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Immigration News Work Abroad

NZ slashes duty-free tobacco limit by 75%

New Zealand will reduce the duty-free allowance for cigarettes from the current 200 cigarettes to just 50.

In an attempt to make New Zealand smoke-free by 2025, the government will lower the duty-free allowance for international travellers visiting New Zealand, from the current 200 cigarettes to 50 cigarettes.

This brings New Zealand in line with similar regulations in Australia. The new duty-free tobacco limit is forecast to raise $50 million in extra revenue annually. These changes will help to eliminate cheaper avenues for smoking, which are out of step with recent government initiatives

The new limit of 50 cigarettes will apply from 1 November 2014. If the New Zealand Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia had her way, she would have removed the duty-free allowance completely.

Smoking causes up to 5,000 premature deaths in New Zealand every year.

“It is an anomaly that on the one hand we’re increasing the price, and on the other hand we’re offering a duty-free allowance on 200 cigarettes to every adult arriving at our borders,” says Associate Minister of Health Tariana Turia.

The price differential between retail tobacco and duty-free tobacco will continue to grow with two further 10 per cent increases in the rate of excise scheduled over the next two years, says the minister.

“I considered recommending that the duty-free allowance be removed entirely, and although that would be consistent with the Government’s goal of making New Zealand effectively smoke-free from 2025, it would not be practical.

“Completely removing the duty-free concessions would mean that smokers, who might have a packet or two of cigarettes on them when going through Customs, had to either dump them or declare them and pay duty. If they did neither, they would risk prosecution and seizure of the goods.

“Either way, it would have potentially created considerable compliance costs for Customs in processing passengers at busy airports. Consequently, the Cabinet has agreed to reduce, rather than remove, the allowance.”

“It makes sense for us to match Australia’s duty-free limits for tobacco, given that nearly half of all our inbound passengers come from, or via, Australia.”

Along with the reduction in the duty-free concession, tobacco will be removed from the gift concession that currently allows gifts sent from overseas to be free of duty and GST in New Zealand, providing they exceed no more than $110 in total value.

Budget 2014 will include additional funding for New Zealand Customs Service of $2.7 million in 2014/15, and $420,000 in the following years to assist with implementation of the new rules.

New Zealand duty-free limits for tobacco

  • New limits effective from 1 November 2014
  • The duty-free tobacco allowance for passengers arriving in New Zealand will fall to 50 cigarettes, or 50 grams of cigars or tobacco products – similar to Australia. Currently passengers arriving in New Zealand can bring up to 200 cigarettes, 250 grams of tobacco, 50 cigars (or a mixture of all three weighing up to 250 grams) into New Zealand free of duty and GST.
  • Tobacco products sent to New Zealand as a gift from abroad will no longer be eligible for the $110 duty-free gift allowance. This means all gifts of tobacco products sent to New Zealand will now be subject to excise duty and GST.
  • What if you are carrying more than the allowance? As under the current rules, passengers carrying more than the new limit will need to declare this, and pay the relevant duty and tax on the excess amounts, or forfeit these excess amounts at the Customs controlled area. If passengers fail to declare dutiable goods, the goods will be confiscated and passengers may be prosecuted.
  • The changes to the traveller’s duty-free tobacco allowance will not affect outgoing international travel. Outgoing passengers will still be able to purchase duty-free tobacco from New Zealand duty-free stores in accordance with the overall limits specified by their destination country.

 

Immigration News

Canada celebrates Asian Heritage Month

 

migrate to Canada

Baljit Sethi has made significant contributions to racial harmony in Canada.

When Baljit Sethi left India for a better life in Canada in 1972, the term ‘multiculturalism’ wasn’t mainstream.

Finding her feet in a foreign land wasn’t easy. Not only faced with a language barrier, but also cultural limitations, Baljit decided to help other immigrants, and find herself in the process.

Baljit understood that newcomers could not become part of their new communities without multicultural programs and the active promotion of racial harmony.

She founded the Immigrant and Multicultural Services Society of Prince George, which provides settlement services to communities in Northern British Columbia.  She worked to encourage interaction between immigrants and the population of Prince George, the benefit of which was felt across northern British Columbia.

Her tireless work over 40 years had given Canada the programs that continue to be used across the country to promote multiculturalism and equality.

A strong advocate for immigrant women, her contributions have been recognized with the Order of British Columbia award.

She is one the many Asians that have shaped the history of Asians in Canada. To commemorate Asians’ contribution, Canada is celebrating Asian Heritage Month throughout the country.

Canadians get an opportunity to understand and celebrate the contributions of Canadians of Asian heritage.

The concept is not new to North America. Asian Heritage Month has been celebrated in the United States since 1979.

In the last few years, Asians in Canada have started to celebrate their culture in May every year.

It was in 2001 that Canada officially adopted the motion proposed by Senator Vivienne Poy to designate May as Asian Heritage Month.

