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French Schengen Visas in a Flash

Posted on Dec 2, 2008 in Living Abroad |

Like every company offering visa processing services we have our share of cases with delays in processing. Now, there are cases when the problem is with us, and moments where authorities have a huge backlogs. Either way we try to keep you informed and sort out your visa as soon as possible. Last month we had the chance to help a customer with her French Schengen visa applications in a matter of hours. It’s a good thing she lived near our office and she was able to come by. Janine: I need a visa for my 17 year old daughter to travel to France, mother is British but daughter still has South African passport. Peter: When is she traveling? Janine: 22nd November, she has had a visa, but it expired a few months ago. Peter: And what is her name? Janine: Roxanne ******** Peter: What is the nationality of her father? Janine: South African Peter: I will check with my colleagues dealing with the French embassy and will e-mail you the required documents. Janine: I have established what is required and have all of them together but require them to be submitted, the previous company I dealt with have moved and i cannot contact them. Janine: Both my daughter & husband have settlement visas for the UK Peter: Do you need 2 visas? Peter: We can book you an appointment for early next week. Janine: Yes, what will the cost be? Peter: 70 pounds each. Janine: If I have all the docs can I drop them off or what is the best way to do it? Peter: First we have to book you 2 appointments – we can book you for the 18th or 19th of Nov. Janine: Does my daughter have to attend? Peter: No – you just bring the documents and we will attend the appointment. Peter: To book you for next week we need – full name,date of birth and payment Janine: I can come to London tomorrow or 18th to bring the docs, how do we effect payment Peter: We need the documents 2 days...

Youth Mobility Scheme – Tier 5 Visa for the UK

Posted on Dec 1, 2008 in UK Working Holiday, Working Holiday Visa |

Youth Mobility Scheme is the new name of the UK Working Holiday Scheme. Requirements remain nearly the same. A point based system applies. You must score 50 points to be able to apply. You get 30 points if you are a citizen of one of the following countries – Australia, Japan, Canada, or New Zealand. Another 10 points are awarded if you meet the age criteria (18-31). If you cover these requirements you can score another 10 points if you prove that you have at least £1,600, or their equivalent. One of our customers was a bit confused about the right visa she is after. After 15 minutes of chat with one of our representatives she was able to take the proper actions and begin the process right away. Karen: Welcome to the Visa First live chat! How can I help you today? Nadia: I’m wanting to apply for the youth mobility visa. I don’t know if its temporary worker or youth mobility migrant I’m after? Karen: Hi Nadia, how old are you and when do you intend to travel? Nadia: I’m 25, leaving on 17th of January. Karen: OK, and how much funds do you have available? Nadia: $8000 savings so far. Karen: Great! Can I take your name and date of birth please? Nadia: Nadia *****, **/**/**** Karen: And what’s your home address, contact number and email address Nadia: 15/ 178 ******** Street B******** 0407009313, ******* Karen: And can you get a bank statement with 3 months transactions history? Original one? Nadia: Can I copy from Internet banking? Karen: If on the bank statement there are the following details: Karen: Your name Karen: Account number Karen: Financial institution name and logo Karen: Date of the statement Karen: And the Internet copy should be accompanied with a supporting letter from your bank on company headed paper, confirming the authenticity of the statement provided. Karen: And also the stamp of the bank should appear on all the pages of the statement Nadia: Okay, I can get but not right away… Once I get that what next? Karen: You need...

A new movie about Australia

Posted on Nov 28, 2008 in Uncategorized, Videos |

Now playing in theaters is a new movie called “Australia“. It was released Down Under earlier this week (Wednesday). According to Nielsen EDI the movie grossed $1,307,853 in ticket sales on its opening. Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman play the leading roles of Lady Sarah Ashley and Drover. The plot takes place in  northern Australia before World War II. Adventure, Drama, War, Western – This is what you will find under Genre in IMDB. It sounds interesting as it is, however I doubt that these for words are able to describe a movie offering a little something for each viewer. For all of potential Australia working holidaymakers this would be a good occasion to familiarise yourself with some Australian slang. Despite the fact that it is a fictional movie, involving some real world events around WWII, it might give you an idea of how things were back then. Enough talking, go out there and see the movie!...

How do I go about claiming my New Zealand tax back?

Posted on Oct 10, 2008 in Working Holiday Visa |

After their 12 months are up, a lot of  the working holiday makers staying in New Zealand decide to jump over to Australia. Quite often you can aid your stay in Australia by claiming overpaid New Zealand taxes. Also, when you enter Australia you should have an Australian Tax File Number, in order to get a job. It is not a bad idea to get one before you go. A customer of ours fits the profile. He is already in Australia and about to go job hunting. He has several questions, to which we have answers :). Sonia: Welcome to the Visa First live chat! How can I help you today? Alan: I worked for 1 year in New Zealand. I am now in Australia – how do i go about claiming my NZ tax back ? Sonia: Hi Alan – If I can get your contact number, I can get a member of our TaxBack team to give you a call and they can advise on how to go about claiming your NZ tax back. Alan: Thanks – +61 (0)40 555 5555. One more question – I’m about to start job hunting in Oz. Do I need to visit immigration and pick up a work visa and tax number? How do I go about obtaining these? Thanks for your help. Sonia: Not a problem. What type of passport do you hold? Alan: I hold a British passport. Sonia: So you do not already hold an Australian Working Holiday Visa? Alan: Yes, I have a working visa. Would I have to go and pick up some actual paperwork and be issued with a tax number ? Sonia: When your Australian Working Holiday Visa was approved, you would have received a Visa Grant Notification (VGN) letter. This is the document you must carry with you at all times. Alan: Yes, I have a copy of that with me – what about a tax number ? Sonia: If you do not already have the visa label for the AUS WHV inside your passport, you can go into a Department of Immigration...

