Archive - August 2020

Germany’s advice against travel to 160 countries shows diligence

Germany extends advice

There’s been a lot of thought that Germany has been putting in to ensure that its citizens are safe from the effect of COVID-19 pandemic. The nation has advised its citizens not to visit countries where the epidemiological situation is not satisfactory enough.

So, now Germany has a list of nations it does not want its citizens and residents to go to on a visitor or tourist visa, or people to arrive from without being thoroughly tested.  Over 160 nations are there on that list and Germany discourages its residents and citizens to visit at least until 14th September 2020. The Ministry of Foreign Affairs has identified these countries as high-risk regions.

Germany advises its people not to travel to any country except:

  • The EU Member States
  • Switzerland, Norway, Liechtenstein, Iceland
  • The United Kingdom of Great Britain and Northern Ireland
  • The Vatican State, San Marino, and Monaco

Looking at more specific instructions by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, the following list of advice has been found:

  • German citizens and residents should avoid non-essential travel to the French Cote d’Azur and Paris.
  • They should also avoid unnecessary tours to Marseille and Nice.
  • German people should not travel to Spain except for the Canary Islands.
  • Travel is not advised to 11 parts of Romania which include the country’s capital Bucharest.
  • The authorities advise German people not to take part in cruises as cruise travel in the pandemic time brings special risks. Nevertheless, this does not include river cruises within the EU or Schengen area in which specific hygiene concepts are implemented.

The Ministry also prescribes measures for German people returning from such high-risk areas around the world. These returnees must get a PCR test done and follow the quarantine procedures until the results are available.

Germany migration scene highly alert and the country is on its guard so vehemently as It has been one of the worst-hit countries among EU member states. But still, the country is affected lesser than other European countries like France, Italy, and Spain.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Germany, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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Tourist count in July 2020 tells Spain still world’s favorite

Canada’s new PGWP terms, foreign students to benefit

Canada work permit flexibility

Canada loves its migrants arriving in the country to study or work in Canada. Lately, certain new measures have been implemented to give more flexibility to study and work permits.

To be precise, 3 measures have been introduced to help those who wish to study in Canada and seek work opportunities in the country.

The PGWP (Post Graduate Work Permit) is a permit that allows those students who pursue studies in Canada to find work and stay on in the country after finishing their courses. Now, Canada has made some relaxations for the eligibility for PGWP that international students can take advantage of.

These relaxations are introduced in view of the impact COVID-19. Due to the pandemic, international students now have to pursue their courses from Canadian universities online.

But PGWP traditionally values only the time of study spent in Canada for the courses international students join. But considering the travel restrictions students faced due to the pandemic, universities started delivering the courses online. Thus, students could start attending classes online from their home countries.

The Canadian government took measures to alleviate the worries of international students about losing their valid period for PGWP as the time they aren’t present in Canada to do the course will be eliminated from consideration. The latest measures are introduced in this direction.

  • Students have now permission to study online while overseas until April 30, 2021. That won’t lead to any time deducted from the tenure of their PGWP. The only requisite is that they must complete 50% of their studies in Canada.
  • Are you a student who enrolled in a study program of 8-12 months duration, and the course started on a date between May to September 2020? You are allowed to complete the entire program abroad. You will still be eligible for a PGWP.
  • Are you a student who enrolled in a study program that started on a date between May and September 2020, and could study online up to April 30, 2021, along with graduating from more than one eligible program? You may be allowed to combine the lengths of your study programs when applying for a PGWP. Here too, you must complete up to 50% of the studies in Canada.

The PGWP can be obtained for a maximum period of 3 years. With a PGWP, international students can work for any employer in Canada. In the future when they seek permanent residence (PR), the term they worked in Canada with a PGWP can be cited to improve the chances of obtaining PR.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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British Columbia on a roll, its latest PNP draw invites 302 candidates

The US green card lottery for fiscal year 2021 published

Top US visa lottery countries

The green card lottery results for fiscal year 2021 have been published in the US. This year the number of applicants is lesser than the previous one.

The results of the green card lottery for the fiscal year 2021 is out and published in the US.

The lottery results are out! The results of the green card lottery conducted in the US for the fiscal year 2021 was published in the US Department of State’s Bureau of Consular Affairs’ Visa Bulletin for September 2020.

