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Immigration News


09 May to 15 May 2009
Campaign against unscrupulous representatives launched by Canadian Immigration Officials

The Citizenship and Immigration Canada is launching a campaign to protect the public from unethical and dishonest immigration to Canada. The Campaign is organized to teach the Canadians as well as the potential immigrants to Canada how to protect themselves from such cases. The Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism said “I’ve heard a lot of unsettling stories of how people have been taken in by dishonest immigration consultants or unethical representatives, such as labor, student or live-in care-giver recruiters.”

In order to understand the problem of victims and the families, the government is currently conducting surveys and side-by-side assisting them by conducting regular meetings with them. The information collected through these surveys will provide the government a broad vision of the scope of the problem and help them in preventing such kind of frauds.

Visa Racket uncovered under raid on Migration Agent Office
After a raid on the city office it was discovered that the office has ensnared as many as 30 people, the Immigration Minister of Australia Chris Evans said.

A migration agent of Sydney was found misrepresenting the documents of an applicant on May 7 to support his application for skilled-migration visas.

After learning about the doubtful documents attachments with the applications, the officials of Immigration Department and the Australian Federal Police raided at the city office.

These applicants were looking for the work as cooks, mechanics and hairdressers. The agent purportedly supplied false documents to 30 people, most of them from China. The investigation for forgery and fraud are currently under way.

“Illegal activity by migration agents attacks the heart of Australia’s visa programs and will not be tolerated,” Senator Evans said.

Under the investigation, people who have been successfully immigrated to the country on false documents might loose their visas.

The Chief Executive of Migration Institute of Australia said to Sydney Morning Herald, “The MIA does not tolerate this kind of behavior.”

Additional visas for Performing Artists: UK Immigration
UK Immigration has been advised to provide concessions for performing artists for UK visa.

The contemporary dancers, orchestral musicians in particular are provided concessions as ballet dancers whose occupation appears on the shortage occupation list (SOL) are also strongly recommended by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC). The occupations of individuals whose occupation lies under the list are given additional points towards their UK visa applications.

David Metcalf, chairperson of MAC said that his organization had made its advise on the basis that shortages of labor would always be there, even at the time of recession. This applies to both performing artists as well as for the workers providing key public services, as it was vital for the nation to “maintain global leadership” culturally.

On the other hand, the General Secretary of Musician’s Union, John Smith was not convinced that UK visa applications for musicians should be treated on priority. "We are not opposed to musicians coming into the UK to work under certain circumstances,” he said. "What we do not agree with is the inclusion of orchestral musicians in the recommended shortage occupation lists, because we have yet to be convinced of there being a shortage of orchestral musicians in this country."


03 May to 08 May 2009
People Bank of Australia seeks 200 professional foreign workers

People bank of Australia, the largest technology recruiter of the Australia is planning to import as many as 150 to 200 foreign technologies worker every single year.

After signing an on-hire agreement with the federal government, the bank is planning to source 12 or more IT foreign workers in the coming month.

The CEO of People Bank, Peter Acheson said that this agreement would rationalize the company’s process for sourcing foreign contractors for the projects that met the requisite requirements of the Temporary Business 457 visa program.

He further said that the company is among the hardly any local IT recruiters, which have such agreement, following the changes to the immigration regulations in October 2007 that restricted the number of on-hire employers sponsoring 457 visas.

He said "Over the last 12 months it has been a challenge to bring people in on 457 visas and this will now allow us to do that."

"There has been a bit of latent demand created as a result of the fact that we haven't been able to bring people in over the past year," Mr Acheson added.

"Some of the people we will put in place over the next few months will be soaking up that demand.

"I think probably somewhere between 150 and 200 a year would be the sort of number we will get to."

People bank, the agreement permits it to source, safe and appoints overseas contractors to enterprise and government clients for task in regions witnessing skill shortages.

This would reserve the responsibility of immigration processes required for the contractors, which would result in the speedy visa applications for the contractors by the Government. Mr. Acheson further said that this agreement would help the company in searching the widest global pool of skilled candidates from across the globe and fast track visa processing might result in working within few weeks of time.

"At the moment, there is clearly a shortage, for example, of .NET programmers, Java people, J2EE programmers -- we would expect to bring people in for those areas, and then the emerging technologies."

He added that this agreement would assist the company in luring quality candidates. People bank would actively seek the currently running projects for overseas workers while making them available to businesses for short or fixed terms.

The spokeswoman from Department of Immigration and Citizenship said that there were 38 on-hire agreements and about one-third included IT professionals.

UK IMMIGRATION NEWS
Europe needs additional immigrants


As per the report issued by the European Commission, Europe’s working age population would peak in the coming year and start depreciating later on, which would have a big budgetary and economic impacts on all European countries. By 2060 Europe will have to at least 2 people of working age for every person above 65 years as compared to the 4 people of working age presently.

Based on the projected birth rates, life expectancy and migration flows, the Europe's population will be roughly the same in 2060 at about 500 million, but will be drastically older.

