Saskatchewan’s new EOI system now in effect for Express Entry

Saskatchewan’s new EOI system now in effect for Express Entry

Saskatchewan’s new EOI system now in effect for Express Entry

Saskatchewan’s new EOI system now in effect for Express Entry

Saskatchewan’s new Expression of Interest system now in effect for Express Entry, Occupations In-Demand sub-categories

New EOI system boasts numerous advantages over old first-come, first-served model

Today marks the first day of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program’s new Expression of Interest system for its Express Entry and Occupations In-Demand sub-categories.

The move to an Expression of Interest (EOI) system brings an end to the first-come, first-served model that Saskatchewan had used for these two International Skilled Worker sub-categories, which shut the door to many qualified applicants who couldn’t get their applications in on time.

The Express Entry sub-category allows Saskatchewan to select eligible immigration candidates in the federal government’s Express Entry system and invited them to apply for a provincial nomination. The Occupations In-Demand sub-category is for eligible skilled workers who possess the specified amount of work experience in one of Saskatchewan’s in-demand occupations.

Ensuring ‘strong economic outcomes’

Saskatchewan says the switch to an EOI system will now allow its provincial nominee program, the SINP, to better target those most likely to succeed in Saskatchewan’s labour market. As the SINP says on the webpage outlining the new system, “a goal of the EOI system is to ensure strong economic outcomes and long-term retention in Saskatchewan for those invited to apply.”

Under an EOI system, interested candidates register a profile with the SINP and are given a ranking score based on their answers to questions concerning work experience, education and proficiency in English or French, among other factors.

Those who score at least 60 points on Saskatchewan’s assessment grid, and satisfy other eligibility requirements, are entered into its pool of candidates for either the Express Entry and Occupations In-Demand sub-category and select candidates are invited to apply for a provincial nomination through regular draws.

This emphasis on a candidate’s so-called human capital, rather than how quickly they are able to apply, follows other Canadian provinces that already employ a merit-based EOI approach to selecting immigration candidates. The federal government’s EOI-based Express Entry system is another case in point, which replaced a first-come, first-served model in 2015 and selects the highest-ranked candidates based on a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS).

Deeper pool of candidates

Saskatchewan’s EOI system will also give more people an opportunity to compete for a provincial nomination through these sub-categories, which are among the few in Canada that do not require a job offer in order to be considered.

Unlike the outgoing first-come, first-served approach, which only accepted an allotted number of applications, anyone who meets the eligibility requirements for either sub-category can now compete for a provincial nomination.

“Opening the selection process to all eligible candidates will be a key benefit of Saskatchewan’s switch to an EOI system,” said David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian Immigration Law Firm in Montreal. “With the move to regular draws instead of occasional openings, it will no longer about the lucky few who were quick enough to apply.”

This could also be good news for interested Express Entry candidates with lower CRS scores. Saskatchewan’s Express Entry sub-category does not have a minimum CRS score requirement, so anyone eligible for the Express Entry pool can submit an Expression of Interest. A provincial nomination is worth an additional 600 CRS points, which essentially guarantees an Invitation to Apply for Canadian permanent residence to all Express Entry candidates who receive one, regardless of their initial CRS score.

The possibility of occupation-focused draws

Another advantage of the new EOI system is the SINP’s assertion that it may limit some draws to specific occupations “so that nominees with positive employment prospects in Saskatchewan are selected.” A specified amount of work experience in one of Saskatchewan’s 33 in-demand occupations is required in order to be eligible for either sub-category.

For candidates with lower ranking scores, such draws could help them obtain an Invitation to Apply for a provincial nomination from Saskatchewan if they have work experience in one of the targeted occupations.

This is something we’ve seen in Ontario, whose Express Entry-linked Human Capital Priorities Stream has waived its minimum points requirement on occasion in favor of work experience in a targeted field.