 

News Work Abroad

2 Indians charged in Canada for job fraud

Two Indians are among three people charged by the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) for the unauthorized employment of foreign nationals.

Following a three-month investigation, the CBSA’s Criminal Investigation Division charged Brampton-based 31-year old Kumar Gautam and 29-year old Nancy Gautam of unauthorized employment of foreign nationals.

It is alleged that the accused employed a number of foreign nationals who were not authorized to work in Canada.

The individuals and companies charged are: Kumar Gautam, Nancy Gautam, Shane Burrows, Logan Moving & Storage Inc., Shane’s Moving & Storage Inc. and EBS Transport.

“The CBSA is committed to supporting the employment of those authorized to work here in Canada and ensuring that employers abide by our laws.” says Goran Vragovic, Regional Director General of CBSA, Greater Toronto Area Region.

Business Money News Work Abroad

NZ job market strong

highly skilled jobs in Auckland

highly skilled jobs in Auckland

Good news for job hunters and those seeking a change of job. The number of job listings on the Trade Me Jobs site has increased by 21% year-on-year.

The website had 50,000 roles listed in the first quarter of 2014. The growth in jobs is in all major locations in New Zealand.

Auckland, Wellington and Canterbury are seeing positive growth, says Peter Osborne, head of Trade Me Jobs.

“With more roles being advertised, Kiwis hunting that dream job are looking well-placed to consider their next career move.

Trade Me analysis  is in line with similar report from Westpac McDermott Miller (PDF file) which found that employment confidence is at an all-time high since the recession.

“The New Zealand job market is looking very rosy.”

Highest salary jobs are in Auckland

The Auckland region remains the powerhouse of the national job market, said Mr Osborne. “The City of Sails saw a 20% boost in job listings when compared to the same period last year, with central Auckland and Manukau experiencing significant jumps in year-on-year growth.”

For the first time, average salary in Auckland is higher than Wellington. In fact, those working in central Auckland could expect the highest average pay of the country, taking home an average annual salary of $72,302. This was ahead of previous leader central Wellington ($70,234), and New Plymouth (61,143).

Canterbury job listings were up 24% on the same time last year, with Christchurch city’s available roles also ticking up 24%. “It’s been a long process, but the rebuilding efforts in the area are still the primary motivators for activity in the employment market,” says Peter.

Jobs in Auckland Jobs in New Zealand

IT guys highest paid in New Zealand

“The need for skilled IT workers is reflected in the sector’s dominance of average pay packets,” Mr Osborne said. “Four of the top five are filled by IT architects, IT sales, IT project managers and IT managers, all taking home an average pay packet between $128,000 and $134,000 a year.”

Sectors seeing increased listings this quarter when compared to the same period last year included IT sales (up 166%), journalism (up 156%) and retail department manager roles (up 131%).

Peter says there was plenty of opportunity for employers too with recent research commissioned by Trade Me Jobs finding that 45% of employees were willing to relocate for a new job. “Employers should be confident there are plenty of potential candidates willing to consider the right role even if they’re not on the doorstep.”

More than half of employees (62%) cited better pay as their primary motivation for considering moving to a new location, but other factors included being made redundant, career development and a desire to relocate. “With the surge in job listings, now is a good time for anyone contemplating that next great role to put their thinking into action.”

Peter says Wellington was recently revealed as the most desirable New Zealand destination to head to for a new job. “We saw 18% of respondents choose the capital, while the Bay of Plenty was next with 14% of the vote,” he said. “The job market in Wellington is in good shape for new arrivals, with a 26% tick up in advertised roles on a year ago.”

NZ jobs by sector

Surprise down south

“We saw a huge lift in advertised roles in Southland, with a 41% increase,” he said. “We saw good growth in agriculture, trades, and healthcare. Jobs out on the pasture aren’t in short supply either, with advertised roles for farming up 113%.”

The number of roles advertised in the Taranaki region also lifted significantly, up 16% on a year ago.

Mortgage forcing employees to look for greener pastures

“As mortgage rates rise, so too does the desire for a better pay check at the end of the week. With perceptions of job opportunities markedly improving, and recent signs that firms are looking to step up their hiring efforts, it’s becoming a job hunter’s market.

“High salaries in IT are great for people working in those sectors, but research has also shown they are among the least likely of professions to move roles. Combined with a real skills shortage, this can only mean that IT professionals will continue to dominate the high salaried roles in the foreseeable future and in contrast to many other sectors the industry will find it increasingly difficult to land good, experienced IT staff.”

Immigration Lifestyle News

Auckland withdraws divisive survey

Following strong reaction from Auckland’s diverse communities, Auckland Council has withdrawn two research surveys perceived as encouraging racism.

A survey by Auckland Council has evoked strong reaction from the communities.  (Photo: Philip Capper)

A survey by Auckland Council has evoked strong reaction from diverse communities. (Photo: Philip Capper)

The council had sent the surveys to 20,000 households in Northcote and Balmoral – two of Auckland’s most culturally diverse communities.

