What are the changes in Immigration rules to Australia from July 1st 2018

What are the changes in Immigration rules to Australia from July 1st 2018

What are the changes in Immigration rules to Australia from July 1st 2018

What are the changes in Immigration rules to Australia from July 1st 2018

The visa changes will affect prospective skilled migration visa applicants, businesses sponsoring skilled migrants, as well as all points-test based visa applications.

From 1 July 2018, many governmental initiatives will be implemented which will deeply impact Australia’s migrant community. This includes a series of reforms on various skilled visa categories in Australia’s migration program.

The Government is changing the eligibility requirements for some permanent skilled visas “to better align the permanent and temporary programs”.

The department claims that these measures are intended to sharpen the focus of Australia’s skilled migration programs, to ensure they better meet Australia’s skills needs.

Changes to point-based skilled migration

Australia’s skilled migration program is a points-based system designed to attract highly qualified and experienced professionals to best meet Australia’s skills needs.

There are a number of skilled migration visas that require applicants to score a minimum number of points to qualify for permanent skilled migration.

The government announced that from 1 July 2018 the point’s threshold will now be increased from 60 to 65 for skilled – independent, nominated and regional sponsored visa categories.

Global Talent Visa scheme

The Global Talent Scheme will commence in July 2018 on a trial basis for 12 months.

The visa scheme aims to attract highly skilled workers to deliver innovation to Australia’s tech industry. It consists of two streams – the start-up stream and established the business stream.

In order to sponsor the foreign workers, the employers will first need to prove their track record of hiring and training Australian workers.

According to migration agent Ranbir Singh, the scheme is similar to existing entrepreneur visa and it may have been introduced to complement the skill shortage generated after the closure of the controversial 457 visa scheme.

Increase in visa fees

Application charges for some Australian visas are going up on 1 July 2018.

The government is hoping to generate $410 million dollars over a four-year period from 2017 to 2021.

In partner visa applications, the prospective applicant will now need to pay $7,160 instead of $7,000.

The fee for Business Innovation and Investment (Subclass 188 Provisional) visa in the Premium Investor stream will record the highest hike of $190. Applicants will now have to pay $8,770 instead of $8,580.

Skilled partner age limit lowered for Australian permanent visas

The latest set of changes introduced to skilled permanent visas has lowered the maximum age of a skilled partner to 45 for which an applicant can claim additional points in the general points test.

Earlier, applicants for general skilled visas whose spouses and de facto partners were under 50 years of age, were able to claim additional five points.

The changes introduced will apply to Skilled Independent visas Subclass 189 and Subclass 190 and Skilled Regional Subclass 489 with effect from 1 July 2018.

Changes to employer-sponsored visas

Government plans to implement the Skilled Australians Fund for employer-sponsored visa categories. This will be followed by the introduction of a training levy also known as Nomination Training Contribution Charge (NTCC) for the respective sponsors.

Employers and businesses seeking to nominate a worker will need to pay NTCC for the following visas: Temporary Skill Shortage (TSS) (Subclass 482) visa, which is replacing visa subclass 457; Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) (Subclass 186) visa; and Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (RSMS) (Subclass 187) visa.

For 482 visa, an annual fee of $1200 would be implemented for each nomination for a business that has a turnover of lesser than 10 million dollars.

A fee of $3,000 is set for an employee on a permanent skilled visa (186 and 187 visas).

Migration experts claim that in the next few months, regional industry body groups may exert pressure on the government for easing out conditions for visa related to Employer Nominated (EN) and Regional State Migration Scheme (RSMS).

Spike expected in General Skilled Migration (GSM) visas

General Skilled Migration Visa is designed for skilled workers who are willing to live and work in Australia on a permanent basis. This visa is also applicable to those individuals who can get sponsorship of an Australian employer.

Ranbir Singh told SBS Punjabi there are very few options available for international students under the Employer Nominated Scheme (TSS, ENS, RSMS) and it’ll lead to a spike in the lodgement of General Skilled Migration or GSM visas (489, 189, 190 and 887).

Qualification points to secure an Expression of Interest (EOI) are also expected to go up due to an increased demand, he said.

Partner visas

This will be a two-stage process where the sponsorship application will need to be approved before the visa applicant can apply for a visa.