Last but certainly not least is the fact a move to an EOI system means candidates who receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) through the SINP’s EOI system for a provincial nomination will now have 60 days to submit their application from the moment they receive the ITA. This window is far more user-friendly than the application window under the old first-come, first-served model, which usually remained open for only a few hours.

“Sixty days to apply is a lot longer than 60 minutes, but it can still pass quickly,” David Cohen said. “It’s always a good an idea to prepare for an Invitation to Apply by collecting the required documents in advance to ensure you don’t miss the application deadline.”

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

From where Australia’s permanent migrants come

Where Australia’s permanent migrants come from

From where Australia's permanent migrants come

From where Australia’s permanent migrants come

NEW data shows where Australia’s permanent migrants are really coming from — and you might be surprised by the results.

NEW figures have revealed where Australia’s two million permanent migrants have come from since 2000.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has released new data that identifies India, England and China as some of the top birth countries of the country’s migrants.

It has also revealed that more than half of them are buying or trying to buy their own homes.

There were about 2.2 million permanent migrants in Australia in 2016, who arrived between January 1, 2000, and August 9, 2016, according to the 2016 Australian Census and Migrants Integrated Dataset.

The report links data gathered from the 2016 Census and from the Department of Social Services.

It found 58 percent (1.2 million people) had been granted a skilled visa, 32 percent (683,603) entered via the family stream and just 10 percent (214,656 people) were on humanitarian visas.

The data also revealed where the migrants were coming from.

For those coming to Australia on the skilled visa, the top country of birth was India (19 percent), followed by England and China.

When it comes to family migrants, the top country of birth was China (14 percent), then England and India.

For those on humanitarian visas, Iraq was the top country of birth (18 percent), followed by Afghanistan and Myanmar

About 78 percent of those applying for humanitarian visas were offshore applicants. They were the most likely category of migrants to apply for their visas overseas, compared to those on the family stream (72 percent) and skilled migrants (60 percent).

The figures also revealed that about 54 percent of permanent migrants aged 15 years and older, where buying or owned their own home.

Migrants in the family stream were the most likely to own their home outright (14 percent), followed by skilled migrants (8 percent) and humanitarian migrants (4.7 percent).

The data comes as migration numbers in Australia hit a 10-year low.

Reference: Click here

Liberal senator Dean Smith this week called for a review into Australia’s population policy as the nation approached 25 million residents.

But Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said Australia’s immigration and population growth was constantly under review.

He also said the Federal Government was building new projects, like the Western Sydney Airport, to meet rising demand.

“We are getting actively involved, we’re building infrastructure ourselves,” he told 3AW radio in Melbourne.

Home Affairs Minister Peter Dutton said last week that the annual intake of permanent migrants fell by 20,000 last year to 162,000, with both skilled and family visas down.

This was the lowest in a decade and attributable to tighter vetting procedures, he said, with dishonest applications in the Government’s crosshairs.

“We’re making sure that people who do become part of our Australian family are coming here to work, not to lead a life on welfare,” he told reporters in Brisbane.

“If you have a robust migration program like we have, and you are assured of the entrants coming in through the program, that they are going to be productive, that they are going to work hard, they aren’t going to lead a life on welfare … you will see the increased economic benefit.”

Immigration remains a talking point in Australia, amid concern about jobs and overcrowding in major cities.

The Labor Opposition welcomed the drop in migration numbers but said the Government must do more to help those in offshore detention, where hundreds still remain in limbo.

“We have seen suicides, we’ve seen a range of mental health conditions being identified and the Government has got that element of the policy wrong,” senior Labor MP Anthony Albanese said.

Migrants trying to enter Australia by sea have been sent to camps on Papua New Guinea’s Manus Island or on Nauru in the Pacific for processing, with even those found to be genuine refugees barred from Australia.

The policy has been criticised by rights groups as well as the United Nations, which has slammed Canberra’s harsh treatment of asylum-seekers who arrive by boat.

Dutton defended the policy as a deterrent against people-smugglers and added that it allowed Australia to offer refuge to those seeking asylum through legitimate channels.

