Wednesday, 17 July 2024 20:54

Some 70,000 sign petition to end immigration controls between Canada, Australia, New Zealand and U.K.

Tuesday, 21 April 2015

A group of globe-trotting friends in Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Britain have banded together as a lobby group and created an online petition aimed at eliminating immigration controls between the four Commonwealth countries.

They seem to have struck a nerve. Their petition at — they call their group the Commonwealth Freedom of Movement Organization — has drawn more than 70,000 signatures since its launch at the beginning of March.

“The initial group was just me,” said James Skinner, a 27-year-old paralegal, originally from Britain and now based in Vancouver. “But it branched out to a lot of my friends … one member in each country that we’re campaigning for, and there’s a bunch of people behind the scenes as well, working the social media site, the email and the campaigning.”

Skinner moved to Melbourne, Australia, in 2011, got a job, made friends and thought he’d have a long-term life there until his temporary work visa expired.

“I joined sports clubs, social clubs, wanted to stay there,” he said. “Basically, the immigration process was just far too difficult. There were people there that I met who also wanted to stay, also from Canada and the U.K. They had the same trouble as me and had to leave everything behind.”

Skinner’s next stop nearly two years ago was Vancouver, where he was struck by the city’s similarities to Melbourne. His immigration ride has gone smoother in his new home. He has a two-year working holiday visa and is awaiting a ruling on whether he qualifies to stay here permanently as a skilled worker.

“The permanent residency application is going through, but it’s tricky,” he said. “Even though I’ve been accepted for a permanent residency pool, the Canadian government will only take a certain number of applicants from that pool every year. There’s no guarantee as to when I will be accepted. If I’m not accepted before my two-year visa expires, I’m going to have to go home, rethink everything through again.”

Source: Nationalpost

Google+ Google+