The European Commissioner for social affairs, Vladimir Spidla advised that the present recession should not repel the governments from handling this challenge. He said, "In dealing with the short-term challenges of the economic crisis, we must not forget the long-term challenge of ageing. We need to emerge from this crisis with more and better employment opportunities for older people."

As per the report, the European Union will witness only fifty percent of the current number of immigrants coming to the region in the forthcoming 50 years. This would result in strain to many European countries, which have been facing the problem of low birth rates. Apart from that it is reported that immigrants from countries like UK and Spain are coming back due to this current recession.

Several nations in Europe have been outsourcing their support functions like call centers, to countries like India for saving their costs. The government of UK has squeezed its immigration rules to minimize the number of immigrants with a view to protect the labor market and available public resources. However, Such politics driven events should be appraised regularly so that the country remain competitive in the global market.

Immigration process fast tracked for Afghans
The minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism of Canada, Jason Kenney is currently busy in confirming a fresh policy to help Afghans through their associations with the Canadian military and diplomats.

The Afghans who got seriously injured as a result of working in the Canadian military and those who face pressure from insurgents as they have helped foreigners; will be entitled for the fast-track immigration to Canada.

Besides that, the applicant’s must have a year of service to the Canadian mission together with medical and security checks and a reference letter from a diplomat or any senior Canadian soldier.

Minister Kenney has spoken that his first choice is for these people to relocate in safer regions of Afghanistan as they “are going to have play a central role in the long-term construction of a stable and democratic Afghanistan.”

“But in particular circumstance,” he went on to say, “where we feel that a person’s safety will be jeopardized by staying in the country, the door will be open to Canada..”

“I think Canadians would be proud to help provide refuge to those who have helped our forces, aid personnel and diplomats.”

The Afghans who are covered under this program will get several other services include the income support for a year, health benefits as well as employment assistance.

25 April 2009 to 1 May 2009
Canada planning to improve the immigration settlement

After the introduction of new citizenship regulation, the Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister of Canada, Jason Kenney has been speaking about the improvement in the immigrant integration and citizenship processes to help the new immigrants so that they can integrate better with the Canadian mosaic.

Minister Kenney after announcing that Canada has no plans to decrease the immigration numbers in 2009 said, “We cannot afford to be passive about the challenges of integration.”

In the last three years, Kenney has spent elongated time with the various cultural communities of Canada to discuss the improvement in settlement and integration of Canada. From all these discussion with cultural communities, he has learnt that immigrants themselves see any disagreement between the history of Pluralism of Canada and providing new comers the opportunity to enter into the mainstream successfully.

The government has been working hard on projects to improve the integration of immigrants.

Over the past few years, Citizenship and Immigration Canada has almost quadrupled the amount of financial support for language training over the last few year and Ministry Kenney has been speaking about the significance of knowledge in English and French language for Canadian Citizenship.

The Government of Canada is planning to develop the Canadian Immigrant Integration Project (a pilot project employed in China, India and the Philippines). The program helps the prospective immigrants to prepare themselves for the arrival ahead of time, in finding the schools for their children, housing & health coverage and so on.

Apart from that Minister Kenney has currently asked for a complete overhaul of existing citizenship test and the accompanying educational objects for immigrants, entitled “ A Look at Canada”. The test as well as the information dated 1997 and they do not precisely reflect the principles and history of Canada.

New Skilled Migration requirements upgraded in NSW

The state government of New South Wales (NSW) has made several changes to affect the skilled migrants wishing to live and work in NSW.

English requirements for the 176/886 visas have been revised by the state. Now, the minimum ILETS test score has been increased to 7.0 or 8.0 for all the four components of the test.

Earlier, the NSW state government has received the applications for the people who felt short of any one of the four components in test score. But now, NSW will not be allowing this, and now applicants must clear the requisite criteria in all four components of the ILETS test.

To be eligible for state sponsorship, the applicants now must satisfy the English requirements for the state as well as for the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC).

Changes in the skills in demand list have also been made by NSW. The new list no longer sponsors General Medical Practitioners under the skilled sponsored programme. However, the state still do sponsor General Medical Practitioners under the skilled regional sponsored programme. Now, the accountants are not sponsored for the onshore skilled regional sponsored Visa in NSW.


Rigorous checks implemented by UKBA to stop illegal workers

Since the UKBA started rigorous checks last year in order to prevent illegal working, The UK hospitality sector has witnessed largest number of employers who have violated illegal working legislations.

As per the recent figures of UKBA, the majority of those fined in London and the South East till 31st March 2009 have been hotels and restaurants. A fine amounting minimum of 5,000 pounds have been imposed on the employer for every single illegal employee. An employer was fined 52,500 pounds for illegally employing 7 employees. Now, the employers have been advised to absolutely make sure that they should strictly comply the rules in order to avoid any substantial harm to their businesses.

