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Melbourne Victory Welcomes New Citizens At U-NITE Game
January 7, 2015
Melbourne's Etihad Stadium is the unique location where 101 new Australians will be awarded their citizenship certificates in front of thousands of cheering football fans just before kick-off between Melbourne Victory and Sydney FC this Saturday night. The special event, co-hosted by the Department of Immigration and Border Protection, forms part of Melbourne Victory's annual U-NITE initiative to celebrate cultural diversity and provide pathways for young people from different ethnic backgrounds to take part in organised football training and competition. The U-NITE initiative has been running for over five years and during that time has assisted the development of hundreds of young football players from Africa, the Middle East, Asia, southern Europe and Indigenous communities. Among those becoming Australian citizens will be Martyn Maloney from the United Kingdom. Mr Maloney, who will take part in the ceremony along with his two young sons and wife, said his family was thrilled to receive their citizenship and join a guard of honour for the team entry at this special event. "I brought the family to Australia four years ago to work in the hospitality industry, then we fell in love with the livability of Melbourne, with such easy access to work, beaches and cafes," said Mr Maloney. This Saturday's conferees join more than 4.5 million others who had chosen to become Australian citizens since the first citizenship ceremony in 1949. This year is the 65th anniversary of Australian citizenship, which was established by the Nationality and Citizenship Act 1948 that came into force on 26 January 1949.
Canada Express Entry
January 2, 2015
As of January 2015, Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) has a new electronic system called Express Entry to manage applications for permanent residence under certain economic immigration programs. The Express Entry system is the first step to immigrate to Canada under these programs. Potential candidates can complete an Express Entry profile at any time. Note that there is no deadline to complete a profile and there are no caps on the number of candidates that will be accepted to the pool. Anyone who is accepted into the Express Entry pool could get an Invitation to Apply for permanent residence. Draws to invite candidates to apply will take place regularly over the course of each year. We will only pick the top ranking candidates no matter when they were accepted into the pool. If you are invited to apply, you will have 60 days to submit a complete Application for Permanent Residence online. The first draw for an invitation to apply is planned for the last week of January 2015.
Express Entry Immigration Program to Launch in 2015
December 30, 2014
The Canadian Government plans to launch a new immigration system that would offer express entry to qualified immigrants for filling open jobs for which there are no available Canadian workers in 2015. Named Express Entry – formerly referred to as Expression of Interest – this program would provide swifter entry into Canada, wherein the government and employers would select immigrants based on the skills and attributes that Canada needs. Canada's new immigration system would come into force from January 01, 2015. Under this system, prospective immigrants would apply to express their interest in coming to Canada by answering a series of questions about their professional skills, their education, languages spoken etc. The system would then match the skills of the prospective immigrants with the labour requirements identified by the provinces, the territories and employers. On finding a suitable match, the immigration authorities would offer Express Entry to a prospective immigrant who has applied via the:
• Federal Skilled Workers Program
• Federal Skilled Trades Program
• Canadian Experience Class Program or,
• Business Class Program

Immigration Minister Chris Alexander said that Canadian employers would be able to bring workers into Canada through the Express Entry system, with the long-term objective of making them stay behind in Canada. In a press conference, he said, "You can bring your labour market opinion, your job offer, to the Express Entry system and ensure that the person you need comes to Canada as an immigrant, not as a temporary foreign worker. Not as someone who is here with an uncertain future and likely to go back, but as a full immigrant to Canada". Alexander said that prospective immigrants who apply via the Provincial Nominee Program could also benefit under this system as long as the concerned province and territory brought their program under the federal one. Immigration authorities would extend invitations to Express Entry candidates for applying for permanent residence if they have a valid job offer or a provincial or territorial nomination. Other features of the Express Entry program include the fact that Canada would be able to select the best candidates, who would be able to achieve success in Canada, rather than just the next person in the queue. Immigration authorities would also have access to an improved Job Bank for matching Canadian employers with the most suitable Express Entry Candidates. The Government plans to invest $14 million over two years and $4.7 million thereafter, to ensure that Express Entry is a success.
Federal Courts Backs Government in Lawsuit by Canadian Arab Federation.
December 27, 2014
Yesterday, the Federal Court upheld the Minister of Immigration's decision, in 2009, not to renew two settlement funding agreements with the Canadian Arab Federation. The Government's position was that the organisation was an inappropriate partner for the delivery of taxpayer-funded services to newcomers due to its apparent endorsement of listed terrorist organisations and public statements that were arguably anti-Semitic. Paul Calandra, Parliamentary Secretary to the Prime Minister, on behalf of the Government of Canada, today issued the following statement: "The Federal Court ruling is a victory for common sense and the rule of law. "Our Government's position is clear: organisations that appear to promote hatred, including anti-Semitism, or excuse violence and terrorism do not have the right, and should not expect, to receive tax dollars to deliver Government services."
Minister Jason Kenney, Chris Alexander and Tim Uppal issue statement celebrating Christmas
December 24, 2014
Ministers Jason Kenney, Chris Alexander and Tim Uppal issued the following statement on Christmas Eve: “Tomorrow, families and friends across Canada will join together to celebrate Christmas. “This is one of the most important and joyous holidays of the year for Christians, as it honours the birth of Jesus Christ and follows the spiritual preparation and reflection of Advent. It is a wonderful opportunity to reflect on the gifts of family, friends, tradition and faith, and to help those in need. “It is important to recognize that Christmas is observed through various customs and traditions in communities across Canada. These diverse holiday celebrations add to Canada’s rich cultural landscape, and the Christmas season unites us all in the spirit of joy and goodwill. “On behalf of the Government of Canada, we extend our best wishes to all for a merry and blessed Christmas, and a happy and healthy New Year.”
457 Visa Holder Exempted from WA School Fee
November 24, 2014
Around 750 international families on 457 Visas will be exempted from paying $4000 in tuition fee for sending their children to West Australian public schools from next year. There are two financial hardship provisions. The first provision is based on combined family income. The second is for exceptional circumstances that impact on their financial circumstances including illness, unemployment, family breakdown and death.In 2015, the Western Australian Government announced its long-awaited hardship provisions for more than 3,300 families on 457 Visas(temporary skilled workers) whose children attend public schools in that state. Under the first hardship arrangements, if the combined family income is $75 000 or less (gross) a year they are not required to pay the tuition fee. If it is $75 001 or more (gross) a year, they have to pay the tuition fee of $4000 a year regardless of the number of children who are enrolled in a public school. Education Minister Peter Collier said, “There are around 3,305 families at this stage that will be captured by the school fees. Of that, around 750 will get exemption.” All 457 visas holders are encouraged to speak to Department of Training and Workforce Development, for the tuition fee exemption. If you are interested in Australian visas, contact Migration Expert for information and advice on which visa is best suited to you. You can also try our Visa Assessment to see if you are eligible to apply for a visa to Australia.