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Under new proposals put forwards by UK Immigration Minister Phil Woolas, economic immigrants in the UK will have to earn the right to a passport by serving a five-year ‘probationary citizenship.’
In an interview with The Sun newspaper, he said: ‘Entitlement to benefits should be for citizens of our country, not other people. If you are a citizen you have earned the right to benefits. People must show they are here to work.’
Economic immigrants who stay out of trouble, make efforts to integrate and do voluntary work will become eligible for state benefits and social housing one or two years after completing a five year period of residency. Anyone found guilty of committing even a minor offence would have to wait another five years before they could claim the benefits.
The plans to ‘implement the new path to citizenship within a firm but fair immigration system’ are to be included in the new Borders, Immigration and Citizenship Bill, due to be published in January, 2009.
The Geneva based International Organization for Migration (IOM) has released its 4th World Migration Report.
Entitled ‘Managing Labour Mobility in the Evolving Global Economy,’ the report indicated that labour migration will remain strong, human mobility having become a life choice influenced by disparities in demography, income and employment opportunities across regions.
‘The Asian financial crisis of the 1990s showed that even in times of economic hardship, there is still a structural need for migrants,’ co-author Gervais Appave argued in appealing to countries to keep open their doors to immigrant workers despite the global economic crisis.
The report said that by 2050 demographic trends show that without immigration, the working-age population in developed countries is expected to decline by 23 percent and those countries will be competing not only for highly skilled migrants but also for low and semi-skilled workers.
There are more than 200 million international economic migrants in the world today, almost half of which are reportedly women.
According to the most recently available data, Europe collectively hosts the largest number of immigrants with some 70 million people in 2005. North America, with some 45 million and Asia, with approximately 25 million immigrants are in second and third position.
China with 40 million and India with 20 million are the largest sources of migrant workers with the Philippines in third place; the 8 million people from that country representing approximately 10 percent of its population.
Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, has welcomed the introduction of new laws designed to give better protection for temporary overseas workers in Australia.
The Migration Legislation Amendment Bill 2008 passed through Parliament with bipartisan support, having been introduced after extensive consultation with industry and unions.
Amongst the schemes affected by the bill is the 457 visa program which allows migrants to stay in Australia for up to four years. This is an uncapped scheme driven by the demands of the labour market and enables employers to sponsor overseas workers needed to fill certain skilled positions.
The recent Deegan report highlighted various employer abuses amongst the sponsors of some 60,000 immigrants issued with visas in 2007-2008. Indeed, during the period, 192 employers were formally sanctioned with a further 1353 receiving formal warnings.
Under the new laws, specially trained officers will be empowered to monitor workplaces and conduct site visits to ensure that employers are complying with the redefined sponsorship obligations.
The Australian Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, has announced the appointment of five Senior Members to the Migration Review Tribunal (MRT)
The five successful applicants were unanimously selected through a merit-based process by a panel chaired by Andrew Metcalfe, Secretary of the Department of Immigration and Citizenship.
‘Each of the successful applicants demonstrated a strong sense of fairness and understanding of the principles of administrative law and the ability to apply these skills in determining review applications,’ Senator Evans said.
‘Their qualifications and experience will ensure the effective delivery of review decisions.’
All have been appointed for five years commencing on 1 January 2009.
From 08 December 2008, 300 places will be made available for Brazilians aged 18 - 30 who wish to take a long holiday in New Zealand with the option to work. The Brazil Working Holiday Scheme is part of a joint effort between the governments of New Zealand and Brazil to raise awareness of each other's culture.
Eligible citizens of Brazil will receive a work visa and permit valid for 12 months. Participants must not work for the same employer for longer than a three-month period.
To be eligible for a Working Holiday visa, applicants must be citizens of Brazil at the time of application, have a minimum of NZ$4,200 in available funds to support their stay and agree to have medical and hospitalization insurance that will remain current throughout their stay in New Zealand.
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