Under the old work permit system, the UKBA disqualified many applications for the role of chef as they asked whether the role was sufficiently skilled.

Due to the new points-based system in Tier-2, the complexity in securing skilled chefs has now been relieved somewhat. Under the new system, the chef’s role is categorized as a shortage occupation in the UK as long as they are paid above 8.10 pounds per hour that will accumulate to around 17,000 pounds per yea. This signifies that the employer is not required to experience the resident labour market test to show that there is no-EFA national present to fulfill the role before selecting a worker from beyond EFA.

Major changes under new Canadian Citizenship law
Two major changes have been made in new citizenship law of Canada, here on April 17, 2009. Under the new citizenship law, many Canadian citizens who had lost their citizenship due to obsolete provisions in the last legislation have been restored and the citizenship by descent to the first generation Canadian has been limited.

The citizenship is now restored to any person who has born in Canada or who became a Canadian citizen on or after 1 January 1947(when the Citizenship Act was created) and then lost their citizenship. The citizenship of children who were born abroad to Canadian parents; or they are children born in Canada but their parents later on became the citizens of any other country, would be reinstated. The citizenship of foreign-born family members of Second World War veterans, who were granted citizenship when they moved to Canada following the war, but lost it afterward, has also been reinstated.

The main motto of Government behind these changes in the second part is to protect the value of Canadian citizenship for the future period by restricting the citizenship by descent. This is to ensure that the Canadians who were born abroad that is if they give the birth to their children outside the country, Canadian citizenship will not granted to these children automatically.
As many as 2.7 million Canadians currently living outside the country would be affected by these changes.

The author of Who We Are: A Citizen's Manifesto, Rudyard Griffiths said, "This important change will ensure that future generations of Canadians have a real connection to this country and the remarkable benefits of Canadian citizenship."

The children whose parents are working outside the country with Canadian Armed Forces or with the federal or provincial Governments will be exempted under the law.


Hike in job opportunities in Australia
The financial services sector is generating large number of job opportunities than before the financial crisis. The Life Insurance Sector in Australia is looking for employees; as recession hit public seek to safeguard their possessions.

As per the preliminary figure from research house Plan for Life, the Life Insurance Sales in Australia jumped by nearly 6% in the last quarter of 2008. Leading insurer ING has reported a rise of 25% in the first quarter of 2009. "The trend increase in life insurance sales reflects the increasing concern Australians have with the current economic environment and their need to protect existing wealth," says Gerard Kerr, head of products, marketing and reinsurance for ING Australia's life risk division.

Due to the sale of more policies, more jobs are being created in the sector. There's been a 100% increase in available roles compared to this time last year. This uptake really began in Q4 of 2008 and it's been mainly growth hires," says Sarah Wapling, a practice leader at Link Recruitment.
It seems that job vacancies are rising drastically in organizations engaged in business of selling life policies. These vacancies are available from specialist insurance firms and retail bank (CBA's CommInsure subsidiary has the largest market share), to the super funds and boutique financial planning firms.

All these institutions are hiring for a wide range of roles such as front-line sales personnel, underwriters and business development managers, says Wapling. According to Brad Shotland, Associate director, financial services at Micheal Page, says that Back-office jobs, especially those with expert accounting skills are also in great demand in the country.

But the accountants in banks need to have an insurance background to get a job in this sector. "Employers are generally looking for accountants who've already worked in insurance, but they will consider taking people from the Big Four accounting firms who have audited insurance companies," says Shotland.

Insurance Experience is also becoming vital for financial planners as well. Wapling explains: "In the past, most financial planners saw life insurance only as an 'add-on' to more important products like superannuation and investments. In the current market, being able to sell insurance has an immediate positive impact on revenue."

"There's a shortage of talent because in the past insurance salespeople had a tarnished reputation. This put people off entering the industry, but that's now gradually changing."


Expansion in online services for overseas students in Canada
The Immigration minister of Canada, Jason Kenney announced here in Ottawa on 7 April 2009 that International students can now apply online for extention in the study permit, Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism.

“We want Canada to be the destination of choice for international students,” said Minister Kenney. “Our new e-Services are yet another way our government is working towards attracting and retaining international students.”

“We are committed to serving our international students as effectively and efficiently as possible,” said Minister Kenney. “Our new e-Services will facilitate the application process, improve employment opportunities and contribute to long-term integration.”

After the launch of pilot project in June 2008 more than 6,000 overseas students have already applied online for an off-campus work permit.

Under the Canadian Experience Class, the students who have gained skilled work experience after the graduation may satisfy the eligibility criteria for permanent residencey.

Students who gain skilled work experience after graduation may be eligible to apply for permanent residency under the Canadian Experience Class.



UKBA suspends Certificate for Application approval fee
The UK Border Agency has suspended the Certificate of Approval applications fee from 9 th April 2009.

This applies that individual who will apply for a Certificate of Approval after 9 April,2009 will not be required to pay the application fee.

