The United Kingdom's new International Graduates Scheme (IGS) went into effect 01 May 2007. Students who completed their course prior to May 1st will still need to apply under Science and Engineering Graduate Scheme (SEGS). You will find detailed information of IGS at http://www.internationalgraduatesscheme.com .
The UK's Sectors Based Scheme (SBS) has been updated. Under the old rules, people had to leave Britain for two months after working for twelve months under SBS. Currently reserved for use by Bulgarian and Romanian nationals, after twelve months of lawful employment in the UK under SBS, they can obtain a registration certificate confirming that they have an unrestricted right to work in the UK.
For the year ending in June 2006, Scotland has announced a net immigration into the country of just over 22,000 people. 53,000 people from other parts of the UK came to Scotland, while 44,000 left Scotland...
The United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) announced on May 4th that the H-1B exemption quota has been reached. No petitions received after April 30th will be considered. People may be sponsored for an H-1B visa for the 2009 fiscal year beginning on April 1st, 2008.
The mayor of London, Ken Livingston, took sides last week in the HSMP visa debate. Changes to the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme were made retrospectivly last November. People already granted an HSMP visa need to meet the new criteria if they wish to obtain an HSMP extension. Mr. Livingston is urging the government to reverse the retrospective application of the changes. Immigration Minister Liam Byrne said that he would "reflect" on the situation at the end of March this year, but has not since offered any indication as to whether there will be any change in current policy.
The United States Senate has begun a bipartisan investigation into alleged abuses of the U.S. H-1B visa program. Senators Richard Durbin and Charles Grassley sent letters to a number of foreign-owned firms requesting that they provide detailed information as to how many H-1B visas they have obtained and the exact use to which they are being put.
The provincial government of Alberta and the federal government of Canada have entered into a new immigration agreement. Alberta will have authority to directly nominate more immigrants who have skills critically needed in the province. The federal government will fast-track the process for provincial nominations. The current annual quota of 2,500 immigrants for Alberta will be increased to 25,000 over the next ten years.
The European Union has published the second version of its "handbook on integration," a guidance for Member States to follow in developing immigration-related policy. Significant steps have...
A UK tribunal court ruled in favor of an HSMP holder fighting deportation after he was unable to qualify for an HSMP extension under the new rules. The Indian national, who holds a PhD in chemistry, relocated his family to the United Kingdom after obtaining an HSMP visa. Changes applied retrospectively last December prevented him from qualifying for an extension. The court determined that forcing him to leave the country is in violation of his human rights.
Last week the United States Senate reached an agreement on an immigration reform proposal. There are heated negotiations between all the various political interest groups to pass a new immigration law before the end of this summer. The topic is politically charged with strongly divided opinions on all sides. Developing a points-based immigration system is one of many of the complex and highly controversial items on the agenda.
Britain's Home Office has removed four health care occupations from the Skills Shortage Occupations List. All applications for these occupations received from May 29th are now subject to the full "resident labour test." Employers wishing to employ non EEA nationals for these positions under the work permit scheme are required to document that all reasonable steps were taken to hire someone from within the European Economic Area.
The United Kingdoms agricultural sector is experiencing a severe shortage of workers, according to organizations such as the National Farmer's Union. They are petitioning the government to increase quotas under the Seasonal Agricultural Workers Scheme. SAWS is currently restricted to nationals from Bulgaria and Romania only. In addition to increasing the quota, farming interests are requesting that nationals from outside of the European Economic Area should be allowed to come under the scheme and work in the UK.