Canada the Second-Best Country in the World to be an Immigrant

Canada the Second-Best Country in the World to be an Immigrant, U.S. Study Finds

Canada the Second-Best Country in the World to be an Immigrant

Canada the Second-Best Country in the World to be an Immigrant

Canada has been ranked as the top country outside Europe, and the second-best country worldwide, to live as an immigrant. Only Sweden is ranked higher than Canada.

U.S. News and World Report, which compiled the ranking, assesses 80 countries based on their economic stability, income equality, and labour markets in order to create its lists. Thousands of business leaders and members of the public are consulted in order for the ranking to be compiled.

On this occasion, the United States was ranked in seventh place, behind Norway.

Although Canada was pipped to the number 1 position by Sweden, the immigration project launched by U.S. News and World Report is part of an overall attempt to determine the world’s “best” countries based on a range economic and social attributes. In that overall ranking, Canada also ranks in second place, but Sweden comes in sixth, showing Canada’s strength across a wider range of assessment factors.

For the immigration rankings, U.S. News and World Report looked at the share of migrants in a country’s population, a number of money migrants in each country were able to send abroad, and United Nations rankings of integration policies in different countries, among other factors. Canada was given strong marks not only for its healthy economy but also integration measures for immigrants, such as language training.

Interestingly, Canada comes out in the first place when assessed under the Education factor. The report notes that primary and secondary education in Canada is free and mandatory and that Canada’s decentralized federation allows provinces to provide structure to the education system at a more localized level. Students in Canada score above average on the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) Program for International Student Assessment.

The top 10 positions in the immigration list were dominated by European and North American countries:

  1. Sweden
  2. Canada
  3. Switzerland
  4. Australia
  5. Germany
  6. Norway
  7. United States
  8. Netherlands
  9. Finland
  10. Denmark

Canada is ranked higher than other countries that have broadly similar ‘Expression of Interest’ economic immigration systems, such as Australia and New Zealand (in Canada, this system is known as Express Entry). Canada is also ranked higher than countries that share a similar climate, such as Finland and Norway. In addition, countries that have mixed market economies similar to Canada’s, such as the United States, are overall a worse bet for immigrants.

“Our aim with this package was to focus on the economic aspects of immigration and the impacts this could have on a country’s perceived standing in the world,” said Deidre McPhillips, a data reporter who helped design the rankings.

The research comes after an OECD report published in June, in which developed nations were urged to work hard to integrate immigrants to the mutual benefit of host and origin countries.

“All our evidence points to the fact that migration, if well managed, brings benefits to host countries as well as to the migrants themselves,” stated Angel Gurría, OECD Secretary-General

“We should look at this mega trend in terms of the opportunities it brings, in terms of skills, diversity and economic potential, rather than as a threat to our economies and communities.”

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Manitoba Invites 494 Skilled Workers to Immigrate on July 11 Draw

Manitoba Invites 494 Skilled Workers to Immigrate on July 11 Draw

Manitoba Invites 494 Skilled Workers to Immigrate on July 11 Draw

Manitoba Invites 494 Skilled Workers to Immigrate on July 11 Draw

The province of Manitoba has invited a total of 494 skilled workers to settle in the province as permanent residents in a draw that took place on July 11. These candidates, plus their family members, are now in a position to apply for immigration to Manitoba through the Manitoba Provincial Nominee Program (MPNP).

The MPNP is a Canadian immigration program that allows the province of Manitoba to welcome new immigrants who have the ability to establish themselves and their families in Manitoba, based on eligibility criteria set by the province.

For skilled workers, the MPNP operates an ‘Expression of Interest’ (EOI) system whereby interested persons submit a formal EOI. Once this is done, they are assigned a points total based on their personal factors. The highest-ranked candidates have then issued a Letter of Advice to Apply (LAA), which effectively acts in the same way as an invitation. Following a successful nomination, a candidate may then apply to the federal government for permanent resident status.

