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Major British political opposition parties are voicing their support of a High Court ruling two weeks ago in favor of HSMP visa holders. In December 2006, the government changed the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme (HSMP), making it more difficult for some people to score enough points to renew their visa. Retroactive application of these changes caused extensive controversy.
The High Court ruling overturned the retrospective application of the changes, finding the actions of the government to be in violation of the law.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) has completed the selection process on nearly 200,000 H-1B petitions received this month. More than 31,000 of the petitions received were for the Advanced Degree Exemption, reserved for graduates of U.S. universities at a Masters degree or higher. Everyone selected should receive notification by June 2nd and will eligible to begin work on 01 October, the first day of the 2009 fiscal year.
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will begin to allow certain foreign students in the U.S. under F-1 visas to extend their stay and their work permission. Those selected for an H-1B visa will be eligible to extend their stay in the U.S. until their employment begins.
Students are normally required to leave the U.S. when their F-1 visa expires. To qualify for the extension, F-1 students must be the beneficiary of an approved H-1B petition and a request - made by the employer - for a change of status must be submitted.
From 26 April 2008, foreign students in Australia will automatically be granted permission to work. Permission to work will also apply to eligible family members staying with a foreign student. The new rule will save time and money, even though the student visa fee will rise slightly.
Foreign students no longer need apply for work permission separately, a process that required extra paperwork and additional fees. Otherwise, current rules and regulations for the work rights of foreign students will not change.
Due to unintended consequences in Canadian immigration law, some people, even without realizing it, either lost or never had Canadian citizenship. The government of Canada has now passed legislation that will confirm the citizenship of the majority of people who find themselves in this situation.
Between 1947, when the first citizenship act took effect, and 1977, when it was replaced, some Canadians lost their citizenship under certain circumstances. In other cases, citizenship by birth was not confirmed, leaving some people without citizenship in any country.
Since the 2004 European Union expansion, Irish society has been dealing with the ramifications of integrating a large, foreign-born population. Hundreds of thousands of Eastern Europeans moved to Ireland in the last four years seeking a better life. A new study from the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) found that many migrants are young and well-educated, but that many end up in low-skilled jobs. The report identifies several areas in which Ireland can improve integration of its immigrants, specifically recommending that Ireland continue to focus on language training and improving its recognition of foreign qualifications.
The Latvian labor market is being affected by emigration of Latvians to other countries. Latvian employers now must recruit workers from other countries becuase they cannot find Latvians willing to take available jobs. During the first quarter of 2008, over 1000 foreigners come to Latvia, a significant immigration rate for a country of only 2.25 million.
Growth of the numbers of guest workers is a trend unlikely to change. 2,200 foreigners came to Latvia annually prior to the European Union expansion in 2004. Now the number has about doubled, with the type of people coming in having shifted more toward job seekers. By 2012, it is estimated that up to 50,000 of the most educated and best workers could leave, further increasing the brain drain to crisis levels.
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