The UKBA is seriously considering the implications for those individuals who had already submitted their fee. The agency would be announcing the policy for such people shortly.


Major amendments in 457 visa programme
The Immigration Department of Australia has formerly announced several amendments in the 457 Temporary Business Long Stay Visa, to ensure that the potential immigrants are duly skilled for the job. It will also take care that these immigrants are paid sufficiently and not discriminated.

The 457-visa programme gives the opportunity to the employers to fill the shortages of skilled manpower that cannot be filled through local workers. The programme has grown rapidly to fulfill the skill shortages in the Australian economy.

The Government announced in a press release issued on 1st April 2009 certain measures related to the integrity of the 457 visa programme. The measures are under noted:

  • From mid-September 2009, the implementation of a market based MSL for all new and existing 457-visa holders will take place.
  • For 457 visa applicants in trade occupations and chefs, the minimum English language requirement from an IELTS test score is increased from 4.5 to 5
  • From 1 July 2009, 457-visa programme will progressively introduce formal skills assessment visa applicants from high-risk immigration countries in trade occupations and chefs.
  • Introducing a requirement for employers that demonstrate a commitment of employing as well as training local labor and demonstrating them non-discriminatory employment practices.
These initiatives are most likely to put the faith and integrity back in to the 457 visa programme, allowing smoothness in the field to ensure that the requirements and interests of international workers are in accordance with the requirements and interests of local workers, without dejecting the local labors.


Countless cooks messing up with the talent shortage broth
In spite of the outburst of foreign students learning cooking to get the permanent residency in Australia, some end up working as cooks, as per a report.

Monash demographer Bob Birrell, a migration expert said that only marginal foreign students accomplish trade-level skills and most of them work as cooks after obtaining the permanent residency. “This helps explain the continued shortage of cooks in Australia, despite the record intake of migrant cooks," he said.

The academics have called on the Government to increase the training required of overseas cooking students so that they can acquire trade-level skills and "restrict the migrant flow of cooks".

The Commonwealth had been hesitant to act as the state governments were concerned to protect the foreign student education industry, said Dr Birrell.

As per the report, The Cooking-Immigration Nexus, there has been a significant increase in the enrolments of student in cooking courses in the last few years. The number of students enrolled in cooking course in 2004 was 1019 while in 2008 the number increased up to 8242.

The report said that since May 2005, cooking has been in the list of in-demand migration occupations. While, the catering industry constantly declared that the owners to a great extent were short of qualified cooks.

The number of private cooking training providers has been growing rapidly. Last year, 23 recognized organizations that provided three months cooking training were started in Victoria only.

However most overseas student who wants to be cooks tends to take on kitchen hands position, as they did not possess trade-level skills. The experts of cooking industry said that the skills of Australians who had finished 3 to 4 year apprenticeship in cooking is much higher as compared to the foreign students who have completed one-year of full time course.

But, it was also mentioned in the report that there wasn’t any independent agency that assessed the capability of overseas students who had completed their course to ascertain that they had accomplished the trade-level skills. The Chief Executive of Migration institute of Australia, Maurene Horder said education courses should not be flagged as a backdoor to migration. Immigration Minister, Chris Evans said “the Government announced changes in December to ensure the skilled migration program delivered employer-sponsored migrants into jobs or equipped them with critical skills.”



Canadian population on rise due to high immigration numbers
As per the Canadian Statistical department, there has been a stiff growth of 0.19% in Canadian population in the last quarter of the year 2008. This has been a fastest growth in any quarter ever since 1992.

In an announcement made by Citizenship and Immigration Canada, it was stated that the immigration application processing times has improved slightly in 2008. The waiting time has reduced by 12% as compared to the waiting time of the last year.

Statistics Canada figures depicts an increase in population in every province and territory except in the Prince Edward Island and Northwest territories.

Demographic growth is on higher side in Western provinces, with British Columbia, Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba. They have posted more growth as compared to the average growth.

Saskatchewan Immigration Nominee Program (SINP) has leaded Saskatchewan to the highest increase in its population numbers in 2008 in the last 20 years.

"Immigration is important in addressing Saskatchewan's demographic and labour market needs and will help contribute to the long-term growth and prosperity in this province," says Saskatchewan Immigration Minister Rob Norris. "Newcomers help to build our communities through diversity and innovation."



Student visas cut down by UK immigration
UK immigration constrain on unlicensed educational institutes and fake applications of student visas has protected several institutions from admitting overseas students as they are not able to fulfil new criteria.

As per the new tier 4 student visa rules and regulations, overseas students who wish to study in the country must obtain sponsorship from any licensed university or college and has cleared certain standards. By now, 460 institutions application regarding the admission of foreign student have been rejected.

Several schools, colleges and universities have forwarded their application for license to admit foreign students. The numbers have gone up to 2100 institutions and the officials of UK immigration from the Border Agency have personally visited all these institutions. They are examining that each accredited institution must ensure their responsibility towards the students coming away from European Union. They further have to notice that these foreign students stick as per the condition specified in their visas.