In the July 11 draw, 458 candidates were issued an LAA under the criteria for the Skilled Workers in Manitoba sub-category. The ranking score of the lowest-ranked invited candidate was 612. The remaining 36 LAAs were issued to candidates in the Skilled Workers Overseas sub-category who were invited directly by the MPNP under a Strategic Recruitment Initiative. Each of these candidates had 712 or more points.

Strategic initiatives include:

  • Recruitment missions. These overseas employment/immigration fairs involve MPNP representatives interviewing foreign skilled workers and subsequently inviting them to apply after they have made a formal Expression of Interest (EOI) to the MPNP.
  • Exploratory visits. The MPNP may invite people who have undertaken a pre-approved Exploratory Visit and passed an interview with a program official.

Candidates eligible for one of the MPNP for Skilled Workers sub-categories are ranked according to a unique points system those awards up to 1,000 points to each candidate.

July 11 MPNP EOI draw for skilled workers

Sub-category   Minimum score required to receive LAA       Number of invitations

Skilled Workers in Manitoba  612      458

Skilled Workers Overseas       712      36

MPNP for Skilled Workers

The MPNP for Skilled Workers was established to help employers in Manitoba find foreign talent to complement their existing workforce. The government of Manitoba selects experienced workers who have made an Expression of Interest in immigrating to the province and who have the skills needed across the local labor market, and nominate them to receive a provincial nomination certificate from the MPNP. With this, the nominated person may then apply to the federal government for permanent resident status.

These immigration options may be particularly attractive to individuals who may not be eligible to immigrate to Canada through the Federal Express Entry immigration selection system, as the eligibility requirements are different. For example, the MPNP awards points for language proficiency equivalent to Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 4 to candidates in certain occupations, a much lower threshold than what is required under the Federal Skilled Worker Class.

MPNP Skilled Workers in Manitoba

Under this sub-category of the MPNP, applications are accepted from qualified foreign workers and international student graduates who are currently working in Manitoba and have been offered a permanent job by their employer in Manitoba. Skilled Workers in Manitoba are not subject to a points-based assessment to determine their eligibility (though points are assigned to the candidate once he or she enters the pool of candidates)

Learn more about eligibility for the MPNP Skilled Workers in Manitoba sub-category.

MPNP Skilled Workers Overseas

This MPNP sub-category is for qualified skilled workers who may be outside Canada but who can demonstrate a strong connection to the province and its labour market. A points-based system is used to assess candidates according to factors such as age, language proficiency, work experience, education, and adaptability.

To learn more about eligibility for the MPNP Skilled Workers Overseas sub-category and the points assessment system.

Manitoba Profile

Population: 1.3 million

Capital and largest city: Winnipeg

Location: Manitoba is located in Central Canada and is considered one of the three “Prairie” provinces. Ontario lies to the east, with Saskatchewan sharing the western border. The US states of Minnesota and North Dakota are to the south, and the sparsely-populated north of the province has a long coastline on Hudson Bay leading to a border with the territory of Nunavut.

Economy: Manitoba’s principal industries are mining, manufacturing, and agriculture. Traditionally farming has been a major occupation for Manitobans, and the rich farmlands in southern Manitoba produce wheat, barley, oats, sunflower, flax and canola crops, as well as dairy and livestock farms. From this agricultural base, a considerable food processing industry has emerged. In addition, Manitoba is home to considerable manufacturing, aerospace and transportation industries. Winnipeg has a sizable financial and insurance industry, as well as government administration and services.

Climate: Manitoba is far from the moderating influences of mountain ranges or large bodies of water. Moreover, given its size, it experiences great variations in temperature. In Southern Manitoba, where the vast majority of the population resides, cold, snowy winters are the norm. Summers are typically hot and dry, with short transitional seasons ensuring that residents get a full four-season experience.

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Study Program Is Eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit

Study Program Is Eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit?

Study Program Is Eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit?

Study Program Is Eligible for a Post-Graduation Work Permit?

