IRCC will require biometrics for most applicants

IRCC will require biometrics for most applicants starting July 31

IRCC will require biometrics for most applicants

IRCC will require biometrics for most applicants

The Government in Canada will require biometrics including fingerprints and a photo for the majority Canadian immigration applications as of July 31, 2018.

Under the new regulations, everyone who applies for a visitor visa, study or work permit (except U.S. nationals), or permanent residence will have to provide fingerprints and a photo.

For the purposes of repeat travel to Canada, those who apply for a visitor visa, study or work permit will only be required to provide their biometrics once every 10 years.

“By expanding our biometrics program, we facilitate entry into Canada and protect the integrity of our immigration system, by quickly and accurately establishing a traveler’s identity,” says Canada’s Immigration Minister, Ahmed Hussen.

Who will be affected?

The changes will take effect this summer starting July 31 for applicants from Europe, the Middle East and Africa.

Applicants from all other regions, namely Asia, Asia Pacific and the Americas, will be required to provide their biometrics beginning December 31, 2018.

Why use biometrics?

Biometrics is the measurement of an individual’s unique physical characteristics, such as fingerprints and facial features. The collected information is used to verify an individual’s identity. The use of biometric verification decreases the chances of mistaken or false identity.

Biometrics also help prevent:

  1. identity fraud and theft;
  2. known criminals from entering Canada;
  3. deportees from re-entering Canada without permission; and
  4. Failed refugee claimants from re-entering Canada using false identity documents.

Some exemptions to the biometrics requirement include:

  1. Canadian citizens, citizenship applicants (including passport applicants), or existing permanent residents;
  2. children under the age of 14;
  3. applicants over the age of 79 (there is no upper age exemption for asylum claimants);
  4. visa-exempt nationals coming to Canada as tourists who hold a valid Electronic Travel Authorization (ETA);
  5. heads of state and heads of government;
  6. cabinet ministers and accredited diplomats of other countries and the United Nations, coming to Canada on official business;
  7. S. visa holders transiting through Canada;
  8. refugee claimants or protected persons who have already provided biometrics and are applying for a study or work permit;
  9. Temporary resident applicants who have already provided biometrics in support of a permanent resident application that is still in progress.

Where to locate a biometric service point?

A temporary exemption is put in place for anyone who is applying for a visa, study or work permit, or permanent residence inside Canada until service centres are established across the country.

There are currently 192 biometric service points in the United States and worldwide. To find your nearest service point, please visit this page.

Privacy concerns

In an official statement, the Government of Canada reassures all future applicants that biometrics information is handled with the highest level of security and privacy. It is also stated that all information collected at a service point is deleted once it has been sent to the Canadian Immigration Biometrics Identification System.

Posted in Canada, Canada PNP, Dependent Visa, Express Entry, Immigration, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Ontario Continues to make use of Express Entry streams

Ontario continues to make use of Express Entry-aligned streams with 142 new invitations

Ontario continues to make use of Express Entry-aligned streams with 142 new invitations

Ontario continues to make use of Express Entry-aligned streams with 142 new invitations

The Canadian province of Ontario has issued a total of 142 Notifications of Interest to candidates in the Express Entry pool in two draws, which took place on April 11 and 12.

The draws conducted were for the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP)’s Express Entry-aligned French Speaking Skilled Worker Stream (FSSW) and Skilled Trades Stream. Since the draw was for candidates who met the criteria for the FSSW and Skilled Trades Stream, there was no minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score requirement to receive a Notification of Interest, or NOI, for these draws.

Under the FSSW Stream, 55 candidates who have submitted their Express Entry profile between January 1, 2018 and April 12, 2018 were issued an NOI. An additional 87 candidates with Express Entry profiles submitted between January 1, 2018 and April 11, 2018 were issued NOIs under the Skilled Trades Stream.

The FSSW Stream was launched in 2015 to help the OINP select French-speaking skilled workers who also have sufficient English language abilities and who want to live and work permanently in Ontario.

The Skilled Trades Stream helps trades workers with experience in an eligible trade to settle in Ontario through the use of the Express Entry selection system.