Last year, the total fees paid by overseas students amounted 2.5 billion pounds. In the UKBA website it is mentioned that “The Government is determined that the new route benefits talented, legitimate students making the most of Britain's world-leading educational institutions.”


Migration agents uncovered targeting the overseas students for Australian visa fraud
Last week in a raid at southern city of Melbourne, Australian authorities revealed a fraud targeting overseas students.

The authorities found that three migration agents are providing fake documents to people interested in permanent visas to Australia. The students based their residency request on stated skills in cooking, hairdressing and mechanics.

The Police and the Immigration Department is thinking of laying the case of forgery and fraud charges.



CIMC announces new online work for immigrants to Canada
A new online resource to assist current and potential immigrants to Canada has been announced by the minister of Citizenship, Immigration, and Multiculturalism Canada (CIMC), Jason Kenney. This has been done to integrate the job market rapidly and to obtain work in their respective fields.

Foreign Credential Referral Office (FCRO) has formulated a new workbook for newcomers. This workbook is available at credentials.gc.ca- guides immigrants through a well-designed step-by-step approach of getting a job in Canada. The workbook discusses some major points like difference in regulated and non-regulated professions, how to get your work and education documentation certified and how to become licensed or registered to work in Canada in a particular occupation. Important points regarding the settlement organizations and language services are also provided in the workbook.

Kenney said "Each year, thousands of skilled newcomers arrive in Canada. It is in their interest, and in Canada's interest, to do everything we can to help them put their skills to work here as soon as possible once they arrive. This is one more tool to help them obtain the greatest benefit from their experience and education."



Marriage Visa rules of UK changed
The rules for marriage in UK are changing as per the UK Border Agency. The agency said that this is to protect the people against the enforced marriages and assist entrants to amalgamate into British life.

Foreign workers can submit an application of permission for the entry or settlement in United Kingdom as the husband, wife, civil partner, fiancé, proposed civil partner or unmarried/same-sex partner of someone already settled (also known as indefinite leave to remain) or for settlement in the country.


Two consultation documents proposing new arrangements for marriage visas were issued by the UKBA in December 2007.

- Marriage to Partners from Overseas: This asks views on proposed amendments to the arrangements covering marriage visas and application for permanent residency. This also asks that how to ensure that we protect people at risk of being forced to tie knots with a partner from a foreign country.

- Marriage Visas: Before entering English language requirement for spouses- this asks views on whether entrants in UK on marriage visas should have sound knowledge of English and able to demonstrate it prior to their arrival in the country.

In July 2008, the Government responded to the two consultations in a deed called 'Marriage visas: The way forward'. UKBA increased the age of marriage to 21 instead of 18 years earlier, on 27 November 2008. This applies that you cannot be sponsored as a husband, wife, civil partner, fiancé, potential civil partner, or unmarried/same-sex partner till the age of 21 years.

The UKBA states "The aim of this change was to protect young people from being forced into relationships they do not want, at a time in their lives when they could be establishing a degree of independence as adults through further education or through work".

On 6 March 2009, a code of practice was published on how would UKBA deal with marriage visa applications or permissions to stay in UK as a husband or wife if somebody is susceptible to a forced marriage.

The code is first and foremost aimed at both entry clearance foreign officers and case working teams in UK. It was completed with following consultation across the UKBA and the Government's Forced Marriage Unit.

Marriage visas: The way forward' also incorporated numerous other proposals, which are as follows:

- "We will require those seeking spouse visas to enter into an agreement to learn English as part of the visa application process and, once they have arrived in the UK, to show that they have fulfilled this commitment.

- "We will set a medium-term goal of introducing a pre-entry English test for marriage visa applicants.

- "We will seek to revoke indefinite leave to remain rendering the individual liable to expulsion where there has been abuse of the marriage route.

- "We will introduce a requirement for British citizens and permanent residents who are seeking to sponsor a spouse to come to the UK to first declare their intention before leaving the UK and marrying abroad."

The UKBA will continue to expand their proposals in the area.


Recession hits UK immigrants badly
The students and economic migrants coming to UK from outside European Union will have to submit 50 pounds towards the public services, ministers confirmed here on 19 March.

The community secretary, Hazel Blears and the home secretary, Jacqui Smith announced that new charge would be implemented from the later part of the year. The charge include distribution of Migration Impacts Fund in different areas based on the number of immigrants attracted in that area.

Blear while addressing a press conference on migration, hosted by Equality and Human Rights Commission in London said that long-period advantage to the country from immigrants is “significant” and would play an important part in the recovering from the recession.

But she accepted that immigration might impose short-term burden on local public services like councils, police, schools and the NHS.

“The new fund could be used to pay for extra teachers in schools in areas with high immigrant numbers, targeted support for policing, English language lessons for immigrants or measures to increase GP registration,” she said.

Blears said: "Migration brings significant benefits for this country. But it is a complex area never far from heated public debate. That is why we need an honest discussion about it, that acknowledges the local pressures which migration can create in our communities and on our public services.