People were asked how they felt, from “very cold” to “very warm”,  towards ethnic groups including Pakeha, Chinese, Indian, Korean, and “other Asian” people, says a report in The Aucklander newspaper.

The surveys, which cost $18,000, asked locals to say if their interactions with the ethnic groups were favourable or unfavourable; whether immigrants contributed to the economy; and if it was a good idea to have Asian businesses grouped together.

Auckland is home to 150 ethnicities as per the last Census. Some neighbourhoods have significantly higher Asian population. Balmoral and Northcote are two such neighbourhoods. As many as 40% people in Mount Roskill are Asians. This number is 21% in Northcote. At a national level, New Zealand is predominantly an European country (74%), with Asians accounting for only 12% of the total population.

Defending the survey, the council says the intention of the surveys,  was to enable an understanding of how interactions between people from different ethnic and cultural groups in a commercial context, influence wider social cohesion.

While the council has withdrawn the survey, it believes that the research was necessary. “Research on Auckland’s ethnic diversity and how it relates to precincts and local economic development is an important part of making Auckland the world’s most liveable city, says Harvey Brookes, Acting Chief Planning Officer, for the council.

“However, despite the council’s research ethics approval processes, we understand that at least one question in this survey may have caused offence to some people.

“Although this question was based on similar questions asked in national and international research in this area, we acknowledge that the question could be perceived as legitimising discrimination.

“We will write to the recipients of the survey, asking them not to complete it and advise them that the council will not process any surveys which have been returned.”

The council will review the survey design and consider issuing a re-designed survey at a later date.

Auckland Council wants to understand these demographic changes across Auckland’s communities and neighbourhoods, and explore the social and economic effects and implications of those changes.

The main objective of this type of research is to support Auckland Council’s work in local economic and community development by exploring the effects of change in the Dominion Road area and in Northcote.

News Study Abroad

NZ schools to move tests online

The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) is marking the new era in the education sector of the country with the trial of its first online tests.

NZQA will trial NCEA level one maths test online at 20 schools in September with the help of an outsourced company – Education Perfect.

This is the common assessment administered at the end-of-year NCEA exam season.

However, there are concerns about the use of a contractor for conducting the test. The news of the online trial was first released on social media by the contractor, raising concerns over the loss of control in the crucial education sector.

President of the Post Primary Teachers Association Angela Roberts has already expressed her reservations about NZQA’s use of the private sector to deliver school exams, in a radio interview.

 

Immigration News Politics

MP Rajen Prasad retires

Indian MP New Zealand

New Zealand Labour Party’s Immigration spokesperson Rajen Prasad has declared his retirement from active politics as he says he is not seeking re-nomination for another term in Parliament at the next election scheduled for later this year.

“I have approached my professional and public life over the last 20 years, in the spirit of moving on to new challenges once I had made my parliamentary contribution.” says Dr Prasad – a former Associate Professor in Social Policy and Social Work from Massey University.

“My sixth year as a parliamentarian has also been a time to reflect on this role and consider other challenges I might accept.

“I have made this decision not to remain in Parliament, together with my family and friends and have informed the Party leader.

“I have been enormously privileged to have been given an opportunity to represent ethnic communities in general and the Indian community in particular in Parliament and in the Labour caucus. This has happened at a time of  enormous ethnic diversification in New Zealand.

Dr Prasad had earlier served as the Race Relations Conciliator, Human Rights Commissioner and a Member of the Residence Review Board.

“My experience from my life and my background in social policy and the front line social services has been  critical in framing our Immigration and Ethnic Affairs policies for the next election.

He has not revealed his future plans but has provided some clues. “I look forward to new challenges in the international environment as well as in business in the next stage of my life.”

New Zealand Parliament will miss him as a man of “integrity, intelligence and insight”, says fellow Labour list candidate Sunny Kaushal. “He is a man who just naturally radiated charm, warmth and honour.

It reminds of the words of the great poet Bertolt Brecht :
When the battle of the mountains is over
Then you will see
That the real battle of the plains will begin.

Of Fijian-Indian descent, Dr Prasad is 11th in a family of 14 children. He has two married children and lives with his wife in Auckland. He has lived and worked in West Auckland, Porirua and South Auckland.

Business Immigration News Opinion

Hugh Pavletich: NZ’s bubble economy is vulnerable

australia mining jobs

(In this opinion piece, Hugh Pavletich of Performance Urban Planning (Christchurch, New Zealand) agrees with Jesse Colombo who argued in Forbes that New Zealand’s economic bubble with end in a disaster.)

The recent Forbes e-edition article by Jesse Colombo assesses the New Zealand economy “12 Reasons Why New Zealand’s Economic Bubble Will End In Disaster”, seems to have created quite a stir, creatingextensive media coverage in New Zealand.

