Find more about me on:
  • googleplus
  • linkedin

Here are my most recent posts

NEWSLETTER No. 27 – March 2010

UNITED KINGDOM – TIER 1 VISA CHANGES

The UK Border Agency has announced an important change in UK immigration that will affect many overseas migrants looking to work in the UK through the Tier 1 visa.

Effective April 2010, the minimum educational requirement for the Tier 1 visa has now been amended from a Masters degree to a Bachelors degree.

The points system has also been amended to change the qualifying criteria for previous earnings.

The Tier 1 visa allows overseas professionals to enter the UK to work or establish themselves as self-employed. Most importantly – this visa does not require a sponsoring employer. It is assessed on a points system with points awarded for age, education, previous earnings etc…

This previous Masters degree requirement affected many overseas migrants who scored well on other assessment criteria but were ineligible for not having a Masters degree. This is a very significant change and will now allow many more overseas migrants to qualify to work in the UK without a sponsoring employer.

CANADA – CONSULTATION ON IMMIGRATION

The Canadian government has recently launched a consultation on their immigration programme.

The official announcement seems to indicate that this may result in changes to allow more occupations to be included in the Federal Skilled Worker category.

This would be a welcome move, allowing more applicants to apply directly for permanent residency without having to apply through employer sponsorship or Provincial Nomination entry.

The consultation runs until April 16th, after which we hope that a new more flexible system of entry will be introduced.

NEW ZEALAND – NEW VISA CATEGORIES

From 29 March, New Zealand will be offering 2 new retirement visas for entry

These are named – the Temporary Retirement Category and the Parent Retirement Category (residence).

The Temporary Retirement Category is a special visitor’s policy designed for those who wish to invest in New Zealand and stay longer than current Visitor policy allows.

The Parent Retirement Category allows for permanent residence and follows closely the model of the Australian Parent visa. Applicants need to make an investment in New Zealand and show that the balance of your family is in New Zealand.

Please contact us for more information on either of these new visa categories.

AUSTRALIA – NURSING ASSESSMENT

As of March 2010, all applications for qualifications assessments by overseas nurses need to be submitted through an online form.

This is the process through which an overseas qualified nurse applies to the Australian Nursing and Midwifery Council (ANMC) for recognition of qualifications and work experience.

The process is initially completed through an online form (submitted electronically) and then printed, signed and posted to the ANMC with all the required documents.

If you are a Nurse or Midwife looking to move to Australia then please contact us so that we can check your eligibility.

NEWSLETTER No. 26 – February 2010

AUSTRALIA – SKILLED MIGRATION CHANGES

The Australian Department of Immigration have announced some significant changes in the processing of applications in the General Skilled Migration category.

The Migration Occupation Demand List and the current Skilled Occupations Lists are to be replaced by a new Occupations List. This new list will allocate points for migration to different occupations according to the demand for such occupations.

This will form part of a new overall points system for migration, which is due to be launched by July 2010. A consultation paper on the framework for the new points system will now be launched.

It is very important for applicants to note that all current applications (lodged after September 2007 and currently in the system) are not affected. Any future changes will not apply to such applications, which will continue to be assessed on the criteria in place when they were lodged.

Applications which are sponsored by a State government will still be accepted. The announcement has specifically mentioned that state sponsored migration plans will play an important role in the future points system.

Current applicants who have yet to apply, have the choice of waiting for the new system or submitting beforehand on the current criteria.

The Minister for Immigration, Senator Chris Evan, has pledged that the new occupations list and the new points system will be much more focused on Australia’s skills shortages. The current system is seen as insufficient to properly pinpoint the key skills needed.

The Minister has stated that one of the main purposes of the changes is to break the “automatic” link between studying in Australia and then applying for permanent residence. The current government have long been critical of the routes introduced
by the previous government, which provided a direct pathway for overseas students obtaining qualifications in “demand” occupations, to then apply for residence. It seems that overseas student currently studying in Australia will be most affected by the changes. Shortage occupations such as nurses, accountants, engineers and trades workers are all expected to feature prominently in the new migration system, as these are in shortage throughout Australia. Such occupations are already on the in-demand lists for State governments.

