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FRAUD ALERT

Posted on Nov 2, 2017 in Migration News |

We are getting reports that some people are receiving suspicious emails from a company called – Visafirst Global Fastservice. In the emails Visafirst Global Fastservice claim that they are the real Visa First. We can confirm that this company is NOT associated in any way with Visa First. The fraudulent company (which also goes by ‘VFS Global Visa Specialist’) is using the email vfs_gfs@fastservice.com and the Visa First logo. Their fraudulent email requests payments for services over Western Union, PayPal and others. Please be aware that Visa First DOES NOT require payments via the parties mentioned above. If you receive a similar suspicious email from Visafirst Global Fastservice DO NOT trust them, provide any personal details or information to them or call them. We highly recommend that you DO NOT follow any of their instructions at all. Visa First is a licensed Visa Service Provider with official email, phone number and website where you can check all the information you need. Thank you! Visa...

Thousands of people overpay tax while on a working holiday abroad. Are you one of them?

Posted on Jul 13, 2017 in Tips and Tricks |

Don’t miss out! Collect your refund today Working holiday visas provide tourists with an invaluable opportunity to travel the world, escape their comfort zone, experience new cultures, meet locals and make new friends. It’s also a fantastic way to earn some money and keep a vacation going for longer. If you have ever embarked on a working holiday abroad, it’s safe to assume that one of the biggest challenges you faced was settling into your new location. There’s so much to do – from finding accommodation and a job to simply learning how to get around. It can take a lot of time to get used to a new city, culture and working environment. But one mistake that many working holiday makers commit is to not come to terms with the tax laws of their new country. It’s true, tax seems like a boring subject and the last thing that most people would want to think about while they are enjoying the holiday of a lifetime. But, if you ignore the tax laws of your holiday destination, you could end up costing yourself a lot of money. In fact, thousands of people who work abroad over pay tax without even realising it. And what’s more, they are completely unaware that they are entitled to a refund if they do overpay tax! Start my Tax Refund Now As tax laws differ from country to country, refunds can be due for a variety of reasons. Tax overpayments can occur due to government requirement, mandatory pension plans (superannuation in Australia) or simply an error from your employer. And if you are sceptical about how much you might be overpaying, rest assured that it is definitely worth your while investigating your potential tax refund. For example, thousands of working holiday tourists in Australia have missed out on tax refunds worth as much as AU$2600 and higher. That’s a lot of money! And, imagine what you could do with a refund of that size. What a perfect bonus to use while settling back in when you return home. ‘But how can I reclaim my...

US H–1B Visa Applications from India Drop. H-2B Visa Slots Reduced Significantly.

Posted on Jun 9, 2017 in Migration News |

A few months ago the US President made significant changes in the some US visa regulations including H-1B visa. This visa is primarily used by high-tech companies from the Silicon valley to attract high skilled people from outside USA. The new regulations as per the US administration aims to stop some bad practices of US employers to attract lower paid foreign workers and avoid higher paid Americans. The goal is also to bring in the US only the highest skilled employees. It seems like high tech companies found a way to reduce employees needing H-1B visa. Analysts say that this is thanks to the new technology and automation of many processes. This way they manage to reduce the workforce. Another reason is the employment of talents locally avoiding the need to move them to USA. The numbers show that in 2016 the top Indian companies needing H-1B visas for their employees has reduced their visa requests by about 37%. H-2B visa slots has been reduced by about 50%. The government reduced the slots by refusing to grant visas to employees owning such visa in previous year. Those people are not counted against the annual quota which is about 66 000. This situation with the H-2B visa bring significant issues to many hotel and business owners who previously employed foreign workforce to help them. H-2B visa is granted to seasonal workers coming to the USA for short period of time. The duration of the visa is up to one year with an option to be extended to 3 years. This political decision is driven by the idea to reduce unemployment among the US passport holders. The issue here is that those positions are usually low paid and the interest in them is not enough to fill all the positions with local workforce. More information about visas for USA find...

