News & Update


MARCH 11, 2019

The government has announced the introduction of new categories for those coming to the UK to set up a business. The Start-up category and the Innovators category will replace Tier 1 (graduate entrepreneur) and Tier 1 (Entrepreneur).

Both routes will see endorsing bodies and business experts – rather than the Home Office – qualifying applicants’ business ideas. This will make sure that the routes are focused on only the most innovative, viable and scalable business ventures.

The aim is to protect better against financial crime and ensure investments are of greater benefit to the UK economy.

This follows the recommendation of the Migration Advisory Committee (MAC) in 2015. It said that the Tier 1 route was in need of substantial reform.

The changes will take effect from 30 March 2019 and the new categories are as follows:

  • For those creating a new business for the first time in the UK.
  • Applicants will need to acquire a qualifying endorsement but do not need not be graduates nor have initial funding.
  • They will be granted two years’ leave in the first application (an increase from one year) and be able to move to the Innovator category after that time.
  • This route does not lead to settlement.
  • For more experienced business people.
  • Applicants will need an endorsement as well as £50,000 to invest in their business (this has been reduced from £200,000).
  • The category will lead to settlement in the UK in three years, if they meet all other requirements.

Other changes to the Tier 1 (Investor) category

The Tier 1 (Investor) category is for high net-worth individuals making an investment of at least £2 million in the UK. In the latest Statement of Changes, the rules have been tightened up to scrutinise the character and conduct of individuals and the sources of their funds.

  • Currently applicants have to show that they have held the funds that they wish to invest in the UK for 90 days – this will increase to two years.
    The potential investor must now also show that they have gone through all the due diligence checks in order to open a UK bank account before making their application.
  • Investment in UK government bonds is being excluded, to incentivise Tier 1 (Investor) migrants towards other forms of investment which have greater need to attract additional investment funds.


EU Settlement Scheme update :

The Home Office has been testing the EU Settlement Scheme application process through a series of pilots before it launches fully by 30 March 2019. Feedback from applicants on the application process has been positive and the exercise has helpfully identified areas for improvement and clarification. By 14 January 2019, 27,211 decisions had been made and issued as part of the second test phase, with no applications refused. You can read more about how the testing has gone so far on GOV.UK.

A new phase of testing began on 21 January, so we can continue to improve the scheme ahead of the full go-live in March.

The latest testing applies to EU citizens living in the UK who have a valid passport and to their non-EU citizen family members who have a valid biometric residence card. Making an application at this time is entirely voluntary so there is no need to do anything yet.

There are some differences with the current test phase compared to when the scheme is fully launched. In this phase, we are testing the app which checks an individual’s identity document. However, when the scheme is fully live at the end of March, use of the app will be optional and people will be able to send their identity document in the post or get their passport checked in over 50 locations.
The scheme will be fully live by 30 March 2019, and under the draft Withdrawal Agreement applicants will have until 30 June 2021 to apply. You will be able to use any laptop or mobile device to make an application.
On 21 January 2019 the Prime Minister announced that there will be no fee when the scheme opens fully on 30 March 2019. Anyone who has applied already, or who applies and pays a fee during the test phases, will have their fee refunded. Applicants should make payment using the card they want to be refunded on. Further details of the refunds process will be published shortly.
We will continue to keep you updated on the latest developments concerning the scheme and will provide detailed information on how to apply once the scheme is fully live.

Canada Needs IT Workers :

According to a report published last year by the Information and Communications Technology Council (ICTC), Canada needs 182,000 new workers in the Information Technology (IT) sector by 2019. Fortunately for Canadian employers and international workers alike, over the past year Canada’s Express Entry immigration system has helped to address this labour shortage.

Critically, provinces across Canada have recognized their need for skilled IT personnel and have used their ‘enhanced’ Express Entry-aligned Provincial Nominee Program (PNP) streams to select IT workers specifically. These provincial efforts are in addition to the federal government’s objective of inviting more Express Entry candidates based on their strong human capital factors. As a result, the number of candidates with IT work experience being invited to apply has increased over time.

In addition, the federal government recently launched a new initiative aimed at IT workers and employers known as the Global Talent Stream. This initiative aims to help innovative companies grow by ensuring they can access the highly skilled talent they need quickly. Workers who arrive in Canada under the Global Talent Stream may build up Canadian work experience — a highly-valued factor under Express Entry — and subsequently immigrate to Canada permanently.

This IT immigration report looks at how IT workers have benefited from immigration trends over the past 12 months.

About Express Entry and provincial nomination

Individuals eligible to immigrate to Canada through a federal economic program can submit a profile into the Express Entry pool, where they are ranked against each other according to a Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). The government of Canada issues Invitations to Apply (ITAs) for Canadian permanent residence to the highest-ranked candidates on a priority basis through draws from the pool. If a candidate obtains a provincial nomination, 600 CRS points are awarded and that candidate is prioritized for an ITA in a subsequent draw from the pool.

In order to apply for a provincial nomination, candidates must first create an Express Entry profile. Provinces use their enhanced PNP streams in different ways. For example, Nova Scotia and Saskatchewan open their doors on a first-come, first-served basis to candidates in specific occupations, whereas Ontario searches for candidates in the pool before issuing a provincial Notification of Interest (NOI).

Provinces looking for IT workers

Certain provinces, using their enhanced PNP streams, are explicitly seeking out IT workers in the Express Entry pool.

Example 1: Ontario

Ontario, which is a particularly popular destination for new permanent residents, has a Human Capital Priorities (HCP) stream that only selects eligible candidates in the Express Entry pool. Applications under this stream are submitted through the Ontario Immigrant Nominee Program (OINP).

