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US H-1B and L-1 visa doubling of visa fees controversial
The much reported visa fee increases for both the H-1B visa (from $2,000 to $4,000) and the L-1 visa (from $2,250 to $4,500) have unsurprisingly caused some ripples between Indian and US official bodies. This visa fee increase applies to Companies that have more than 50 employees more than 50% of which are H-1B visa employees.
This affects mainly Indian owned companies in the US. These hikes (see WorkPermit's previous article about this issue), will provide funds for 9/11 first responders and provide funding for a biometric entry and exit system.
The new visa fee increase was agreed by Republicans and Democrats as a compromise to allow the Consolidated Appropriations Act 2016 to be passed so preventing an US Government "shutdown".
UK Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa will not be re-introduced
As expected, the UK government has said it will not be re-introducing the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa, a decision that the Scottish government has described as 'deeply disappointing and damaging.' As previously reported by workpermit.com, the Scottish government has been trying to persuade Westminster to bring back the Tier 1 Post-Study Work Visa, which enabled international students on Tier 4 visas to remain in Scotland and work following graduation.
A statement of support has amassed 257 signatures including signatures of representatives of all of Scotland's publically funded colleges. Other signatures included the sector body Colleges Scotland, Universities Scotland, the representative body for Scotland's 19 higher education institutions and representatives from 64 businesses. The re-introduction of the visa has also received cross-party support in the Scottish Parliament.
Low Cost US Business related visas
Australian Working Holiday Maker Visa Row due to Staffing Shortage
Friction between Australia's Federal Government and the country's tourism industry about the working holiday maker visa is due to a serious staff shortage currently affecting businesses.
Business leaders in the tourism sector are demanding an immediate visa solution to ease the staffing crisis that's threatening to bring the industry to a standstill during its busiest time of year.
With local companies crumbling under the pressure of peak period demand, industry leaders are demanding that new working holiday maker visa rules, aimed at tackling staff shortages in Northern Australia, should be extended to Tasmania as a matter of urgency.
More US H-2B visas for temporary workers
Thanks to the massive Omnibus spending bill signed by Obama on 18 December 2015 to avoid a possible "Government Shutdown" there is in effect an increase in the 66,000 H-2B visas available for fiscal year 2016.
The H-2B non-agricultural non-immigrant visa program allows foreign nationals to enter the US to take up temporary non-agricultural jobs offered by employers where there is a proven shortage.
The DHS said: "The total number of foreign nationals who may be issued an H-2B visa or otherwise granted H-2B status during a fiscal year has a statutory numerical limit, or 'cap'."
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