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Posts tagged ‘British Columbia’

Immigration news round-up – October 2015

This month, Australia has recently launched a work and holiday arrangement with the People’s Republic of China and a new online visa label system. In Canada, there’s a mixed bag of news – from holds on some visa schemes to increased thresholds for other schemes. With all these changes, you could benefit from some Canadian visa advice – see who can help.

Plus in New Zealand there’s great news for overseas agricultural workers seeking seasonal work, plus some handy information about what you can and can’t bring into the country.

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Australia

Work and Holiday arrangement with the People’s Republic of China now live

As of 21 September 2015, up to 5,000 educated young Chinese nationals per year will be able to take advantage of the Work and Holiday visa arrangement between Australia and the People’s Republic of China.

The visa allows young Chinese nationals to have an extended holiday of up to 12 months in Australia, where they can undertake short-term work or study.

If you’re a Chinese national visit the Australian Embassy Beijing website to see if you’re eligible. Or find out more about Australia’s working holiday visa scheme.

Electronic visa record replaces passport labels

Traditionally when you received your Australian visa, a label was fixed into your passport. However, from 1 September 2015, you’re no longer able to request and pay for a visa label.

Instead, you access your visa record through the free Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service. When you scan your passport at the airport, it’s linked automatically to this service and will let passport officials know your visa status.

This change reflects the Australian Government’s agenda to make their services more accessible and convenient to their clients through the provision of secure online services. VEVO is also efficient, reliable and provides real-time information about your visa.

This demonstrates Australia’s commitment to a overhauled, more streamlined and efficient visa system. More information is available at the Department of Immigration and Border Protection.

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Canada

Fast track your move to Nova Scotia

Nova Scotia, on Canada’s east coast, has just announced they will be able to fast track another 300 migrant workers who qualify under the express entry visa scheme that’s aimed at skilled workers.

It also means that Nova Scotia can nominate a total of 1,350 immigrants in 2015 under their provincial nominee program – almost double the previously allowed 700.

Nova Scotia remains a popular choice for skilled workers. In 2014, 2,670 newcomers settled in Nova Scotia – more people than have ever arrived in the past 10 years. Nova Scotia clearly offers a lot to would-be Canadians too – Statistics Canada show a retention rate of 71 per cent for immigrants that landed in Nova Scotia between 2007 and 2011.

If you’d like to take advantage of this fast track entry to Nova Scotia, take a look at some job opportunities – having a Canadian job offer may help your visa application. Or find out more about Nova Scotia’s nominee program.

Alberta and British Columbia release updates to their Provincial Nominee Programs

Canadian provinces manage their own visa schemes, called Provincial Nominee Programs (PNP). They all have their own rules, requirements and application thresholds. Alberta and British Columbia have both released updates to their programs:

Alberta

Due to a 10,000-application backlog, no new applications will be accepted to the Alberta Immigration Nominee Program until January 2016. However, if you’re interested in moving to Alberta, you can still apply through Canada’s express entry visa scheme.

British Columbia

Applications to the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BCPNP) Skills Immigration stream and Express Entry stream have been put on hold until early 2016, due to application thresholds being met.

However, the Health Care Professional, Northeast Pilot Project and Entrepreneur Immigration streams will continue to accept applications.

Find out more about the BCPNP.

Skill shortages felt across Canada

A new survey by CareerBuilder.ca shows the impact of skill shortages on Canadian businesses:

  • 29% of survey respondents (almost three in 10 employers) have jobs that have been unfilled for 12 weeks or longer.
  • Three quarters of those respondents say this has negatively impacted upon their companies.
  • 31% of respondents said that un-fillable job openings lead to work not getting done – with 22% saying their companies are losing revenue.

With Canadian businesses feeling the pinch of a lack of skilled workers, this may be good news for skilled workers wanting to move to Canada – watch this space.

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New Zealand

Overseas agricultural contractors able to work easier in NZ

By 1 June 2016, seasonal workers from overseas could find it easier to temporarily work and live in New Zealand. A new visa deal means that rural contractors can more simply bring in overseas workers to help them over the busy summer harvest season.

Rural Contractors New Zealand (RCNZ) president Steve Levet estimates that the industry requires around 900 seasonal staff from overseas each year. In New Zealand there is a shortage of suitably skilled operators able to handle highly sophisticated machinery – so they look overseas for the skills they need.

These overseas workers – traditionally from Ireland and England – have good mechanical skills and are already up and running, meaning they don’t require extensive training.

About the new scheme

With a less rigorous process than what currently has to be followed, under the new scheme RCNZ would apply for Approval in Principle on behalf of all its members.

Then their members can apply online for a visa for the person they’re recruiting without having to meet any of the current requirements, which include having to advertise and going through Work and Income New Zealand first.