Australia thinks for you and your needs

Posted on Oct 9, 2008 in Uncategorized |

It is nice to know that you are travelling to a country, which is able to accommodate most of your needs, especially the basic ones. Life must have been a bit harder before the expansion of the Internet. Working holidaymakers and backpackers in general should find this useful. is a public register of toilets, located all around Australia. A government able to produce and maintain such a site is surely 100% in service to the public ;). I personally get a laugh out of the “Suggest a Toilet” page, but I see an emmerging community of conscientious...

Anti-Tourism Commercials – Australia vs. New Zealand

Posted on Oct 8, 2008 in Videos |

“In shopping mall design, the Gruen transfer refers to the moment when consumers respond to “scripted disorientation” cues in the environment. It is named for Austrian architect Victor Gruen” Wikipedia The Gruen Transfer is also a very popular show in Australia. Not long ago they gave two tourist agencies the task sell the unsellable. In a funny twist they end up making videos on invading New Zealand :). The logo at the end of the second video leaves a very odd idea in peoples minds. In order to restore balance in the universe, The Gruen Transfer released another video so New Zealand can have their pay-back :). I’ve literally “stumbled upon” these videos while playing around with the Stumble! button. It seems like none of the sides consider the videos offensive. One of the comments I came across was from a New Zealand guy, saying –  “New Zealand has a navy! Both ships are in Auckland most of the time, and the big one had no accident since 10 months – how do you like that!” It’s nice to see that people can make a laugh out a it and don’t get...

Australia – Year Out

Posted on Oct 7, 2008 in Australia Working Holiday, Videos, Working Holiday Visa |

“2190 photos in 90 seconds from a ‘working holiday’ May 2004 – May 2005″ – this is how the video is described on Youtube. These photos capture the life of a working holidaymaker. 90 seconds briefly describe 12 months in Australia. It is hard to suggest that such a video can make any sense at all. Surprisingly, I was able to figure out most of the things I was, so I hope so will you. Image how many things await you Down...

Is it too late to apply for my 2nd year visa?

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 in Australia Working Holiday, Working Holiday Visa |

Hello there, dear visitors! It’s Monday and we are ready with the next piece of advice for working holidaymakers. If you wish to apply for your second Australia working holiday visa and have only a couple of days left, it might not be too late to take action. Since the health check is no longer required, you can get your visa extension quicker than before. Karen: Welcome to the Visa First live chat! How can I help you today? Susan: Hi, how are you? I’m currently on a working holiday visa and it expires the 23rd of this month, is it too late for me to apply for my second year now so I don’t have to leave Australia. Karen: Hey Susan, I’m OK. How are you? Karen: It’s not too late for you to apply for the visa. Have you already completed the forms? Susan: No, not yet. Will I not get in trouble for been in Australia past that date before the visa is granted ? Karen: It wouldn’t be a problem. Karen: Do you want me to confirm your personal information now, complete the Employment verification form and fax it back? Susan: If i get you to confirm it, does that mean if I changed my mind not to apply it wouldn’t matter ? I’m just trying to decide in the next day or so, but not a 100 per cent yet. Karen: If you want you can just think about this another day or two and get back to us with our final decision. Susan: How much does it cost to apply and is that all that’s involved, just sending back the form, or is there other requirements ? Karen: The price is 330 AUD. There will be no additional costs involved. Susan: What about a health check ? Karen: It’s no longer required. Susan: Is that just a recent change ? Karen: It’s been for a couple of months. Susan: So just 330 in total ? I don’t have a credit card so where would I pay with cash ? Karen: Yes, we have...

Traveling to Australia with Vanvisa Mahavichai

Posted on Oct 6, 2008 in Migration News |

First time in a foreign country can prove quite challenging for most people. If you plan to stay for a while, you need to consider many factors – employment, a place to stay, social life, etc. Vanvisa, or just Visa, is a traveler. She is from Thailand, however she loves to travel and meet new people, so you can easily say she is a citizen of the world. Back in 2005 she went to Australia to take a study course and travel for a while. Visa was more than kind to share her experience in Australia , with me and all of you, by answering a few of my questions. Svet: Hey, Visa, can you name 5 things you can’t imagine your stay in Australia without? Visa: Can it be emotions, or qualities as well? I would have to say – a brave heart, patience, hope, friends, and money. Svet: How did you finance your travel to Australia? Visa: I’ve worked so long before I went to Australia. The  trip from Thailand to Australia didn’t cost that much, so I was able to afford it. You just need to plan when and how much. I like to do it when I go with friends. I take full responsibly for planning, calculating the costs, etc. Svet: Have you had any trouble finding accommodation? It can be hard to find a place to stay, if you don’t know anyone. Visa: Hmm yep, but I was lucky to meet nice people and we came to be friends, so it was OK. First, I stayed with Homestay for a month, then moved to live in the city and share accommodation with Indonesians and Thai people. Afterwords I moved to live with Korean and Japanese people. It was an enriching experience, to get to know other cultures. It was a lot of fun too. Svet: So many cultures, with their different ways… I can only imagine the things you’ve learned form your encounters. Tell me, did you have any problems with your employers in Australia? Visa: I’ve worked there only part time, so I...

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