Statuses by day of submission for January: *PNP Inland and Outland are almost non touched, a lot of cases are not active as people just not getting any kind of update from CIC (the same also applies to December 2016)
Statuses by day of submission for February: *Please note CEC and FSW outland/inland have been processed actively this is especially true for CEC. PNP Outland/Inland are also remain pretty much untouched.
Statuses by day of submission for March:
Statuses by day of submission for April: *Please note we have seen some quick Passport Requests (~65 days) this months. Which is a positive sign.
According to Department of Immigration figures, only around 1% of applicants for the 189 subclass are between 45 and 49 at present. Whilst the overall impact on program numbers is small, for people between 45 and 49 the effect will be significant because the age limit for permanent employer sponsored is also being reduced to 44.
The pathway will be implemented as a stream within the Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa. The NZ citizen stream will be significantly easier to qualify for than the traditional 189 subclass, and in particular:
The Australian government estimates that 60-70,000 New Zealanders may be eligible for the new stream. This may mean that fewer places are available for applicants in the points tested stream. This in turn may affect the occupational ceilings for skilled migration, and result in higher points being required for an invitation through SkillSelect.
Revision of Skilled Occupations Lists
We expect the occupations lists for General Skilled Migration - the MLTSSL and STSOL - to be revised from 1 July 2017.
There are a number of occupations, mainly in the engineering sector, which are on the MLTSSL but not the STSOL. This is unusual and we expect these occupations to be candidates for removal.
The Department of Education maintains a list of "Flagged Occupations". These could also be considered for removal, but based on previous years, only a few flagged occupations are removed each year.
On the other hand, the changes to employer sponsorship announced on 18 April have resulted in restrictions on sponsoring staff for permanent residence or longer-term 457 visas, unless the occupation is on the MLTSSL. There have also been some unexpected occupations removed from the STSOL (eg Human Resources Advisor, and many science and engineering occupations).
We expect Australian business groups to lobby for critical occupations to be added to the MLTSSL and STSOL. This would also be good for applicants for General Skilled Migration in any of the occupations which might be added.
Occupational Ceilings to be Released
Occupational ceilings play a very important part in managing the General Skilled Migration program. They give a maximum number of EOI invitations which can be issued to Skilled Independent Subclass 189 and Skilled Regional Provisional (Family Sponsored) Subclass 489 applicants.
In the last few years, it has become more competitive for people in popular occupations in the accounting, IT and certain engineering specialisations. If the occupational ceilings stay the same or are reduced, we expect it to become even more competitive. This will mean higher points scores may be required for an invitation.
State Migration Plans Reopen
Many states have either closed their state nomination programs or restricted them significantly - examples include Queensland, Western Australia and ACT. Others have reached quotas for popular occupations.
Most states will restart their state migration plans from July. For some states, ACT and South Australia in particular, many occupations fill very quickly after the program reopens. Applicants should make sure that they are ready to lodge for state nomination as soon as possible after they reopen to avoid disappointment.
The 1 July changes are likely to make it more difficult to qualify for General Skilled Migration. Particularly for those affected by the decrease in the age limit, applying before 1 July will be advisable if at all possible.
We expect that the Skilled Independent program will be more competitive in 2017-18 - this makes looking at alternative options such as state nominated or employer sponsored visas more important.
Previously, this stream was closed to all new applications. Prior to the stream's closure, individuals who had attended a NBPNP information session, and workers eligible for the open category (which allowed certain IT workers to apply) — as well as candidates already working in New Brunswick — were eligible to apply, so long as they fulfilled the program criteria.
Candidates who are successful in obtaining a provincial nomination certificate from the NBPNP through this stream receive 600 additional points under the federal Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) and will be invited to apply for Canadian permanent residence in a subsequent draw from the Express Entry pool.
In order to be eligible for the NBPNP - EELMS, foreign workers in New Brunswick must:
Be between the ages of 22 and 55;
Have a profile in the federal Express Entry pool;
Be currently employed in New Brunswick in a skilled occupation (NOC 0, A or B level);
Have at least 12 months full-time (or an equal amount in part-time) paid skilled work experience in New Brunswick in the three years before the application is made, which cannot have been gained through self-employment or while the candidate was a full-time student (volunteer work, unpaid internships, co-op terms, etc. do not count) and which is in NOC level 0, A or B;
Demonstrate proficiency in each of the four language abilities (speaking, reading, writing, and listening) equivalent to or greater than Canadian Language Benchmark (CLB) 7. Language test results must be no more than two years old and must come from a designated agency: IELTS (General Training Test only) or CELPIP (General test only) for English, or TEF for French;
Have a completed Canadian secondary (high school) or post-secondary educational credential (at least one academic year in length) OR a completed foreign educational credential from a recognized institution or authority; and
Sign and submit a Commitment to Live and Work in New Brunswick form.
Aside from this pathway, foreign workers in New Brunswick may have other means of pursuing permanent resident status, including the new Atlantic Immigration Pilot Program (AIPP), as well as through Express Entry, without necessarily obtaining a NBPNP nomination certificate.
