NEWSLETTER No. 29 – July 2010

UNITED KINGDOM – IMMIGRATION QUOTA INTRODUCED

The UK government have announced that they are pressing ahead with plans to implement a cap or quota on all non-EU economic migrants. This was predicted in our previous newsletter.

This is likely to affect all applications for Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas.

A permanent cap is set to be introduced from April 2011. In the meantime, a temporary cap is to be imposed which will see overall numbers between now and April 2011, reduced by 5 %.

The criteria for Tier 1 visas (Highly Skilled workers) has been tightened from July 19th by increasing the points threshold by 5 points.

We therefore advise all applicants and employers to look at applying for such visas, as soon as possible. The announcement of a cap is unprecedented in UK immigration and is likely to lead to an increase in applications.

This may then lead to visas being unavailable until the new visa year commences in April 2011. The new criteria effective from April 2011 may well see further restrictions to ensure an immigration cap is effective.

A review by the Migration Advisory Committee has been launched into the permanent cap. There are a broad range of proposals on how the government should implement a cap and also what the final quota numbers should be.

If you wish to go ahead with a Tier 1 or Tier 2 application, then please contact us so that we can assess your eligibility

 

AUSTRALIA – NEW DEVELOPMENTS

At a recent meeting at Australia House, London we received some information on future plans for the introduction of State Migration Plans (SMPs).

SMPs are crucial for many migrants to Australia as they specify which states will sponsor which occupations. This is now a vitally important route for many migrants.

It seems the first SMPs will be published by September and hopefully implemented soon afterwards. All SMPs need to be fully approved by the Federal government before being launched. It is thought that many SMPs will follow the previous state sponsorship occupations.

Furthermore, the Australian Department of Immigration are introducing a new system for occupational coding.

The new system is called the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO). This replaces the previous ASCO coding system and is being introduced as the new standard to capture occupation information in all visa, settlement and citizenship programs.

ANZSCO will also be used within skilled visa programs, where it is a requirement for visa eligibility, as the standard by which a visa applicant’s skills to undertake a specific occupation in Australia are assessed.

CANADA – IMPORTANT CHANGES FOR SKILLED WORKERS AND INVESTORS

The Canada government has now announced some changes in processing for federal skilled worker applicants.

The new rules mean that applicants must either have a job offer, or they must have experience in one of 29 in-demand occupations. This is a new list of occupations which is a shortened version of the previous list.

For those applying under the occupation list, the government will limit the number of applications considered for processing to 20,000 per year. Furthermore, within the 20,000 limit, a maximum of 1,000 applications per occupation will be considered. The limit does not apply to applicants with a job offer or those who have already applied.

In addition, all federal skilled worker and Canadian Experience Class applicants must submit the results of an independent language test before they will be considered.

Previously, applicants had the option of proving their language ability via a written submission. Citizenship and Immigration Canada now only accepts designated third-party language tests as proof of language ability – no exceptions.

Also, the rules for those applying for Canadian residency through the Investor category are set to get tighter.

The proposed changes will require new investors to have a personal net worth of CDN$1.6M, up from CDN$800,000, and make an investment of CDN$800,000, up from CDN$400,000.

Until the new investor rules are implemented, Canada will stop accepting new applications in this category.

This is of course a significant change and the lack of any advance warning makes it difficult for applicants to plan accordingly.

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