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Posted on Mar 21, 2019 in Migration News |

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

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...

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Posted on Feb 27, 2019 in Migration News |

2018 was another record breaking year for Canadian tourism

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 here. MCorcoranMore...

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Posted on Sep 27, 2018 in Migration News |

Cutoff Age Now 35 for Australians On IEC Canada Visa

  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...

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Posted on Jul 12, 2018 in Migration News |

Please Beware of Scam Emails!

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 above. blog.visafirst.comMore...

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

Student Visa Applications for Australia Increase by Almost 22%

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...

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Posted on Jul 10, 2018 in Migration News |

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

  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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Posted on Jun 8, 2018 in Migration News |

Want to extend your Australian working holiday? Here’s how you can!

Under the conditions of a first Australian Work and Holiday visa (either subclass 417 or 462) working holidaymakers are entitled to spend one year working and traveling around Oz. But is one year really enough time to enjoy a working holiday in Australia? After all it’s an entire continent! With bustling cities and sights to see sprawled right across the country, 12 months is hardly enough time to sample the complete wallaby experience. So it’s little wonder that so many working holidaymakers are keen to extend their stay ‘down under’. Fortunately, if you want to remain in Australia for longer than your first working holiday visa allows, you can apply for a second year extension visa. To be eligible for this visa there are a number of conditions that you must meet. Let’s take a closer look at these terms. Firstly, there are some general conditions you must meet You have to be between 18 and 30 (inclusive) years old You must have complied with all the conditions of your first Work and Holiday visa You must not have previously held more than one Work and Holiday visa You must still be eligible for the first working holiday visa (for example – you don’t have a criminal record, you’re not in breach of any Australian immigration rules, you’re in good health) You must have a valid passport with at least 6 months left until renewal You must have sufficient funds to support yourself when you arrive in Australia You have completed 3 months of specified paid work in regional Australia while on your first Work and Holiday. More below Apply for your Australian working holiday visa extension today!   Specified paid work In order to qualify for a visa extension you must have completed three months specified paid work in regional Australia while on your first year Work and Holiday visa. A postcode list of eligible areas to work in regional Australia can be found here. What counts as ‘specified paid work’ in Australia? There are many different industries you can work in to become eligible for a second year visa...

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