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According to statistics from October 2007, Denmark expects that it will have issued 50% more Green Cards for 2007 than for 2006. The Danish Green Card is a non-renewable, six-month residence permit that allows non-European Union skilled migrants to enter Denmark to search for a job. However, it is not a work permit.
People are not allowed to take employment while searching for a job. Once an immigrant finds work, they must obtain a work permit to work legally. Denmark uses a points-based system with points awarded based on education, language skills, age and work experience.
Norway has introduced new regulations to help employers more quickly recruit workers from the ten new European Union member states that joined in 2004. From January 1st, 2008, workers from these EU countries may now take up employment while waiting for their work permits to be processed.
Under transitional arrangements put in place for the 2004 EU expansion, citizens from these countries have been waiting a minimum of two months for approval of their work permits. Norway is also considering if a similar policy should apply to foreigners from non-EU/EEA countries as well.
The European Schengen Area increased by nine countries on December 21st, 2007. Approximately 400 million people in 24 countries may now travel from Finland to Portugal without encountering any border controls. Mandatory border checks have ceased immediately for land and sea borders but, in March, they will also stop for air travel as well.
The Schengen Agreement features an enormous database that allows government agencies to coordinate and exchange information on citizens, visitors and immigrants traveling between signatory countries. European Union nations don't have to become part of the Schengen Zone, and non-EU countries may join the agreement if they qualify.
The Ernst & Young ITEM Club, a think tank based in the United Kingdom, has published a study that analyzes the economic impact of immigration into the UK during the last decade and offers some predictions for the next ten years. According to the report, ITEM found that Britain could suffer a significant loss of potential economic growth if the rate of immigration either remains the same or declines.
If immigration were to continue to increase at the same rate seen over the past two years, the report projects that annual GDP growth could be an impressive 3% through 2018. However, if immigration rates remain the same as the average for the last decade, long-term growth would only be about 2.4% per year. If immigration were to stop completely, total annual GDP growth would likely drop to just 2.2%.
According to a new Conference Board of Canada (CBC) report, the amount of available skilled labor in Quebec, Canada most likely peaked during 2007. The availability of skilled workers is now expected to decline for the next two decades. By 2030, the shortage of skilled workers will be equivalent to 8.5% of Quebec's total labor force. Ontario, in comparison, is projecting a labor force shortfall of about 6.2%.
Quebec's immigration minister said that the French-speaking province of Canada needs to attract more immigrants. Her party would like to see the current annual quota of 46,000 raised to 60,000. Helping migrants to integrate into their new communities and improving the processes of recognition of foreign credentials are among efforts being undertaken to increase immigration.
The Canadian Parliamentary Secretary, Ed Komarnicki, has announced a plan to support Saskatchewan in its efforts to attract more immigrants. Over a three year period, CAD $660,000 is being allocated to the province to enhance online content, tools, and services to help migrants integrate into the community and to promote Saskatchewan as an attractive destination.
The Canadian government is providing a total of CAD $20.3 million for all provinces and territories to enhance online information and services about settling and working in Canada. More than CAD $1.4 billion over the next five years is set aside for settlement funding to help immigrants adjust to their new life in Canada, including services designed to help immigrants get their foreign credentials recognized by Canadian employers.
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