Applicants for US Visa Lottery Reduce, Canada Introduces Super Visa
Anyway, I'm not surprised that as the application period just ended, the US State Department says only 8 million people applied. This is in comparison to last year's figure of 15 million. The Department is saying it is because it removed Bangladesh from the list, but they can go and tell that to the birds. Apart from the disappointment with the system failure, there is the situation of the economy in the United States.
The past few years have been terrible, and it was all over the news how unemployment rates had shot up and how people were losing their homes. Knowing how we're everywhere, I'm sure many Nigerians in America must have been personally affected, and some would have advised their people back home not to bother applying. I even know of several people who actually returned to Nigeria at the height of the crisis. That will certainly not encourage anyone to want to come over.
Another likelihood is that as third world countries stabilize and begin to maximise their own economies, there will be less poor to rich country migration. One can't also rule out the power of the internet. Where once people in such third world countries depended on a few filtered media channels for stale news, nowadays, news is disseminated instantly on blogs, online websites, etc. As people home and abroad, share photos and notes on Facebook and Twitter, the more the mirrored glass walls are broken down.
On Canada, well they seem to be keeping far away from the mistakes of the US, they've just announced a new two-year, multi-entry "super visa" for parents and grandparents of Canadian immigrants. The multiple-entry visa will be valid for up to 10 years, and will allow applicants to remain for 2 years in Canada before requiring a renewal. Launching December 1, the visas will be issued about 8 weeks after the application.
I remember a post by Good Naija Girl on Marrying for Papers, where she discussed how Canadian citizens who file for their spouses to immigrant have to be liable for them for about 3 years or so. This is a similar situation. The children who bring in their parents and grandparents will be responsible for all the expenses of the new migrant including health. They do not qualify for state benefits or other programs.
When you think about it, Canada will be making money hand over fist. Their population will increase and lead to a bigger economy which expands as more people begin to spend more. Their airways and tourist, as well as immigration bodies will make some good dollars from these visitors - travel fares, lodging, immigration fees, etc. In addition, I hear that buying a personal health insurance plan will be one of the requirements for those that seek the visa. The European countries should borrow some pages from whoever wrote this policy :)
BTW, what is Nigeria doing while all this is going on? Let me not go there, Jonathan is...