The major Fairfax article by Michael Field “NZ bubble ‘going to burst’ “ stimulated a remarkable 500+ comments.

It didn’t take too long for the politicians to react, with Acting Finance Minister Steven Joyce downplaying it, unhelpfully personally attacking Mr Colombo, with Labours David Cunliffe and David Parker largely agreeing with Mr Colombo’s assessment.

Mr Colombo’s initial assessment (a comprehensive report is to follow) was from a financial experts perspective.

Let’s consider whether Mr Colombo is correct from a structural perspective.

January every year the Annual Demographia International Housing Affordability Survey is released, with the 10th Annual Edition released 20 January this year.Normal (and therefore affordable) housing markets do not exceed 3.0 times gross annual household income (Median Multiple), requiring mortgage loads of about 2.5 times.

A clear structural definition of an affordable housing market is …

“For metropolitan areas to rate as ‘affordable’ and ensure that housing bubbles are not triggered, housing prices should not exceed three times gross annual household earnings. To allow this to occur, new starter housing of an acceptable quality to the purchasers, with associated commercial and industrial development, must be allowed to be provided on the urban fringes at 2.5 times the gross annual median household income of that urban market (refer Demographia Survey Schedules for guidance).”

“The critically important Development Ratios for this new fringe starter housing, should be 17 – 23% serviced lot / section cost – the balance the actual housing construction.”

“Ideally through a normal building cycle, the Median Multiple should move from a Floor Multiple of 2.3, through a Swing Multiple of 2.5 to a Ceiling Multiple of 2.7 – to ensure maximum stability and optimal medium and long term performance of the residential construction sector.”

Since the creation of the housing production industry by Bill and Alfred Levitt following World War 11 , when new starter suburban housing was put in place for about $US100 per square metre all up (serviced section and house construction … 80 square metre units on 700 square metre lots for $US8,000), there has been no mystery (other than for politicians and bureaucrats who find truth “inconvenient”) about how to supply affordable housing.

Starter housing on the fringes of the affordable North American metros costs all up about $US700 per square metre … refer Andrew Atkin’s superb … THE REAL DEAL POSTER ..

What is required to restore housing affordability is outlined within Section 4 of Christchurch: The Way Forward. It is simply about ALLOWING affordable land to be supplied and financing infrastructure properly.

Recently Australian Federal Senator – elect Bob Day (major Australian production house-builder and former President of the Housing Industry Association of Australia) explained the issue most eloquently, within a video interview with Business Spectator … Bob Day on affordable housing and jobs for young people … Business Spectator .

As explained recently within “China: Big Bubble Trouble”, new starter semi-detached housing was being supplied pre World War 11 in London for slightly over 2.0 times annual household incomes. They were building way more new housing on a population basis through the Depression years in the United Kingdom than they are today.

Through these eras too, it was normal for households to have just one income earner, as the male was seen as a “loser” if he was unable to financially provide for his family. The social pressures were quite significant.

As eminent Hoover Institution economist Thomas Sowell said “We have spent the past few decades replacing what works with what feels good”. In a 2009 interview (video) Mr Sowell described the causes of the 2007 Global Financial Crisis … Thomas Sowell on the Housing Boom and Bust – YouTube .

During early 2009 this writer explained why economists have such a poor understanding of housing bubbles with … Housing Bubbles And Market Sense . Most wouldn’t know a house market from a horse market internationally … although thankfully … Australian and New Zealand economists are generally now well informed. Importantly, they are constructive contributors to politically progressing this serious issue.

So what did this year’s Demographia Survey (data 3rd Qtr 2013) find with respect to New Zealand’s major urban markets ?

Auckland housing at 8.0 times annual household incomes; Tauranga 6.6; Christchurch near 6.0; Wellington 5.5; Napier-Hastings 5.4; Dunedin 5.2; Hamilton 4.8 and Palmeston North 4.5.

Another useful measure of housing affordability is the relationship between Total Housing Stock Value and Gross Domestic / State / Metropolitan Product, which should not exceed at “tops” 1.5 times … ideally 1.2 times.

September last year James Gruber writing for Forbes “3 Warning Signs Of A Bloodbath Ahead” , incorporated a graph (requires updating) illustrating the ratios of Total Housing Stock Value to GDP for Australia, New Zealand, the United Kingdom, Canada and the United States …


Not surprisingly, it mirrors the Demographia Survey.

As a further check, Greater Houston with its population of about 6.1 million has a Gross Metropolitan Product of near $500 billion (in contrast to New Zealand with a population of 4.5 million and a GDP PPP of about a paltry $US140 billion … some $NZ210 billion ).

In relative terms, this is due to a history of poor quality public policy and a seriously degenerate public service culture at central and local level (a further recent example of gross incompetence … Error Prone Bureaucracy ). Little wonder then, that New Zealanders had the highest GDP per capita in the world in 1920 (refer Angus Maddison Historical GDP Per Capita Tables ), but today, ranks about 46 … between Italy and Slovenia .