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) is urging prospective international students applying for a study permit to make more informed decisions when selecting a program of study in Canada. Those with the intention to apply for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) need to ensure their program qualifies for a PGWP upon graduation, even if the program is offered by an academic institution on the government’s list of designated learning institutions (DLIs).

Recently, an American citizen, Yescenya Bigford, was denied a PGWP at the Canadian border on the basis that the program she enrolled in at Anderson College, Toronto does not qualify her to obtain a PGWP. Since the College is a private, non-degree granting school, it is not listed as a DLI. Therefore, international students who graduate from the college are not eligible for a PGWP. However, the college’s website had stated that its international students had the ‘possibility to work in Canada after graduation’ — a statement that has since been removed from the site.

CBSA officials granted Yescenya entry as a visitor for a year.

According to CBC Toronto, some private career colleges in Ontario have been ‘misleading’ international graduates hoping to stay and work in Canada by falsely advertising the possibility of a PGWP. In addition, the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has dealt with many similar cases where international students are wrongly informed of the possibility of receiving a PGWP after their studies are complete.

Who is eligible for a PGWP?

Many international students who study at post-secondary institutions in Canada plan to stay and gain Canadian work experience. Under this program, international graduates could be granted an open work permit for up to three years, permitting them to work for any Canadian employer in any industry. Applicants are not required to have a Canadian job offer at the time of application.

The program is available for a majority of international students, as most public post-secondary institutions are deemed eligible by the federal government for the PGWP program. However, like the case of Yescenya, international students who apply to study at a non-degree granting private or vocational college may not be eligible for the program. The IRCC website states that the program is available to graduates of public post-secondary institutions, degree programs at private institutions, private post-secondary institutions that implement the same rules as public institutions, and some institutions in Quebec.

What are the eligibility restrictions for the PGWP program?

The note on the IRCC website calls for prospective study permit applicants to consult with the intended academic institutions and the provincial ministry of education to determine whether or not their program of study grants eligibility to the program.

Prospective applicants to the program must hold a valid study permit and have completed full-time studies with a minimum study period of at least eight months. Other restrictions apply based on the type of educational institution chosen and the study program chosen by the student. With over 125,000 study permits issued last year by the government of Canada, students are encouraged to understand their options and requirements for working in Canada after graduation before beginning their studies.

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New Zealand Skilled Migrant

New Zealand Skilled Migrant

New Zealand Skilled Migrant

New Zealand Skilled Migrant

The Skilled Migrant Category is a points system based on factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment.

How it works:-

  1. Self-assessment
  2. Submit an Expression of Interest (EOI)
  3. Receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA)
  4. Submit a resident application
  5. Receive your visa

We invite people who have the skills to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth to apply for this visa qualification and ability to settle in New Zealand. If your Expression of Interest is successful we’ll offer you the opportunity to apply to live and work in New Zealand indefinitely.

If you’re claiming points for work experience it must be in the same field as your qualification and job/job offer. It assesses which level your international qualification aligns to on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.

Accredited education providers and/or qualifications are those that are recognized by a government or government-mandated authority in the country/countries in which the qualification was studied and awarded, at the time of study or time of award.

Scholarship: The Scholarships Committee of the NZVCC administers a wide range of nationally available undergraduate and postgraduate awards to students who wish to study in New Zealand

Student Loan: Even those receiving student allowances can apply for a government funded student loan. While students are studying full-time, the loans are interest-free and when students have completed their studies, repayments are made through the Inland Revenue Department which is income-related.

Student Employment: Depending on the length of your course you can work for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during the summer holidays.

You can work part time while studying full time, under certain circumstances to meet course requirements for practical work experience, or during the Christmas and New Year holiday period if you are in a full-time course of study lasting 12 months or longer.