Migration expert Rohit Mohan said that although it’s a good move to save the prospective applicants from domestic violence, it’ll lead to further delays in visa approvals.

Skilled Occupation Lists (SOL) changes

Australia’s skilled occupation lists are currently under review and the changes are likely to be implemented in July.

A number of occupations were flagged for removal from the lists and some were put up for moving between different lists.

The last changes in Australia’s skilled occupation lists were made in March this year at the time of making the new Temporary Skill Shortage visa available when the new Regional Occupation List (ROL) was introduced.

Though at that time, the Department had said that no further changes in the lists will be made in July, but as many as 17 occupations have been flagged for removal from the list and six occupations (including Dentist and Management Accountant) for moving between different lists.

Citizenship changes

It is speculated that getting Australian citizenship will be much tougher if the government succeeds in passing the citizenship bill this year by introducing increased residence requirement up to four years and a mandatory English test.

In an exclusive interview with SBS Punjabi, the Minister for Citizenship and Multicultural Affairs, Alan Tudge said the government may bring in a conversational, primary school level test instead of IELTS.

Earlier this year, Mr.Tudge told SBS News that the government was committed to implementing the citizenship reforms from July 1.

While the Minister said he would still want this to happen within this year, the government is currently working on the details of the revised legislation, including the general residence period.

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

Express Entry 2018 mid-year report

Express Entry 2018 mid-year report: Building toward larger draws

Express Entry 2018 mid-year report

Express Entry 2018 mid-year report

Express Entry 2018 mid-year report

IRCC continues to work toward increased admission targets

Canada’s Express Entry system finished the first half of 2018 with a record-breaking June, capping a six-month run that saw draw sizes grow by more than 36 percent.

June’s total of 7,500 Invitations to Apply (ITAs) issued to Express Entry candidates more than doubled June 2017’s total of 3,409 ITAs, making it the biggest June yet for Express Entry since its introduction in 2015.

The Express Entry system manages the pool of candidates for Canada’s three main economic immigration categories — the Federal Skilled Worker Class, the Federal Skilled Trades Class and the Canadian Experience Class.

June brought to a close a half year that saw a total of 39,700 ITAs issued over 13 draws conducted through the Express Entry system.

Whereas 2017 was a bucking bronco of highs and lows in terms of both draw sizes and cut-off scores during its first six months, 2018 spent its first half trotting along at a steadily improving pace.

A key development over the last six months has been Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC)’s introduction of draw sizes that remained the same over successive invitation rounds and then increased by increments of 250 or 500 roughly every two months.

In January, IRCC issued 2,750 ITAs in each of two invitation rounds that month, a trend it began in November 2017.

These were followed by four draws of 3,000 ITAs each — two in February and two in March.

The second quarter began with an April 11 invitation round that saw IRCC raise the number of ITAs to 3,500, a number that was maintained over the next three draws until it was raised to 3,750 ITAs in June.

Given the higher admissions targets that IRCC has set for both 2018 and 2019, it was expected that the first half of 2018 would be even busier in terms of ITAs than the record-smashing first six months of 2017, when 51,285 ITAs were issued and the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) minimum score in one all-program draw dropped to 413.

While the first months of 2018 were quieter than expected, the record-setting results from June have been more in line with the original expectations for 2018 and raise the prospect of an exciting third quarter to come.

Larger draws, lower cut-off scores

As we’ve witnessed before, larger draws also can have the effect of lowering the CRS cut-off score if they are held at regular intervals and the number of candidates entering the Express Entry pool does not increase.

This would be a welcome development for many in the Express Entry pool who have watched cut-off scores bounce around the narrow, 16-point space between a 2018-to-date low of 440 and a high of 456 since January.

Holding draws in quick succession, and thereby allowing the pool less time to replenish, can also have the effect of lowering the cut-off CRS score. Conversely, allowing more time between draws lets more candidates enter the pool, which can have the effect of raising the cut-off CRS score.

IRCC has employed both tactics in successive draws twice in 2018.

IRCC allowed three weeks to pass after all-program Express Entry draws on February 21 and May 23, which had the effect of raising the CRS minimum in the next all-program draws on March 14 and June 13 from 442 to 456 and from 440 to 451, respectively.