As part of moves to address the backlog of current application, the Minister has announced that all applications submitted before September 2007 and not currently concluded, will be returned to the applicant with a fee refund. This is through the Minister utilising the power of “capping” – setting a maximum number of visas that can be processed. This is a highly controversial move which has been met with much vocal opposition already.

We will of course update you on further developments on the new migration system, through our newsletter, as more information becomes available.

If you want to know more about how you may qualify for Australian residence, then please feel free to complete the online assessment form on our website.

UNITED STATES – EB 5 IMMIGRANT VISA EXTENSION

The opportunity to make an investment in a selected government approved scheme has now been extended to 2012. This is excellent news as now for a designated investment of $500,000 investors obtain a US Immigrant Visa. This Florida based scheme (you can live where you want in the US) also comes with a number of valuable investor benefits. The visa conditions enable to realise your assets after three years. Please contact us for more information on this important development.

NEWSLETTER No. 25 -December 2009

UNITED KINGDOM – RADICAL TIER 1 VISA CHANGES PROPOSED

A recent review of the Tier 1 visa category has proposed some radical changes.

The review by the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) published December 2009 has recommended;

* Reopening Tier 1 to applicants with a Bachelor’s degree as opposed to the current minimum Masters degree requirement.

* Changes to the overseas salary multipliers and the points awarded for earnings, requiring higher previous earnings.

* That migrants with previous annual earnings of UK £150,000 should not need to meet the educational requirements.

* Points should be awarded for age up until 39 years of age.

These are significant recommendations and would place a greater emphasis on previous earnings. The removal of the minimum Masters degree requirement would be very welcome.

The government have agreed to study the report carefully over the next few weeks and announce what changes will be introduced in early 2010.

The government have in the past followed many of the recommendations of the MAC so we expect changes to be introduced following this report.

We will of course keep subscribers updated through our newsletter

 

UNITED KINGDOM – NEW CITIZENSHIP ELIGIBILITY AND NEW ADVERTISING RULES

The new citizenship rules are due to become effective on 13 January 2010.

These changes, introduced through the Borders, Citizenship and Immigration Act 2009, will mainly affect those born outside the UK to British mothers before 1961. Such individuals will now be allowed to apply for registration as “British citizens by descent”.

For employers looking to sponsor migrant workers through the Tier 2 visa category, the government has now made changes to the length of time that the position must be advertised for. Effective from December 14th, this advertising period is increased to 4 weeks. The type and medium of advertising depends on the offered position.

If you are an employer looking to sponsor migrant workers, then please contact us so that we can advise on how and where you should advertise.

 

AUSTRALIA – REVIEW OF MIGRATION “DEMAND” OCCUPATIONS

The Australian Department of Immigration is currently conducting a review of the Migration Occupation in Demand List (MODL).

The MODL is the list of high demand occupations that score 15 extra points when applying for migration. There are over 100 occupations on the list and the extra available points are crucial to many applicants’ eligibility.

The review is likely to result in certain occupations being removed from the list. The Minister for Immigration himself is on record as stating that he thinks that certain occupations need to be removed from the list, in line with current employment conditions in Australia.

Any changes are not due for several months yet and will not affect those who have already applied. However, if your occupation is on the list, you are best advised to start the process for migration now.

Also, we are pleased to announce that the option of proving one’s trade skills through a practical assessment has now been extended to even more trades.

The new trades eligible for practical assessment are;

Motor Mechanic
Vehicle Paint Sprayer
Panel Beater
Telecommunications Linesperson
Tree Surgeon
Printer

This is a great opportunity for those who can demonstrate the full range of skills in their trade, but who do not have formal qualifications from completing college courses, apprenticeships etc…

Successful completion of the assessment will result in the award of an Australian Qualification Framework Certificate Level 3, which in turn is recognised by Trades Recognition Australia, the Department of Immigration and Australian employers

Previously such programmes were only available in Australia, involving lengthy courses and great expense.