Top Tourist Destinations in Asia

Posted on Jun 2, 2017 in Migration News |

Each year global tourism is becoming more popular. Having low cost airlines and hotels everywhere it is becoming easier than ever to travel abroad. It is difficult to name one top destination and say it is the single most attractive place in the world. People like different things and are looking for different experiences across the world. In this respect each continent, city and culture could offer unique and different attractions and ways to spend your time and money. Tourists are looking for different experiences and emotions when choosing destination abroad. Some are looking for historical places with great architecture and ancient cities. Others are looking for calm, close to nature places. Very popular last few years are the tourists searching for exotic cousine. For the most sophisticated travelers is the cultural tourism and modern way of relaxing in luxurious places around the globe. Asia can offer a lot to the travelers and among the top destinations is Hong Kong. Holding one of the top places as most visited by travelers it can offer many places where you can be fascinated. It has a great blend of modern lifestyle experience to offer as well as historical places such as Man Mo Temple, Po Lin Monastery and others. The lovers of exotic cousine will not be disappointed as Asia has a lot to offer when talking about delicious food and exotic meals. Another great place to be visited in this part of the world is Singapore. It is one of the most famous Asian places to be visited nowadays. It became even more popular after building the huge hotel and casino tourist meca Marina Bay Sands. Great place to be visited is also the Singapore Botanic Gardens classified as UNESCO World Heritage Site. Among the cultural places to be visited is Sri Mariamman Temple. There are many other places to be visited if you have enough time. Last couple of years the annual number of tourists in Singapore is exceeding 15mln. For many years Bagnkok is very famous between global travelers. It is the capital of Thailand. Famous for the...

Changes in Australian Visa Charges

Posted on May 12, 2017 in Australia, Australian Immigration |

This year the Australian government has made many changes to the Visas and Border control aiming better pool of people entering the country. Recently was announced the changes of Sponsorship 457 visa and Permanent Resident Visa. As part of this new approach a few days ago a change in the Visa Application Charges was announced. It will affect foreign employees as well as Australian employers. Employers will have new charges as the current training benchmarks for employers sponsoring foreign employees will be replaced by Skilling Australians Fund Levy. This change will take effect in March 2018. There will be 2 categories of employers: Business with turnover of less than AUD10 million per year will have to pay: AUD 1200 per visa year for each TSS visa. AUD 3000 per employee on Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187) Business with turnover of over AUD10 million should pay upfront: AUD 1800 per visa year for each TSS visa. AUD 5000 per employee on Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) and the Regional Sponsored Migration Scheme (subclass 187)   Changes for visa application charges are planned and will be applied from July 1st 2017. About 2% will be the increase of the current first installments VACs. More information about Australian visa find...

US H-1B visa update

Posted on Apr 28, 2017 in Europe, Living Abroad, Migration News |

Recently the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has announced that they have received sufficient quota of H-1B visa for 2018. The USCIS have received about 200 000 petitions this year compared to the previous year 236 000 it is visible that there is a drop of applicants. The quota was 65 000 for applicants holding bachelor’s degree or similar and 20 000 for holders of US master’s degree or other advanced degree. Until now the process of selecting the visa winners was computer based random selection. Earlier this year the new US President stopped the H-1B visa programme as announced at that time for about 6 months. This decision made a lot of noise in the media and many people and companies were criticizing that political move as unnecessary. Most of the H-1B visa holders are people from Tech and IT industry. Silicon Valley and its Tech companies are the majority of the companies in need of such people. Stopping this programme will cause serious issues not only to certain individuals but to the business as well. The USCIS still accepts petitions for the following situations: To extend the validity of H-1B visa and to secure time to stay in the United States; employment terms change for current H-1B holder; Allow H-1B visa holder to change employers; Allow H-1B holder to work concurrently in a second H-1B position. The most recent news are that the government wants to totally transform this programme from a lottery based to a merit-based system of selecting the best applicants. So far the programme was granting visas on random bases and about 80% of holders were lower payed employees. The reform should provide approach to select applicants that will be the most qualified and skilled people. This way the government will avoid violation of principles of the programme of selecting people that will be paid less and with lower qualifications. More information about US...

US H-1B Visa is Stopped

Posted on Mar 10, 2017 in Working Abroad |

Recently the H-1B visa was stopped. Obviously the new president of USA is going to make a lot of changes to the US visa and migration policy. Earlier this year Trump banned passport holders of 7 countries from entering USA. It echoed globally and in the same time made a statement that US border control will be stricter than ever. The US officials say that H-1B visa could be on hold for about 6 months. This may cause a lot of issues to many applicants and in the same time to US business. Usually holders of this kind of visas are highly qualified professionals. Those employees are on high demand in USA as the country feels deficit of such work force especially in the technology and IT sector. Last couple of years the Silicon Valley was signalling for high demand of IT and engineers to support the needs of the corporate business. The high tech industry is key factor in US economy, as some of the world’s biggest companies happen to be American ones working in the Silicon Valley. Annually the number of H-1B visa number issued is 65 000. There is an exclusion if the first 20 000 application are holding a US master’s degree are excluded from this number and the total visa number could jump to 85 000. Some of the biggest companies who will suffer from this decision are Google, IBM, Delloitte. The supporters of this act are claiming that this will stimulate business to hire local talents or to work in a way to create environment good for producing such pool of people. The official government statement is claiming that the department needs to concentrate on requests for extensions and other long pending petitions. Further to this ban over H-1B visas was announced that restrictions will be set for the spouses of the H-1B visa holders. This will limit significantly the chance for working in USA. The only option will be finding a sponsor for the H-1B visa, volunteer or go back to school. About 70% of the H1-B visa holders are of Indian...

