GNICE 2022
Experts at GNICE 2022 discussed various immigration pathways for skilled and business migration Image Credit: Gulf News

As global immigration becomes an integral reality for people looking to move around, in search of better education, secure communities, better health care and great investment opportunities, how does one choose the right consultant to guide one through a safe and secure pathway to immigration?

This was one of the most pertinent questions addressed on the concluding day of the second edition of the Gulf News Immigration and Citizenship Exhibition 2022, (GNICE). Industry experts and immigration consultants aired their informed opinions at the panel discussion on the available routes to right consultants and right advise for immigrants.

Participants included Anwais Arif, Managing Director, Continental Migration Services, Ryan Ghani, Manager, Aussizz Group, Keshav Sharma, Regulated Canadian Immigration Consultant and Director, Elaar Immigration, Varun Singh, Managing Director at Xiphias Immigration, Ray Kachalia, Partner at Vision Consultancy, Taimur Jawed, Managing Director at Global Migrate and Slava Apel, Founder, Start-Up Visa Services, also working for Canadian government-designated business organisations

Once again, Canada, scored over other countries when it comes to skilled and business migration.

Start-up Visa programme

Among the new and attractive immigration pathways through entrepreneurship is the start-up visa programme which welcomes anyone with a good start-up idea. In this category the emphasis is on innovation and a willingness to set up business in Canada and the programme does not insist on younger age group, no requirement for financial net worth or previous experience. Proficiency in English language is not a mandatory qualification, and this pathway opens numerous opportunities for people past the age of 45-50 years, especially those from South Asian countries where English is not a native language. Immigrants in this category need not give any assurance for success of the business and this category ticks all the boxes for people who may have missed the immigration bus in their heydays.

Australia and UK open lucrative immigration options

The next hottest destination for skilled workers that recently opened is Australia that is specifically looking for skilled workers in IT, hospitality and healthcare. Australia has opened up visas for skilled workers and entrepreneurs.

A similar pathway to immigration has opened up post Covid and post Brexit is UK which is experiencing a shortage of skilled workers. UK offers innovator visa and business expansion visa programme, which does not require an English language proficiency requirement.

Due diligence is the need of the hour

With several new visa programmes and quantum leaps in global migration trends post COVID-19, the world is experiencing a deficit in the demand and supply of informed, reliable consultants. All panellists agreed that since immigration process was a minimum of 12–18-month process, it involved due diligence on part of the applicant and the consultant.

Why education abroad is the best pathway for immigration

The next best way of migrating to countries in Europe, Canada or Australia is through the higher education pathway as students get oriented towards the culture, academic grounding, and qualifications for the industries in the country and prepare them for a seamless transition for citizenship in those countries.

Concluding panel discussion on the final day of the exhibition dwelled on the topic of unlocking new opportunities through studying abroad saw eminent panellists from the industry provide informed insights into the issue. These included Zawahir Siddique – The Dean of Bachelors’ Programme at Westford University, Vandana Mahajan, Director for Futures Abroad, Shipra Sarkar – Managing Director, Study Abroad and Ummar Yousuf, Immigration Analyst with IMM Consultants.

Top destinations for studying abroad were Canada, Germany, the UK, and Australia.

These countries not only offer exposure to diverse cultures, they also offer smooth Permanent Residency programmes, absorption in the workforce through internships and co-op programmes among other things.

The panel discussions proved to be thought-provoking and elicited involved and animated Q&A sessions post presentations.