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Applications for 2019 Canadian Working Holiday programme now being accepted

Posted on Dec 10, 2018 in Canada, Canadian Immigration, Working Holiday Visa |

Considering a big move next year? Perhaps Canada will be your destination of choice. The 2019 International Experience Canada (IEC) programme is now open for applications from young people (aged 18-35) around the world. Approximately 30 countries have a reciprocal work and travel agreement with Canada. Under the Working Holiday programme citizens can live, work and travel in Canada for up to 24 months. There are two other categories which applicants can choose to apply for within the IEC programme. The Young Professionals Category is open to people who have a job offer related to their qualification before they apply. And full-time students looking to take part in internships and work placement programmes can apply under the International Co-op programme. How you can apply for a Canadian Working Holiday Visa In order for your Canadian working holiday visa application to be successful, you will need to meet a number of eligibility criteria. To be eligible for the Working Holiday category, you must: be a citizen of the 30 eligible countries (more details here) have an Irish passport which will be valid for the duration of your stay in Canada (note: your work permit will not be longer than the validity of your passport) be aged between the ages of 18 and 35 (inclusive) have a minimum of CAN$2,500 to help cover your expenses in Canada have health insurance for the duration of your stay (note: you may have to present evidence of this insurance when you arrive in Canada) be admissible to Canada have a round-trip booking or demonstrate that you will have the financial resources to purchase a departure ticket at the end of your authorized stay in Canada not be accompanied by dependents pay the relevant fees. Note: Once you have submitted your application, you will be entered into a pool of candidates. Applicants are then drawn randomly from pools. If you are selected you will be sent an invitation to apply for a work permit. Draws continue until all places are filled for the year. Visas are processed on a first-come, first-served basis. Successful candidates have...

OZ working holiday visas – good news for Irish applicants

Posted on Nov 15, 2018 in Australia, Australian Immigration, Backpacking, Work in Australia, Working Holiday Visa |

Young Irish workers have been granted an additional five years in which they can venture down under for work and travel. Prospective Irish travellers can now apply for an Australian working holiday visa up to the age of 35. Successful applicants can spend up to two years working and travelling around Australia. The previous age limit had been 30 for Irish candidates. The agreement between the Irish and Australian governments is reciprocal, meaning Aussies can also come to work in Ireland. Irish Minister for Foreign Affairs Simon Coveney said the purpose of the move was to “promote cultural exchange and strengthen people-to-people links by creating opportunities for young people to travel.” Ireland and Australia first signed the deal which created the working holiday programme in 1975. Since then, it is estimated that more than 275,000 young Irish people have journeyed to Australia under this scheme to gain valuable life experience. In fact, more than 8,600 Australian working holiday visas were issued to Irish citizens in 2017 alone – with many living and working in regional and rural areas of Australia during their stay. How you can apply If you’re interested in securing an Australian working holiday visa, you can apply with Visa First. Aside from meeting the age limit requirements, there are a number of other criteria you must meet in order to apply for this visa. These include: First visa – you must not have previously held an Australian working holiday visa Passport validity – the expiry date of your passport must cover the duration of your stay in Australia Sufficient funds – you must provide a bank statement as proof you have enough money to support yourself in Australia (AUD 5,000) Personal requirements – you must be of good health and character Children – the visa does not allow you to bring dependent children with you to Australia Apply for your Australian working holiday visa...

Cutoff Age Now 35 for Australians On IEC Canada Visa

Posted on Sep 27, 2018 in Migration News |

  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...

New 10 Year Visa Announced for Investors and Professionals in the UAE

Posted on Aug 29, 2018 in Investor Visa |

The UAE recently announced that it would issue 10 year visas for professionals and investors and allow 100% ownership in mainland companies. These changes come as part of a plan to encourage foreign investment and attract talent and will be implemented at the end of 2018 as part of reforms focusing on fostering growth in professions and industries that meet the UAE’s specific needs. Speaking at a seminar in Dubai, the Chief Economic Advisor at the Department of Economic Development, Dr Raed Safadi said key criteria of the new law will be to attract investors and bring in all kinds of talent (source). Technology entrepreneurs, influencers, high-end individual investors and specialists in the areas of science, space, and medicine would be eligible for the 10-year visa. Replying to a question about the eligibility of doctors, engineers and architects to be part of the 10-year programme, Dr Al Mulla, Executive Chairman of Baker McKenzie Habib Al Mulla, said he didn’t expect all these categories will be eligible. “However, some specialists could be included in certain fields like medicine and so on but I don’t think it will be overall for everyone,” he added. It is expected that the new reforms will be focused on those professions and industries that meet the UAE’s strategic needs. Moreover, professionals holding a master’s degree or equivalent, a certain minimum salary bracket and certain designation – directors, etc. – could also be considered, he added. On the possible eligibility for 100% ownership in the mainland, Dr Al Mulla said we still need to await full details. “But from what we have seen, the government is looking for global companies with global means like Google to start with. Those multinationals whose businesses are spread all over the continents. I think technology entrepreneurs, for example Tesla and so on, are the type of companies that will be part of 100 per cent foreign ownership. I think once they try it and see how it works, then they may start expanding it to other companies and industries. But to start with, it will be these multinationals.” (source) Full details are yet...

Please Beware of Scam Emails!

Posted on Jul 12, 2018 in Migration News |

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...

Student Visa Applications for Australia Increase by Almost 22%

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

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...

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

Posted on Jul 10, 2018 in Migration News |

  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...

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

Posted on Jun 8, 2018 in Migration News |

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...

Travelling to Russia for the World Cup? You’ll need a FAN ID.

Posted on May 30, 2018 in Migration News |

Here’s everything you need to know Football fans who are travelling to attend football matches during the World Cup will not require visas to enter Russia. Instead all match goers will need to get their hands on a ‘FAN ID’. If you’re planning to cheer your country on at the World Cup here’s everything you need to know in order to apply for a FAN ID. What is a FAN ID? A FAN ID is a mandatory document for all the World Cup spectators. It is a small laminated form which contains some details about you. It will grant you multiple visa-free entries into Russia for the duration of the tournament. You will need to have your FAN ID with you in order to gain access to a stadium Present your passport (it must be valid for at least 6 months after your departure from Russia. It must also be signed by the passport holder and undamaged) and FAN ID at passport control at a border crossing point of the Russian Federation. You will be issued an immigration card. Keep it until you leave Russia. How can I get my FAN ID? FAN IDs are only issued to match ticket holders. So before you apply for your FAN ID, you will need to purchase a ticket to a game during the tournament. Once you have bought your ticket, keep your ticket/ticket request number at hand as you will need this when you apply for your FAN ID. You can apply for your FAN ID at If you will be attending multiple matches at the tournament you will not need multiple IDs as a FAN ID is issued once for all matches. Each FAN ID is valid from 10 days prior to the first match and end 10 days after the final match. What happens after I complete my FAN ID application? If the application is approved, you will receive a FAN ID either: By collecting it at the FAN ID Distribution Centres in Russia Postal or courier delivery to your home or office etc If you are collecting...


Posted on Nov 2, 2017 in Migration News |

We are getting reports that some people are receiving suspicious emails from a company called – Visafirst Global Fastservice. In the emails Visafirst Global Fastservice claim that they are the real 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 DOES NOT require payments via the parties mentioned above. If you receive a similar suspicious email from Visafirst Global Fastservice DO NOT trust them, provide any personal details or information to them or call them. We highly recommend that 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. Thank you! Visa...

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