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Posted on Jun 9, 2016 in Brazil |

Rio Olympics 2016 – What You Need To Know About Brazil

People usually have one of two images of Brazil in their heads: beautiful beaches with beautiful people, maybe playing soccer, drenched in sunshine or a somewhat third world country with a lot of crime, corruption and poverty. Like with most stereotypes, the truth lies somewhere in the middle and there are good parts and bad parts of Brazil. However, in general, Brazil is a great place to vacation. Like so much of South America, Brazilian culture is widely diverse and the country itself contains many places to visit which are all a little different. This year, all the talk is centred on the 2016 Olympic Games. Only two years have passed since Brazil hosted the football World Cup when 1.35 million tourists visited and this year, almost half a million visitors are expected to descend on Rio alone. If you’re heading to the Games, here’s what you need to know about Rio and Brazil. Visa & Passports If you need a visa for Brazil, sort this well in advance. Residents of most countries require a visa to travel to Brazil though exemptions have been made for certain countries for summer 2016. Also, make sure your passport is valid and in date. It should be at least six months left before it expires. Money Make sure you have your Brazilian reals ready. Credit and debit cards are widely accepted if you prefer to cash free though it’s recommended to carry some cash. Foreign cards are also accepted by some ATMs in Brazil if you need to withdraw some more cash. Language Many, many people believe that Spanish is the national language of Brazil when it is actually Portuguese. Foreign languages are not widely spoken in Brazil though you may find some Brazilians who speak a little German English or Spanish. It’s pretty easy to carry phrase books these days – there are plenty of apps available for downloading but try to pick up a few key phrases like ‘Bom dia’, ‘Desculpe!’ and ‘Obrigado’. Weather It’s warm in Brazil and visitors to Rio for the Olympics should prefer for temperatures in...

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Posted on Jun 8, 2016 in Europe, Tips and Tricks |

Heading to Euro 2016? What You Need To Know About Travelling In France

The biggest ever Euro Championships is taking place in the world’s most popular tourist destination… needless to say, it’s going to be a pretty amazing few weeks for anyone heading to France this summer! Whether you are arriving from one of the European countries playing in the tournament or from further afield, here are some basic tips and advice so your summer 2016 in France is one to remember! Transport Getting to France should be pretty easy for most people. There are so many options: plane, ferry, train and bus services are available for visitors. France is going to be hectic this summer so it’s best to plan and book whatever transport you can well in advance of any journeys you are taking within France. Public transport options and costs may vary from city to city so make sure to research local public transport for each city you visit. If you plan on renting a car, make sure to read up on the rules of the road as they may differ from the rules you are used to at home. Visas & Passports If you are travelling on passport from an EU country or from Norway, Liechtenstein or Iceland you do not need a visa to travel to France. Visa requirements vary for holders of passports from other countries so check with Visa First to see if you need to arrange a visa before you travel to France. All travellers should ensure that their passport is valid and in date and kept secure while in France. Money The Euro is the currency in France so you are sorted if you are travelling from another Euro-zone country. However, credit cards are widely accepted so if you don’t fancy getting cash converted or having a wallet full of notes and coins, bring your cards with you. Language Parlez-vous français? Even if the answer is a resounding “non”, try to fit in few French words here and there. A “merci” and “s’il vous plait” will go a long way. There are also many language apps and online resources so asking for directions,...

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Posted on Jun 3, 2016 in Migration News |

Global Tourism is in Good Health

Top visited countries – France, USA, Spain, China in top 10, Russia and Mexico close behind. Nowadays boundaries and Visa regulations are obviously no obstacle for global tourism according to visa expert Visa First. Last few years the world tourism is growing and tops 1.1 billion tourist in 2014. Over the past few decades global tourism is growing uninterrupted and is one the fastest growing economic sectors worldwide. The income that destinations generated by tourists during 2014 is reported $1245bln. The expectations of the experts are the profits to grow with an average speed of 3.3% per year and to reach 1.8 bln until 2030. Top 4 destinations countries are France, USA, Spain, China in top 10 are also Russia (9) and Mexico (10). The regional results show that America has the biggest growth of 8% vs Europe 3% and Asia and the Pacific 5%. According to the UNWTO 54% traveled by air to their destinations vs 46% by land of which 39% travel by road others are 2%rail and 5% by water. The leading reason for traveling abroad is leisure 53%. Other reasons for hitting the road are 14% for business and about 27% for other reasons such as visiting friends. For more detailed information about the report of UNWTO click here. More information about Tourist Visas click here visafirst.com. Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on Jun 3, 2016 in Tips and Tricks, Travel Destinations |

