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With the UK General Election on 6 May 2010 little more than a week away there is continuing talk of a possible “Hung Parliament” in the UK. This is a parliament where no single political party has enough seats to form a Government. Leaders of the two largest political parties in the UK David Cameron for the Conservatives and Gordon Brown for the Labour Party have both said that voting for the Liberal Democrats is more likely to lead to a Hung Parliament which they say will result in political uncertainty. This could mean further changes to the UK Tier 1 and Tier 2 visas as well as to other UK visa categories.
A recent opinion poll shows the following:
- Conservatives – 34%
- Liberal Democrats - 30%
- Labour (the ruling party) – 28%
The eruption of an Icelandic volcano on Thursday 15 April 2010 resulted in a Europe wide ban on air travel that lasted almost a week. It was only on the evening of Tuesday 20 April 2010 that the ban was fully lifted. It has been estimated that 150,000 Britons were stranded overseas waiting to come home to the UK.
The flight ban has caused problems for a number of businesses. It is estimated that airlines have lost $200 million a day. Overseas workers due to arrive in the UK and other European Countries have had to delay their trips.
Global immigration needs reliable air travel to facilitate travel from one Country to another. One of the main factors that has led to tremendous increases in levels of immigration around the World since the end of the Second World War has been air travel.
UK Immigration has announced that they are trying to minimise delays in the processing of visa applications caused by the Volcanic Eruptions. Because of recent flight cancellations there have been delays in couriers transporting passports and visa applications to and from UKBA processing centres in Europe.
Canadian immigration is automatically extending the visa status of overseas nationals and providing other assistance to those who were unable to travel due to the recent flight restrictions caused by the Volcanic eruption in Iceland. Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announced the following:
“Temporary residents whose status in Canada expired on or after April 15, but who have been unable to leave because of the interruptions to air travel over the Atlantic, will have their status automatically extended up to 30 days at no charge.”
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