If you have qualifications / skills / experience in any of the above trades and you are interested in moving to Australia, then please contact us.

 

CANADA – 2010 IMMIGRATION TARGET AND NOVA SCOTIA CHANGES

The Canadian government has decided to maintain a similar annual immigration target in 2010. The overall target will be between 240,000 and 265,000 new immigrants.

Unlike other countries which are reducing their immigrant intake, Canada still wants to attract the right migrants for long term economic needs.

The government’s Annual Report identifies that the provinces, through their Provincial Nominee Programs, will have an increased impact on the number of economic immigrants arriving in Canada.

One province that wants to increase its share of immigrants is Nova Scotia. Around 2600 new immigrants arrived in Nova Scotia in 2008 and the province’s Minister for Immigration, Ramona Jennex thinks this is far too low.

The province aims to double the number of immigrants that settle in Nova Scotia and they hope to have a new strategy ready in the next few months to achieve this goal. The Minister stated that Nova Scotia’s immigration advisory panel is currently working on recommendations and that she wants to implement the new strategy as soon as possible. Watch this space for more information.

NEWSLETTER No. 24 – October 2009

AUSTRALIA – ANNOUNCEMENT BY VETASSESS

VETASSESS have just announced some major changes in the way applicants will be assessed.

By way of background, VETASSESS is the skills assessment authority for many applicants for Australian residency. They accept applications from those applicants who wish to migrate to Australia and who nominate a skilled occupation which is a managerial, administrative, professional or associate professional occupation.

Examples include occupations such as Graphic Designers, Production Managers, Marketing Specialists, Hotel Managers etc…

Effective from 1 January 2010, such applicants need to show that their qualification is related to their occupation. VETASSESS will also in some cases require evidence of relevant work experience.

This is a major change in the current process. At the moment, if you select your nominated occupation as, for instance “Management Consultant”, you are not required to have a related degree. In other words your degree qualification could be in any subject.

This will not be possible after 1 January 2010.

These does not apply to some of those trade occupations that VETASSESS is responsible for assessing, only those which are managerial, administrative, professional or associate professional occupations.

We advise any clients looking to apply to VETASSESS to start this process asap, to avoid any complications after January.

AUSTRALIA – CHILD AND PARTNER VISAS

The Department of Immigration are now advising that for all child visas and certain partner visas, the Australian sponsor must now provide an Australian Police Check.

This includes partner visa applications in which there are dependent children. This new requirement is designed to ensure the best interests of the child are met, especially in cases where the sponsor has a criminal conviction.

Although this will not present a problem for the overwhelming number of applicants, it may lead to an increase in processing times, while this Police Check is obtained.

If you are interested in moving to Australia then please complete the Online Assessment form on our website.

NEW ZEALAND – GENERAL INFORMATION

The following is an update on routes of entry for Investors and Skilled Workers.

Investors:
The recently unveiled New Zealand ‘Migrant Investment Policy’ aims to attract financial capital to local firms or government by providing residence to people under the age of 66 years who wish to make a significant financial contribution to New Zealand’s economy.

The policy is divided into two categories:

Investor Plus – requires a three year investment of NZ$10 million and

Investor – requires an investment NZ$1.5 million for four years plus assets of NZ$1 million. The requirement for how long you have to stay in New Zealand and other conditions vary between these 2 categories but they now present a real opportunity to many people.
Update on Skilled Workers

The requirement in the New Zealand labour market for the majority of health professional occupations remains high and also for Secondary School Teachers. Chefs who are well qualified with proven experience of leading a team of Cooks, are also in demand. Many trades’ occupations are currently in low demand with the exception of Electricians and Fitter/Turners. If you find an employer who needs your skills, and you have formal qualifications, then there are other routes to consider if they have permission to employ foreign workers.

If you are interested in moving to New Zealand then please complete the Online Assessment form on our website.