Explore Auténtica Cuba

Over the past 18 months, Cuba has been in the news more than it has been in recent years. This is obviously due to the normalisation of U.S.A. – Cuban relations and the relaxation of the Cuba Trade Embargo. However, there have been many media reports pointing out that soon Cuba will be a changed country due to an influx of American tourists and goods; Cuba will be a homogenous tropical tourist destination, just like anywhere else in the Caribbean. Of course, anyone who has been to Cuba knows that this is unlikely to be the case. Millions of Canadian, Australians, Europeans, Russians and Chinese people visit Cuba each year, bringing with them plenty of the culture these nationalities share with Americans. It surprises many people but in some regards, Cuba is more modern and developed than people realise. Here’s a quick run-down of what to expect and what to do when you get to Cuba: Cuban Surprises You can get Coca-Cola! And Heinz ketchup, Nike clothes, Marlboro cigarettes, Disney toys and many other products by American brands. The products are usually manufactured or produced in Mexico or other Latin American countries but Cubans have access to these goods. Not everyone drives a Lada or a 1950’s Ford. In fact, contemporary motors by European and Russian manufacturers are just as plentiful as classic cars. Virtually every Cuban you meet will be bi- or tri-lingual. Spanish is the national language but most people can speak English as well as French or German. Prior to 1991, Russian was taught as student’s second language in schools so many Cubans are fluent Russian speakers too. Cuba has the best education system in Latin America and the Caribbean. Cuba also dedicates more of its national budget to education than any other country in the world! Plus, education is free in Cuba which means most Cubans are highly educated to third or even fourth level. However, the most sought after jobs in Cuba are careers in the tourist industry. Tourism jobs pay more than most jobs – partially due to tips, so it’s not unusual...

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Posted on May 27, 2016 in Migration News |

World’s Best Place to Live – Melbourne, Australia

Melbourne Australia has been voted the best liveable city in the world according to ’’The Economist” and its annual report “Global Liveability Ranking 2015”. In the report were included 140 cities across the globe. The ranking is based on 30 factors including safety, healthcare, educational resources, infrastructure and environment. UK and Ireland immigrants are amongst the top 10 nations moving to Australia according to Visa First manager and immigration expert Edwina Shanahan. “Visa First helps thousands of those people to get Australian Visa to live and work” she adds. Top 8 of Most Livable Cities Melbourne, Australia; Vienna, Austria; Vancouver, Canada; Toronto, Canada; Calgary, Canada 5th; Adelaide, Australia; Sydney, Australia. Noticeable is the strong presence of Australian and Canadian cities in this report. There are multiple reasons for the leading position of Melbourne – economical, social, cultural, all contributing for this result. The city is famous for its cultural diversity and people from many different corners of the globe contributing for the unique atmosphere of the city. The infrastructure and public transport are very well developed and contribute for the easy daily commuting of the local people. Besides the great infrastructure and great opportunities for work and study it is a great place for your free time as well. There are many museums and galleries displaying many interesting pieces of art and of course good number of museums showing the life and culture of Aboriginal people. Melbourne is considered a Unesco city of literature because of the literary festivals, book stores, great history of famous award winning authors. To read the full report – click here. View a complete list of Australian Visas processed by Visa First – click here. Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on May 20, 2016 in Migration News |

Ireland Needs More Highly Qualified Professionals

The past few years were not very good for the Irish economy and its qualified workforce. The so called “brain drain” was a big factor for a significant part of the economy and the corporate world in Ireland. Since the economic recession is gone there is a good sign of economic recovery showing an interest in the corporate world to hire non EU professionals to help grow the local business. There is a visible trend of increasing number of immigrants and visa work permits for granted to professionals in HSE and IT sector. The growth in 2016 is going to be around 9 000 compared to 7 353 in 2015 according to Visa First expert Edwina Shanahan. Link to the interview of Visa First expert Edwina Shanahan click here. Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on May 20, 2016 in Migration News |

5 Reasons To Visit Beautiful Eastern Australia

It looks like Australia is going to continue to top people’s bucket list of vacation spots. Tourism Australia recently released figures for yearly international visitors which hit a record 7.67 million for this past year, a year-over-year increase of 8.7%. With almost 8 million kilometres of land, Australia is a treasure trove of desert, rainforest, coral reefs, mountains, islands, grasslands and cities. Unless you have weeks or months to spare, you are unlikely to fit it in all of Australia’s diversity in one trip which is why visitors to Australia usually pick one area to focus on while on holiday. In 2015, the east coast proved to be the most popular with tourists and it’s pretty easy to see why. If you can’t decide where in Oz to go, these five reasons to visit eastern Australia might help you make up your mind: Hyams Beach According to the Guinness Book of Records, the whitest sand in the world can be found at Hyams Beach. It’s kind of relaxing just to imagine all that fine white sand between your toes! Hyams Beach is the very definition of idyllic – the seaside town is dotted with cottages and old fashioned beach houses overlooking the Pacific. Snorkelling and diving are popular activities but Hyams Beach is also a great spot for wildlife watching due to its proximity to two national parks and a botanical garden. It’s not unusual to see whales, sharks, dolphins and octopus as well as native Australian birds and animals. Byron Bay If you want to holiday like the stars, head to Byron Bay. Over the past few years, Byron Bay has become the go to vacation spot for Australian and international celebrities. Known as one of the East Coast’s quirkier and more alternative cities, Byron Bay is a popular resort for people attending music or film festivals, yoga retreats and even pagan gatherings. Surfing and whale watching are also popular tourist activities as well as visiting one of the Bay’s many regular farmer’s markets. Sydney It may be the obvious choice but that’s no reason to leave it...

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