Crackdown on partnership visitor visas

Crackdown on partnership visitor visas: ‘It’s just so frustrating’

Crackdown on partnership visitor visas

Crackdown on partnership visitor visas

One in three partnership visitor visas are being declined as immigration advisers warn that officials are taking a tougher stance on visa cases.

The number of rejections among the partnership category of visitor visa has increased from 14 percent a decade ago to 35 percent last year.

An immigration lawyer says the human toll could be considerable if the government decides to cap the number of partnership visas.

The Association for Migration and Investment said there had been a shift in the way applications were dealt with, and a tightening of how appeals to the immigration minister was handled.

Its chair June Ranson said Immigration New Zealand was adopting a more cautious approach to visa applications.

“Some of them are quite unfair, quite unjust because it’s not transparent,” she said. “We’ve seen there definitely has been a shift in the way applications are being looked at.

“I do think that they have tightened up a lot in the partnership area, it’s all about them being genuine relationships and just because a person has a joint bank account – it’s only part of the evidence that’s being produced.

“They need a lot more than that because people do things as a matter of convenience to be able to get through the system.”

People turned down for visas when they are abroad should have the right to have their case reviewed by an independent body, she said.

Steve Razos met his wife Krystel in the Philippines four years ago and they have a two-year-old son, Johnny, together.

Immigration New Zealand said they misled them when they broke up temporarily, and cancelled her visa while she was visiting family in the Philippines.

She supplied false and misleading information and it was not satisfied they were in a genuine and stable relationship, it said.

Mr. Razos visits his family regularly but he has a 10-year-old son and business in New Zealand so cannot live there.

He estimated they had spent $30,000 or $40,000 in travel and legal and immigration costs.

Three visitor visas and one partnership visa had been declined since then and there were no legal avenues for them to appeal, he said.

Associate minister, Kris Faafoi, had declined to review the decision as his predecessor looked at the case last year.

“The minister, for whatever reason, has decided to not even look at it so I’m really baffled about that,” he said.

“There’s a child involved, we’re a married couple, clearly we’ve been together for a long time now – we’re not going anywhere, we love each other and the only thing that’s stopping us is them.

“It’s just so frustrating that we just keep getting met with walls put in front of us all the time.”

Immigration lawyer Simon Laurent said partners had avenues to appeal temporary visa rejections if they were already in New Zealand, but not if they were abroad.

Fears of an upcoming change on partnership visas have been sparked by a government request for officials to report back on family categories.

The human toll could be considerable if the government decided to cap the number of partnership visas, meaning partners and spouses could wait years to be reunited, he added.

“Myself and colleagues in the industry have noticed a tougher stance on the criteria that are being applied to partnership visas both work and residence where cases which would have been approved without question in the past are now being more rigourously questioned,” he said.

Immigration New Zealand area manager Marcelle Foley said it needed to be satisfied that the relationship was genuine, stable and likely to endure.

“Every application is assessed very robustly to maintain the integrity of the immigration system,” she said. “There have been no recent changes to immigration instructions against which such applications are assessed.”

Posted in Business / Investor Visa, Dependent Visa, New Zealand, Tourist Visa | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Canada needs workers and immigrants are key

Canada needs workers and immigrants are key, says Bank of Canada governor

Canada needs workers and immigrants are key

Canada needs workers and immigrants are key

As Canada’s economy hits its ‘sweet spot,’ Stephen Poloz says labor supply can’t keep up with demand

Immigrants have a key role to play in helping grow the Canadian economy and off-setting the country’s growing shortage of skilled labour, says Bank of Canada Governor Stephen Poloz.

In a March 13 speech at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, the head of Canada’s central bank said immigration is critical to keeping inflation low and balancing the trend of Canada’s aging workforce.

“Immigration can help provide an important off-set,” Poloz said, as can “untapped sources of labour within our existing population.”

With Canada’s economy hitting its “sweet spot” of rising demand and companies operating at near capacity, Poloz said this growth is translating into new jobs — and escalating job vacancies.

“None of this highly desirable economic growth can happen unless there are people available to fill the newly created jobs,” he said. “A healthy, well-functioning labour market is critical.”

He pointed to data from Statistics Canada that shows job vacancies rising to a record 470,000 in the fall of 2017.

“We hear from business leaders that many of these vacancies are going unfilled because they cannot find workers with the right skills,” he said.

To help solve this shortage, Poloz said Canada needs to accelerate the integration of new immigrants into the workforce and improve the labour participation rate of Canada’s youth, women and Indigenous peoples.

