Thu | Oct 18, 2018

Immigration Corner | Where is better for me to settle, Canada or Australia?

Published:Tuesday | September 18, 2018 | 12:07 AM
Deidre S. Powell
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Dear Ms Powell,

I am a professional in Jamaica and I would like to leave the country, as I haven't been able to find a good job here. I have a master's degree, and I'm thinking of doing a PhD, so I've been looking at both Canada and Australia. Can you give me an idea of which place would be better for me? I wish to not just work there, but live permanently and become a citizen.

-K.N.

Good day K.N.,

Canada and Australia both have generous immigration systems for highly educated and skilled individuals, as well as refugees. Both jurisdictions have a point-based immigration system that evaluates how well an individual is expected

to do in the country, and permanent residence is granted based on the scores that each individual is able to accumulate. Both countries have seen a great increase in the proportion of skilled migration within the last 10 years. Qualified individuals are usually granted permanent residence, which authorises you to live, work, and study anywhere in the country without restriction.

A permanent resident has the rights of a citizen, except that permanent residents are restricted in the amount of time they can be outside of the country, have a permanent resident card instead of the country's passport, are and unable to vote. After a number of years, a permanent resident can apply to become a citizen in each country.

I must confess that I prefer the Canadian system based on a number of reasons. Apart from proximity, reputation, security and laws, there are other factors to consider. I will outline a few below.

 

Application process

 

The Canadian application process is easier. Australian permanent residence information can be found on the Australian Governments' Department of Home Office's website, while applications for permanent residence for Canada can be found on the Government's of Canada's website.

An application to become a permanent resident of Canada is processed in two stages. The first step requires a candidate to express an interest in being considered for permanent residence by submitting an electronic application through the express entry portal. The system is monitored by Immigration, Refugee and Citizenship Canada (IRCC).

Once an application is submitted, IRCC will rank candidates against each other based on factors such as language (French and/or English), education, work experience, age and other factors, such as whether or not you have Canadian work experience, have studied in Canada, have a valid job offer, or have a provincial nominee or family members who are living permanently in Canada.

Although factors such as family members, provincial nomination, or proof of job offer are not required in order to enter the express entry or be selected, if a candidate has a valid job offer or is nominated by a province, then a significant number of points is granted, and most individuals are then authorised to go on to the next stage of the evaluation process. The next stage involves obtaining medical and security clearances, as well as providing proof of the factors mentioned before, including providing proof of settlement funds or ability to support yourself and eligible family members.

 

How long will the process take?

 

IRCC promises that once a candidate has submitted a completed application after being granted an invitation to apply, the application will be processed in six months or less.

 

Benefits and Taxes

 

As indicated, both systems grant applicants points based on a candidate's ability to integrate and contribute to the society's growth and development. Both countries have excellent education and health systems, which permanent residents will have easy access to. Each individual is required to have a social insurance number and sign up for a health card immediately on arrival in order to access benefits in Canada.

In Australia, individuals will need to wait at least two years before receiving access to social security benefits.

You will be taxed in both countries. There is no escaping the taxes. In Canada, there are federal and provincial taxes. For example, in Ontario, individuals are charged 13 per cent HST on most items; while federal taxes are based on your annual income and range between 15 per cent and 33 per cent. Australia has a tax file number, and their VAT is 10 per cent, which is incorporated into the sale prices advertised for each item.

For more information and to find out if you qualify to come to Canada, you can sign up for free via my website: www.

deidrepowell.com or via my Facebook page www.facebook.com/jamaicanlawyer.

- Deidre S. Powell is a lawyer, mediator, and notary public who is a member of the Jamaican and Ontario, Canada bars. She is a CIC- authorised representative. Her areas of practice are immigration, real estate, personal injury, commercial, family, wills and estates in Jamaica and Ontario. Submit your questions and comments via email: info@deidrepowell.com. Subject line: Immigration. Find her on Facebook: www.facebook/jamaicanlawyer. Tel: 613-695-8777.