as outlined on the International Mobility Program webpage.

  • Athlete or coach
  • Aviation accident or incident investigator
  • Business visitor
  • Civil aviation inspector
  • Clergy
  • Convention organizer
  • Crew member
  • Emergency service provider
  • Examiner and evaluator
  • Expert witness or investigator
  • Family member of foreign representative
  • Foreign government officer or representative
  • Health care student
  • Judge, referee or similar official
  • Military personnel
  • News reporter or film and media crew
  • Producer or staff member working on advertisements
  • Performing artist
  • Public speaker
  • Short-term highly-skilled worker
  • Short-term researcher
  • Student working off-campus
  • Student working on-campus

If a foreign national is employed in one of the positions or scenarios listed above, they may be eligible for a work permit exemption!


If your job isn’t on the list, there are still options! This just means you have to follow the proper procedure for obtaining a Canadian work permit. There are a few different types of work permits.

Post-Graduation Work Permit: This is for recent graduates of a Canadian educational institution.

Accompanying Spouse – Work Permit: If you are accompanying your spouse while they study in Canada or work in Canada, or if your spouse is sponsoring you for Canadian permanent residency, then you might be eligible to apply for the open work permit for accompanying spouses.

Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA) Work Permit: If you have a job offer from a Canadian employer you might be eligible to apply for a work permit. But! In most cases, first your employer has to obtain a document called an LMIA, proving that they were unable to find a Canadian to fill the position.

LMIA-Exempt Work Permit: Sometimes, if you have a job offer from a Canadian employer, you can apply for a work permit without an LMIA. This is an LMIA-exempt work permit. Usually, LMIA-exemptions pertain to international trade agreements or to facilitate the hiring of very high-skilled workers.

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

IRCC issuing new invitations to apply under Parents and Prandparents Program

IRCC now issuing new invitations to apply under Parents and Grandparents Program

IRCC now issuing new invitations to apply under Parents and Grandparents Program

IRCC now issuing new invitations to apply under Parents and Grandparents Program

IRCC now issuing new invitations to apply under Parents and Grandparents Program

Interested sponsors have 60 days from the date of invitation to submit complete applications

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada began sending out invitations this week to potential sponsors through its Parents and Grandparents Program.

In a March 19 update, Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) announced that potential sponsors have now been selected at random and have 60 days (from the date of invitation) to submit a complete application.

Last year, IRCC introduced new procedures for the Parents and Grandparents Program, or PGP, including a first step that requires Canadian citizens and permanent residents to submit an Interest to Sponsor form.

This year, IRCC accepted forms from potential sponsors between January 2 and February 1. It then randomly selected individuals who submitted an Interest to Sponsor form.

IRCC says that if 10,000 complete applications are not received from selected potential sponsors, there may be an additional round of invitations held at a later date in 2018.

New features to facilitate the application process

Individuals who submitted an Interest to Sponsor form and have been selected are now being contacted by IRCC via email. IRCC encourages those who have completed and submitted an Interest to Sponsor form to check the inbox and junk mail folder of the email account they used to submit it.

A newly added feature allows potential sponsors to look up their assigned confirmation number and compare it with a published list of invitees. This means individuals can find out if they have been invited to submit an application and begin preparing their application before receiving a confirmation email from IRCC.

Individuals who have lost or forgotten the unique confirmation number issued upon submitting an Interest to Sponsor form can complete a new online form and find out within 10 business days if they were invited to apply.

Family reunification a top immigration priority

IRCC said it introduced the randomized selection process and Interest to Sponsor form to the PGP sponsorship program to fast-track the application process and reduce costs incurred by applicants with the previous first-come, first-served paper-based application process.

Last year, IRCC also doubled the intake cap for the PGP from 5,000 to 10,000 in order to help more Canadian citizens and permanent residents bring their loved ones to Canada.

The new process also favours complete applications, which means that individuals who have submitted an Interest to Sponsor form in the latest round may yet be invited to apply if those currently invited don’t apply or submit complete applications.

Therefore, individuals who did not receive an invitation to submit a complete application should not lose hope and IRCC asks that these individuals remain up-to-date on any prospective future invitation rounds.

“The annual 10,000 application intake limit ensures that new applicants have the chance to apply, while the levels plan for parents and grandparents ensures enough are processed each year so that processing times are reasonable and the backlog is further reduced,” IRCC stated.

Canada’s multi-year immigration levels plan provides for an increase in the intake allocation for the PGP year-after-year to a total of 61,500 new permanent residents invited through the program by 2020.

Any individual interested in sponsoring a parent or a grandparent through the program is required to review and meet the eligibility requirements for the program, which includes a detailed breakdown of income requirements.

The Parent and Grandparent Super Visa is another option available to individuals who have child or grandchild in Canada. The Super Visa gives eligible individuals the option to stay in Canada for up to two years at their initial visit, which enables an extended time spent with loved ones than what a regular six-month visa permits.

Next steps

Potential sponsors should submit a complete 2018 application package to IRCC before the specified deadline and pay the required fees on time. It is important to note that an invitation to submit a complete application cannot be transferred to another individual.

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Express Entry what are my Chances?


Express Entry what are my Chances?

Express Entry what are my Chances?

Canada’s Express Entry immigration system can be confusing. Express Entry uses a complicated points-based ranking system to select the most competitive candidates to become Canadian permanent residents. Most people interested in Express Entry want to know: “What are my chances?” Today, we’re going to explain the Express Entry system and take you through a couple of examples to showcase the different possibilities for Express Entry immigration.


Express Entry is Canada’s federal system for managing economic immigration applications. Express Entry includes three major programs: Federal Skilled Worker (FSW), Canadian Experience Class (CEC) and Federal Skilled Trades (FST).

All three programs require interested candidates to create an Express Entry profile, where they list their personal information and their qualifications for immigration. This profile is considered an Expression of Interest (EOI) but is not an official application for immigration. Based on their profile, every candidate is assigned a score out of 1200 points; this is called a Comprehensive Ranking System Score or CRS Score. Approximately every two weeks, the Canadian government conducts an Express Entry draw where they select the profiles with the highest score and they issue official Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence.


When people ask: “What are my chances with Express Entry?” What they usually mean is: “How high will my CRS score be?” and, “Is this high enough to receive an Invitation to Apply?”

While we can never accurately predict the CRS score required to receive an ITA, in the last year the minimum CRS score required to receive an ITA has dropped as low as 413 points, so this is a good target for new profiles.

The CRS score is complex. There are a number of different factors considered in calculating the score, including age, level of education, English and French language proficiency, work experience, and connections to Canada (education, work experience, siblings, etc.). As well, certain provinces or territories may nominate select Express Entry candidates for immigration to their province. This is called a Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) and scores an Express Entry candidate an additional 600 points for their profile!


To better explain the CRS score and what someone’s chances might be in Express Entry, we thought it might be useful to look at a few hypothetical situations. Below are three examples of Express Entry candidates. We will walk you through their projected CRS score and present their best options for Canadian immigration.

Please note: the following examples use applicants who are applying without a spouse or common-law partner. Including your partner on your profile does have some minor effects on your CRS score. To learn more, take a look at our article discussing whether or not you’ll gain extra CRS points if you include your spouse!

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