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Posted on May 18, 2012 in Migration News, Travel |

Joint Irish – UK visa proposed

The Irish tourism minister Leo Varadkar has expressed an opinion that United Kingdom and Ireland should create a common visa, which grants the international tourists right to visit both countries without the need to apply for two separate visas. Minister Varadkar thinks that both United Kingdom and Ireland will be able to profit from such a change. The reason for this is that the new travel zone, which is supposed to be modeled after the Schengen Zone in mainland Europe, will attract more and higher- spending visitors, which will come mostly from countries with rapidly-growing economies – China, Brazil, Russia etc. Currently there is possibility for foreign visitors, who travel to United Kingdom with a foreign visitor visa to visit Ireland, without applying for a new Irish visa. This feature will however be available only until October 2016. Varadkar thinks that the new UK-Irish visa will save a lot of time and paperwork to travelers which are coming from remote countries. He says that: “It makes no sense to me that a tourist flying into Dublin from Dubai needs a separate visa to travel to the Titanic Experience in Belfast and to see the Giant’s Causeway. And it makes even less sense to the tourist.” The new idea for a common United Kingdom-Ireland travel zone is the latest action that Ireland government takes, in order to attract more tourists to its country. The international tourism is one of the fundamental pillars for the recovery of the whole Irish economy and therefore the policy-makers are addressing this issue with top-priority. Furthermore the proposal comes in times when Ireland has cut VAT for its hospitality sector from 23% to only 9%. In addition to that Ireland seeks more close ties Great Britain in an effort to re-boost its hardly hit from the crisis business environment. blog.visafirst.comMore...

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Posted on May 16, 2012 in Living Abroad, Migration News |

Number of visas issued for New Zealand decreases.

The New Zealand Labor department has prepared a report, which indicates that there is a decline in the number of New Zealand Visas issued in the period between July 2011 and March 2012. In their new report the immigration authorities have written that 13,265 were granted a Skilled Migrant Visa to New Zealand which is almost a 12 percent decline compared with the same period during the previous year. The reasons for this new development are mainly to be found in the effects of the global economic crisis. In times of high economic uncertainty a lot of prospective highly-skilled migrants prefer to take less risk and to stay at their home country instead of going abroad. In support of this premise, the New Zealand Labor department indicates, that the current downside trend of number of new immigrants started in 2008 simultaneously with the global economic crisis. In spite of the general decline, however there is 18% increase in the number of skilled immigrants coming from India. This is mainly due to the largest number of Indian students, who come to New Zealand universities and then choose to remain in the country with skilled migrant visa. The number of people approved for work visa has also increased with 3 percent. The increase comes from people, who are coming to do a seasonal work in the New Zealand agricultural sector. In addition to that the report indicates that currently the largest source of new skilled migrants to New Zealand is United Kingdom with 17% of the total, followed by Philippines, China and South Africa, each one of which has 12%, 8% and 7% respectively. New Zealand has already implemented new measures, in order to increase its attractiveness to prospective immigrants. Some of the new changes include new rules for visa processing and approval which will lead to shortened period for visa applications and will save the New Zealand taxpayers more than NZ$40 million. blog.visafirst.comMore...

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Posted on May 15, 2012 in Migration News |

UK family visitor visa applicants will have no right of appeal for visa rejections.

UK Immigration minister Damian Green has stated that Family visitor visa will be unable to appeal if their visa application is rejected. The British Home Office has announced that the new changes will take place form 2014 after parliamentary approval and Royal Assent have been granted. The main reason for implementing the new rules is the fact that, the visa appeal process takes a lot of time and costs to much money for the UK taxpayers. In addition to that the number of submitted appeals since 2000 has skyrocketed. For example more than 50 000 appeals have been registered during the last year. At the same time in most of these appeal cases the reason for refusal is simply, that the applicants have filled the application form incorrectly or have provided insufficient documents to support their application. The new rules will significantly free up immigration tribunals so that they can deal with more serious cases. Furthermore around 29 million pounds which were spend as cost of processing of visa appeals will be saved from the UK taxpayers. Another argument that is given in support of the change is that there is no other type of visa ( such as business or tourist visa) that attracts the same full right of appeal. With regards to the changes, the Immigration minister Damian Green commented: “We are not stopping anybody visiting family in the UK; if an applicant meets the rules they will be granted a visa. However, it is grossly unfair that UK taxpayers have had to foot the huge bill for foreign nationals who, in many cases, have simply failed to provide the correct evidence to support their application”. The prospective family visitor visa applicants will be encouraged to reapply for their visa instead. Some critics have brought up the issue that the changes will prevent those people who are filling well-grounded appeals. Mr Green, however stated that rejected applicants will still have the possibility to appeal on racial discrimination or human rights ground. blog.visafirst.comMore...

