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India and Nigeria have reacted angrily to a UK plan to introduce £3,000 ‘security bonds’ for visitors from six ‘high risk countries’. A pilot scheme will begin in November. ‘High risk’ visitors from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana will be asked to pay £3,000 which will only be repaid if visitors leave the UK before their visas expire.
Theresa May, the UK’s Home Secretary says that, if the pilot is successful, the scheme may be extended to cover student and work visas. However, there has been an angry response from the Nigerian government. Nigeria’s Foreign Minister warned that a planned bilateral trade deal could be at risk if the scheme goes ahead. The Indian trade minister also warned that trade with the UK could be affected.
Australian television has broadcast claims that Indian outsourcing company Tata Consulting Services (TCS), routinely abused Australia’s subclass 457 temporary work visa. The rules state that a business can hire a foreign worker on a 457 visa only if they cannot find an appropriately skilled Australian citizen to fill the position. But TCS faces allegations that it routinely employed Indian workers without trying to find Australian staff. Indian outsourcing firms have been accused of similar abuses in the US and Canada. Tata did not respond to the claims.
Industrial action by Canadian immigration staff in China, India, Mexico and the Philippines has led to increased visa waiting times. The staff are seeking higher pay but the Canadian government refuses to comply saying that foreign-based staff receive other benefits. Since June 6th, waiting time for visas in Mexico and China have increased from five days to over six weeks. Canadian colleges complain that international students may not get visas in time for the new academic year in September. Citizenship and Immigration Canada advises you to apply as early as possible to ensure that your visa arrives in time.
The Australian government has announced increased visa fees. From 1st July, those with 457 visas will have to pay $900 to bring their partners and $225 for each dependent child they bring to Australia. People applying for a second time for any visa within Australia will have to pay a $700 fee. The Migration Institute of Australia said that the new 457 visa fees would discourage genuine migrants. Spokesmen for the educational and tourism industries complained that the $700 second visa fee would damage Australia’s competitiveness internationally. Industry figures also complain that they were not consulted about the changes.
Workpermit.com can help you with your visa application. For example, in the UK, we can help with Indefinite Leave to Remain applications and Tier 1 renewals. In Australia we can help 189, 190 and 489 visa applications.
In Canada we can help with Federal Skilled Worker visa and Federal Skilled Trades Program applications. In the US we can help with H-1B and L-1 visas and green card applications. We are registered with the immigration authorities worldwide and have 25 years of experience. Give us a call today!
And finally, there are fears that the immigration reform bill currently being considered by the US Congress may damage the J-1 cultural exchange visa programme. J-1 visas allow young people from around the world to work in the US in summer jobs such as sports coaches and camp counsellors. About 350,000 J-1 visas are issued each year. Many go to young people from Brazil, China, India, the UK and other European countries. Typically, summer camp workers can expect to earn about $1,000 over three months. But a clause in the new Border Security, Economic Opportunity and Immigration Modernization Act 2013 may make the J-1 visa unaffordable for US sponsors by imposing a fee of $750 for each J-1visa. The Act may become law in July.
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