Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 2

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London office:
11 Bolt Court
Fleet Street
London EC4A 3DQ
United Kingdom
Tel: +44 (0)20 7842 0800
Fax: +44 (0)20 7353 0100
Riga office:
Kalku Street 7
3rd Floor
Riga, LV-1050
Tel: +371 781 4121
Fax: +371 781 4123
Bangalore office:
210A II Floor, Cears Plaza
Residency Road
Bangalore- 560 025
Tel: +91 (0)(80) 2075031/32
Fax: +91 (0)(80) 2075170

Dear Subscriber!

Welcome to our Special Holiday Edition of News!

In this issue, you will again be able to read the latest news on immigration and visas around the World. In addition to this, we offer a review of immigration news highlights from 2003. I am sure that you will find something that interests you and perhaps even makes you smile during this holiday season.

In 2004, we will continue to offer FREE ASSESSMENTS for UK residents interested in migration to Canada, Australia, and to the UK under HSMP. Complete our IMMIGRATION QUIZ found in this issue for a chance to win a valuable prize!

Seasons Greetings from all of us at and Best Wishes for the New Year!

Elfa Kere
Editor, News


UK Work permits

  1. Citizenship ceremonies planned

Canadian Skilled Migration

  1. Permanent Residence Card requirements for immigrants.

Australian Immigration

  1. Australian Working Holidaymaker Scheme now included French nationals

US Visas

  1. Department of Homeland Security gets rid of Special Registration for foreign visitors

EU Visas

  1. Eastern European nationals may not have free access to Netherlands Labour Market.


The year 2003 saw many changes to immigration regulations around the world. During the first half of the year we witnessed major changes to UK immigration programmes. Regulations were relaxed concerning the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme, which made it easier for migrants to gain entry to the UK under this scheme. Working Holiday Makers in the UK are now allowed to work in whatever job sector they wish, creating more lucrative opportunities for these temporary workers. The second half of 2003 saw the continuation of the German green card programme as well as major changes to the Canadian skilled worker programme, which has opened the programme to a greatly increased number of potential skilled migrants. Finally, in an attempt to boost the UK economy further changes were also made to HSMP, including a drop in the minimum points requirement, opening the door to many more highly skilled migrants. In the articles below, these changes are laid out in more detail – read further to see if you might now be able to come under one of these skilled migration programmes!


Remember, if you are resident in the UK you are entitled to a FREE telephone assessment of your chances to migrate to the UK under HSMP!


The UK Government has backed a plan for citizenship ceremonies to welcome new British citizens into local communities.

A survey was conducted UK-wide showing strong support for the plan that British symbols, such as the union flag and the national anthem, should be a part of the new ceremonies, alongside local symbols in Wales, Scotland, and Northern Ireland.

In addition to the above plans, the fees for applying for citizenship are also to increase for the first time in eight years to cover the application processing costs, to hold the ceremony and to ensure that payments to local authorities are covered.

Eight pilot areas in the UK will hold ceremonies for new citizens in early 2004 before extending the events to the rest of the country. The ceremonies come as part of further Government reforms to promote the significance of acquiring British citizenship.

Responses to the survey made suggestions for local/ national music that could be played in addition to the national anthem. People also approved the idea of local dignitaries or celebrities attending. It was suggested that cultural symbols and traditions of the local area be included.

The ceremonies will be a requirement for all citizenship candidates who lodge their application on or after 1 January 2004, in addition to the requirement of swearing allegiance to the Queen, but also of upholding the UK’s rights, freedoms and democratic values.

The proposed reforms, which will be set out in the Nationality, Immigration and Asylum Act 2002, aim to make the attainment of citizenship a significant and meaningful event and may encourage more permanent residents to apply for citizenship.

The fees changes are as follows:

6(1) Individual£150.00£150.00£68.00£218.00
6(1) Married£150.00£150.00£136.00£286.00
Reg. Adult£120.00£85.00£68.00£153.00
Reg. Minor Single£120.00£144.00 £144.00
Reg. Minor Multiple£120.00£144.00 £144.00
Renunciation£20.00£81.00 £81.00
  1. Naturalisation 6 (1) individual: If your country of origin has no historical ties to the UK.
  2. Naturalisation 6 (1) married: As above but joint application by husband and wife.
  3. Naturalisation 6 (2): If you are an overseas national married to a British citizen.
  4. Adult Registration: This applies to citizens of British overseas territories, British overseas citizens and other British nationals, excluding British citizens, who wish to become British citizens.
  5. Minor Registration: These applications are always classed as registration even if parents are applying for naturalisation.
  6. Renunciation: Relinquishing British citizenship in favour of another country's nationality, for example, where the other country, does not allow dual nationality.