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Posted on May 14, 2012 in Living Abroad, Migration News |

The Australian Immigration Department releases new video to advice overstayers.

The Australian immigration has decided to release a video, which will contain some advice useful for people, who have overstayed their visa and do not know what to do. The video will be available in 14 different languages and will contain useful information that will encourage people not to wait, but to resolve their immigration issues as soon as possible. The video will cover all kind of visas including ETA, eVisitor and Working Holiday Visa. People, who have not left Australia after their visa had expired are usually not sure of what  course of action they should take and may therefore be unable to take any action and thus to further worsen their situation. Such people usually rely on community’s and friends’ advice, which in many occasions is misleading, incorrect or ill-informed, making the situation even more confusing. The video itself contains three stories of people, who have overstayed their visa and for different reasons are unsure what they should do next. Some of them might think that they will be immediately arrested after the government finds out about their status. The advice is simple they should contact the immigration service and in order to clear their situation. In most cases the overstayers will be granted a bridging visa in order to sort themselves out. In case they are eligible, they may be issued other appropriate visa as well. The Australian department of immigration and Citizenship has Community Status Resolution Service (CSRS), which is able to provide advice to people whose immigration issues are more complicated and less straightforward. The service includes giving information about a person’s immigration status, so that he/she can make more informed choices about what to do next. Throughout the years 2010-2012 CSRS have resolved the problems of 11000 people in Australia. This not only saves  people a lot of worrying, but also provides more time for the Immigration department’s compliance team, who can focus on workers and employers, who willfully trespass the Migration act blog.visafirst.comMore...

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Posted on May 4, 2012 in Migration News |

Imposing borders on borderless Schengen zone

The Schengen zone’s original purpose was to eliminate border controls between the Schengen countries in order to make travel easy and to stimulate and create economic opportunities. The Schengen freedom, however, brought concerns over uncontrolled terrorism, trafficking, illegal immigration and more, which turned the Schengen zone into a widely discussed and controversial topic between EU interior ministers. The area where travelers could travel without passport was once considered one of the greatest achievements of the European Union. It is now seen more like a free pass for crime. Some European leaders now suggest to “fix” the problem as they simply impose border controls to the borderless zone. The French and German interior ministers, for example, proposed border controls for up to 30 days if there is an increase in immigrant flow. The Austrian minister, Johanna Mikl-Leitner, also expressed support to the Franco-German proposal, saying: “The commission should act as a kind of early warning system and should propose concrete measures which should then be implemented.” Denmark is also skeptic about Schengen and even closed its borders for a short period last year. The Danes claim that there must be clearer rules for action in emergencies which had nothing to do with the freedom to travel. The unhappiest of all, however, are the French. Claude Guéant, France’s interior minister, warned that the Schengen’s common border – from the Baltic to the Mediterranean to the Aegean – must be secure by the end of this year, or else France will leave the Schengen zone. In addition, Nicolas Sarkozy is also in support of imposing borders within Schengen, which some see as an attempt to win re-election. German interior minister Friedrich, on the other hand, claims that the proposal for Schengen reforms has nothing to do with Sarkosy’ election campaign. “We govern for the people, and the people in France are very worried about illegal immigration. So we have to take this worry seriously,” he said. A possible reform of the Schengen rules will be discussed no earlier than June. Find out more on Schengen visa to France. blog.visafirst.comMore...

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Posted on May 2, 2012 in Living Abroad, Migration News, Travel |

Canada needs Irish construction workers.

The Canadian construction industry is searching for a large number of qualified Irish workers to participate in various constructions and engineering projects across the country. The Alberta-Based Canadian engineering JV Driver, for example, will sponsor the Engineering Village in Job Expo 2012 in an effort to recruit 200 new employees, in order to overcome the severe shortage of skilled construction workers that exist on the local market. As a result of the abovementioned developments, which are currently happening on Canadian job market Visa First have been contacted from a Canadian Construction company to help in the recruitment of 167 new workers. Visa First manager Edwina Shanahan stated: “We are currently accepting CVs with the view to calling people for interviews in our Kilkenny office in two weeks. These position need to be filled fast.” All of the position are located in Alberta and include various positions that range from scaffolders to pipefitters to welders and crane operators. Sources: Irish Daily Mirror (page: 15/ 28-04-12) Irish Daily Mail(page: 54/ 28-04-12) blog.visafirst.comMore...

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