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Posted on Apr 27, 2010 in Migration News |

Schengen (Dis)agreement

I came across a very well illustrated blog post on Schengen visas. Maya, the blog owner seem to really hit a dead end with her visa application. Such problems are common and, I’m sure, everyone had a similar situation when dealing with authorities.   One common problem is when a person is applying for a Schengen visa for, let us say, France and then decides to stain in Spain for more days that he/she intends to stay in France. In that case the application will be canceled and the person will have to apply for a Schengen visa to Spain.   I have to agree with Maya on one thing “A passport does not make a person“. It would have been great if the authorities had a way to find that out and use it. Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on Apr 16, 2010 in Migration News |

The Universal Packaging Checklist

Preparing for a trip is so easy now, as long as you have patience to research the Web for some travelling tips. Different Web sites compete to provide full information for the traveller—from cheap plane tickets to the targeted destination, to a top five items you must have in your backpack. Here is a tool,, created to provide some helpful information for those on the road. The information you will read there is controlled only by you: You generate your own packaging list by filling out some criteria first, such as dates of travel, way of transport, etc. The tool may be a bit old, and it may be repetitive at times, but it definitely provides you with detailed tips for your trip before you even leave your house. You can also select the type of information you need, such as descriptions, comments, anecdotes, and more. Don’t be surprised when you find yourself playing with it for awhile—it is engaging. Here’s what I stumbled upon while generating a packaging list for one of my imaginary five-year camping trips with a way of transport—a boat. “Since they [sandals] don’t cover your feet completely, they might give sand fleas (chiggers) a chance to get a fresh place to lay their eggs. Not dangerous, but very icky. I got them in Tanzania.” “I was once lost on a mountain in Sudan. I had a compass with me, but didn’t use it to find my way. Pretty stupid, I know. “ “Factor 15 was not enough last time I was up on a mountain, so I’ll go for at least factor 20 next time. And a hat.” “Remember not to shave in dirty or contaminated water since you can pick up a nasty disease that way. I tend to get small bleeding wounds after shaving, and it’s easy to see why that is bad.” “Be sure the pockets are tight enough to give pickpockets a hard time. I lost US$100 in a bar in Zimbabwe by ignoring this.” Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on Apr 8, 2010 in Migration News |

Alcohol–the New Fashion

Is alcohol the latest fashion trend among people, or is it really the way to have a good time? Either way, more and more people can’t have fun without it, and this is disturbing. Are we really that bored that good music, nice company, exciting trip, new club, etc. is not enough anymore? Alcohol has become a synonym of joy. And, to support the trend, manufacturers start producing more alcohol. In Australia,”Between 2006–07 and 2007–08, the total quantity of pure alcohol available for consumption increased by 1.4% from 168.1 million to 170.5 million litres of alcohol,” showed the Australian Bureau of Statistics. If we go back to 2005 and 2006, statistics are not looking good. Having in mind that more alcohol is being produced in recent years, we can only conclude that more is being consumed now. Alcohol is the second largest cause of drug-related deaths and hospitalisations in Australia (after tobacco) (AIHW, 2005a). Alcohol is the main cause of deaths on Australian roads. In 1998, over 2,000 deaths of the total 7,000 deaths of persons under 65 years, were related to alcohol (Ridolfo and Stevenson, 1998). Let’s look at some key points from the Alcohol Statistics in Scotland for 2009: In 2007/08 in Scotland, there were 42,430 alcohol related discharges from general hospitals–an increase of nearly 7% from the previous year (729 per 100,000 population in 2006/07). There was an increase of nearly 17% in alcohol related age standardised discharge rates from Scottish general hospitals over the last five years. In 2007/08 there were 6,817 discharges for alcoholic liver disease from general acute hospitals in Scotland. In 2007/08 there were 4,646 discharges for toxic effect of alcohol (alcohol poisoning) from general acute hospitals in Scotland.   Ireland is not falling behind–in fact, it is one of the leaders in drinking in Europe, according to the National Documentation Centre on Drug Use: “While alcohol consumption decreased from a peak of 14.3 litres of pure alcohol per adult in 2001 to 13.3 in 2006, Ireland remains among the top alcohol-consuming countries in Europe, after Luxembourg and Hungary.  In 2003, the...

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Posted on Apr 6, 2010 in Migration News |

Wear Sunscreen, Mate!

