NEWSLETTER No. 21 - April 2009

United Kingdom Immigration and UK ResidencyUNITED KINGDOM - NEW RULES CLARIFIED

The government have now clarified the April 1st changes to the UK Tier 1 General (Highly Skilled) category.

All new applicants applying in this category will need to have a minimum qualification of a Masters degree and previous earnings equivalent to UK £20,000 (adjusted for different countries). 

The new rules do not apply to those already in the UK on a Tier 1 General visa or the previous HSMP visa, who are extending their status while in the UK. However, they do apply to those in the UK such as students or work permit holders changing their UK status. 

Also, the rules have now been changed for the Tier 1 Post Study Work visa. From April 1st, applicants who have been awarded a Postgraduate Diploma or Postgraduate Certificate (unless it is a PGCE Postgraduate Certificate in Education) will not be eligible for this visa. There is no change for applicants who have a UK Bachelors degree or postgraduate degree.
* Click for United Kingdom info page with the latest migration news

Canada Immigration and ResidencyCANADA – FOCUS ON ALBERTA

The Province of Alberta is increasingly becoming one of the most popular destinations for migrants to Canada.

The 2 main cities of Calgary and Edmonton are home to the majority of the 3.5 million people who live in Alberta. The population growth last year was twice the Canadian average – largely due to immigration.

Much of the growth in the Alberta economy comes from its huge exports of oil and gas. Other important sectors include forestry, tourism and information technology. The unemployment rate is the lowest in Canada.

The Government of Alberta are allowed to nominate applicants directly through the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program (AINP). This allows applications through many different categories such as for Skilled Workers, International Graduates, Semi-Skilled Workers, Self-Employed Farmers and the Family Stream for those who have a relative living in Alberta.

The AINP is an excellent route to gain entry to Canada’s fastest growing economy with categories to suit many different types of applicants.

If you wish to be considered for immigration to Alberta either through the Federal Skilled Worker or the Alberta Immigrant Nominee Program, then please complete an Online Assessment form on our website.

* Click for Canada info page with the latest migration news

Previous Newsletters on migration issues:
Newsletter 1 - January 2007
  Newsletter 2 - March 2007
  Newsletter 3 - April 2007
  Newsletter 4 - May 2007
  Newsletter 5 - May 2007 - In Focus: Australia
  Newsletter 6 - June 2007
  Newsletter 7 - July 2007
  Newsletter 8 - August 2007
  Newsletter 9 - October 2007
  Newsletter 10 - November 2007
  Newsletter 11 - December 2007
  Newsletter 12 - February 2008
  Newsletter 13 - March 2008
  Newsletter 14 - June 2008

  Newsletter 15 - July 2008
  Newsletter 16 - September 2008
  Newsletter 17 - November 2008
  Newsletter 18 - December 2008
  Newsletter 19 - January 2009

  Newsletter 20 - February 2009

NEWSLETTER - Subscribe to keep updated!

We are sending a newsletter on a periodic basis to update you on new developments and changes in all matters relating to migration.

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Tel. +44 (0) 1223 830 916


The Department of Immigration have announced that between now and the end of the visa year (30 June 2009) they will only be priority processing applications who occupations are on the Critical Skills List or who are sponsored by a State government.

Once the new visa program year commences on 1 July 2009, we expect processing of visa applications to resume in chronological order.

The Department have not announced any change in criteria or increase in the relevant Pass Mark (for points tested applicants). Applications can continue to be submitted as normal.

It is important to emphasise that Australia is still looking to attract migrants. However this change, which runs until 30 June 2009, allows States to target those occupations that are in demand in that particular State. The overall number of residence visas to be granted is only slightly reduced.

Increasingly, State Nomination is proving to be an option for many applicants and we can assist applicants with this.

This allows States to sponsor migrants who they need and these applications are fast-tracked for permanent residency. Some examples of in demand occupations in certain States include;

Western Australia – Plumbers, Child Care Managers, Plasterers, Hairdressers, 
Queensland – Secondary School Teachers, Electricians, Carpenters, Welders
South Australia - Nurses, Accountants, Toolmakers, Bricklayers,
Victoria – Motor Mechanics, Sheet Metal Workers, Engineers, Social Workers

These are just a few brief examples of different occupations in demand in different States. All States can sponsor many more occupations than this.

Please contact us for more information.

Also for HAIRDRESSERS – the next practical assessments by the Queensland Hairdressing Academy (QHA) in the UK and Ireland, will be facilitated in the first and second weeks of May. 

This QHA practical assessment is for those applicants who do not have formal qualifications to demonstrate their Hairdressing skills. 

Final locations are yet to be set – but at this stage, they are likely to be in London, Manchester, Glasgow and possibly Dublin. Interested applicants will be advised of exact locations and venues over the next few weeks.

Please contact us for more information if you are a Hairdresser looking to move to Australia.
* Click for Australia info page with the latest migration news

Canada Immigration and ResidencyUNITED STATES – SPOUSE VISAS

We are now increasingly assisting applicants through Canada’s Provincial Nominee Programs. This is a consequence of the recent changes to the list of occupations that are eligible for processing under the Federal Skilled Worker Program.

Most provinces in Canada have an agreement with the Government of Canada that allows them to nominate immigrants who wish to settle in that province. The selection process varies from province to province. Each province selects immigrants who can fill its needs – normally through labour market shortages.

For instance, the government of Nova Scotia is keen to attract people to the province with work experience in Aerospace and Health Care.

However, in addition the government of British Columbia has a further need for selected occupations in Tourism/Hospitality and Food Processing.

A select number of province’s have ‘family connections’ streams of their respective Nominee Programs. Specifically, Alberta, Saskatchewan, Manitoba, Prince Edward Island and Newfoundland allow permanent residents and citizens of the province to sponsor foreign family members to come to the province where their Canadian relative lives. There are differences in each program so contact us for province specific details.

If you wish to be considered for immigration to Canada either through the Federal Skilled Worker or a Provincial Nominee Program, then please complete an Online Assessment form on our website.

Also, for students who wish to have opportunities to settle in Canada, contact us today for information on how studying in Canada can make students eligible for a number of permanent residency options.

* Click for United States info page with the latest migration news

We hope that this newsletter has been informative for you.  However, remember everyone's circumstances are different so if you or a friend or family member want to check your eligibility to emigrate then either

1) complete the Online Assessment form on our website or
2) give us a call on (+44)  (0) 20 8365 3380

We would love to hear from you!

Tim McMahon
Commonwealth Immigration

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants
UK Government Registered Immigration Consultants No. F200100020

Member of the Association of Regulated Immigration Advisers (ARIA)
Affiliate Member of the Australian Institute of Migration

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd. |