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Latvia to raise cost of immigrant investor visas in January 2014
The Latvian immigrant investor visa scheme is set to become much more expensive. The fee for the visa will rise from the current level of about €100 to €25,000 and the minimum qualifying investment will rise from €35,590 to €150,000.
There will also be a cap of about 800 immigrant investor visas issued each year. The changes will come into force in January 2014 so apply now. You have only a few weeks before the old scheme closes.
UK immigration abandons plan for visa security bonds
The UK has abandoned plans to require visa applicants from six 'high risk countries' to pay security bonds when applying for visas.
In June 2013, Home Secretary Theresa May announced that the UK would require some visa applicants from the six countries to pay security bonds of up to £3,000 which would only be repaid after the visa holder had left the UK. The bonds would have been paid by applicants from India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, Nigeria and Ghana.
Canada's 2014 immigration plan to 'drive economic growth'
Canada has announced its immigration plan for 2014. Total immigration will remain between 240 and 265,000. Of these, 63% will be economic migrants. 68,000 will be in the family stream and 28,400 will be humanitarian entrants.
The Canadian Experience class enables people who have completed a year’s skilled worked in Canada to apply for a Canadian permanent resident visa. 15,000 CEC visas will be issued in 2014. The Provincial Nominee Program will also be expanded. This program allows Canadian provinces and territories to nominate immigration candidates for permanent residence. 44,000 to 47,000 permanent resident visas will be issued under the PNP in 2014, up from 41,000 in 2012. Many provinces are seeking graduates. Skilled workers and tradespeople with valid Canadian trades certificates are also much in demand.
35,472 Indians get green cards from US immigration in 2012
The latest figures show that 35,472 Indians working in the US with H-1B visas were issued with US permanent resident visas,or green cards, in 2012. This is the highest ever number in a single year and six times higher than the figure for 2011 when only around 6,000 Indian H-1B holders got green cards.
H-1B visa holders can work in the US for three years. They can renew the visa once for a further three years.
Infosys pays $34m to US immigration but denies visa abuse
The Indian IT outsourcing giant Infosys has agreed to pay $34m in settlement of a case brought against it by the US Department of State, US Citizenship and Immigration Services and the Department of Homeland Security.
Infosys faced allegations that it had abused the US visa system by employing Indian workers on US contracts who had travelled to the US on B-1 business visas rather than on H-1B visas or L-1 visas. The US government says that this was an abuse of the visa system.
Infosys issued a statement denying any claims of systemic visa fraud, misuse of visas for competitive advantage or immigration abuse.
Study criticises UK's 'tens of thousands' immigration target
Academics at University College London say that the UK's government target of reducing net immigration to 'tens of thousands' a year by 2015. is neither 'a useful tool or a measure of policy effectiveness'.
The 'tens of thousands' targetwas created when Prime Minister David Cameron, told the BBC in 2010 that he would like to see net immigration ‘in the tens of thousands’.
The report says that the UK should not focus on a single figure but rather shouldstrike a balance between minimizing the economic and social costs of migration while maximising the benefits'.
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