Travel Trends 2017

Posted on Mar 2, 2017 in Road Trip |

Every year more people are traveling internationally. This is a trend formed by many reasons. The global economy is improving and the financial crisis is behind us. The average household can put aside more money for travel and free time. In the same time, more low cost travel companies are starting to operate. The old and big low cost carriers are opening new lines and destinations, which gives more opportunities for adventurers to explore. Each year the governments are improving travel and visa regulations in order to make their countries more accessible for global tourism and business visitors. Of course, there are exceptions but in general the trend is in favor of the world travelers. Emerging market trend is the so-called “Bleisure”, meaning combining business and pleasure in one trip. Nowadays more travelers are combing both and more companies are willing to give a few extra days to their employees when they are on business trip to spend some time for pleasure and bring their families on the business trip. This way employees save money and in the same time are more happy on the casual business trip when they can have some fun in the same time doing sightseeing. Local travel – More people are starting to value experience over different places and events around them. It could be the next state or the neighbor country or close by region that has some experience or adventure to offer. It is not necessary for the trip to be a far remote destination sometimes we could have great moments very close by. Another emerging trend is the solo tourism. It gains more speed and popularity each year. Reasons for that could be many but mobile technology and easier bookings are making it more accessible and people are not feeling so lonely having all the channels of communication provided by the new technology and social media. For many this experience is more of a self-exploring and enriching experience. Ecotourism was something new and strange years ago. Today it is very popular and people are more and more conscious about the nature...

Visafirst Parent Company Taxback Group Was Named One of the Best Workplaces for 2017

Posted on Feb 24, 2017 in Europe, Ireland |

The annual award Great Place to Work Awards 2017 was held in Clayton Hotel, Dublin. The awards are given to companies with great culture and work ethic. It is important to be mentioned that 70% of the score is generated by the feedback provided from the employees of the nominated companies. The results are summed in the Trust Index Employee Survey. The other 30% of the score are generated by a thorough research made by Great Place to Work of a company-wide Culture Audit. For second consecutive year The Taxback Group is awarded one of Ireland’s Best Workplaces for 2017. Group HR Director, Stephen Hickey said: “We are delighted to have retained this recognition for another year thanks to the Great Place to Work Team and the increased work from all involved throughout the process. While our new Health & Wellbeing Program, new Employee Recognition Program and increased CSR efforts all added to our internal atmosphere, it is the staff who really provide that special ingredient to make this a truly Great Place To Work!” The Great Place to Work organisation is researching and auditing companies in 45 countries globally. The institute is researching and nominating the companies in the following areas – inspiring, hiring, caring, speaking, listening and others. More information about the winners and the event you can find...

The Best Country for Expat Families

Posted on Feb 17, 2017 in Europe, Ireland, Working Abroad |

When choosing a place to move the first and most important factor to think about is the job. It is of highest priority and influences all other aspects of life abroad. It is very different story when the person is not single and have kids. Many other factors come to the scene to be evaluated and issues to be resolved. Among the top factors is the education of the kids, the safe environment, meeting with the new culture, healthcare and others. In this report for 2016 for the Family Life Index 45 countries took participation. The ranking is based on several factors concerning the good quality of life of the kids and their families. The top factors are childcare and education – availability, options, cost as well as quality. High priority is given to the overall family well-being. The top place is taken by Finland. The top place was secured by the highest results in the survey in the categories for child health, safety and child well-being. In the category for childcare education the country scores very high as well. The majority of the parents /70% / compared to the global average of 21% are satisfied with the quality of the education. The only downside is the lower place/25th/ in the category family life satisfaction in general. The second best in this survey comes Czech Republic. May be surprising for many people but it comes well-deserved. The availability and cost of childcare and education are rated very high. Families have mixed feelings about the quality provided. In regards with the family well-being the result is also moderate. Luckily, the children healthcare is mostly rated positive and 91% of the respondents are satisfied. Third this year is Israel. Securing 3rd place is thanks to the high number of childcare options. Education options and quality are also areas where most parents are satisfied, 84% voted positive. Children healthcare and family well-being are also given positive feedback. Areas where improvement is needed are children safety and family life in general. In top 10 is also Australia (7th). The hot continent is one...

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