Because of its degenerate public service, not surprisingly, New Zealand has the worst traffic congestion problems in the developed world too .. New Zealand Has Worst Traffic: International Data | Wendell Cox | Newgeography.com

Rather amusingly, at current exchange rates in $US terms, New Zealand’s generally poor quality housing stock is “worth” more than the stock of Greater Houston !

New Zealand is a country that has been bureaucratically buggered. A textbook case of “institutional failure” at central and local level. The “rock-star” label is clearly nonsense.

New Zealand’s current economic activity is being “juiced up” due to a China Bubble Boom and the excessive costs of the Christchurch earthquake recovery. Bureaucratic incompetence has meant this painfully long recovery will be a $NZ40 billion exercise, when it should have been in the order of $NZ15 billion.

Sadly it would appear, The Broken Window Fallacy is not understood by economic commentators, in that the Christchurch earthquake recovery (with some flooding problems due to Council incompetence with poorly maintained drainage infrastructure … in the main) is simply the replacement of the capital stock.

The latest figures from the Reserve Bank of New Zealand indicate the New Zealand housing stock has a “value” of some $NZ716 billion … roughly 3.4 times its GDP. It should not exceed 1.5 times ($NZ315 billion … ideally 1.2 times ($NZ252 billion). This suggests there is something in the order of $NZ401 and $NZ461 billions of bubble value in New Zealand housing. It takes about 25% of mortgages incorporated within this bubble value to fuel it … some$NZ100 billion through $NZ115 billion of at risk bubble mortgage value.

The problem is the New Zealand Banks only have a capital base of about $NZ29 billion (RBNZ figures).

Currently, the major international concern is China … and its transitioning from a panicked and manic investment frenzy following the 2007 Global Financial Crisis (triggered by the North American urban planners … no doubt the Chinese Communists are not grateful). China is slowing, as explained within a recent Financial Times article Do Chinas Qtr1 GDP Numbers Gloss Reality? .

Information from the Chinese National Statistics Bureau (comment on article thread) illustrate the extent of the massive residential overbuilding and abrupt falloff in sales and new construction so far this year …

” “In the first three months, the floor space under construction by the real estate development enterprises accounted for 5,470.30 million square meters, up by 14.2 percent year-on-year, decreased 2.1 percentage points over the first two months. Of which, the floor space of residential building construction area was 3,932.06 million square meters, up by 11.4 percent. The floor space started this year was 290.90 millions square meters, down by 25.2 percent, and the pace of decline narrowed 2.2 percentage points. Specifically, the floor space of residential buildings started in the year amounted to 212.38 million square meters, down by 27.2 percent. The floor space of buildings completed stood at 185.20 million square meters, went down by 4.9 percent, and the pace of decline narrowed 3.3 percentage points, of which, the floor space completed of residential buildings stood at 139.10 million square meters, went down by 7.3 percent.”
>Does it say ‘it has bottomed out’? Is this a soft landing? -25%(prior -27,4%)”

At say 60 to 80 square metres each (plus common area), in number of unit terms, how many have been put in place in China over recent years ? What is the build rate per 1,000 population per annum for the Chinese metros ?

It would appear China could be described as Ireland by 300 … or even 500 times … with much greater “multiple stretch” in the former. And that’s without considering the commercial and infrastructure over-spend and mal-investment.

The Irish bubble collapsed at much lower Median Multiples than those currently prevailing in China, New Zealand and Australia.

Ireland is no doubt an excellent “case study” for Australian and New Zealand policy makers, as they are assessing the consequences of the bubbles collapsing in their own countries. They will be well aware that there has been no sustainable bubble in history.

Mr Colombo assessed the New Zealand economy from a financial perspective. This “structural check” indicates Mr Colombo is correct.

Lifestyle News Study Abroad

NZ launches online tool for depression

Depression among youth

Depression among youth

New Zealand has launched SPARX – a clinically tested self-help tool developed especially for young New Zealanders.

The online game-style tool developed by Auckland University will help young people develop skills to deal with feeling down, depressed or stressed.

An initiative of the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project, SPARX is a welcome tool in a country with 20% depressed youth.

“We know mental health is a big issue for teenagers with around one in five young people experiencing some form of problem during adolescence,” says Prime Minister John Key.

“It’s important that they can get help when they need it,” says John.

SPARX is designed to fill a treatment gap with young people who may not currently be seeking help. Users can access, register and start using SPARX independently and anonymously in their own time – making help available to more young people around New Zealand.

As an e-therapy SPARX has been widely tested with young people in New Zealand and has been found to be an effective treatment for mild to moderate depression.

A study in the British Medical Journal in 2012 found use of SPARX resulted in a ‘clinically significant’ reduction in depression, anxiety and an improvement in quality of life.

