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On 09 June 2008, the Canadian House of Commons passed the Budget Implementation Act, 2008 by a vote of 120-90. Also known as Bill C-50, it contains provisions to amend the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act of Canada. These amendments allow the government to process applications from immigrants based upon job skills that the Canadian federal government decides are required in Canada. Quotas could be set without specifying a particular region, and applications related to job skills not in demand could be denied.
At a recent conference for language training administrators in Canada, the Parliamentary Secretary highlighted the government's commitment to provide language training for new immigrants. Organizations in Canada provide English and French language training under the Language Instruction for Newcomers to Canada (LINC) program.
LINC is one of several federally funded programs designed to help immigrants integrate into Canadian society. The Foreign Credentials Referral Office (FCRO) is another program. FCRO helps newcomers who have been trained overseas find information they need to get credentials assessed and recognized in Canada.
The United Kingdom's Border and Immigration Agency (BIA) has issued an "invitation" for organizations who evaluate the English language competency of immigrants to submit their tests for assessment. This assessment is intended to ensure that the required standards for General, Intracompany Transfers, Sports People, and Ministers of Religion categories under Tier 2 are met.
10 points are awarded toward a Tier 2 application if the applicant can speak English at a basic level. These 10 points are mandatory; a migrant's application will fail if they do not score these minimum points.
The United Kingdom updated its National Shortage Occupation List (NSOL) on 06 June 2008. 28 new occupations were added and 2 were amended. It has also been announced that, from 18 July 2008, 3 occupations will be removed.
Available positions not on the NOSL must meet a resident labor market test before an employer may sponsor a work permit application. High integrity pipe welders plus 27 categories of engineers, physicists, and supervisors - as well as assistants - may now bypass the resident labor market test.
A recent conference in Wellington, New Zealand highlighted the positive contributions of immigrants to the country. Research was presented that strongly suggests that many perceived negative impacts of immigrants are largely unfounded. New research presented at the conference shows that each immigrant provides an annual, net economic gain for New Zealand of $3547, while native New Zealanders only contribute $915
Increases in home prices also appear to be more dramatic in areas where expatriate New Zealanders return from overseas, whereas home prices in communities with a significant immigrant population have seen only modest increases.
Several news sources are reporting that Russian officials have suspended issuing work permits for foreign employees in the Moscow region. The Federal Migration Service (FMS) has not issued an official declaration yet, but the work permit quota for the local Moscow region for 2008 seems to have been met.
Moscow's annual regional quota is 105,664. Regions have a 30% "reserve" of potential, extra work permits. The federal government needs to make a decision on whether to release this reserve; however no date has been set for such a decision.
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