Call us on 0207 842 0800 for a consultation on British citizenship


Remember, if you are resident in the UK you are entitled to a FREE assessment of your chances to migrate to Canada as a Skilled Worker!


Starting 31 December 2003, a permanent resident card (PR card) will be required for permanent residents wishing to re-enter Canada aboard any commercial transportation (airplane, boat, train or bus). A permanent resident is defined as someone who is considered a landed migrant but who has not yet become a Canadian citizen/passport holder.

The purpose of the PR card is to combat illegal entry into Canada. It will replace the paper version of the document called “IMM 1000 Record of Landing” and will become the official proof-of-status document for Canadian permanent residents. Since the card is not easy to forge, it will provide permanent residents with secure and convenient proof of their permanent resident status when re-entering Canada. The PR card will make it much easier for immigration officials to properly identify permanent residents at borders.

This new process will require that current permanent residents apply for the PR card whilst they are in Canada. The application and further information can be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada's Web site at Existing Canadian permanent residents who are presently located outside of Canada without a PR card should visit a Canadian consulate or visa office to obtain a temporary travel document. This applies for permanent residents who will be travelling back to Canada on or after 31 December 2003. The costs for this limited-use travel document is CAD$50. The nearest overseas Canadian consulate can also be found on the Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s Web site at


Remember, if you are resident in the UK you are entitled to a FREE assessment of your chances to migrate to Australia!

New working holiday visa scheme with France – 24 November 2003

Australia has recently signed a reciprocal Working Holiday Maker arrangement with France opening up new opportunities for young Australians to experience the French lifestyle and culture. The programme will also allow young French people to come to Australia and work and holiday temporarily for up to one year.

The programme will provide young Australians a chance to gain valuable skills overseas in Europe, thereby increasing Australia's competitiveness in the global economy. The programme also encourages young people from France to come to Australia on working holidays.

France is now the 17th country to join Australia's reciprocal scheme administered by the Department of Immigration and Multicultural and Indigenous Affairs (DIMIA). Italy, as reported in our Latest News section, had become the 16th country to sign a Working Holiday Maker arrangement with Australia just recently in October. Both programmes will come into effect on 1 January 2004.

In addition to economic benefits, the programme also boosts tourism to Australia and benefits industries that rely heavily on seasonal casual labour at peak times, especially in the hospitality and agricultural.

More than 88,750 visas were issued under the scheme last year.

Under the arrangement between Australia and France, people aged between 18 and 30 can apply for working holiday visas for up to 12 months. Work undertaken in Australia must be incidental to the main purpose of holidaying and employment for more than three months with any one employer is not allowed. To find out more about Australia’s Working Holiday Maker programme, please see


Special Registration Programme Cancelled– 2 December 2003

The US Department of Homeland Security (DHS) has announced recently that it is getting rid of main aspects of the controversial National Security Entry/Exit Registration System (NSEERS) program, often referred to as the “Special Registration Programme.” The Special Registration system had required that male nationals of more than twenty-four countries (mostly from the Middle East), residing in or visiting the US, to report to DHS offices in the States to be fingerprinted, photographed and interviewed. Deportation proceedings were begun for over 13,000 men of the more than 70,000 individuals interviewed.

Only two key aspects of the program will be suspended. Under the news regulations, the DHS has cancelled the requirement that male nationals of those twenty-four countries listed under NSEERS rules have to report for interviews within 30 days of their arrival to the US as well as once per year at a certain set time. Nevertheless, registration will continue at US borders and ports of entry, at the time of departure from the US and on a subjective “case-by-case” basis, at the discretion of the DHS.

Further changes also include the opportunity for the DHS to request additional registration interviews with these foreign nationals who have non-immigrant status in the US. At their discretion, the DHS will notify these particular visitors in cases “where it may be necessary to determine whether the visitor is complying with the conditions of his or her non-immigrant visa status and admission.”

The main changes mean that men who were required to re-register previously won’t have to register again unless they are specifically called in by the DHS as one of the “case-by-case” registrants.

