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Australian Migration program changes in 2009
The Australian migration program for the second half of 2008-09 has changed so that skilled migrants who have a confirmed job, or have skills in critical need will be given priority for a permanent visa to come to Australia.
The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said the changes, effective from 1 January 2009, will ensure that the Skilled Migration program is driven by the requirements of industry and targets skills in critical need across a number of sectors.
Immigrants needed in the UK
The government's Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill is due to be published on Thursday 15 January 2009. The institute for public policy research (ippr), says that if it is more difficult for migrants to gain British citizenship this could have damaging consequences for the UK’s future economic recovery.
Ippr warns that if the bill goes forward in its current form the UK will lose out to other countries competing to attract migrants.
Changes to UK Citizenship Requirements and immigration controls
Skilled Migrants wishing to gain UK citizenship may have to wait at least a year as "probationary citizens" before gaining full citizenship. The Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill had its first reading on Wednesday 14 January 2009.
The main changes are below:
- The UK Border Agency will have increased powers at the frontier by bringing together customs and immigration functions. This is a more integrated approach to immigration control.
- There will be changes to nationality law to implement the new path to citizenship. Migrants will be expected to make an effort to integrate. Those committing criminal offences will have to wait longer to gain UK citizenship. UKBA will be able to shorten or increase the qualifying period for naturalisation depending on the behaviour of the migrant. It is expected that the waiting period will be from one to three years.
- The UKBA will have a duty to safeguard the welfare of children in its work.
Canadian Visa Delays a problem for Canadian Economy
The Conference Board’s International Trade and Investment Centre says that visa requirements for business visitors is damaging for the Canadian economy in their report Barriers at the Border: The Costs of Impediments to Business Mobility.
It is recommended that new Embassies should be opened in Eastern Europe, the Middle East and the Caribbean. The Report also recommends that it should be cheaper and faster to obtain business visit visas.
Importance given to Cultural Diversity in Australia
One of Australian sport’s highest profile administrators will head the new Australian Multicultural Advisory Council, says Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans.
AFL chief executive Andrew Demetriou will chair the 16-member council which. It is hoped that this will bring new cultural diversity perspectives to the Australian Government.
Australia continues to rely on immigration as one way to address current and future skill shortages, Senator Evans said.
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