Net migration to the UK increases again

Net migration to Britain remained steady at 250,000 in the year to June 2011, according to figures released today.

However when compared with the figures for the year ended June 2010, the figures showed an increase from 235,000.

The government has promised to cut net migration by 2015 to the “tens of thousands”.

It seems that the reduction in numbers of British citizens moving abroad and economic turmoil in the eurozone will see this target become harder and harder to reach.

NEWSLETTER No. 28 – June 2010

UNITED KINGDOM – NEW GOVERNMENT TO IMPLEMENT QUOTA?

The new UK government took office last month with Damian Green appointed as Minister for Immigration.

The coalition government between the Conservatives and Liberal Democrats has reached compromise on many issues. However the government has still retained the Conservative idea of a “cap” or quota on numbers, as their main immigration policy.

The following is an extract from the agreed Programme for Government on the subject of immigration;

“The Government believes that immigration has enriched our culture and strengthened our economy, but that it must be controlled so that people have confidence in the system. We also recognise that to ensure cohesion and protect our public services, we need to introduce a cap on immigration and reduce the number of non EU immigrants.”

No timeframe has been indicated for this and it is important to stress that it does not affect EU migrants or migrants in other categories such as spouses, students etc..

However, this may logically result in an annual quota of visas to be granted, in categories such as Tier 1 and Tier 2. Applicants intending to apply in these categories may be advised to start the process sooner rather than later, in case a future quota would work to their detriment.

In any event, new figures show that net migration to the UK is set to drop below 100,000 a year. This of course is a key target of the new government – the aim of reducing the level to “tens of thousands, rather than hundreds of thousands”.

New official immigration figures show that more eastern European migrants (from the 2004 Accession countries such as Poland) are leaving than arriving.

The annual citizenship figures for 2009 also published show more than 203,000 people were granted UK citizenship last year.

The overall statistics show a continued decline in net migration to the UK – the number of people coming to work and study minus the number of people leaving to live abroad – to 142,000 in the year to September 2009. This compares with a net migration figure of 160,000 in the previous year to September 2009.

 

AUSTRALIA – NEW OCCUPATIONS LIST


A new Skilled Occupations List (SOL) for migration to Australia has been published by the Department of Immigration.

The new SOL contains fewer occupations than the old SOL, with a reduction from 408 to 181 occupations.

The new list does not affect those whose applications have already been submitted. It also does not affect those looking to apply through State sponsorship.

All State governments in Australian will still be able to sponsor skilled migrants in accordance with the State’s own “State Migration Plan” regardless of whether the migrant’s occupation is on the SOL.

The government’s review into the points system has still not been published.

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

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.

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