“Put it all together and it is not much of a stretch to imagine that Canada’s labour force could expand by another half a million workers,” he said. “This could increase Canada’s potential output by as much as 1.5 percent, or about $30 billion per year.”

Digital economy creating new jobs

Rapid advancements in digital technology are also producing new demands for workers with the requisite skills, he observed

“New applications are creating jobs that were unimaginable just years ago,” he said. “Ten years ago, there were no Smartphone app developers, or cloud computing engineers or social media managers.”

Ultimately, Canada stands to gain from these innovations and the income-generating effect of these new jobs, he said.

“These are exciting times. New opportunities, new technologies and new industries are all waiting right around the corner.”

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

U.S. Government reports a sharp decline in the number of F-1 Student Visas Issued

U.S. Government reports a sharp decline in the number of F-1 Student Visas Issued

U.S. Government reports a sharp decline in the number of F-1 Student Visas Issued

U.S. Government reports a sharp decline in the number of F-1 Student Visas Issued

New U.S. State Department data show a sharp decrease in the number of F-1 visas issued to international students in 2017.

The statistics show that the number of F-1 Visas issued has been decreasing year after year since 2015. In 2017 a total of 393,573 F-1 Visas were issued, which represents a decrease of nearly 17 percent from the previous year.

In 2016, a total of 471,728 visas were issued, while 644,233 visas were issued in 2015. That year saw the highest number of F-1 visas issued in the past five years.

More specifically, there has been a significant decline in the number of visas issued to international students from India and China. Both countries witnessed a 28 and 24 percent decline, respectively.

These numbers support published surveys and reports that have indicated a drop in international student enrolment at both the graduate and undergraduate level at American post-secondary institutions. One survey in particular by the Council of Graduate Schools outlined that the number of applications and admissions from prospective international post-graduate students witnessed a decline in 2017.

Revision of visa policies

Without access to data on the rate of visa acceptance and rejection, it may difficult to get the complete picture of the reasons behind the downward trend. However, a recent article by the Wall Street Journal claims that President Donald Trump’s more restrictive proposals regarding visas may be having an effect.

One Trump Administration proposal that would significantly impact international students is the promise to revoke a work program that enables international students to work after graduation.

Also, SI News has reported on the possibility of the Trump administration changing regulations that would reduce the number of years science, technology, engineering or math (STEM) students are allowed to work in the U.S. after graduation.

Currently, international students in STEM fields are allowed to stay an additional two years beyond the 12-month limit for international students. In contrast, Canada has experienced growth in international student enrolment and was ranked the most attractive study destination for international students in recent global surveys.

International students are encouraged to stay and work in the country for up to three years after graduation through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program.

Every Canadian province offers a Provincial Nominee Program category or stream specifically catering to international students who have chosen Canada as their study destination.

Recently, Manitoba announced a new Canadian immigration program, the International Education Stream, which will prioritize international STEM graduates from Manitoba post-secondary institutions.

Canada’s Atlantic Provinces also have a dedicated category under the Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program for international students, who have studied in one of the four Atlantic Provinces and have arranged employment in the province.

In a 2016 Government of Canada report, international students are considered vital to Canada’s immigration future due to their established social networks in the communities where they have chosen to study.

Posted in Canada, Study Abroad, USA | Tagged , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Study in Canada: Provinces and Locations

Study in Canada: Provinces and Locations

Study in Canada: Provinces and Locations

Study in Canada: Provinces and Locations

Across its 10 provinces, six time zones, many cities and towns, and numerous higher education institutions, Canada has it all. But where in Canada are you going to study?

Compared with other industrialized countries around the world, studying in Canada has a unique set of advantages? With quality and affordable tuition, safe towns and cities, employment options (both during and after the study period), and as a pathway to permanent immigration, the decision to study in Canada can be a life-changing one.

There is much to consider when deciding on a study location in Canada. Some people prefer large colleges and universities in big, bustling cities, while others prefer the intimacy of a small town. How significant is a factor tuition fees and cost of living? Are you coming to Canada with a long-term vision to work after graduation and perhaps apply for permanent residence and, eventually, Canadian citizenship? Each Canadian province has unique advantages for prospective international students.

All these issues, and more, are dealt with in this Provinces and Locations section. We have dedicated pages on each Canadian province and its higher education institutions. From here, you can learn more and begin your clear path to studying in Canada.