SPARX is based on Cognitive Behavioural Therapy (CBT) which teaches skills to cope with negative thoughts and feelings, including behaviours important in protecting against depression – problem solving, being active, positive cognition, social skills, and relaxation.

It is also designed to fit alongside other forms of mental health treatment including face to face therapy, medication, family therapy and working on other issues in the young person’s life, like dealing with bullying, and addressing alcohol or drug abuse.

Recording artist Stan Walker is supporting the launch by allowing his latest single ‘Bully’ to be used to get the SPARX message out to young people.

The Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project was launched in April 2012 and is investing $62 million over four years in a range of initiatives to improve youth mental health, delivered in schools, online, through communities and health services.

(Photo credit: Deviant Art)

News Work Abroad

Job vacancies on rise in New Zealand

The number of jobs advertised online in New Zealand grew by 1.9 per cent in March 2014, following a 1.3 per cent decrease in February, according to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s latest Jobs Online report.

What’s more – over the past year, vacancies advertised increased by 18.4 per cent, while skilled vacancies increased by 16.5 per cent.

The monthly growth is largely driven by a bounce back of skilled vacancies in the healthcare and medical industry. These increased by 4.3 per cent in March, following a fall in February.

Skilled vacancies also increased in the sales, retail, marketing and advertising (up 2.0 per cent) and information technology (up 0.9 per cent) industries. The growth for the period is offset by decreases in other industries, with hospitality and tourism experiencing the largest fall of 2.6 per cent.

JobVacanciesNewZealand

Skilled Vacancies Index (May 2007=100)

Annual figures however show a different picture for some of these sectors. The biggest yearly growth in skilled vacancies was in hospitality and tourism (up 36.7 per cent) and sales, retail, marketing and advertising (up 21.7 per cent) industries. The healthcare and medical industry (down 4.5 per cent) had the only decrease over the year to March.

Regionally, Canterbury (up 3.6 per cent) leads the growth in March, followed by Auckland (up 1.0 per cent). North Island (excluding Auckland and Wellington) experienced the biggest fall of 4.9 per cent.

Ministry Labour Market and Business Performance Manager David Paterson says the figures are consistent with the overall performance of the national economy and the labour market.

“Despite the monthly fluctuations, we can see a healthy trend in vacancies over the past year, across all regions and most industries,” he says.

The upward trend in vacancies over the past year is consistent with the results from the latest Quarterly Survey of Business Opinion. A net 29 per cent of firms found it difficult to find skilled labour, representing a 4.1 percentage point increase over the last year.

Global Indians Immigration News

NZ issues most residence visas to Indians

Indians is one of the largest ethnic groups on New Zealand. (Photo CC: Sheetal Saini)

Indians is one of the largest ethnic groups on New Zealand. (Photo CC: Sheetal Saini)

 

Indians accounted for the most number of applicants selected for permanent residence visa by Immigration New Zealand.

As per the outcome of the Expressions of Interest (EOI) scheme announced on 16 April 2014, the most number of EOIs accepted by Immigration New Zealand were from India.

Of the 593 EOIs representing 1,155 people that were selected, 27% are from India, followed by China (13%) and the Philippines (11%).

A majority (505) of the accepted EOIs had a job offer, indicating the government’s strong preference for allowing migrants who already have a job to go to in New Zealand.

The majority (473) of migrants with job offer were onshore applicants – they are already in New Zealand.

Applicants scoring more than 140 points are automatically selected for residence. Of the 593 successful applicants, 473 had points in excess of 140, and all of them had a job offer.

About the EOI for skilled migrants

The EOIs for skilled migrant category is one of the most popular categories of Immigration New Zealand.  People cannot directly apply for permanent residence visa for New Zealand.

Those who score a minimum of 100 points and are interested in residence visa must first file an Expression of Interest (EOI) either online or in paper form.

EOI is a simple process of filling out a form – no documents are required while submitting an EOI form. All EOI applications are processed in New Zealand only.

Unfortunately, applicants have no right of appeal if their EOI has been unsuccessful.

Those with qualifying points move to the next stage where the immigration authority determines whether the applicants have a strong case for meeting the criteria.

Once immigration authority believes that the applicant has a strong case, they are invited to apply (ITA) for residence.

This is when the applicants credentials and points will be judged based on evidence presented.

An invitation for residence is no indication of the successful outcome of EOI.

How long is my EOI valid?

The EOI remains in the pool for six months, and if the applicant hasn’t been selected in those six moths, the EOI expires.

How do I know if I will get permanent residence in New Zealand?

Because of the outcome of your EOI depends on the quality of other applicants in the pool during the six-month period, it is hard to know how many points are required to be selected from the pool.

As can be seen from the figures revealed earlier in this article, the most important factor that decides the success of an EOI under skilled migrant category is a valid job offer. The second factor is whether the candidate is already working in a role related to their field in New Zealand.

The candidates’ employability is the most critical factor in gaining residency in New Zealand.

