Punjab News Canada toughens immigration laws, Oz keeps its doors open


Prime VIP
Chandigarh, June 27

Within hours of the G-20 Summit in Huntsville in Ontario, Canada virtually slammed its doors on prospective immigrants from India limiting their annual intake to 20,000 besides reducing the number of trades in the demand list.

Incidentally, announcement of the new immigration rules has coincided with the visit of Indian Prime Minister, Dr Manmohan Singh, to Canada.

On the other hand, Australia has also introduced major changes in its immigration rules that are welcoming for the prospective immigrants as well as old applicants who are in the queue.

Some of the new occupations included by Canada in its demand list are primary production managers (except agriculture), adjusters and claims examiners, biologists and related scientists, architects, dentists, pharmacists, social workers. Many of the existing trades have been omitted. The new rules that have become effective immediately require all federal skilled worker applicants to have experience in one of 29 in demand occupations or have a job offer to be eligible to apply for permanent residency (PR).

Moreover, Canada will now accept only 20,000 applications with a maximum of 1,000 applications per occupation for processing for those applying under the occupation list. The cap of 1,000 applications in each occupation has been introduced to manage the intake. For these applications, once the cap is reached, will be sent back and their processing fees will be refunded. But the applications with a job offer are not restricted to this 20,000 cap.

In addition, all Federal skilled worker and Canadian experience class applicants will now be required to send a complete and comprehensive file, including IELTS result to the Central Intake Unit (CIU) at the time of filing the application to promptly get into the processing queue.

After introduction of the new rules that limit annual global intake to 80,000, they push India from its second top immigrant source to seventh slot.

BS Sandhu, Chairman and Managing Director, WorldWide Immigration Consultancy Services Ltd. (WWICS), told The Tribune that “all cases filed on or before June 25 will not be affected by the changes. Pendency of cases filed in 2004, 2005, 2006, and 2007 will now be cleared on top priority. Once the backlog is cleared, I anticipate the Canadian immigration intake will increase again making 1 per cent of the Canadian population. But clearing of this backlog of 3,80,000 applications may take another two-three years. People keen to immigrate to Canada will have some other options as well.”

“The federal investor immigrant programme has been suspended awaiting new changes in the eligibility criteria. Until the changes in network and investment are finalised, the Government will stop accepting new investor applications,” said BS Sandhu.

Talking about the Australia immigration changes, Sandhu says, “Australia has also come up with a dynamic programme introducing new skill occupation list (SOL) to come into effect from July 1.”

For the past four months, Australia has stopped accepting new applications but with the new SOL it has opened the doors wide open. Now all major skilled professionals and trade persons are included in the SOL applicable for federal and state- sponsored programme. Prospective immigrants can take full advantage of the same, adds Sandhu.

“In the past, 30,000 families used to immigrate to Canada under Skilled Worker Programme from India and India has been the second highest immigrant source country. But with the changed scenario, Australia will soon become the number one destination for Indians seeking immigration abroad,” he added.