NEWSLETTER No. 17 - November 2008

Canada Immigration and ResidencyNEW ZEALAND - NEW GOVERNMENT

The New Zealand National Party has won the most seats in the New Zealand parliament in the recent General Election held on November 8th. Although the exact make up of the new government has yet to be finalised, it is likely to see a new focus in immigration policy.

The National Party are committed to attracting New Zealand citizens overseas to return home (at the moment over 1500 Kiwis emigrate every week). However the new government also have ambitious plans for a shake-up of the immigration system.

A designated Retirement Visa is proposed for high net worth individuals. Also a new “Silver Fern Visa” is proposed for highly skilled individuals to enter New Zealand to look for work. This would differ from the current work permit route which requires an offer of employment. 

The next few months could see big changes in New Zealand immigration, so make sure you remain up to date with our newsletter.
* Click for New Zealand info page with the latest migration news

Australia Immigration and Residency VisaUNITED STATES – NEW PRESIDENT

President- elect Barack Obama, has indicated he would be prepared to increase the number of H-1B visas issued in the US every year. This is the visa category for graduates filling a professional position.

At the moment, the number of H-1B visas that can be issued every year is capped at 85,000. Obama supported legislative proposals, while serving as a Senator, to increase the cap to 180,000. 

The H-1B cap has been widely criticised by companies such as Microsoft and Oracle, which have chosen to expand in Canada, where there is a more lenient temporary work permit programme.

Obama also supports allowing allow immigrants who earn their degrees in the U.S. to stay, work, and eventually become US citizens. 

We’ll keep you informed on any US immigration changes to be introduced by the government in 2009.

* Click for United States 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

Contact us

Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd.

based in London and Cambridge

Tel. +44 (0) 1223 830 916

The UK government have just announced a change in the minimum age requirements for a marriage visa for the UK.

Effective from the end of November, the minimum age has been raised from 18 to 21 years. Both parties in a marriage will need to be 21 years before a marriage visa can be issued.

The Home Office have not clarified if this new regulation will apply to other categories of relationships – such as civil partners, unmarried partners and same-sex partners.


On 27 November, the current work permit scheme in the UK will come to an end. From that date on, employers looking to sponsor overseas workers from outside the EU will need to apply through Tier 2 of the new Points Based System.

Also on that date the current Working Holiday Maker visa will no longer exist. Instead the new category will be through Tier 5 Youth Mobility of the Points Based System.

We will bring full details on the new categories once available.

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


The Western Australia Department of Immigration have recently updated their Occupations List for skilled occupations. This is the list of occupations that they will sponsor for full Australian permanent residency.

The new list sees a large amount of new IT occupations included on the list. Also, despite the downturn in the construction sector in the UK and other countries, in Western Australia the demand for skilled constructions workers is continuing.

If you have qualifications and experience in construction trades such as - Bricklayer, Carpenter, Electrician, Plumber, Welder etc.. then please contact us. Your skills are in strong demand in Western Australia.

* Click for Australia 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

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Commonwealth Immigration Consultants Ltd. |