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A surge in applications for the Australian 457 visa has resulted in a processing backlog. Inadequate staffing and lack of resources are being blamed for the delays. The Department of Immigration and Citizenship has requested to a parliamentary inquiry this week that more resources be allocated towards dealing with this problem. Electronic applications are currently taking up to two months up from two weeks and manually processed applications are taking a minimum of three months, up from about four weeks.
Australia and Germany have renewed the Working Holiday Program agreements between the two countries. The agreement allows young people from ages 18 through 30 to work a 12-month holiday in each other's country. The renewed agreement allows for a 12-month extension that may allow a total stay of up to two years.
German professionals are emigrating from their homeland at an alarming rate, according to recent statistics that show a net loss of skilled workers. Doctors, engineers, architects and scientists are leaving Germany for other countries. In the past, people returning to Germany with foreign work experience more or less balanced out those who left.
Immigrants have found it difficult to secure professional, skilled visas. The German government is currently looking at its immigration policies to see how they can attract more skilled immigrants.
Irish financial professionals are more convinced than any other nationality that foreign work experience will be a useful asset in the future. From a 13-country survey published last week, experience from working abroad is increasingly seen as very important to remaining competitive in the world economy. Ireland also has nearly double the global average of persons from overseas seeking employment in Ireland.
More than 1,000 officially registered Czech nurses are currently working abroad. This is one of the reasons for a shortage of nurses in Prague the Capital City. There are health care professionals looking for work in other parts of the Country, but many are older and do not wish to relocate.
Saudi Arabia has nominated more than 300 students for study in New Zealand as part of an expanded scholarships program between the nations. New Zealand's education services are aggressively recruiting as part of their national immigration strategy over the past five years. The Education Minister expressed pleasure that enrollment of foreign-born students is up.
The population of Hong Kong has increased sharply throughout the 1990's, with arrivals from mainland China contributing significantly to the current population of 7 million. Hong Kong is now beginning to see the success of the immigration programs it has developed over the past ten years. A number of categories and schemes have been initiated, resulting in thousands of highly skilled professionals and several billions of dollars in investment capital pouring into the country.
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