On June 28, the government of Ontario made an announcement that it was seeking Information and Communications Technology (ICT) professionals. While one of the usual requirements of the HCP stream is that candidates must have a CRS score of 400 or above, the announcement clarified that for these ICT occupation-specific searches, Ontario lowered the required minimum CRS score below 400. Candidates with work experience in any of the following National Occupational Classification (NOC) codes were eligible to receive a NOI, even if they scored less than 400 points under the CRS.

  • NOC 0131: Telecommunication Carriers Managers
  • NOC 0213: Computer and Information Systems Managers
  • NOC 2133: Electrical and Electronics Engineers
  • NOC 2147: Computer Engineers (Except Software Engineers and Designers)
  • NOC 2171: Information Systems Analysts and Consultants
  • NOC 2172: Database Analysts and Data Administrators
  • NOC 2173: Software Engineers and Designers
  • NOC 2174: Computer Programmers and Interactive Media Developers
  • NOC 2175: Web Designers and Developers
  • NOC 2241: Electrical and Electronics Engineering Technologists and Technicians
  • NOC 2281: Computer Network Technicians
  • NOC 2282: User Support Technicians
  • NOC 2283: Systems Testing Technicians
  • NOC 5224: Broadcast Technicians
  • NOC 5241: Graphic Designers and Illustrators

Though the government of Ontario has not stated if or when it may prioritize IT workers under the HCP stream again, it is notable that the ICTC report cited at the beginning of this article states that ‘By 2019, cumulative hiring requirements for ICT talent are expected to be over 52,700 in the greater Toronto area, over 9,700 in Ottawa-Gatineau, over 3,800 in the Kitchener-Cambridge-Waterloo region, and over 9,900 in rest of Ontario.’

Consequently, it may be the case that Ontario uses the HCP stream again to prioritize IT workers.

Example 2: Nova Scotia

Halifax, the capital and largest city in Nova Scotia, was recently titled ‘Canada’s fifth-biggest tech hub’ by CTV News. This is no mean feat, considering that Halifax is the 13th largest metropolitan area in Canada.

Of the 16 occupations on Nova Scotia’s list of targeted opportunity occupations for its Nova Scotia Demand: Express Entry stream, four are IT occupations:

  • NOC 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants
  • NOC 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media development
  • NOC 2281: Computer network technicians
  • NOC 2282: User support technicians

This Express Entry-aligned stream most recently opened last week on July 5, reaching its intake limit within hours. However, the government of Nova Scotia expects this stream to open and close over the next year.

Candidates with experience in one of these occupations improve their chances of successfully submitting an application to the Nova Scotia Office of Immigration if they prepare their documents and forms in advance and stay alert to news from Nova Scotia regarding this stream.

Example 3: Saskatchewan

Earlier this month, the government of Saskatchewan began to let nominees and other stakeholders know that a new tech careers web page is now available, showing the range of tech-related jobs in the province, which is located in Western Canada. Saskatchewan’s Labour Demand Outlook for 2016 to 2020 shows that salaries in IT professions are expected to be high.

Since July, 2016, the International Skilled Worker – Express Entry sub-category of the Saskatchewan Immigrant Nominee Program (SINP) has opened on five occasions. This sub-category allows eligible Express Entry candidates with experience in an in-demand occupation to submit an application to the SINP. No job offer is required, and applications are received on a first-come, first-served basis.

For the most recent intake, which ran from May 16 to May 24, 2017, no IT occupations were included on the list. However, for the previous intake periods Computer and Information Systems Managers (NOC 0213) and Information Systems Analysts and Consultants (NOC 2171) were included.

Saskatchewan’s list of in-demand occupations is subject to change, and Express Entry candidates across the IT professions may benefit in the future, as they have done so in the past.

Example 4: New Brunswick

This time last year New Brunswick, located in Atlantic Canada, was inviting certain IT professionals to submit their resume through the ‘Open Category’ of the New Brunswick Provincial Nominee Program (NBPNP) Express Entry Labour Market Stream, before potentially applying for provincial nomination under the program.

New Brunswick was looking for newcomers in the following occupations:

  • NOC 2171: Information systems analysts and consultants
  • NOC 2172: Database analysts and data administrators
  • NOC 2174: Computer programmers and interactive media developers
  • NOC 2175: Web designers and developers
  • NOC 2281: Computer network technicians



Express Entry Selection System Canada 2017 :

Express Entry immigration selection system of Canada continues to flourish, looking forward to more aspiring immigrants the opportunity to obtain permanent residence in Canada. The last draw took place on January 25, issued Invitations to Apply (ITAs) to 3,508 candidates in the pool with 453 or more Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) points.

This was the largest draw of all time. In fact, the same was said for the past four draws, each of which was at that time larger than any previous draw. So far, 2017 has been a breakout year for the Express Entry system. More candidates have been invited to apply this month than in any other month since the system was first launched more than two years ago.

- Source; CIC

UK :

The UK government has backtracked on the huge fee increase this year the Immigration and Asylum
Tribunal . This means everyone who wants to file immigration and asylum appeals in the First-tier
Tribunal will pay the old fees;

£140 instead of £800 with a hearing.
£80 instead of £490 without a hearing.

Everyone who has paid the higher fees will be able to get the difference(amount) refunded.


"Children with immigrant backgrounds are much more likely to go to kindergarten, more teenagers are getting higher school qualifications in comparison with five years ago, employment among immigrants is up."


The Parent and Grandparent.
Program (PGP) for immigration to Canada is scheduled to open on.
January 3, 2017, with an application intake cap of 10,000 new applications.
Demand for space is expected to exceed the quota, effectively meaning that potential applicants who are not ready to submit an application by early January are unlikely to be successful. Conversely, recent history shows that applicants who are prepared are best placed to sponsor their parent(s) or grandparent(s).