  1. Study in Alberta
  2. Study in British Columbia
  3. Study in Manitoba
  4. Study in New Brunswick
  5. Study in Newfoundland
  6. Study in Nova Scotia
  7. Study in Ontario
  8. Study in Prince Edward Island
  9. Study in Quebec
  10. Study in Saskatchewan

In addition to this Provinces and Locations section, please visit the following resources to help you on your Canadian study journey:

Find A School: Here you will find some tips for finding your ideal program and school.

Designated Learning Institutions: If you want a study permit, your desired school needs to be on this list.

School Search: Get all the details on colleges and universities across Canada.

School Match: We’ve partnered with School Match Canada to provide you with a free assessment to show you which Canadian schools match your expectations, personality and goals.

Get Admission: Once you have selected an educational institution and study program in Canada, you will need to receive admission.

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

Federal minister wants to more than double immigration for Newfoundland

The federal minister wants to more than double immigration target for Newfoundland and Labrador

The federal minister wants to more than double immigration target for Newfoundland and Labrador

The federal minister wants to more than double immigration target for Newfoundland and Labrador

The federal minister wants to more than double immigration target for Newfoundland and Labrador

‘We are ready to make this happen,’ Seamus O’Regan says of a plan to bring in at least 4,000 newcomers a year

The province of Newfoundland and Labrador could more than double its immigration target if federal cabinet minister Seamus O’Regan has his way.

O’Regan, who serves as Canada’s Minister of Veterans Affairs and the Member of Parliament for a riding in Newfoundland’s capital city St. John’s, says he has buy-in from Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen, to increase the province’s current immigration target of 1,700 newcomers by 2022 to at least 4,000.

“I was just on the phone with my friend, Somali refugee-turned-Immigration Minister Ahmed Hussen, and we are ready to make this happen,” O’Regan told a meeting of the St. John’s Board of Trade this week.

Given the combination of outmigration and a population that is aging “at an incredible rate,” O’Regan said 4,000 new immigrants is the baseline for keeping the social effects of Newfoundland and Labrador’s shrinking tax base from getting worse.

“We need a minimum of 4,000 new immigrants a year in this province just to maintain the status quo,” O’Regan said. “But I’m not interested in maintaining the status quo. I’m interested in growing this economy. I’m interested in more jobs, in higher profits, in increased prosperity — and that means more immigrants. A lot more.”

The Government of Newfoundland and Labrador projects that by 2025, the province will experience a 10 percent decline in its working-age population, resulting in 35,000 fewer people in the provincial labour market.

The province has been welcoming a steadily increasing number of newcomers in recent years, increasing from a total of 546 in 2007 to 1,122 in 2015.

O’Regan said he plans to assemble representatives of labour, business and government in Newfoundland and Labrador to look at ways they can make the increase he is proposing a reality.

“I believe that doom is not inevitable and that there exists the opportunity for our province to succeed and to thrive, but we’ve got to take bold action and we’ve got to strike out in new directions,” he said.

‘A cord of wood, a cup of sugar for the new neighbor down the way’

The Veterans Affairs minister said he believes the people of Newfoundland and Labrador would open their doors to newcomers.

“Once people come here, they are welcomed into our communities, they are welcomed into our homes, and they are often welcomed into our hearts,” he said.

O’Regan took pride in a recent Canadian survey of immigrants that ranked St. John’s among the most open and welcoming cities in the country.

“We always have a cord of wood or a cup of sugar for the new neighbour down the way, and that is worth fighting for,” he said.

He pointed to his own experience as a gay man who married his partner in St. John’s and found nothing but acceptance from the local residents. He also pointed to his grandfather’s experience as a refugee who fled civil war in Ireland and was welcomed in Newfoundland.

“No one was interested in taking in an Irishman, nothing but trouble, but the Dominion of Newfoundland did — and I’d like to think it worked out pretty well for my family and me.”

O’Regan said Newfoundlanders have everything to gain from a new wave of immigration to the province.

“They don’t take our jobs, they create them,” he said. “Immigrants send more of their children to college and university; they use less social services than we do. And they are far more likely to start their own businesses and create jobs than we are.”

He highlighted the case of HeyOrca, a local social media planning business founded by international students who graduated from Memorial University in St. John’s.

“They hired 30 people over the last two years and 90 percent of their market is in the U.S.,” O’Regan noted. “I want more. I want them all over the province.”

“This is the time for boldness, for seizing opportunities that present themselves on the global stage.”

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