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Wanna move ‘down under’? Australia is looking for more Working Holidaymakers!

Posted on Mar 21, 2019 in Migration News |

The Australian Government has launched a new campaign which aims to attract more Working Holidaymakers down under, as well as support Aussie farmers and boost regional tourism. The campaign, titled ‘Australia Inc’, is targeting young people in the UK, France and Germany who are considering combining overseas travel with temporary work. A number of enhancements to the traditional Working Holiday program have been introduced in unison with the launch of the campaign. Among the changes to the program are the expansion of the regional areas where Working Holidaymakers can work, increasing the time period they can stay with an employer and the addition of an option of a third year. $3 billion Australia has long been heralded as a top destination for prospective Working Holidaymakers and the Work & Travel initiative is an essential part of Australia’s agricultural and tourism industries. In fact, Working Holidaymakers play a critical role in filling short-term workforce shortages in regional areas and they also inject over $3 billion into the Australian economy each year. But Australian Minister for Trade, Tourism and Investment Simon Birmingham believes that more could be done to convince Working Holidaymakers to pack their bags and book a flight to Oz. “Whilst Australia is a highly desirable Working Holidaymaker destination, research shows there are some barriers to travel, such as distance and a lack of understanding of the long-term benefits of a Working Holiday in Australia,” said Birmingham. “This campaign is aimed at demonstrating how living and working in Australia will make young people stand out from the crowd when they return home and benefit their long-term career and life goals.” Assistant Minister for Agriculture and Water Resources Richard Colbeck was keen to stress the importance of Working Holidaymakers to Australia. “Access to sufficient labour, particularly for seasonal work, is a perennial issue and concern for the industry. Our changes to the Working Holiday Visa are specifically designed to help meet the needs of our farmers.” Wanna be an Australian Backpacker? Visa First can help you! We offer a complete Australian Working Holiday Migration service. Before you leave home, we...

2018 was another record breaking year for Canadian tourism

Posted on Feb 27, 2019 in Migration News |

For a second consecutive year, a record number of tourists chose Canada for their holiday destination. A massive 21.13 million travellers visited Canada in 2018 – the first time Canada has topped the 21 million mark. The record numbers have been attributed to a number of different factors. For instance, it’s now easier than ever before for tourists to explore Canada. In recent years the Canadian Government has implemented visa changes for priority markets by introducing the Electronic Travel Authorization (Eta) Visa. In addition, new flight routes and increased service to Canadian airports have seen flight capacity rise by 6% (when compared to 2017) to the highest level ever – representing an additional two million seats on flights to Canada. Last year overnight arrivals to Canada from countries other than the United States reached an all-time high of 6.7 million (32% of total arrivals). Overseas tourists typically stay in Canada longer and spend more, benefiting tourism businesses in communities across Canada, and the economy. Tourism generates 745,300 jobs in communities across Canada and contributes an estimated $102.5 billion to the economy. So where do Canadian tourists come from? Figures from December 2018 United States – 944,886 (2% increase from 2017) China – 737,379 (first time exceeding 700,000, 6% increase) France – 604,166, (first time exceeding 600,000, 5% increase) Mexico – 404,402 (first time exceeding 400,000, 5% increase) India – 287,416 (15% increase) Travelling to Canada? If you’re planning a trip to Canada, Visa First can help you! Whether you’re thinking about a vacation or dreaming of living and working in Canada, we take the stress out of the visa application process. Our Canadian visas Want to visit Canada on holiday? You’ll need a Canadian ETA. Apply for yours here. Live and work in Canada for up to two years. Apply for your Working Holiday Visa...

Terms of working holiday agreement between Canada and Taiwan amended

Posted on Jan 25, 2019 in Canada, Canadian Immigration, Working Holiday Visa |

Canada and Taiwan have jointly announced an amendment to their mutual working holiday visa agreement. Citizens of the two nations are now able to apply for working holiday visas while in each respective country. Taiwanese nationals can apply for a working holiday visa at any government-authorized visa application centre within Canada. Similarly, Canadian citizens can also apply for a working holiday visa with they are in Taiwan. Applications can be submitted at Taiwan’s Bureau of Consular Affairs or one of MOFA’s regional offices. Application requirements   Citizens aged 18 to 35 are eligible to apply for a one-year visa. As many as 1,000 visas are issued every year under the current deal. If you wish to apply for a Canadian visa you are required to provide biometric data to the visa application centre. Canada and Taiwan first signed a reciprocal working holiday visa agreement in April 2010. Want to apply for a Canadian Working Holiday visa? Visa First offers a complete Canadian Working Holiday migration service. Get started here....