Nova Scotia welcomed nearly 5,500 new immigrants in 2016, more than at any time in the last seven decades. The province's Minister of Immigration, Lena Diab, stated in the provincial legislature that the results show that Nova Scotia is well on the way to achieving its goal of welcoming 7,000 immigrants per year by 2024.
"It’s my extreme pleasure to report that we’ve had a remarkable year for immigration to Nova Scotia," said Diab to her peers. "I am so proud of these results; they reflect the hard work that we’ve been doing to grow our population and make Nova Scotia a more diverse and welcoming province."
Recently released data from the federal government shows that a further 2,386 newcomers (applicants and accompanying family members) came through the federal Express Entry system. Other newcomers arrived through family sponsorship programs and as refugees.
With an eye towards breaking this new record again in 2017, Minister Diab added that she is "looking forward to another outstanding year for immigration. We have a total of 2,150 spots to fill in 2017, that is the 1,350 spots for our Provincial Nominee Program and 800 spots in our new program, the Atlantic Immigration Pilot [Program, AIPP]. We’re on track to break more records."
In addition to the NSNP and AIPP, Nova Scotia continues to welcome a steady flow of federal economic migrants, sponsored persons, and refugees.
Ministerial Instructions respecting invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system #61 – May 4, 2017
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, pursuant to section 10.3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, gives the annexed Ministerial Instructions Respecting Invitations to Apply for Permanent Residence under the Express Entry System (May 4, 2017).
Ottawa, May 4, 2017
AHMED D. HUSSEN Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
MINISTERIAL INSTRUCTIONS RESPECTING INVITATIONS TO APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE UNDER THE EXPRESS ENTRY SYSTEM (MAY 4, 2017)
Determination — number of invitations
1. (1) For the purposes of paragraph 10.2(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the number of invitations that may be issued during the period beginning on May 4, 2017, and ending on May 5, 2017, is 3,796.
(2) Foreign nationals who, on May 4, 2017, at 12:20:49 UTC, have been assigned a total of 423 points or more under the Comprehensive Ranking System that is set out in the Ministerial Instructions Respecting the Express Entry System, as published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 1, 2014, and as amended from time to time, occupy the rank required to be invited to make an application for permanent residence.
Occupation distribution among invited candidates also changes significantly
Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has published its Express Entry year-end report for 2016, showing that more candidates residing outside Canada were issued an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for permanent residence in 2016 than in 2015. Moreover, IRCC has stated that the countries of residence among invited candidates is likely to continue to diversify throughout 2017 as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) cut-off threshold decreases even further.
In 2015, 78 percent of invited candidates were residents of Canada. However, this proportion decreased to 69 percent throughout 2016. In 2015 and 2016, Canada was the main country of residence among invited candidates because of the high number of temporary foreign workers with a job offer that wished to settle in Canada permanently.
However, this may all be read in the light of changes made to the CRS by IRCC in November of last year. Of the 27 draws from the pool that took place last year, 24 took place before these changes came into effect. As such, most of the data for 2016 covers a period before these changes — which included a reduction in the number of CRS points awarded for a job offer — were introduced. According to IRCC, ‘these changes have helped to attract top talent in the world.’
IRCC’s report alludes to these changes having had an effect on the occupations and place of residence of invited candidates. However, given that they were introduced late in 2016, the changes are more likely to have an effect throughout 2017, diversifying the range of invited candidates even further.
Indeed, over the opening four months or so of 2017 there has been a dramatic increase in the number of ITAs issued, with more candidates having been invited so far this year than in the entirety of 2016. Over this time, the CRS cut-off threshold has decreased accordingly, to its most recent cut-off point of 415. Therefore, and taking IRCC’s projection of a more diverse range of candidates being invited as the CRS threshold goes down, it may well be the case that more candidates outside Canada have received an ITA so far in 2017 than in the whole of 2016.
The table below, which includes the top eight countries of residence among invited candidates other than Canada, shows that each country in this group has seen more of its residents obtain an ITA in 2016 than in 2015.
It should be noted that the above table represents only 21 percent of all ITAs issued in 2016, and that thousands of ITAs were also issued to residents of other countries around the world.
Aside from place of residence, the report also delves into the occupations of invited candidates. The report says that the changes introduced last November ‘rebalances the CRS and allows for more highly skilled candidates to receive an ITA,’ which has led to a more equitable distribution of occupations among invited candidates than was previously the case.
In 2015, the top 10 invited occupations represented 38 percent of all invited candidates, with 16 percent of all invited candidates being cooks or food service supervisors. However, in 2016, the top 10 invited occupations represented 31 percent of all invited candidates, and the picture was somewhat different.
From IT to ITA
Over 2016, IT workers around the world brought their A-game to Express Entry, resulting in many more of them being issued an ITA than in 2015. In doing so, they shot up the rankings to overtake workers in the food industry. IRCC states that workers in occupation group service supervisors and specialized service occupations (NOC 63, which includes food industry workers) were ‘more likely to have a lower human capital’ and that ‘only a small number of candidates’ in these occupations have been invited since November.
Information Systems Analysts and Consultants, Software Engineers, and Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers together represented 14 percent of all invited candidates last year.
