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New rules coming into effect for UK Tier 1 applicants from India revise the Maintenance requirement. The Maintenance requirement is intended to prove that immigrants have enough funds to support themselves and their dependents when arriving in the United Kingdom. Applicants from India must be able to document GBP 2800 or more in funds for 90 days prior to submitting their application. At no time during this period may their funds be below this level.
Tier 1 for General Highly Skilled Migrants to the United Kingdom is now active for applications made from India. People wishing to come to Britain as skilled immigrants from India may no longer use the HSMP scheme. Along with India, applications made within the UK are subject to the new Tier 1 rules as well. The rest of the world may still apply under HSMP until "sometime later this year."
In November and December of 2006, the United Kingdom enacted a number of changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP) visa. Those changes were then applied retrospectively to people who had come in earlier under significantly different conditions. A legal challenge to the governments actions was brought by a special interest group. This week a High Court judge, ruling in their favor, said that the old rules should be honored for those already in the UK. The Home Office may appeal the case.
The United States has extended the time a foreign student can remain in the U.S. and work after graduation. The Optional Practical Training (OPT) program allows students in certain degree programs (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics, or STEM) to take employment closely related to his or her studies. Students on F1 visas may work either while they are studying or for a specified period upon completion of their studies. The new rule extends the post-study period of work permission from 12 to 29 months.
The American Immigration Lawyers Association is a national association of U.S. immigration lawyers who specialize in United States Immigration Law. The main goals of AILA include increasing the level of knowledge and professionalism amongst its members, advancing the protection of the public through promotion of client protection and authorized representation, and promoting the delivery of competent, ethical, and legal immigration services by lawyers and other authorized representatives and programs.
New Zealand has discontinued a requirement that some migrants, such as family members of skilled migrants, pre-pay tuition for English for Speakers of Other Languages (ESOL) courses as a condition for acceptance of their application. The pre-paid tuition allowed migrants to take their ESOL courses any time during the initial 3.5 years from entry into the country.
From March 31st of this year the requirement is no longer effective. New Zealand has also extended the period of entitlement to receive ESOL training from 3.5 years to 5 years for those who do pre-pay for their English language training.
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