Invited candidates with a successful application to the OINP will obtain 600 additional CRS points, leaving them well positioned to receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA) at a later federal Express Entry draw.

OINP data show that 791 Express Entry candidates have been issued NOIs under the two streams this year.

In addition to these streams, the OINP has been issuing NOIs on a regular basis to candidates through its Express Entry-linked Human Capital (HCP) Stream. The HCP Stream has a minimum CRS requirement of 400 points.

Since the beginning of 2018, the OINP has invited a total of 3,378 candidates from the Express Entry pool.

Candidates in the Express Entry pool do not apply directly to Ontario’s Express Entry streams. Candidates must first obtain an NOI from Ontario through their IRCC online account.

Once a NOI has been received, candidates have 45 calendar days from the date the NOI letter was issued to submit an online application to the OINP.

In order to pursue any of Ontario’s Express Entry-linked streams, Candidates must first enter the Express Entry pool.

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

Australia increased financial requirement for families of new migrants

Australia doubles financial requirement for families of new migrants

Australia increased financial requirement for families of new migrants

Australia increased financial requirement for families of new migrants

The Turnbull government has quietly made it harder for poorer migrant families to financially back their relatives in visa applications.

Significant changes have been made to the assurance of support scheme, a program designed to keep new migrants off welfare by ensuring their families have enough money to support them in their initial years in Australia.

It is compulsory to have a guarantor for some visa categories, including parent, aged dependant, contributory parent and remaining relative, while the home affairs department has a discretionary power to require it in other categories.

But late last month the government changed the amount an assurer needs to earn. In most cases, the families of new migrants will need to earn more than double what was previously required.

For example, if a couple in Australia wants to act as financial backers for their parents, they will need to earn a combined $115,475 a year, instead of $45,185. A single person who wants to vouch for their parents will need to earn $86,606, rather than $45,185.40.

The changes will also significantly increase the amount families need to have as “security” – usually a bank guarantee – for new migrants in some visa categories from April 2019.

The government also intends to introduce the 12-month assurance of support requirement for part of Australia’s humanitarian intake, through the community sponsorship program.

Labor said it had received complaints from the Chinese community about the changes, and was angry they were made without public announcement or debate.

The Federation of Ethnic Communities Councils of Australia told Guardian Australia it was very worried about the changes.

The federation’s chair, Mary Patetsos, said “all family reunions [would be affected], regardless of place of origin”.

“The additional costs will have a heavy financial impact on Australian families,” she said. “Family reunion enhances successful settlement, promotes social cohesion and drives economic prosperity.”

A migration agent, Chelsea Liu, who works predominantly with Chinese families, said her clients were confused and worried.

Liu’s organisation, New Stars Education and Migration, has started a petition which already has more than 5,000 signatures.

“Some of our clients, they are already thinking of withdrawing their application, or [getting] family members’ or friends’ help to support their parents as well,” she said. “Maybe there’s another chance maybe you can claim some part-time salary, and that’s another way to increase the income.”

The changes did not require legislation, were made on 26 March and became active on 1 April.

The Labor spokeswoman on social services, Jenny Macklin, described the changes as “very concerning” and said her office had been overwhelmed with emails from “very angry families, particularly from the Chinese community”.

“It is bad form by the Turnbull government to try and sneak this change through parliament without any debate or scrutiny or even a media release from the minister,” she said. “It’s just not good enough.”

The social services minister, Dan Tehan, was not available for comment, but a department spokeswoman said the changes were designed to ensure new migrants were able to support themselves.

“The change will also ensure Australia’s social security system remains sustainable,” she said.

The assurance of support scheme has not been updated for about a decade. The changes seek to align the income requirements with the income cut-off for New start payments. The required income for sponsors depends on the number of people acting as sponsors and the number of migrants they plan to support.

The scheme is designed to make sure sponsors can support the new migrants and themselves. It is understood the new requirements will not apply to applicants who submitted their applications before 1 April.

Posted in Australia, Dependent Visa, Immigration, Study Abroad, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment