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IELTS Test Required for UK Visas

Posted on Mar 10, 2015 in United Kingdom |

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS), the most popular English language test, becomes the only English language test accepted for all UK visas as of April, 6th. A new test called Life Skills test will be introduced along with the General and Academic IELTS. This Life Skills test will be suitable for visa applications where lower English level is required. All UK visa candidates will be offered to pass the IELTS test in one of the 100 designated locations across the world. What is IELTS? It’s a test system with overall of 25 years history and accepted by more than 9,000 organisations, employer, governments and universities all over the world. IELTS test include listening, reading, writing and speaking. You may need to pass IELTS even if you are a native speaker as part of your visa application. The total time to pass the test is 2 hours and 45 mins. Scores are from one to nine (the highest score).   IELTS scores 9 Expert user 8 Very good user 7 Good user 6 Competent user 5 Modest user 4 Limited user 3 Extremely limited user 2 Intermittent user 1 Non user 0 Did not attempt the test No limit on the number of times you can pass IELTS test. If you are not happy with your current scores, you can register for a new one once you feel ready. The validity of the test result depends on the organisation you want to use it for. Most authorities won’t accept it if it has been issued more than 2 years ago. 2.5 million IELTS test have been taken throughout 2014. In order to book your IELTS test, you need to check the authorised centres here: www.ielts.org. For more information on UK visa requirements, contact Visafirst.com. If you found this information useful, please share...

Canadian IEC program opens (5th March) for Ireland!

Posted on Mar 9, 2015 in Canada, Migration News |

  There are three streams to the program Young Professionals – OPENED International co-op internship – OPENED Working Holiday visa – Register now and get ahead of the crowd. The IEC program has opened for the Young professional and internship streams. You need a job offer / placement offering in order to be accepted onto one of these streams. But the highly anticipated Working Holiday stream still remains closed at this point. Yet we are expecting to advise our clients of the opening date for the 10,000 IEC visas very shortly. To secure an invitation to apply for the Working Holiday visa, the key is to be prepared ahead of the crowd. Canadian immigration have changed the process many times in the last couple of years. Anyone who missed the program last year could expect to face more changes this time around too. We, at Visafirst.com, are providing our clients with A preparation guide to ensure they are best prepared to navigate through the IEC stage. A list of expected questions that you may be asked A checklist of required documents that you will need The opening times both by email and text message so you can be sure not to miss out on the short window of times that exists to submit your IEC application. The correct link for the site also. Once the program opens and you have submitted your information, you then need to wait to receive your Conditional Letter of Acceptance if you have done everything right. This will take up to 14 days if done correctly. Once you receive this, we will have just a few days to submit your visa application. So this does not give people much time to gather the information – especially when some of the documents (like police clearances) can take a few weeks to obtain. Again, Visafirst.com will be handling this visa application stage for our clients. We will be Providing our clients with a checklist of required documentation and forms for the visa application Reviewing the documentation and preparing the visa application for submission with our ICCRC...

Stricter Rules for Canadian Employers Willing to Hire LMIA-Exempt Overseas Workers

Posted on Feb 25, 2015 in Migration News |

Canada Immigration introduces new requirements for Canadian employers willing to hire overseas workers who are exempt from Labour Market Impact Assessment. Employers will need to provide information about their business, job offer, how the employee and the job qualify for the processing. What categories are considered LMIA-exempt in Canada? These are intra-company transferees assigned on a temporary employment from an affiliate company abroad; people whose work provides extraordinary benefit for Canadian economy; academic researchers and workers under international agreements (such as NAFTA). Up to now certain passport holders, including Irish and UK intra-company transferees have been able to obtain a work permit at the Canadian Port of Entry on the grounds of their qualifications, training credentials and details of the job. After the changes, the employers will have to apply for a pre-approval first. There’s an employer compliance fee, set up at CA$ 230. There’s no such fee for employers hiring overseas applicants with an open work permit. Now, the open work permit holders will need to pay a fee of CA$ 100 along with their work permit processing fee. Employers non- compliant with the new rules will be subject to penalties, fines or even a ban from hiring overseas workers. According to the Immigration Authorities “the adoption of this system will mean that all employers, whether they are hiring LMIA-exempt foreign nationals or temporary foreign workers through the LMIA process that has determined that there are no Canadians available for the job, will face the same level of scrutiny in their hiring and treatment of foreign workers.” Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. We can help you to apply for your visa fast and hassle-free today. If you found this information useful, please share...

42 percent Increase in the Number of Irish Work Permits Issued Last Year

Posted on Feb 23, 2015 in Ireland, Working Abroad |

The total number of Irish work permits issued in 2014 amounted to 5,495 which is a huge increase compared to 2013. The industries that attracted the majority of the newcomers to Ireland were the health industries and the IT sector – almost two-thirds of all work permits went in one of these business areas. Unsurprisingly, IT sector is the top one, dominating with 2,303 work permits; and another 1,446 were issued to health–related occupations. Irish work permits are grated only to people outside the EU, Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway) or Switzerland. For 2014, the highest number approvals went to India nationals (30%), 12 % to US, and 9% to Pakistani passport holders. The Irish government was questioned why Ireland needed to hire so many IT specialists from overseas. Their reply was that the work permits are only issued on the basis of applicants skills, qualifications and work experience, expected to be in high shortage in the country. Though Ireland has made a significant progress on increasing the number of students enrolled in ICT programs recently, there are still gaps in the industry that need to be fulfilled from abroad. There’s already ICT Skills Action Plan starting from now to 2018 to source the Irish ICT graduates and specialists in both directions – from Irish universities and through inward migration by returning Irish IT graduates from both EU and non-EU countries. Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. We can help you to apply for your visa fast and hassle-free today. If you found this information useful, please share...

eMedicals for New Zealand Onshore Immigration Visa

Posted on Feb 17, 2015 in Migration News, New Zealand |

If you apply for the Nz Skilled Migrant visa, you must complete a general Medical Certificate and a Chest X-Ray as part of your visa application. As of 31 March, New Zealand, similarly to Australia and Canada will introduce eMedicals for all onshore visa applicants. A total of 72 medical clinics, 54 radiology clinics and 8 eight other clinics will offer such services. All clinics across the country have been invited to join the onshore panel physician network. Being a part of this won’t cost any additional expenses to the clinics. EMedicals will replace the paper medical certificates onshore and the physicians will have to submit medical certificates and X-rays online now. Stephen Dunstan, INZ General Manager said: “eMedical is a significant change to the way we process health information for our applicants,” “eMedical supports INZ’s move to online applications and provides a more secure and efficient process for submitting immigration medicals.” Onshore visa applicants will be given a three-month transition period to submit paper medical certificates until 30 June. It is considered that the Nz health checks for visa applicants are stringent but this is due to Government’s efforts to protect the public health on one side and on the other side to guarantee that the newcomers will not incur additional costs on health issues. Usually, applicants with any of the following complaints might be denied a visa: dialysis, tuberculosis or sever haemophilia. There would be no increase to the cost of medical examinations. Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. We can help you to apply for your visa fast and hassle-free today. If you found this information useful, please share...

New Straightforward Tourist and Business Visas to the UK

Posted on Feb 11, 2015 in Migration News, United Kingdom |

The changes will come in effect in April 2015 and will affect all business and tourism visitors as well as sportspeople and entertainers visiting the UK. The number of visitor visa programs will be reduced from 15 to just 4. People will be able to apply for the right visa type and they will be entitled to more type of activities on their visitor’s visa now. The basic entry requirements remain the same but the rules and the guidelines are being made clearer and simplified. Thus, the UK Home office hopes it will give visa applicants more flexibility and will make visiting Britain simpler than ever. Visitors will be allowed to undertake a short incidental study up to 30 days (which is currently prohibited for tourist and business visitors). The new visa rules are: Visitor visa (standard) Visitor visa (for marriage or partnership) Visitor visa (for undertaking permitted paid engagements) Visitor visa (for transiting the UK) Those willing to enter the UK for a short study course, will need to apply now for a new short stay study route which will replace the existing student visitor visa. As part of the above changes, the UK government is introducing exit checks that will give the immigration authorities an opportunity to determine who is compliant with their visa length. Theresa May, Home secretary said: “Britain is open for business – our economy is growing and we are seeing record numbers of visitors flocking to the UK to see our historic sites and sample our vibrant and exciting culture. But in a global market place we must make sure we stay ahead of our competitors as we work to carry on attracting the business and leisure travellers who will help our economy grow further still. These further reforms to the immigration system are part of our work to demonstrate to the rest of the world that Britain remains open for business and that visitors are always welcome in the UK, whether they come for leisure or work.” Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. We can help you to apply for...

Applying for an Australian visa with a criminal history?