Other workers that benefited throughout 2016 included Graphic Designers and Illustrators, University Professors and Lecturers, those in Advertising, Marketing and Public relations, and Financial Auditors and Accountants. Besides, it is important to remember that 69 percent of all invited candidates in 2016 were in an occupation outside this top 10 list.
Fewer candidates with job offers receiving ITAs
Taking the three comprehensive Express Entry reports published by IRCC together, it can be revealed that, over time, fewer candidates with a qualifying job offer have received an ITA. Consequently, a higher percentage without a job offer have been invited to apply. This trend was already well underway before the changes introduced last November came into effect — and those changes have served to accelerate the trend even further.
“The range of information and analysis contained in this year-end report shows that 2016 was both a transitional and a breakout year for the Express Entry system,” says Attorney David Cohen.
“In particular, we can see that over time a more diverse range of candidates is getting the opportunity to submit an application for permanent residence. Based on IRCC’s own words, as well as the recent changes to the system and the increase in invitations issued, it is very likely that this diversification has continued into 2017, and will continue into the future. Consequently, individuals and families thinking of immigrating to Canada are encouraged to create an Express Entry profile and capitalize on the opportunity before them.”
The wide-ranging year-end report will be covered in further depth by CICNews.com, which will publish a range of articles covering the different aspects contained therein.
The Australian Government has announced changes to Australian citizenship requirements which are effective 20 April 2017.
The changes will require:
That applicants hold their Australian permanent residence for longer
Formal English language testing
A revised Citizenship test
Evidence that applicants show that they have integrated into Australian society
This article explains the changes and gives guidance for people affected by the changes.
Changes to General Residence Requirement
Applicants for citizenship by conferral would generally need to show that they meet the "General Residence" requirement.
This would mean showing that they have been present in Australia for at least:
The last 4 years, on any temporary, permanent or bridging visa, with a maximum of 12 months overseas; and
The last 12 months, on a permanent visa, with a maximum of 3 months overseas
Previously, it was possible to count time spent in Australia on a temporary visa or bridging visa towards the 4-year requirement in (1) above.
The announced changes would require that applicants hold a permanent visa for 4 years before applying. This would potentially require applicants to wait a further 3 years before applying for Australian citizenship.
President Trump has reportedly signed an executive order this week that will directly affect the skilled worker visa program. His “Buy American, Hire American” order has regimented a review of the H-1B visa program in an ongoing effort to revamp the immigration system and ensure that “H-1B visas are awarded to the most-skilled or highest-paid petition beneficiaries.” This executive action is directly inline with his administrations heavily emphasized commitment to “protect the interests of U.S. workers” and is designed to return the H-1B visa program to its original intended function.
While the new order will not make immediate changes to the program, it will put in place a long-term review that the administration is hoping will clean up a heavily abused system that they are currently calling “inoperative”. There have reportedly been complaints, specifically from the tech industry, stating that a large number of the visas awarded each year are allegedly taken by outsourcing firms that hire lower-skilled workers, and thus preventing firms from getting visas that could be used for higher-skilled applicants. According to the senior administration officials, the review of the H-1B visa program will hopefully be successful in identifying and trouble-shooting some of these long standing issues in order to shift the process for awarding visas while putting a higher priority on higher-skilled and higher-paid workers. They are also hoping that their efforts will make it significantly more difficult to use the program as a way to replace American workers as a whole.
Currently, it is unclear as to what changes will eventually be made or how this order will affect the H-1B visa program in the long-run, but as expected, there are many who are questioning the approach. With the current administrations track record thus far, critics are left wondering if this executive action will result in another heavy-handed regulation put forth to keep workers out, rather than improve the system. Based on the fact that high skilled, immigrant workers are a huge contributing factor to the U.S. economy there are high hopes that the H-1B rules can be better enforced and the system can be improved in such a way that those deserving, can continue to benefit.
Ministerial Instructions respecting invitations to apply for permanent residence under the Express Entry system #60 – April 19, 2017
The Minister of Citizenship and Immigration, pursuant to section 10.3 of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, gives the annexed Ministerial Instructions Respecting Invitations to Apply for Permanent Residence under the Express Entry System (April 19, 2017).
Ottawa, April 19, 2017
AHMED D. HUSSEN
Minister of Citizenship and Immigration
MINISTERIAL INSTRUCTIONS RESPECTING INVITATIONS TO APPLY FOR PERMANENT RESIDENCE UNDER THE EXPRESS ENTRY SYSTEM (APRIL 19, 2017)
Determination — number of invitations
1. (1) For the purposes of paragraph 10.2(1)(b) of the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act, the number of invitations that may be issued during the period beginning on April 19, 2017, and ending on April 20, 2017, is 3,665.
(2) Foreign nationals who, on April 19, 2017, at 12:23:45 UTC, have been assigned a total of 415 points or more under the Comprehensive Ranking System that is set out in the Ministerial Instructions Respecting the Express Entry System, as published in the Canada Gazette, Part I, on December 1, 2014, and as amended from time to time, occupy the rank required to be invited to make an application for permanent residence.