Workpermit.com Newsletter, Volume 2, Number 3

CONTACT US AT THE LOCATION NEAREST YOU!

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
Latvia
Tel: +371 781 4121
Fax: +371 781 4123
Bangalore office:
210A II Floor, Cears Plaza
Residency Road
Bangalore- 560 025
India
Tel: +91 (0)(80) 2075031/32
Fax: +91 (0)(80) 2075170

Dear Subscriber!

We would like to wish all of our clients and subscribers a happy and prosperous 2004 ahead!

In this issue, you will be able to read the latest news on immigration and visas around the World. In addition to this, we offer an editorial on the future of immigration law in various countries in 2004, a sort of prospective on potential changes to immigration programmes around the world this year. I hope you find something that interests you in this edition!

This year we will continue to offer FREE ASSESSMENTS for UK residents interested in migration to Canada, Australia, and to the UK under HSMP. You have another chance to complete our IMMIGRATION QUIZ found in this issue this month for a chance to win a valuable prize!

We hope everyone enjoyed the holiday season and we are ready to help you with your immigration needs in 2004.

Elfa Kere
Editor, workpermit.com News

IN THIS EDITION:

UK Work permits

  1. Home Office to deal with undocumented asylum seekers

Canadian Work permits

  1. Canada border services agency created

Australian Immigration

  1. Migrants Drawn to Regional Areas under New Initiatives

US Visas

  1. New Immigration Initiative Announced

EU Visas

  1. Netherlands - INCREASE IN IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS FROM MAY

UK WORK PERMIT SECTION

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!

UK HOME OFFICE TO DEAL WITH UNDOCUMENTED ASYLUM SEEKERS – 19 January 2004

Britain’s Home Office has proposed new legislation that would require airlines to make copies of passengers' travel documents and /or passports in order to help prevent abuse of the UK’s asylum programme.

The amendments to the Asylum and Immigration Bill proposed would grant the Government authorisation to require commercial airline carriers to copy passengers’ travel documents before they board the plane. This move is part of the Government's plan to tackle abuse of the asylum system by individuals who deliberately destroy their travel documents in order to claim asylum under a fake name.

Airlines operating certain high-risk routes will be asked to copy the documents that passengers use to check-in. The Government believes that this action would help tackle this abuse of the asylum system, and could also help protect the airlines from carriers liability charges they might otherwise incur.

After consulting with several carriers, airlines have been asked to take copies of passengers' travel papers on certain routes on a trial basis. Copies would be taken before passengers board the aircraft.

The Home Office Minister, Beverley Hughes, welcomes this initiative and highlights that this is a key part of the Government’s work to deal with reforming the final parts of the asylum system in place in the UK.

The pilot scheme on two selected routes would evaluate the effectiveness of such a scheme and how this might work in practice. The six-month trial would also help establish whether a voluntary scheme could be effective or whether a compulsory scheme would be required.

The Government hopes that asylum abuse can be tackled with this simple new measure without imposing additional costs to the airlines.

CANADIAN IMMIGRATION SECTION

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!

CANADA BORDER SERVICES AGENCY CREATED - December 2003

On 12 December 2003, the Canadian Government announced the creation of the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA), which will be a part of the Department of Public Safety and Emergency Preparedness (DPSEP). The CBSA will be created on this, the second anniversary of the Canada-United States Smart Border Declaration, with the aim of building on the Declaration’s success to ensure the goals of economic security and public safety in both countries. The CBSA will continue to use risk management principles to allow the free-flow of low-risk foreign nationals and goods into Canada and to concert efforts on high-risk travellers and commercial traffic in a more effective manner.

Along with the creation of the CBSA, several employees from the Canada Customs and Revenue Agency (CCRA), Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) and the Canadian Food Inspection Agency (CFIA) were also transferred to the new body.

Formally, the CBSA will be comprised of the Customs program, which was formerly a part of the CCRA, the intelligence, interdiction and enforcement functions, formerly a part of CIC, and the passenger and initial import inspection services at ports of entry, formerly with the CFIA. Immigration policy will essentially remain the responsibility of CIC in order to protect the interests of immigrants and refugees. This body will continue to be present at all major Canadian airports and land crossings to allow entry to new Canadians and to make immigration decisions. CFIA’s import service centres will continue to deal with importers of commercial shipments of plants, animals and food products.

The transition aims to be smooth in terms of providing services. All employees will remain in the same location until further notice. The only major change is that these transferred employees will now offer services in representation of the Minister responsible for the CBSA.

As the permanent structure of the CBSA is developed, relevant consultations will take place with all interested individuals as the permanent structure of the CBSA is being developed. Any further changes will be announced on this website.

AUSTRALIAN IMMIGRATION SECTION

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

Migrants Drawn to Regional Areas under New Initiatives – 12 January 2004

Recently more migrants to Australia have been choosing to settle and live in the multicultural hotspot of Darwin in Australia’s Northern Territory.

On 12 January the Minister for Immigration Philip Ruddock has announced new initiatives with the aim to attract more skilled migrants and refugees to the regional areas of Australia.

According to the most recent census, approximately 19,160 of people born overseas but living in Australia were settled in Darwin, and most of these migrants were from the UK and New Zealand.