It’s not the snakes, spiders, crocodiles, sharks or jellyfish that can ruin your holiday in Australia because you can easily avoid them–it’s the sun, mate! Lying on the beach, walking, camping–pretty much any outdoor activity has the danger of sunburn. Most backpackers simply underestimate it until they suffer through it. “You will see a lot of skin cancer clinics around Bondi Junction in Sydney – the sun above Australia (and even worse in New Zealand) shines through a big hole in ozone layer and will not only burn you badly – it’s much more likely to cause skin cancer than the sun in Northern Hemisphere,” says European and North American travelers are in love with the beautiful Australian beaches because many of them are just empty–locals stay away from the direct sun. In contrast, tourists literally fry themselves to death under the sun. Due to the hot weather, they automatically uncover themselves while outside–a huge DON’T! “The sun is dangerous. Wear a big hat, sunscreen, cover up and take a water bottle with you wherever you go. People have died or nearly died because they ignored that advice,” advises Look at some of the tips below from fellow backpackers, who have learnt their lesson, and try not to repeat their mistakes. At last, enjoy the trip! “Lots of sun cream! Make sure to have enough money to last until you get a job and just have fun!” “Make sure you bring plenty of sunscreen, make sure you travel everywhere and go to all the adventure parks!” “Go…don’t think about it…live the dream and wear sunscreen…visit Ayres Rock!” “Put sun cream on during summer! I saw so many people burnt and had to lose a week due to this (pointless)…” blog.visafirst.comMore...

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Posted on Mar 18, 2010 in Living Abroad, Migration News, Working Holiday Visa |

(Un) Employment ?

Economic downturn, recession, crisis, stagnation, unemployment–we are all tired of hearing those as they bring fear and no desire for a little sweet vacation, or escape, or what have you… We got some news for you. Winter is coming to its end, and despite the economic situation that’s been ruling along with the cold for awhile, we see the sun, the beach and the fun at the end of the tunnel. Let’s take a look at some stats and see why Australia is still the place to be for working holiday for the European adventurous souls.   Unemployment Rates – January 2010 Netherlands – 4.2% Australia – 5.3% New Zealand – 7.3% Germany – 7.5% UK – 7.8% Canada – 8.3% US – 9.7% France – 10.1% Ireland – 13.8% Spain – 18.8%     Per stats at, Netherlands has the lowest unemployment rate from the countries in the EU–4.2%, while the average unemployment percent in the EU is 9.5%. Spain has  one of the highest rates of 18.8%, followed only by Latvia with 22.9%. Ireland, with its 13.8% unemployment, is not quite promising yet, either. So far, Australia’s 5.3% is a keeper. Those who want to go there on a working holiday visa and work while having all the fun from being away from home-in another continent-should consider the following: Overall, the employment increased 400 to 10,971,100. However, “Full-time employment increased 11,400 to 7,659,700 and part-time employment decreased 11,000 to 3,311,400,” according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. As a visitor on a working holiday visa for one year, you are allowed to work practically anything for six months after which you need to change the employer. If you look at the statistics, you might want to try to find either a full-time or a part-time job–don’t concentrate on the part-time only as you may have a hard time getting one. The full-time job may give you less time for fun, but on the bright side you will be paid more, and you can still escape from the routine for awhile. References:

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Posted on Apr 27, 2009 in Australia Working Holiday, Migration News, Working Holiday Visa |

Get your visa and flight as soon as possible

The recession has a negative effect on many aspect of our lives, but this is the natural way of the economy to bring order to itself after years of frivolous spending by the common consumer. It is always darkest before the dawn, that good old idiom says, but that isn’t necessarily true if you act on time. In recent news an article covered the fact that a lot of backpackers from the UK and Germany are rushing down to Australia in 2009. If you are amongst those people willing to spend the next year in Australia, then there isn’t a better time to get your Australian visa and book your flight. Obtaining a visa might take you between 2 days and two weeks, depending on the approach you chose to obtain one. You can do it by yourself, however if you need it in a hurry it is better to go through an agent, since it will cut most of the hassle and you application will be processed faster. Currently you can book a ticket from London to Sydney on British Airways’s site for as low as 518GBP. This will be the price you pay if you book now for any date of the period ~01/05 – 15/06/2009. This will soon change, however you have the great opportunity to book a cheap in the next few days. Airlines will not be able to sell low cost tickers for much longer so this summer is you chance to book a low cost flight from and to Australia. It is a great time for working holiday makers from Australia to travel to the United Kingdom and for UK backpackers to jump over to Australia. Visa FirstMore...

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Posted on Mar 20, 2009 in Australia Working Holiday, Migration News, Working Holiday Visa |

Australian Backpacker or a Trekkie?

Well, if you are both than be sure you are near Sydney in April. The reason is no other than the world premiere of the latest Star Trek movie. Australian trekkies sure are lucky to be the first to see the latest addition to Gene Roddenberry’s universe. According to BBC the upcoming movie will have it’s premiere in the Sydney Opera House on the 9th of April. Leonard Nimoy, who originally starred as Spock had joined a cause for the movie to hold it’s premiere in a small Canadian farming town called Vulcan, however that initiative did not go far, partially due to the fact Vulcan has no cinema. Visa FirstMore...

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