"The new Migration Impacts Fund that comes from an extra levy on new migrants as they enter our country will support local services like health, police, and schools manage any pressures.

"It will also help ensure that those who arrive here learn to speak English so they can work to support themselves, get to know their neighbours, and participate fully in our society."

The Migration Watch UK, which generally campaigns for lower migration said that the fund would boost only 7p in every single pound spent by the authorities to help immigrants under the scheme, which the pressure group asseses to be more than 500m pound a year.

The pressure group's chairman Sir Andrew Green, , said: "The government say the new tax will raise £35m per year. This may sound impressive, but it is a drop in the ocean compared with the huge sums spent each year by the government as it tries to help society cope with the impact of immigration both nationally and at the local level.

"A rough estimate shows that, for every £1 the government spends on schemes specifically to help migrants, its new tax will only raise about 7p. And that spending does not allow for the fact that one new home will have to be built every six minutes for new immigrants, nor the additional costs to the NHS and education services, nor the countless other costs to local services that large-scale immigration brings.

"Our population will hit 70 million in 20 years. Seventy per cent of the increase will be thanks to immigration. This new tax will not begin to foot the bill that this population increase will present to British taxpayers."

Jill Rutter, a researcher into migration at the IPPR, said: "The migration transition fund is a good way of getting money to public services quickly, to cover costs for interpreters, for example, but we should remember that most migrants are young and fit and not heavy users of public services.

"Government and local public services must be careful not to fuel anti-migrant sentiments by suggesting that migrants place strains on schools, the police and the NHS. In reality, migrants contribute to public service provision through taxation and as public service workers."

The community secretary and the home secretary published a paper entitled Managing the Impacts of Migration setting out government actions to cut the number of illegal immigrants.

Smith said: "We are determined to ensure migration works for everyone. Our tough new points system means only those we need – and no more – can come here, and its flexibility allows us to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of the labour market and the country as a whole."



Australian Govt. To slash Skilled Worker Immigration this Year
The Australian Government has decided to decrease the skilled immigrant workers for the first time in the decade to protect local jobs in the middle of economic slowdown.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Chris Evans announced that Australia would slash the number of immigrants of skilled workers by 14% in 2008-09, so that the local jobs are protected. The move would result in the reduction of number of skilled migrants from 133,500 to 115,000. However, employers can contact professionals in case when they experience skill shortages.

As per the new rule, manufacturing as well as building trade would be removed from the list of critical skills. Under this list bricklayer, welders, plumbers, carpenter and metal fitters are included. After their exclusion, the list will now include health and medical, engineering and IT professions.

These changes tag along measures proclaimed in December, whereby only migrants sponsored by an employer or in an occupation on the Critical Skills List were provided visas under the permanent skilled migration program. Nearly 50% of the permanent visas are granted to those applicants who are currently working or living in Australia.

"The overwhelming message from business and industry is that Australia still needs to maintain a skilled migration program but one that is more targeted so that migrant workers are meeting skills shortages and not competing with locals for jobs." Immigration Minister Evans said.

"The Critical Skills List will remain under constant review and the Government will remove occupations from the list if demand for those skills can be satisfied by local labor", the Immigration Minister added.

He further announced that the government will keep on monitoring the immigrants and set the migration program in 2009-2010 to reflect the economic climate as element of the Budget process.

Due to global financial crisis, Australia has been badly affected, resulting in stiff growth of unemployed Australians. The unemployed rate in the country has gone up to 5.2% in February as compared to 4.8% in January while the job advertisements has also gone down steeply since 1999.



New amendments in famous Alberta Nominee Immigration Plan
The Strategic Recruitment Stream of Alberta Immigrant nominee Plan (AINP) has recently been traumatized to replicate the province’s changing needs of labour. US H1B Visa Holder category (for the applicant who do not require any job offer) has been changed to replicate the common occupations that are among H1B holders. Recently foreign engineers and foreign trades people are the two new categories, which focus on with work experience in Alberta, have been created.

Under the Alberta’s Strategic Recruitment stream, all three categories permits the candidates to apply directly to the AINP without any job offers from Alberta employers. It has become vital fast-track options for Canadian immigration and a means for Alberta to build skilled labour force of foreign workers.

All three categories of Alberta’s Strategic Recruitment Stream allow candidates to apply directly to the AINP without having a job offer from an Alberta employer. It is an important fast-track option for Canadian immigration and a means for Alberta to build up its skilled labour force of foreign workers.

The stream was formerly formed for US visa holders, to make it simpler for the skillful workers from overseas with work experience from America to settle as immigrants permanently. To meet the criteria the applicant must have worked for a year at least in US on H1B visa in Alberta in the list of ‘in-demand’ occupations. To focus on the key occupations among H1B visa holders in the United States, the list of occupations has been modified. The new list comprises of various types of engineering occupations, IT professionals, web designers, software engineers, along with medical occupation including physiotherapists and medical lab technicians.