In 2002-2003, only 130 visas were granted to people under State/Territory and regional migration programmes for the Northern Territory. This is an increase, however, of over 130% from the previous fiscal year.

Over 500 visas have been granted to migrants who wished to settle in this region since 1997. Visa allocation to regional areas continues to increase, but the Minister claims that more can and should be done to assist regional areas of Australia by offering them skilled workers. This is what the measures announced on 12 January aim to do.

Beginning 1 July 2004, individuals who want to come to Australia as skilled migrants will be granted a three-year temporary residence visa if they commit to living and working in regional Australia. After two years they will be able to apply for permanent residency.

Also being made available is a new category of visa for self-funded independent retirees to encourage them to settle in regional areas. Under this category, certain Australian States/Territories will be able to sponsor these self-funded retirees who intend to settle in regional Australia. These individuals benefit Australia both from their capital investment and the money they spend while in Australia.

More details on the new visa categories will become available once further information is announced by DIMIA.

US VISA SECTION - REWRITE

US - New Immigration Initiative Announced - 7 January 2004

President Bush has recently announced a major immigration initiative that will affect millions of illegal immigrants living in the United States. The program will change the immigration system in the US drastically and allow the chance for approximately seven to 14 million illegal immigrants to change their status in the US to a legal one. The President outlined a new temporary worker program that is designed to match “wiling workers with willing employers,” and is intended to provide legal status to millions of workers illegally working in the US as well as workers abroad who are seeking employment in the US.

The main aspects of the proposal are outlined below:

  1. The program intends to be “clear and efficient” and employers are to get decisions quickly on bringing in a worker.
  2. Workers in the US must have a job in order for them to be allowed to stay, and workers abroad must have a job offer before they travel to the US.
  3. A worker will be able to obtain a three-year, renewable visa. The visa will be revoked if the worker is not employed by the sponsoring employer or if the worker breaks the law.
  4. Employers will first need to attempt to recruit US citizens via a government-sponsored web site and must first hire any willing Americans available to do the job before the job is offered to a foreign worker.
  5. Employers will have to report those guest workers who leave their employment.
  6. Workers in the US without legal status will have to pay a fee to participate in the program; workers outside the US will not be required to pay a fee.
  7. Temporary guest workers will receive a card that will allow them to legally enter and exit the US; current re-entry bans that now exist for people overstaying their visas or who enter the US without authorisation would not apply.
  8. Guest workers would be offered financial incentives to go home. They will get credit for social security payments and will be able to set up bank accounts from which they can draw when they leave the US.
  9. Temporary guest workers would continue to be eligible to apply for green cards.
  10. The annual allotment of green cards will be increased (though how significantly was not announced)

Basically, the President stated that immigrants benefit the US as they are filling jobs that are being generated that US citizens do not want to fill. The temporary guest worker program would also address the fear that many immigrants have of returning home and not being allowed to re-enter to US on any visa. The President emphasised that American immigration policy should allow willing immigrants to fill jobs that are unfilled by Americans.

President Bush also met privately today with Mexican President Vicente Fox at the Summit of the Americas in Monterrey, Mexico, and the two discussed the President’s proposal. As more than half of the illegal workers in the United States are Mexican citizens, President Bush is looking for strong support for this proposal from President Fox.

EU VISA NEWS

Netherlands - INCREASE IN IMMIGRATION APPLICATIONS FROM MAY (January 2004)

A new report predicts that up to 10,000 additional people will apply for immigration to the Netherlands annually due to the impact of the next EU accession round in May, when ten new countries will join the EU.

A Dutch government think tank has reported that most of these immigration applicants will come from the Czech Republic, Hungary, Poland and Slovakia.

These four countries, along with Cyprus, Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Malta and Slovenia, will become full members of the EU on 1 May this year. This event has been dubbed “the big bang” among Eurocrats since this is the biggest expansion in EU history.

The current Dutch coalition government has asked this organisation to examine how EU enlargement might affect the economy and immigration. Certain coalition party members have recently expressed concern about the potential severe increase in migration from Central and Eastern Europe.

Nevertheless, the report’s figures were lower than expected, helping to calm down Ministers. As immigration is of increasing concern in the Netherlands, the main parties in government have aimed to strengthen immigration laws and to implement measures helping to integrate immigrants already living there.

The figure quoted by the think-tank applies to the Netherlands only if the government does not impose any restrictions on the free movement of persons to the Netherlands after accession. Other EU Member States such as France, Germany and Austria have announced transitional periods for this cornerstone of EU law from May 1st. During this period, access to the labour market will be closed off to citizens of the accession states.

The report also stated that the impact on the immigration of seasonal workers remains unclear, but that the increase in immigrant numbers was not likely to negatively impacts levels of employment in the Netherlands.

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 Workpermit.com 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 Workpermit.com offices
  • Corporate work permit services
    • European visas
    • Australian work permit visas

QUIZ!

Answer the following questions and e-mail the replies to london@workpermit.com for a chance to win a bottle of champagne! E-mails demonstrating the greatest number of correct answers will be placed in a drawing. The new drawing will be held on 31 January 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 Workpermit.com / BCL Immigration Services founded?
  5. What is the current pass mark for Skilled migration to Australia?

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