 

Immigration News Work Abroad

NZ moves to ‘online’ only submission for Working Holiday

Work Visa New Zealand

 

From 18 April 2014, New Zealand Immigration has stopped accepting physical submission for Working Holiday Schemes.

“A change to immigration regulations means that all working holiday scheme (WHSs) applications must be submitted using the online application system,” says a statement issued by the immigration authority.

“Any manual applications received will be returned to the applicant.”

If you are considering applying under a WHS, you should apply using the online system for Working Holiday Scheme for New Zealand.

However, for the United Kingdom working holidaymakers who are in New Zealand on a 12-month visa, and want to lodge an application for the balance of the 23 months will be allowed to submit manual application. This second application must be lodged manually.

Immigration News Work Abroad

NZ removes travel sanctions against Fiji

In response to positive momentum in Fiji towards elections by September 2014, the New Zealand Government has lifted the remaining travel sanctions against Fiji.

What does this mean?

The travel sanctions which applied to named individuals and classes of people (for instance, immediate family of members of the Republic of Fiji Military Forces) have been lifted.

“The progress that Fiji is making towards holding free and fair deserves recognition from the Pacific region and international community,” says New Zealand’s foreign affairs minister Murray McCully.

Applicants no longer have to complete the supplementary form for Fiji nationals.

What else will happen?

The suspension of Fiji from the Pacific Access Category has been lifted. However, Fiji nationals will not be able to take part until 2015, as the 2014 scheme has already opened.

 

Immigration News Work Abroad

Canada raises caps for migrants

Work in Canada
Work in Canada

Family enjoying a campfire outside their oTENTik
© Parks Canada / J. Gordon 2013

 

For the period between May and December 2014, Canada has increased caps of visa applications under skilled workers, trade workers, experienced workers programs.

The total cap will be 38000 – which includes 25000 for skilled workers, 5000 for trade, and 8000 for experienced workers. The list of eligible occupations under the skilled workers program has been doubled, from 24 to 50 occupations, reflecting the latest labour market needs.

While visa applications caps are usually for one year – 1 May to 30 April, these caps are only for eight months – 1 May to 31 December, in effect increasing the number of total visa applications processed.

The caps have been put in place to ensure that the Canadian immigration authority is not left with any backlog of visa applications on 1 January 2015, the day it launches the new Express Entry program.

The Express Entry progam, Canada’s new active recruitment model, will lead to a “faster and more flexible economic immigration system” that will address Canada’s economic and labour market needs, says a statement issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada.

“With these measures in place for our key economic programs, our government is ensuring our immigration system is addressing Canada’s economic and labour market needs while reducing backlogs and improving processing times,” Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says.

“We look forward to the launch of Express Entry next January, which will be a major step forward in attracting the skilled workers we need and have them working in Canada faster.”

Quick facts

  • Citizenship and Immigration Canada will begin accepting applications under new caps for the Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) and Canadian Experience Class (CEC), starting 1 May 2014. These measures will ensure a steady supply of skilled workers who are settling in Canada permanently and helping to supplement the Canadian workforce in areas where there are skills shortages.
  • These are the last applications that will be accepted under the current system before Express Entry launches in January 2015.
  • The latest FSWP occupation list was developed based on recent labour market data from Employment and Social Development Canada and input from the provinces and territories on regional labour market needs.
  • Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 will invest $14 million over two years and $4.7 million per year ongoing to ensure the successful implementation of Express Entry.
  • Determine online your eligibility to apply for Canadian work visa.
  • The full set of Ministerial Instructions will be available in the Canada Gazette on April 26, 2014.

http://youtu.be/FGAsyrYtQQ0

 

Immigration News Study Abroad

With perfect SAT score, Indian boy gets calls from top US varsities

score SAT

Arunavha Chanda scored a perfect SAT score

A 19-year-old boy from the city has received admission offers from seven top US varsities, most of them Ivy League, after achieving a perfect score in SAT, the standardized examination for admission to American colleges.

Arunavha Chanda, who appeared for this year’s class XII board examination from Delhi Public School Ruby Park, is so baffled that he can’t make up his mind with just nine days to go before the deadline.

Torn between Harvard, Stanford and Columbia University, Arunavha wishes he could study at all three. “Time is ticking but I haven’t been able to decide yet because it may turn out to be the most crucial decision of my life,” he told TOI.

READ FULL STORY HERE

 

Immigration News Work Abroad

Resident non-immigrants in US: 1 in 4 is from India

Jobs in US

A snapshot of resident non-immigrant population in the US released by the Department of Homeland Security in February this year shows that Indians, more than Mexicans or Chinese or any other nationality, constituted the largest resident non-immigrants in the US – a category that excludes tourists, business travelers, and permanent residents, but includes temporary guest workers (such as those on H1B visas) and students.

The report reveals that the resident non-immigrant population in the US averaged 1.9 million during July 1, 2011–June 30, 2012.

