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

Changes in Australian Visa Charges

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 here. Visa FirstMore...

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

US H-1B visa update

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 visas Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on Mar 10, 2017 in Working Abroad |

US H-1B Visa is Stopped

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...

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Posted on Mar 2, 2017 in Road Trip |

Travel Trends 2017

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...

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Posted on Feb 24, 2017 in Europe, Ireland |

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

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 here. Visa FirstMore...

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

The Best Country for Expat Families

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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Posted on Feb 10, 2017 in Europe, Ireland, Migration News, United Kingdom |

UAE Visas and The New System Aiming at Qualified Talents

UAE recently announced new entry visa system. The country which is located in the Persian Gulf is globally famous for its natural resources of oil. Last few decades the Emirates are trying to turn this paradise of sand, sun and oil into business and tourism paradise. It obviously works quite well thanks to its rulers. The UAE consists of 7 emirates – Abu Dhabi / which is the capital/, Ajman, Dubai, Fujairah, Ras al-Khaimah, Sharjah and Umm al-Quwain. Having in mind that the oil one they will come to an end the rulers of the country obviously took very wise decision to invest in a future without oil. Everyone knows that Dubai is one of the top global tourist destinations and probably the most spectacular to see. Billions of dollars have been invested and are still going in tourism and amazing architectural forms of art and science. Not so popular is the fact that the rulers are trying to make the country financial and technology hub for the GCC / Gulf Cooperation Council/.   New visa rules According to the Prime minister and ruler of Dubai Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid, there will be several stages. The changes will begin with applying new UAE visa rules for tourism, health and education. The next stage will include changes of rules for visas regarding medicines, science and research. A special committee will be created in order to manage the plan of attracting regional and global talents to build the new future of the UAE. The purpose of those changes is to attract qualified and talented professionals. UAE offers a lot to its expats in terms of professional development and good lifestyle. Good to mention is the very low crime rate which ensures very friendly and secure environment for the foreigners. If you have any questions about the UAE visas contact visafirst.com Information about the UAE visas. More information about this topic click here. Visa FirstMore...

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