Applications for 2019 Canadian Working Holiday programme now being accepted

Posted on Dec 10, 2018 in Canada, Canadian Immigration, Working Holiday Visa |

Considering a big move next year? Perhaps Canada will be your destination of choice. The 2019 International Experience Canada (IEC) programme is now open for applications from young people (aged 18-35) around the world. Approximately 30 countries have a reciprocal work and travel agreement with Canada. Under the Working Holiday programme citizens can live, work and travel in Canada for up to 24 months. There are two other categories which applicants can choose to apply for within the IEC programme. The Young Professionals Category is open to people who have a job offer related to their qualification before they apply. And full-time students looking to take part in internships and work placement programmes can apply under the International Co-op programme. How you can apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa In order for your Canadian working holiday visa application to be successful, you will need to meet a number of eligibility criteria. To be eligible for the Working Holiday category, you must: be a citizen of the 30 eligible countries (more details here) have an Irish passport which will be valid for the duration of your stay in Canada (note: your work permit will not be longer than the validity of your passport) be aged between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) have a minimum of CAN$2,500 to help cover your expenses in Canada have health insurance for the duration of your stay (note: you may have to present evidence of this insurance when you arrive in Canada) be admissible to Canada have a round-trip booking or demonstrate that you will have the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket at the end of your authorized stay in Canada not be accompanied by dependents pay the relevant fees. Note: Once you have submitted your application, you will be entered into a pool of candidates. Applicants are then drawn randomly from pools. If you are selected you will be sent an invitation to apply for a work permit. Draws continue until all places are filled for the year. Visas are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Successful candidates have...

OZ working holiday visas – good news for Irish applicants

Posted on Nov 15, 2018 in Australia, Australian Immigration, Backpacking, Work in Australia, Working Holiday Visa |

Young Irish workers have been granted an additional five years in which they can venture down under for work and travel. Prospective Irish travellers can now apply for an Australian working holiday visa up to the age of 35. Successful applicants can spend up to two years working and travelling around Australia. The previous age limit had been 30 for Irish candidates. The agreement between the Irish and Australian governments is reciprocal, meaning Aussies can also come to work in Ireland. Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the purpose of the move was to “promote cultural exchange and strengthen people-to-people links by creating opportunities for young people to travel.” Ireland and Australia first signed the deal which created the working holiday programme in 1975. Since then, it is estimated that more than 275,000 young Irish people have journeyed to Australia under this scheme to gain valuable life experience. In fact, more than 8,600 Australian working holiday visas were issued to Irish citizens in 2017 alone – with many living and working in regional and rural areas of Australia during their stay. How you can apply If you’re interested in securing an Australian working holiday visa, you can apply with Visa First. Aside from meeting the age limit requirements, there are a number of other criteria you must meet in order to apply for this visa. These include: First visa – you must not have previously held an Australian working holiday visa Passport validity – the expiry date of your passport must cover the duration of your stay in Australia Sufficient funds – you must provide a bank statement as proof you have enough money to support yourself in Australia (AUD 5,000) Personal requirements – you must be of good health and character Children – the visa does not allow you to bring dependent children with you to Australia Apply for your Australian working holiday visa...

Cutoff Age Now 35 for Australians On IEC Canada Visa

Posted on Sep 27, 2018 in Migration News |

  The cutoff age for Australians applying for the International Experience Canada (IEC) work permit is now 35, compared to 30 previously. The change also works both ways with Canadians now allowed to travel to Australia under the International Experience Canada programme up to the age of 35. The move was welcomed by Whistler Chamber CEO Melissa Pace who said that highering the age limit from 30 to 35 would help fill the gap in middle management in roles taken up under the programme. There are 3 categories open to participants under the IEC programme, including Working Holiday permits, International Co-op for students looking to gain targeted experience in their field of study, and Young Professionals. Australia is a major source of participants in IEC, with locations in Western Canada particularly popular among the Aussie contingent, especially winter resort destinations such as Whistler, BC and Banff, AB More than 200,000 Canadians have taken advantage of the work and travel experiences offered through the International Experience Canada program and many return to Canada with life-changing experiences valuable to both their personal and professional lives. Canada doesn’t cap the number of Australian participants in the IEC and is one of 34 countries whose residents can participate. If you are a citizen of one of the 34 participating countries, you can typically travel and work in Canada under the IEC programme if you meet the age restrictions. For some countries this is 18-30 and for others this is 18-35. To take part in the International Experience Canada (IEC), you should also:  Preferably have no criminal record Own a valid passport for the period of your stay You should have enough money to support yourself on arrival in Canada while you are looking for a job Each year they agree a quota of visas with each country that holds a working holiday agreement with Canada. The visa itself permits you to work, live and travel in Canada for 12 months (more for certain countries). If you are interested in applying for a working holiday visa to Canada or Australia, you can apply directly with us at Visa First. To find out more...