Posted on Feb 9, 2015 in Australia, Australia Working Holiday |

Can I apply for an Australian visa if I had a criminal record in the past? You need to satisfy the basic character requirements and to advise us if you have any crime conviction inside or outside Australia. You may be asked to provide a court transcript and a receipt of fine paid, as part of your visa application. Each application is assessed and decided individually, so it’s up to the Immigration authorities to decide whether you can be granted a visa or not. What are the character requirements? There are numerous questions on the criminal history on the application form for Australian working holiday visa. These include: Have you ever been convicted of an offence in any country? Have you ever been associated with an organisation engaged in violence or engaged in acts of violence(including war, insurgency, freedom fighting, terrorism, protest) either overseas or in Australia? Visafirst would ask you to confirm this information prior to your visa lodgement. What will happen if I hide my criminal history? It was recently announced that an Irish man who failed to declare his criminal records in the past, including possession of drugs and bomb-material making, was deported from Australia. He entered the country on a Working holiday visa back in 2013 without stating anything about his previous crime convictions. This was revealed by the Australian authorities only after he overstayed his visa. This guy was investigated further and deported back to Ireland. Peter Dutton, the Australian Minister of Immigration said that this should be a warning to other young people looking to enter Australia and trying to not show their criminal past. He also stated: “Australia will not be a destination for criminals to avoid charges in other countries. I have previously made it clear that one of my priorities would be to remove those with serious criminal behaviour who are not Australian citizens.This is another example of a criminal removed from the Australian community. People who do not respect the law and do not uphold the values of Australia are not welcome.” Remember, living in Australia, on a temporary...

A Record Number Migrated to New Zealand in 2014

Posted on Jan 30, 2015 in Living Abroad, Migration News, New Zealand, New Zealand immigration |

The net migration gain of 50,922 was almost doubled in 2014 compared to 22,468 from 2013. The number of migrants increased by 16 percent while the departures fell by 18 percent. The ASB Bank Senior economist Chris Tennent-Brown said: “The attractiveness of the New Zealand labour market relative to Australia’s and the rest of the world’s has, and will continue to be a key influence. We will be carefully monitoring migration figures over the coming months before coming to any conclusion about whether net migration inflows are at a peak, and about to return to more normal levels.” Migration peak was mainly due to the increased number of arrivals from India, China and Australia. More than 11,303 arrivals relocated from India and above 9,500 arrivals came from China, which made China the third-largest migrant country. Australia is still the largest source for migrants in New Zealand with more than 23,000 people migrated in 2014. The UK is the second largest source of migrants after Australia although the number of UK arrivals last year dropped down slightly. China, followed by Australia, the US and Germany contributed the biggest annual increase in the number of visitors in 2014. Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. We can help you to apply for your visa fast and hassle-free today. If you found this information useful, please share...

11 New Countries Eligible for US H-2A and H-2B visas

Posted on Jan 28, 2015 in Migration News, USA |

The US government will add 11 new countries to the list of eligible nationalities for H-2A and H-2B visas this year. The countries to be included to the scheme are: Barbados, Belize, Czech Republic, Denmark, Dominican Republic, Grenada, Haiti, Jamaica, Madagascar, Portugal, Sweden. This change was announced on 18th January, allowing US companies to hire foreign workers from the eligible countries for temporary jobs. The full list of eligible countries: Argentina Hungary Peru Australia Iceland Philippines Austria Ireland Poland Barbados Israel Romania Belize Italy Samoa Brazil Jamaica Serbia Bulgaria Japan Slovakia Canada Kiribati Slovenia Chile Latvia Solomon Islands Costa Rica Lithuania South Africa Croatia Macedonia South Korea Dominican Republic Mexico Spain Ecuador Moldova Switzerland El Salvador Montenegro Thailand Estonia Nauru Tonga Ethiopia Netherlands Turkey Fiji Nicaragua Tuvalu Grenada New Zealand Ukraine Guatemala Norway United Kingdom Haiti Panama Uruguay Honduras Papua New Guinea Vanuatu   The H-2A visa covers the agricultural type of works, while the H-2B visa covers the non-agricultural sector and is usually used for a number of lower skilled vacancies. H-2A / H-2B visas are valid for an initial period of one year. Extensions may be granted to a maximum of three years in total. Employers can apply for both H-2A and H-2B visas to employ overseas applicants from an eligible country for temporary work only. Before that, they need to apply for a labour certification, showing that no US citizen has been suitable for the position. The new change means that this temporary work program is currently available to 63 countries. Visa First is a leading international immigration consulting company. We can help you to apply for your visa fast and hassle-free today. If you found this information useful, please share...