Temporary workers and their families accounted for approximately 45% (840,000) of the population, and students and their families accounted for another 40% (720,000). Of the temporary worker and family category, a whopping 38% (430,000) were from India, compared to only 210,000 from China, and 140,000 from South Korea, the next highest worker-flow countries.

Mexico, which accounts for a large number of illegal migratory workers coming into US, had only 100,000 resident non-immigrants.

Read full story here

Business Study Abroad

PM’s scholarship open for NZ execs

Study at Harvard

New Zealand-based senior executives and business owners keen to gain international exposure can expect to get government funding through the 2014 Prime Minister’s Business Scholarships.

The recipients of last year’s 10 scholarships studied at prestigious international institutions such as Stanford, INSEAD (The Business School For The World), Harvard, and the London Business School.

Study at Harvard

The scholarships are designed to grow skills and business capability to make New Zealand firms more internationally competitive, says Economic Development Minister Steven Joyce.

“The knowledge gained from the world’s top business schools by our senior executives will benefit the companies they return to and in turn, help to grow the New Zealand economy and jobs,” Steven says.

“Our distance from overseas markets and the size of our economy can be a challenge to firms wanting to enter international markets. The scholarships help to develop the global mindset of our business leaders.

“Many of our smaller companies can have difficulty when expanding into overseas markets because they lack the knowledge or contacts.

“These scholarships provide an opportunity for recipients to learn best international practices and develop valuable networks they can bring back to their business. I encourage smaller firms to apply for the scholarships.”

Applications for Asia-Pacific learning institutions are given preference. This region offers the most potential for New Zealand to increase exports and build networks and distribution channels.

The scholarships cover up to 50 per cent of course-related costs. Applications for the scholarships close on 30 April. For more information, visit the ministry’s website.

What does the scholarship cover

The government will reimburse half of the course costs and other study-related costs.  All study-related costs can include:

  • course fees
  • airfares (economy)
  • accommodation
  • other costs such as textbooks.

 Who can apply

Applicants must be:

  • New Zealand citizens or permanent residents
  • working in a New Zealand-based registered company which is looking to internationalise or intensify their operations overseas
  • applying for a course relevant to their work (minimum of four weeks) at an internationally-recognised institution
  • returning to their business after the course.

(Photo credit: Rachael Voorhees)

 

Immigration News Work Abroad

Canada allows ‘express entry’ for economic migrants

Canada visa

Now, skilled professionals keen to migrate to Canada can jump the queue for becoming permanent residents, if they have a valid job offer. They can even have their residency application processed in less than six months.

Canada visa, express entry

Under the new ‘Express Entry’ scheme to become effective January 2015, the Canada Immigration department will who receive a valid job offer or nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) will “quickly” invite people with job offer to apply for permanent residency.

“Express Entry” is not to be confused with the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, which is only used to fill temporary skill shortages.

Candidates with a job offer or nomination under the Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) are eligible under the “Express Entry” category which is designed to deal with regional labour shortages, and help fill open jobs for which there are no available Canadian workers.

Described as the “game changer” by the country’s immigration minister, “Express Entry” replaces the now-scrapped Formerly referred to as “Expression of Interest” category, and will be open to skilled immigrants.

It will allow the Canadian government to “select the best candidates who are most likely to succeed in Canada, rather than those who happen to be first in line,” says a statement issued by Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC – the immigration department of Canada).

“It will also prevent backlogs and allow CIC to better coordinate application volume with the annual immigration levels plan.”

Visa applicants can expect faster processing times of six months or less when invited to come to Canada in four key economic streams: the Federal Skilled Worker Program, Federal Skilled Trades Program, Canadian Experience Class, and a portion of the PNP.

More importantly, employers will have a key role in selecting economic immigrants and providing advice to the Government of Canada. Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander says that over the course of spring 2014, CIC will work with provincial and territorial governments to hold a series of cross-Canada information sessions to provide employers with more information about this exciting new system.

Express Entry promises to be a game-changer for Canadian immigration and Canada’s economy, says Chris.

“It will revolutionize the way we attract skilled immigrants, and get them working here faster. Our government is actively engaged with our provincial and territorial partners, and with employers, to make January’s launch of Express Entry a success.”

 

Quick facts

  • Canada’s Economic Action Plan 2014 will invest $14 million over two years and $4.7 million per year ongoing to ensuring the successful implementation of Express Entry.
  • With Express Entry, Canada will be able to select the best candidates who are most likely to achieve success in Canada, rather than the first person in line.
  • The Government of Canada’s new and improved Job Bank will help facilitate matches between Canadian employers and Express Entry candidates.
  • Having a valid job offer or provincial/territorial nomination will guarantee Express Entry candidates an invitation to apply for permanent residence.

More information

Backgrounder — Expression of Interest (EOI): Preparing for Success in 2015

Economic Action Plan 2014