New 10 Year Visa Announced for Investors and Professionals in the UAE

Posted on Aug 29, 2018 in Investor Visa |

The UAE recently announced that it would issue 10 year visas for professionals and investors and allow 100% ownership in mainland companies. These changes come as part of a plan to encourage foreign investment and attract talent and will be implemented at the end of 2018 as part of reforms focusing on fostering growth in professions and industries that meet the UAE’s specific needs. Speaking at a seminar in Dubai, the Chief Economic Advisor at the Department of Economic Development, Dr Raed Safadi said key criteria of the new law will be to attract investors and bring in all kinds of talent (source). Technology entrepreneurs, influencers, high-end individual investors and specialists in the areas of science, space, and medicine would be eligible for the 10-year visa. Replying to a question about the eligibility of doctors, engineers and architects to be part of the 10-year programme, Dr Al Mulla, Executive Chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, said he didn’t expect all these categories will be eligible. “However, some specialists could be included in certain fields like medicine and so on but I don’t think it will be overall for everyone,” he added. It is expected that the new reforms will be focused on those professions and industries that meet the UAE’s strategic needs. Moreover, professionals holding a master’s degree or equivalent, a certain minimum salary bracket and certain designation – directors, etc. – could also be considered, he added. On the possible eligibility for 100% ownership in the mainland, Dr Al Mulla said we still need to await full details. “But from what we have seen, the government is looking for global companies with global means like Google to start with. Those multinationals whose businesses are spread all over the continents. I think technology entrepreneurs, for example Tesla and so on, are the type of companies that will be part of 100 per cent foreign ownership. I think once they try it and see how it works, then they may start expanding it to other companies and industries. But to start with, it will be these multinationals.” (source) Full details are yet...

Please Beware of Scam Emails!

Posted on Jul 12, 2018 in Migration News |

Fraudulent emails have been doing the rounds from a company calling themselves Visa First Global Fastservice.  Please click on the below image to see an example: In the emails, Visa First Global Fastservice is claiming they are 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 and the Visa First logo. Their fraudulent email requests payments for services over Western Union, PayPal and others. Please be aware that Visa First NEVER asks for payments via the parties mentioned above. If you receive a suspicious email from Visafirst Global Fastservice please delete the email and DO NOT provide any personal details or information to them or call them. We highly recommend 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. You can contact your closest Visa First office using the details here if you have any questions or concerns relating to the...

Student Visa Applications for Australia Increase by Almost 22%

Posted on Jul 12, 2018 in Australia, Migration News |

For the first 3 months of 2017, the number of visa applications rose by 18.5% in comparison with the same period in 2016 and visas granted from Jan-Mar 2017 increased by nearly 22% compared to 2016. This percentage increase equates to just under 18,000 more student visas compared to the first quarter of 2016. The growth comes from Australia’s top 20 sending markets, with China and India driving much of it. Just under 4,000 more student visas were granted to Chinese students and over 2,500 to Indian students between Jan and March 2017. The market is concentrated in higher education, ELICOS, VET and other non-award studies. By level of study, visa grants for higher education students represented about half of the increase for 2017, with the balance roughly equally distributed across the ELICOS, vocational education and training, and non-award sectors. The volume of student visas granted over the past 3 years reflects the dramatic recovery in international enrolment that Australia began to record in 2013. Finally, the following table provides a snapshot of Australia’s fastest-growing source markets for the first quarter of 2017.  Sending Market Growth from 2016  Extra visas granted  Major study categories       China                22%                  3973 Higher Education       India                25%                  2239 Higher Education       Nepal                112%                  3565 Higher Education       Brazil                56%                  2018 ELICOS/VET      Colombia                53%                  1131 ELICOS/VET      United States                51%                  969 Non-award      Sri Lanka                57%                  701...

The Best Places to Find a Job on a Working Holiday in Australia

Posted on Jul 10, 2018 in Migration News |

  Give it a go. Try to think of a country that’s more diverse and spectacular than Australia. Go ahead, try it! It’s impossible! And it’s for this reason that OZ is so attractive to thousands of prospective working holidaymakers every year. Australia has it all – stunning nature, fascinating culture and fantastic nightlife. Crucially, there are also a wide variety of jobs on offer. From office to retail, farm to mine, bars, restaurants….. the list goes on. Regardless of your skill set you’ll find an opportunity to earn some cash to supplement your trip. But with so much on offer in Australia it can be hard to know where to begin! With this in mind we’ve created this useful guide to the best places to find a while on a working holiday in Australia. However, before we go any further we must very briefly press pause. The validity period of a first Australian working holiday visa is likely to be 12 months. If you’d like to extend your time down under you will need to complete three months ‘specified paid work’ in regional Australia while on your first visa. It’s important to note that not all of the job opportunities listed below are considered regional work. A complete postcode list of areas in which you can find eligible regional work can be seen here. Without further ado, let’s get back to the guide. Here are the best places to find a job while on your working holiday in Australia   Apply for your Australian work and travel visa with Visa First   Melbourne The Work Melbourne, Victoria is Australia’s second largest city (behind Sydney). So if you’re looking for a city with a high volume of employment options for working holidaymakers, setting a course for Melbourne is a pretty smart move. The most common roles can be found in retail and administration as well as the usual restaurant, café and bar work you’d expect to find in a big city. The entrepreneurial start-up scene is pretty busy here too. Who knows, maybe you’ll land a job with the...

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