These draws were then followed by rare Monday invitation rounds, which cut the usual interval between draws from 14 days to 12 days. This shortened delay between rounds saw the CRS minimums reduced from 456 to 446 on March 26 and from 451 to 442 on June 25.

When two weeks were maintained between draws, and draw sizes remained the same, the CRS minimum was either maintained or reduced by one or two points.

IRCC also held a program-specific draw on May 30 that targeted Federal Skilled Trades Class candidates in the Express Entry pool with scores as low as 288, as well as those with a provincial nomination.

Deeper into the pool?

In a presentation at the 2018 Canadian Immigration Summit at the end of May, the IRCC official responsible for Express Entry, Patrick McEvenue, said IRCC is aware of “how talented the people are below the cut-off scores” and going “deeper into the pool” is something they hope to achieve down the road.

“With Canada’s larger immigration targets for 2018 and 2019, and its overall plan to welcome nearly one million people between 2018 and 2020, the second half of 2018 should be one to watch,” said David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen immigration law firm in Montreal.

“If IRCC does end up going deeper into the Express Entry pool, that would be welcome news for the very talented candidates who have been waiting for their moment to come.”

Last 6 months CRS Scores and Invitation Given by Canada

Draw Date CRS Score No. Of Invitations
Jan 10 446 2750
Jan 24 444 2750
Feb 07 442 3000
Feb 21 442 3000
Mar 14 456 3000
Mar 26 446 3000
Apr 11 444 3500
Apr 25 441 3500
May 09 441 3500
May 23 440 3500
June 13 451 3750
June 25 442 3750
Posted in British Columbia, Canada, Canada Open Work Permit, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

British Columbia Extends Tech Pilot Program until June 2019

British Columbia Extends Tech Pilot Program until June 2019

British Columbia Extends Tech Pilot Program until June 2019

British Columbia Extends Tech Pilot Program until June 2019

British Columbia Extends Tech Pilot Program until June 2019

Requirements, in-demand occupations list modified

A modified version of British Columbia’s Tech Pilot will continue for another year.

Introduced last August, the Tech Pilot is designed to help British Columbia’s booming tech sector attract foreign talent in 32 in-demand occupations through weekly draws from the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP)’s pool of immigration candidates.

In an update issued June 26, 2018, the BC PNP announced that it was extending the pilot until June 2019 and reducing both the number of in-demand occupations from 32 to 29 as well as the duration of its required job offer, from a permanent full-time offer to a full-time offer of at least one year (365 days).

The BC PNP said this last change was “based on feedback from tech companies, such as those in the animation and digital effects sectors, where job offers are often awarded on a project-to-project basis, for a specific duration of time.”

The removal of three occupations from the list of in-demand occupations was also based on feedback from tech sector employers and reflects actual demand, the BC PNP said.

The three positions that were removed are:

NOC 0113 — Purchasing Managers

NOC 1123 — Professional Occupations in Advertising, Marketing and Public Relations

NOC 4163 — Business Development Officers and Marketing Research and Consultants

While no end date was attached to the Tech Pilot when it was introduced, the BC PNP said extending it to June 2019 “will provide employers with a degree of stability that will allow them to plan for their future staffing needs.”

How it works

The BC PNP will issue invitations on a weekly basis to qualified registrants who have a valid job offer in one of the 32 eligible occupations.

The free registration process includes providing information about the applicant’s supporting B.C. employer. In order to be issued an invitation to apply, both the applicant and his or her employer must meet all program requirements at the time of registration. Meeting these requirements does not guarantee that the applicant will be invited to apply.

The BC PNP will continue to invite non-tech candidates through its other immigration initiatives. To learn more about immigrating to BC, see our complete BC PNP section.

The BC PNP supports employers to attract and retain needed talent by providing an expedited immigration pathway for internationally trained workers who have the critical skills, experience and qualifications needed by B.C. employers, as well as international students who have completed their education in BC or elsewhere in Canada and have the critical skills required for BC’s technology sector.

Applicants need a full-time, indeterminate job offer from an eligible employer in BC. The BC PNP offers different categories for individuals under its Skills Immigration Registration System (SIRS), depending on their job, work experience, and level of education.

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