No further details are available at this stage – we’ll keep you updated. If you’re not already on our New Zealand mailing list, sign up [Link to: NZ newsletter sign up] and you’ll be the first to know.

Arriving in New Zealand – What you need to know

Whether you’re just visiting or are coming to New Zealand permanently, there are things you need to know.

For starters, do you need a visa? If you’re going on holiday, you might not – see if you need a visitor’s visa.  If you’d like to work and live in New Zealand, you will – read more about NZ visas.

What you can’t bring in to NZ

Pretty standard stuff, but this list includes:

  • Hazardous materials.
  • Endangered species (without a permit).
  • Weapons (without a permit).
  • Objectionable publications, including videos and digital images, or
  • Controlled drugs.

What you have to declare

New Zealand has very strict biosecurity rules – not surprisingly as any rogue flora or fauna can wreck havoc on its unique ecosystem. This means you have to declare the following items when you arrive:

  • Food of any kind – this even includes any food, especially fruit, you might have picked up on the plane or coming through duty free.
  • Plants or parts of plants (alive or dead).
  • Animals (alive or dead) or their products.
  • Equipment used with animals.
  • Camping gear, golf clubs and used bicycles – even muddy walking boots.
  • Biological specimens.

Anything you declare will be examined to check it’s ok to bring into NZ. This may include it being cleaned or treated before being allowed in.

The fines for not declaring any of the above are very high – and not worth the risk.

For more information about what you can (and can’t) bring in New Zealand, visit the New Zealand Government website.

Migration to New Zealand reaching its peak

New Zealand has always been a popular choice for skilled international workers but now, finally, the figures seem to be nearing their peak. A recent report by Westpac, a NZ bank, shows that migration to NZ is slowing.

One reason that could be behind this is the approval process for a resident visa, which favours applicants who have a job offer in New Zealand. Another is that NZ’s residence approval targets remain at 45,000 – 50,000 a year, which simply has not kept up with the demand.

Finally, Westpac estimated that Auckland (prime location of choice for most migrant workers) is not keeping up with the housing demand, which is under pressure from both migrant arrival and natural occupant increase.

So, if you’re thinking of coming to New Zealand, make sure you consider other parts of the country before you make the move.  It’s not impossible to get your metaphorical foot in the door in Auckland, but making sure you’ve ticked key boxes (like getting a job prior) will help you get ahead.

Immigration news round-up – September 2015

As September slides around, it’s been a bit quiet on the visa news front from Australia, Canada and New Zealand. This is true for New Zealand especially – perhaps because the national focus is on that upcoming Rugby World Cup?

This month find out the financial benefits of moving to Australia for skilled workers; about two more visa schemes for Canada; and an upcoming snapshot of life for new Kiwis.

Australia

Moving to Australia pays off?

The Australian Bureau of Statistics has, for the first time, released some data on the personal income of Australian migrants. If you’re wondering about the financial implications of a move to Australia, have a look at some key figures:

  • The total income of migrant taxpayers in the 2009-10 financial year was $37.7 billion
  • Employee income contributed 92% to total income, of which $25.5 billion was reported by migrants from the skilled visa stream
  • Skilled visa holders’ average employee income was about $5,000 higher than the national average of $48,907 for all Australian taxpayers

So moving to Australia under the skilled visa stream means you could have an income higher than other Australian taxpayers.

Read all the data on the Australian Bureau of Statistics’ website, or start looking for that skilled job in Australia.

Canada

Quebec Immigration Investor Program reopens

If you’re keen on Canada, you’ll be pleased to hear that Quebec’s Immigration Investor Program has reopened. One of the world’s most popular immigrant investor programmes, this visa scheme allows qualified investors and their dependent family members the chance to gain Canadian permanent residency through investing CAD$800,000 risk-free, through an approved financial intermediary.

Applications opened on 31 August 2015 and will close 29 January 2016 – although it’s expected that the application quota of 1,750 will be reached before then.

Find out more about the requirements at Quebec’s official immigration website.

British Columbia needs skilled trade workers

Fort St John, in the north of the Canadian province of British Columbia, has recently announced the establishment of a pilot programme to bring in skilled international workers.

They are looking especially for skilled and experienced trade workers, such as electricians and welders.

No further details are available yet, but we’ll update you as soon as they become available.

New Zealand

Migrant Survey

Immigration New Zealand has begun the process of collecting data for its 2015 Migrant Survey. It’s an annual survey, sent out to a random sample of people who’ve been through New Zealand’s immigration process, that asks for feedback on topics including jobs, education background and levels of happiness.

Immigration New Zealand then takes on board the feedback to work out how new Kiwis settle into New Zealand and whether they can improve their services for future new migrants.