“Last year we had the biggest offshore intake (of refugees) into our country that we’ve seen in decades,” he said. “We did that because we’ve secured our borders.”

Australia’s humanitarian intake — which it excludes from its permanent migration count — was close to 22,000 for its 2016-17 program, which included a special assistance provision for 8200 people affected.

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

Canada speeds up student visa process for Indians

Canada speeds up the student visa process for Indians

Canada speeds up the student visa process for Indians

Canada speeds up the student visa process for Indians

Canada has introduced a faster and simpler visa processing mechanism for students from India and three other countries. The number of Indian students opting for studies in Canada is on the rise+ and this new program which cuts down the processing time for study permits (which are student visas) to within 45 days as opposed to within 60 days will be helpful.

Students from India, China, Vietnam and Philippines who demonstrate upfront that they have the requisite financial resources and language skills to succeed academically in Canada are eligible to opt for the newly introduced ‘Student Direct Stream’ (SDS) program.

The erstwhile Student Partners Program (SPP) that entailed less visa documentation and quicker processing were more narrow in scope and available only to students applying to 40 odd participating Canadian colleges. On the other hand, the SDS program, introduced in early June, is available to students opting for post-secondary courses (ie: college education) at all designated learning institutes, according to a statement issued by the Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC), which is the Canadian government’s immigration division.

This announcement almost coincides with the UK’s government decision to exclude Indian students from easier visa norms. Given the growing protectionism in UK and USA, the number of Indian students opting for Canada is steadily growing. Indian students obtained 83,410 study permits during 2017, a rise of 58% over the previous year.

Earlier, including during 2015 and 2016, Chinese students were the largest class of international students to be allotted the study permits. India topped this list in 2017, with its students garnering 26% of the total study permits issued in that year, with China following closely behind. The trend of Indian students being the largest class of international students it is more pronounced during the period January to April 2018, with 29,000 odd Indian students obtaining the study permits as opposed to 16,925 from China. These statistics are based on an analysis done by TOI, of the open data available on the Canadian government’s website.

According to the Canadian Bureau for International Education, a non-profit agency in the educational domain, there were 4.95 lakh international students studying in Canada at the end of 2017, a rise of 20%. In an email reply to TOI, a spokesperson from the IRCC said that top source countries for international students, who were present in Canada as of December 3, 2017, were China (with 1.40 lakh students), India (with 1.24 lakh students) and Republic of Korea (with 23,050 students).

Ontario-based Talha Mohani, immigration law specialist and managing director at Migration Bureau Corp, explains the nitty-gritty of the SDS program “A study permit application is assessed in terms of eligibility and admissibility, which include finance, language and medical. Under the SDS program, several of these criteria are to be satisfied upfront. The student must pay the first-semester tuition fee, in addition to buying a guaranteed investment certificate of Canadian $ 10,000. A minimum score of 6 for English in the International English Language Testing System is also required. The applicant also has to submit a copy of the upfront medical exam confirmation document. Given that some key criteria are met upfront when the application is made, enables the IRCC to reduce the time required to verify and complete the assessment process.”

“Canadian education and work experience (internship experience counts) are extremely valuable when it comes to job prospects in Canada,” cites a job facilitator. Cynthia Murphy, interim India regional manager at Canadian Immigrant Integration Program, says, “Canadian college students including international students usually complete a work placement (internship) as part of their study course. This enables them to connect with future employers.”

According to IRCC, “The SDS complements the express entry system as these students will be well placed to continue on the path to permanent residence and Canadian citizenship after completing their studies in Canada if they wish to.”The express entry program for permanent residency in Canada is point based and a Canadian education helps garner extra points. Mohani explains that an applicant can get 15 extra points for a post-secondary education program in Canada which is of a one to two-year duration and 30 points if it is of a duration of three years or more. While official data is not available on the most popular courses that Indian students opt for, industry watchers say that business management, civil engineering, software engineering, medicine, and hospitality are some of the popular courses.

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