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Express Entry Report, A Special Review of 2017 So Far

Express Entry Report, a Special Review of 2017 So Far

Express Entry Report, a Special Review of 2017 So Far

Express Entry Report, a Special Review of 2017 So Far

Canada Day, held every July 1, marks the half-way point of the year. It is a time to reflect on the first six months of the year and look forward to what the second half may bring. In the context of Canadian immigration, 2017 has so far been a standout year, particularly with respect to the Express Entry selection system.

This Canada Day special report on Express Entry delves into the detail, answering some common — but often complex — questions, such as:

  • Why did the number of Invitations to Apply (ITAs) increase?
  • Will more ITAs be issued over the next six months?
  • What effect may this have on the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off threshold?
  • How has the CRS changed over recent months, and might it change again in the future?
  • How are provinces engaging with the system?

All of these questions and more are considered in this exclusive report.

More ITAs issued

As CIC News reported in April, the first quarter of 2017 saw a far higher number of ITAs (24,632) issued to candidates in the Express Entry pool than in any previous quarter. Following this, the second quarter of the year — encompassing the months of April, May, and June — saw an even higher number of ITAs (26,653) issued than over the first three months of the year.

Together, this meant that 51,285 ITAs were issued over the first half of the year. This number more than triples the 15,286 ITAs issued over the first half of 2016, and also surpasses the total number of candidates invited in any other half year since Express Entry was introduced in 2015.

The increase in ITAs issued stems from two clear factors, as noted by senior staff at Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC). First, the government set a higher annual target intake for the federal economic programs managed under Express Entry for 2017 than it did last year.

Further, in May a Senior IRCC Policy Analyst stated that only a few cases remained in the backlog of files submitted before Express Entry was introduced in January 2015. Consequently, IRCC has been able to increase draw sizes in order to meet the annual target intake level, as Express Entry becomes the main driver of economic immigration to Canada.

It is worth noting that the target allocation for the Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) for 2017 has also risen, which may also be playing a role in larger draw sizes.

The effect on CRS cut-off thresholds

This increase in ITAs was a major factor in the decrease in the CRS cut-off thresholds over the last six months. Seven of the 16 Express Entry draws conducted during the first half of this year have seen the minimum CRS score required to obtain an ITA decreased to a record low.

In the first draw of the year, this threshold stood at 468; indeed, as recently as December 2016 it was at 497. However, by May 31 the threshold had gone down to 413, allowing a far more diverse range of candidates to obtain that all-important ITA.

More recently, the latest draw (at the time of writing) saw a CRS cut-off score of 449. However, it should be noted that this increase was expected in the short term, following recent changes to the CRS that brought in additional points factors for candidates with a sibling in Canada and for candidates with French ability. In addition, a four-week gap between the two most recent draws allowed more candidates to enter the pool, thereby increasing the cut-off threshold on that occasion. Typically, there is a gap of around two weeks between draws.

What about candidates with lower scores?

Having a core CRS score below the lowest score drawn has so far been a common feature among many successful Express Entry candidates.

According to a year-end report by IRCC, 55 percent of candidates who received an ITA in 2016 had core CRS scores of less than 450 (the lowest score drew in 2016). Core CRS indicates a candidate’s score without the additional points for a provincial nomination, a job offer, or post-secondary education obtained in Canada.

In 2016, approximately 26 percent of the 33,872 candidates who received ITAs had a provincial nomination. Provinces continue to be active in 2017. A snapshot of the nine days leading up to May 26, 2017, shows that 143 candidates received points for a provincial nomination in that period. A provincial nomination is worth 600 CRS points — a core CRS score of 200 would become 800 with a provincial nomination.

The recent changes introduced by the government on June 6, 2017, also added further factors that candidates can use to improve their CRS score.

Will more ITAs be issued over the next six months?

Candidates who receive an ITA in mid-to-late 2017 will likely land in Canada as new permanent residents sometime in 2018. Effectively, this means that IRCC is already inviting candidates who will be counted in next year’s annual target intake numbers.