Alberta has also amended its requirements for H1B status apart from the H1B occupation list. Now H1B is required to be maintained until the AINP makes the final verdict regarding the candidate while earlier the applicant was required to keep the H1B status until the time of application.

Currently the AINP is projecting a time of 2 to 6 months in processing. The newest additions to the Alberta’s Strategic Recruitment stream are the compulsory trades and Engineering occupations category.

Only for the above-mentioned categories (not H1B category) applicants need to prove that they presently live in Alberta and will settle in the province permanently. They further have to prove that they have been working in the same field in Alberta. For the engineers, it is important that they must have worked for any reputable Alberta engineering company within the last 12 months.

The applicants in Compulsory trades category are required to get an invitation from Alberta Apprenticeship and Industry Training (AIT) and an Alberta Qualification Certificate in a Compulsory Trade for qualifying.

The Engineering Occupations Category must be educated and provided training as an engineer, designer, or drafter and have similar work experience on the AINP Engineering Occupations List. Apart from that, they also need to acquire a ‘Letter of No Objection’ from the Association of Professional Engineers, Geologists, and Geophysicists of Alberta (APEGGA).

The AINP is constantly developing. Qualified applicants are encouraged to submit their application now as the eligibility criteria can change anytime with out prior notice.



Canadian Immigration Targets Possible to Decrease in 2009
Due to economic uncertainty and rising unemployment in the country, Canadian minister of citizenship immigration and multiculturalism (CIMC), Mr. Jason Kenney announced that Canada is considering cutting the numbers of immigration to Canada in 2009.

Minister Kenney stated, “We don’t want people coming to Canada and facing unemployment, we need to be sensitive to changing labor market and if we need to make modification we will.”

Mr. Kenney will meet with federal, provincial and territorial officials by the end of March to evaluate the economic data and to determine the level of amendments that are required for immigration.

He also stated, “We need to be flexible, prudent and ensure that our response to short-term conditions does not counter out long-term goals, in which immigration will play a significance role; we don’t want to turn off the tap of the future growth that represented by immigration.”

He mentioned that any changes could be made in immigration selection system without any prior warning. He further stated Immigration minister has the power to immediately reduce the immigration target.



Women Detained for Visa Fraud
A 34-year old woman has been held by New Delhi Police for trying to procure an illegal German Visa through forged documents. She works in a private firm as a Sales manager and is a resident of East Delhi.

Sunidha Choski (changed name) submitted the fake bank statements. The statement was suspected by one of Germen Embassy officials. The issue came in the limelight when a senior official from German Embassy lodged a complaint against the women.


UK Visa Made Tougher
UK Home Secretary, Jacqui Smith announced “To give domestic worker a greater chance of applying, first for UK jobs, measures have been taken to bar foreign workers wishing to enter UK.”

The secretary promised to use the flexibility build in the point based system (PBS) to help the British workers during the phase of recession. To confine low skilled foreign workers, the government has already suspended Tier 3 of the PBS. The Government has announced three major changes to restrict the foreign worker and support the British workers:

· Jobs must advertised by the employer to resident workers through Jobcentre before they can bring a worker from outside Europe, this is done to make the labor market stronger in test for Tier 2 skilled jobs.

· Use each shortage occupation list to trigger skills appraisal that focus on improvement of resident workers for these occupations, which will make UK less dependent on immigrants in the future.

· Tighten the new criteria against which highly skilled immigrants seeking entry to the UK are assessed, by raising the credentials and salary.


Immigration Population Changes in Australia
“Portrait of a nation” reports conducted by the Australian Bureau of Statistics states that 20% of the new entrants between 1996-2006 are from Asian countries of India and China.

There has been a stiff increase in the number of immigrants from Asia especially from India and China. However, the major immigrants are from the European countries. It is firmly believed that Asia will evidently overtake Europe. As 24% of foreign-born residents (92,000) arriving from UK between 1996-2006 makes it the most common country.

As per the report, 4.4 million people in Australia were born overseas; which indicates an increase by 2%, as compared to the last survey conducted in 1996.

6 out of 10 immigrants are from Asian continent. Under which, 9.5% immigrants are from China (62,000) and 8.4% from India (54,100) and many other immigrants are from countries like Malaysia, Philippines and South Korea.

Prior to 1973, Former British colony had a white Australian policy, which restricted immigrants from westerns.


Canada still has hot job spots in spite of global economic recession.
In the last few months, the national unemployment rate has steeped up in Canada. Although the country has not been as affected as the countries like United States and other OECD nations by the global economic recession. This has encouraged CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) to evaluate the immigration numbers to make sure that there are enough jobs for the immigrants once they arrive in the country.

In spite of these trends few regions in the country still remain hot job spots, where the regional employers continue to look for skilled foreign workers to fulfill the unending labour gaps. It is quite remarkable that Canadian provinces such as Saskatchewan, Alberta, and Manitoba are still facing the problem of skill shortage and continue to hire foreign workers to lighten them.