As the survey has just been sent out, we don’t have details of the results yet but it’s sure to be an interesting snapshot of life in New Zealand for new Kiwis. We’ll make sure we post the survey results when they’re released – if you haven’t already, sign up to our newsletter.  We’ll then email you this survey data when it’s available – easy!

Maid of the Mist VII, Niagara Falls

Immigration news round-up – August 2015

This month has seen the release of interesting findings from Canada’s new Express Entry visa system, and the launch of three new exciting provincial visa streams in Canada.

There’s also news of incentives for would-be Kiwis who are willing to live and work in areas outside of Auckland. Find out how to get your skills assessed in Australia; know your rights on an Australian Working Holiday visa; and beware a phishing scam in New Zealand.

Australia

Assessing Authorities

With some visa applications, you’ll be required to prove that your international skills are transferable and relevant to Australia. To do this, you will need a skills assessment undertaken by an authorised organisation. You’ll need to contact them direct and they can provide you with all the relevant forms and information. You may need to pay to have your skills assessed.

View the assessing authorities in Australia.

Being treated fairly on a Working Holiday Visa

Australia offers Working Holiday visa schemes to many countries, including the UK, Europe and China, giving young people (aged 18-30) the opportunity to travel, work and enjoy Australia.

However two Dutch backpackers are taking their Working Holiday employer to court and suing them for unpaid wages. They undertook the unusual job of golf-ball diving (that’s recovering thousands of lost golf balls from golf course lakes and water features) and are claiming that they weren’t paid fairly for their work.

It’s a good reminder to make sure you fully understand the rules and regulations around Australia’s Working Holiday visa and your rights.

Read more about the backpackers’ experience.

Canada

Express Entry report released

Following the launch of Canada’s Express Entry system in January 2015, Citizenship & Immigration Canada has released a report of key findings from its first six months.

These findings include:

  • The pool is growing by about 1,500 persons/profiles per week.
  • The number of profiles completed was 112,701, with 48,723 (that’s roughly 43%) of these not eligible.
  • The most dominant countries of citizenship of invited candidates are India and the Philippines, which each supplied around one-fifth of those invited to apply.

Through the first 11 draws:

  • 4% of those invited to apply did not have a qualifying job offer or enhanced provincial nomination certificate.
  • 65% had a qualifying job offer.
  • 4% had an enhanced provincial nomination certificate.

However, not including the first four draws (because at that stage only applicants with a score above 600 were invited to apply before this threshold was lowered:

  • 41% of those invited to apply did not have a qualifying job offer or an enhanced provincial nomination certificate.

The majority of candidates selected in the sixth (March 27), eighth (April 17) and eleventh (June 27) draws had neither a qualifying job offer nor a provincial nomination certificate.

See the official data from Citizenship & Immigration Canada.

All of this is great news for people looking to apply for a Canadian visa as the requirements are becoming slightly less restrictive.

British Columbia launches new entrepreneur program

British Columbia has recently launched a new visa program aimed specifically at experienced business people and entrepreneurs. Successful applicants will be awarded a work permit. Then, if their business is commercially viable and provides significant benefits to the local economy, they (and their families) will be able to apply for permanent residency through the British Columbia Provincial Nominee Program (BC PNP).

Like other Canadian visa programs, this one will work by you entering a pool of candidates with the aim of getting as many points as possible, out of a maximum 200. Only 200 candidates are accepted into the pool each month. BC PNP will then invite the highest-scoring candidates to submit visa applications.

Requirements for this program include factors such as:

  • Business and/or work experience
  • Personal net worth and source of funds
  • Adaptability
  • Business proposal, including proposal investment and local job creation

Find out more about the BC PNP.

Ontario opens two new immigration streams

Ontario is the most sought-after province by would-be Canadians and it’s just opened two new immigration schemes that are aligned with the Express Entry system:

  1. The Human Capital Priorities stream; and
  2. The French-speaking Skilled Worker stream

Find out more about the streams and whether you’re eligible – Human Capital Priorities stream or French-speaking Skilled Worker stream.

New Zealand

Incentive to move to New Zealand’s provincial centres

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest city, and home to thousands of newly landed skills – and now New Zealand wants to encourage people to look beyond Auckland if they’re making the move.

Effective from November 2015, skilled migrants will have bonus points trebled if they apply for residence with a job offer not from Auckland – although you will have to stay in that region for 12 months, rather than three. If you’re starting a business in the provinces, you’ll have your Entrepreneur Work Visa points doubled.

This means it could be easier and quicker for you to move to New Zealand, as long as you’re willing to live and work outside Auckland.

Scam Immigration NZ website warning

A fake website has been set up that is trying to trick people in providing their passport details. The official Immigration NZ website is www.immigration.govt.nz and the fake one is http://www.immigration-govt.nz.

Beware of this site if you’re searching for the Immigration NZ website.

Read more about the scam. 

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