While the exact target intake numbers for 2018 are not yet known, Canada’s Minister of Immigration Ahmed Hussen recently disclosed that the overall figure will be at least 300,000, the ‘new baseline’ for Canada’s immigration programs. Consequently, 2018’s target will likely be greater than or equal to this year’s target. Moreover, the Minister recently stated that “immigration continues to be a key ingredient to our economic future as a country,” hinting that economic immigration will continue to make up the majority of the overall target number.

This, taken with the fact that the backlog of pre-Express Entry applications is now all but cleared, gives candidates and other stakeholders reason to believe that many ITAs may be issued over the next six months and beyond.

How might this effect CRS cut-off thresholds?

As discussed above, larger rounds of invitation draw, higher target intakes, and a cleared backlog have led to lower CRS cut-off thresholds. The new baseline of 300,000 new permanent residents per year bodes well for the future with respect to the CRS threshold.

However, we have also seen what effect a delay between draws can have on the threshold. There was only one draw in June, and this came after a four-week wait since the previous draw, contributing towards an increase in the CRS threshold. The previous time there was a significant gap between draws was in March, and the threshold went up on that occasion too.

A more dynamic approach from IRCC

Over recent months, IRCC has approached Express Entry in a more hands-on manner, with features such as program-specific draws and improvements to the CRS.

The latest improvements followed earlier changes introduced last November when a new cohort of foreign workers (including NAFTA work permit holders and Intra-Company Transferees) became eligible to receive additional points for a qualifying job offer, even if they didn’t have a Labour Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). At the same time, the number of CRS points awarded for a job offer changed from 600 to either 50 or 200 points, depending on the position offered, and, for the first time, candidates with a Canadian education received additional points.

These changes were part of IRCC’s objective to place greater emphasis on human capital, skills, and experience. The tables below provide an overview of all changes made to Express Entry since November 2016.

How are provinces engaging with Express Entry?

To provide a full recent history of how provinces are using their Provincial Nominee Programs (PNPs) with Express Entry would require a report all of its own. However, some brief notes highlight how certain provinces have tweaked their PNP streams over the first half of 2017 for the benefit of many Express Entry candidates.

Ontario, for example, has updated its Human Capital Priorities stream to target certain workers, most recently workers in the Information and Communications Technology (ICT) sector. These candidates may receive a Notification of Interest (NOI) even if they don’t have 400 CRS points; previously, Ontario only issued NOIs under the HCP stream to candidates with at least 400 points.

Moreover, Ontario also introduced a new Express Entry-aligned PNP stream for tradespersons, and the province continues to issue NOIs through its French-Speaking Skilled Worker stream.

Other provinces have also been active. Saskatchewan has opened its International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category on a number of occasions this year, allowing candidates with work experience in certain occupations to submit an application without a job offer on a first come, first-served basis.

In addition, British Columbia has continued to invite workers and graduates in the Express Entry pool to apply to its PNP. On the other side of the country, the Atlantic provinces — including Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, New Brunswick, and Newfoundland — have also been engaged with Express Entry so far this year.

Into the future

“The first half of 2017 has been a breakout period in the two-and-a-half year history of Express Entry. November’s improvements were followed by a transitional period during which the number of ITAs increased significantly, and this allowed many candidates in the pool to benefit. The latest improvements also show that IRCC wants a diverse range of candidates to be invited to apply,” says Attorney David Cohen.

“IRCC’s prediction that the CRS cut-off threshold may decrease as a result of the first batch of changes has come to fruition, but it remains unclear exactly how low this threshold may go. If draw sizes remain relatively large, we may see lower CRS thresholds deeper into 2017.

“The government is not the only stakeholder setting immigration targets. All around the world, individuals and families are setting targets of their own, but many don’t quite know exactly how to go about achieving these goals. Getting into the Express Entry pool with an accurate, up-to-date profile is the first step, and at this point, it’s about being proactive, keeping track of PNP developments, and finding other potential ways to improve your chances of obtaining an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. With an ITA in hand, applicants-to-be should ensure that their documents and forms are prepared and reviewed thoroughly.”

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