Some commentators have emphasised that the changes demonstrate that the Special Registration Programme has been a failure, and have called for further changes. An executive of the American Immigration Lawyer’s Association has stated that “we hope that DHS’s actions today reflect their willingness to review other failed measures that the Department of Justice had initiated. These programs have not made us safer. What have they done? They have left immigrant communities feeling besieged, harmed our relations with foreign governments, and wasted precious resources.”

Further criticism has been expounded by other immigration advocates, who question how successful the “case-by-case” re-registration programme will be now, especially if one fails to receive the initial notification to arrive at a DHS office for questioning.

The DHS has confirmed that those men who are requirement to re-register already would still be penalised if they don’t, even under this new rule. The DHS contend that this is fair, and that the new SEVIS programme which will track foreign students and exchange visitors and the new US-VISIT entry/exit programme should cover most of the Special Registration programme requirements.


Restrictions on Eastern European Workers in Netherlands may continue - 26 November 2003

The Netherlands Government is considering continuing with the current restriction on nationals of Countries who will be joining the European Union (EU) in May 2004. A parliamentary majority wants to keep out nationals of EU accession countries for two years in an attempt to keep more jobs open for unemployed Dutch nationals. This will not affect entry based on the usual Dutch work permit/visa scheme or entry based on the Association Agreement between certain Eastern European Countries and the European Community.

Social Affairs State Secretary Mark Rutte has proposed this and several alternatives to the Dutch Cabinet, which was expected to approve the plan by the end of November, but has yet to do so.

The alternatives proposed include the following: the first suggestion is to close the borders to East European workers but allowing them to obtain a work permit as long as they have a signed employment contract, but without the need to provide evidence of recruitment from within the Netherlands. The second suggestion is simply to allow free movement of labour, as laid out in the EU’s acquis communautaire, and the third possibility would be to strengthen work permit requirements.

The parliamentary majority fear an influx of cheap labour from countries such as Poland and Slovakia, which could make it even more difficult for unemployed Dutch nationals to find a job. Other EU member states such as Germany and Austria are closing their borders to EU accession country nationals for a two-year period as part of their transitional process. However, countries such as the UK, Ireland, Denmark and Sweden have announced that they would open their borders immediately to East European nationals who will become part of the EU in 2004. The Netherlands was also expected to follow suit.

If you have a job offer in any EU country, please feel free to contact one of our UK immigration or EU visa consultants on +44 (0)20 7842 0800.

Learn about what each of our offices does!

UK OFFICE: Headquarters
Location: 11 Bolt Court is located between McDonalds and Starbucks down Fleet Street in Central London.
Closest tube: Blackfriars, Chancery Lane, or Temple
Contact us on +44 (0)20 7842 0800

Responsible for:

  • UK work permits and visas
  • UK HSMP scheme
  • Australia migration and work permits
  • Canadian migration and work permits
  • US visas
  • New Zealand migration and work permits

LATVIA OFFICE: Eastern European main office
Location: Old Town, Riga, on Kalku Street 7, 3rd floor
Walking distance from Central bus and train stations, all major hotels
Contact us on +371 781 4121

Responsible for:

  • All European work permits
  • Local Australian migration and work pemrits
  • Local Canadian migration and work permits
  • US Green Card lottery
  • All website development

INDIA OFFICE: Asian main office
Location: Bangalore, Residency Road
Contact us on +91 (0)(80) 2075031/32

Responsible for:

  • Local Representative Office
  • Liaison with other offices
  • Corporate work permit services
    • European visas
    • Australian work permit visas


Answer the following questions and e-mail the replies to for a chance to win a bottle of champagne or Christmas gift certificate for or British Airways. E-mails demonstrating the greatest number of correct answers will be placed in a drawing. The drawing will be held on 31 December 2003 and winners will be notified by e-mail.

  1. What is the new pass mark for the Canadian skilled worker programme?
  2. Which of the following countries welcomes the most migrants annually?
    1. Australia
    2. New Zealand
    3. United Kingdom
    4. Canada
  3. Which of the following countries will NOT allow citizens of EU accession countriesfree access to the labour market beginning May 2004?
    1. United Kingdom
    2. Germany
    3. Ireland
    4. Netherlands
  4. What year was / BCL Immigration Services founded?
  5. What is the current pass mark for Skilled migration to Australia?

Copyright 2003