Saskatchewan and Alberta unemployment rate in January were 4.1% and 4.4% respectively, both of which are under the ‘balanced labour market' rate of 5%, as per the Alberta Employment and Immigration. Although both these provinces have been affected by current economic downturn, expert economists state that they have been faring much better than other regions of the country. Some of the experts also stated that the Alberta’s job market remains one of the best job markets in the Northern America.

Alberta has been recruiting many foreign as well as Canadian workers for several years now to keep its pace with the fast job creation in the province. AINP (Alberta Immigration Nominee Plan) has always been very effective in inviting skilled workers from abroad and continuously developing to reflect the present conditions. Its Strategic Recruitment Stream for USH1B holders has recently been reframed to invite applicants with relevant experience in new jobs such as database analysts, industrial designers, and web developers.

Calgary and Edmonton, the two major cities of Alberta have recorded meager unemployment in the last month i.e. 4.1 and 3.8 per cent respectively. Camrose-Drumheller region and the Medicine Hat-Lethobridge region are the areas in the province with lowest unemployment of 3.1 and 4 percent respectively.

Due to the continuous skill shortages in Manitoba, the provincial Immigration Minister is providing job offers to skill foreign workers in the field of biotechnology, information technology, healthcare, social services and geothermal energy. Under the Manitoba’s Provincial Nominee Program (PNP), the temporary foreign workers in these industries may finally be able to qualify for fast-track Canadian Permanent Residency.

For the people who are interested in immigration to Canada, the concept is simple. To maximize their chances of work in Canada, they should consider a region where unemployment is low and where their skills are in high demand.



Important changes to Tier 1 and Tier 2 UK skilled visa rules.
Major changes to the Tier 1 and Tier 2 have been announced by the UK Border Agency in the category of skilled migration to the UK. The agency also verified that the resident labour market test would be improved to make sure that the British jobs are being advertised to the local British worker first.

The changes in Tier 1 category are scheduled to take place on 31st March 2009. It is assumed that the new points-based system changes would make it harder for applicants to acquire UK skilled migration visa and will "raise the bar" for overseas workers.

Under the Tier 1 (General) and Tier 1 (Post-Study Work) categories, now the foreign workers using the tier 1 category for skilled migration would be required to obtain masters’ degree instead of bachelors’ degree (if they haven’t already secured a job in the UK). Further they also have to show that their salary amounted to at least 20000 pounds, which is 3000 pounds more than the current prevailing rules.

From 31st March 2009, anyone applying for the extension of his or her Tier 1 visa will not have any influence of these changes, while those who are applying for the Tier 1 (General) category primarily and those who wish to switch from any other category to the Tier 1 category will be assessed under the new rules.

Before sponsoring a skilled migrant through the Tier 2 (General category), the employer must place vacancies in Jobcentre Plus and use one other permitted method of advertising as per the changes to the resident labour market test. The Tier 2 (General) pathway to UK skilled migration permits the employer with an employer sponsorship license to sponsor foreign workers to fill up the vacant posts in their staff and is alike the old UK work permit system.

Possible Major Cuts to Australian Skills Migration Programme
As per the Migration Bureau of Australia there is a strong probability that due to the global economic crisis, Australian Government may cut the number or immigrants by up to 66%. They have received the information from a credible source but it is still not yet confirmed.

The remaining 1/3rd might be facing an increase in the current point system or reduction in the list of skilled occupation to replicate the present market situation in Australia. It is most likely that cuts may also be made in the business and family migration visa streams.

Although final information regarding the changes have not yet been formally announced by DIAC, but it is feasible that the applicants may be adversely affected by these changes and some might found themselves no longer eligible after the change.

People who wish to immigrate to Australia under the current immigration criteria are strongly advised to commence their application as soon as possible.

Additional trades occupations can now apply under RPL

RPL (Recognized Prior Learning) skills assessments have now become one of the most important parts of the immigration programme of Australia. Among the three chief Australian Recognized Prior Learning (RPL) agencies, ACTS (Australian Construction Training Services) has currently added four new trades under their RPL programme. This means that an applicant who does not possess formal qualification but have 4 years or more proven work experience in any one of these four occupations announced can now complete an RPL and a skills assessment to attain an AQF level 3 qualification certification. Then, this certification will enable the applicant to be ultimately granted the necessary qualification points crucial to consider an application for skilled migration to the country (formally these applicants were not eligible). The four new trades included are as follows:

- Sheet meta
- Diesel fitting
- Fitting and/or turning
- Boiler making

Apart from these four new trades there are greater chances that ACTS can also provide RPL skills assessments for under noted trades:

- Carpentry
- Bricklaying
- Painting
- Fitting
- Roof Plumbing
- Concreting
- Wall and Ceiling (Fibrous Plaster)
- Shop Fitting
- Joinery
- Tiling
- Chef
- Cook
- Solid Plaster