For those who wonder what a green card lottery is all about, there’s a Diversity Immigrant Visa Program conducted in the US that grants 55,000 permanent resident visas each year. If you were lucky, this would be by far the most desirable way of getting the USA’s permanent immigrant visa.

Of course, the US President Donald Trump had issues with this lottery, as he favored a scheme that will churn out more immigrant visas that are employment-based. But the long-practiced traditions of US immigration are hard to be overhauled and hence the practice still goes on, keeping alive an opportunity for immigrants to settle in the USA.

It’s true though that this year, the actual number of applicants for this program was lesser than the previous year. This year, there were 6,741,128 applicants from the world over submitting qualified entries. The number of applicants in the year before was over 14 million.

This time, for the first time under a new system, only those with unexpired passports were allowed to apply. This did reduce the number of applicants considerably.

The applicant’s status is available on this web page. The winners can use a DS-260 form to apply for the green card. For this, the applicant must show either his/her high school diploma or equivalent, or proof of 2-year work experience over the past 5 years. The work experience must be in an eligible occupation that needs a minimum of 2 years’ experience or training.

If this has introduced to a formerly unknown path to the US permanent immigrant visa, you have now made a significant find in USA immigration. If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to USA, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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The US instructs F-1 aliens to update relevant data on time

Tourist count in July 2020 tells Spain still world’s favorite

Spain's inbound tourist number

Don’t you love Spain? Million more do. That’s why when it comes to the top choices of tourist destinations, Spain comes on top. Even the COVID-19 pandemic situation has not dissipated the interest of travel enthusiasts around the world in Spain.

In July 2020, over 2 million inbound tourists came to Spain via international airports on a visitor visa. That number is of course not up to the mark considering the same period last year. In fact, this year, there was an 80% slump in the number as per the report of Turespana.

The report also says that the Balearic Islands had the most arrivals, 29.6% of the total influx. This was followed by Andalusia with 15.5%, the Region of Valencia with 14.5%, and Catalonia with 13.5%.

Considering these are the numbers after the COVID-19 pandemic crisis, they still show a positive situation. Spain continues to be a highly sought-after destination in the world. The Government of Spain is considering greater coordination across Europe to avoid new travel restrictions, helping it to improve its migration performance. The country is also looking to strengthen the instruments to better control the pandemic situation along with improving the information systems that tell about the epidemiological situation of any region.

The total number of tourists that arrived in Spain through international airports from January 2020 till July 2020 was 15,556,082. Again, COVID-19 dampened the migrant performance with a 71.4% decrease in people compared to the influx count in the same period a year back.

Now to look at who came in what numbers to Spain. They go like this:

  • Germany – 23.6%
  • The UK – 20.3%
  • Netherlands – 9%
  • France – 8.5%
  • Italy – 7.5%
  • Belgium – 6.1%
  • Switzerland – 5.3%
  • Poland – 2.7%
  • Ireland – 1.8%
  • Sweden – 1.7%

Now, looking at the number of travelers who arrived at the airports in Spain, this is the distribution we get:

  • Palma De Mallorca – 21.6%
  • Adolfo Suárez-Madrid Barajas – 13%
  • Malaga – 12.9%
  • Barcelona – 12.1%
  • Alicante – 10%
  • Ibiza – 6.1%

Overall, it’s a challenge for all European nations to find innovative ways to revive tourism in the backdrop of the COVID-19 pandemic. Spain has pumped in a huge amount of money into this process to support tourism, culture, and leisure companies to survive the pandemic crisis.

There’s a lot of good news that we expect to hear from Spain. That includes giving you the chance to visit Spain on a Spain tourist visa.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Europe, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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The UK makes quarantine of French visitors compulsory

Old temp workers in Canada can get new work permit

Visitors apply work permit within Canada

Good news again from Canada! A new facility has been decided to be implemented wherein international visitors in Canada holding a job offer can apply for a work permit. The catch though is that these visitors should have arrived in Canada before August 24, 2020.

Wondering how this helps? Until now, any person who applied for a work permit would either be applying from outside Canada or from within Canada, hence requiring to leave the country and return to bring the permit into effect. Now, the temporary residents in Canada applying for work permits wouldn’t have to leave the country to return to activate a Canadian work permit.

This benefits the employers in Canada who need workers especially after the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic. They will not have to wait for the potential immigrants to fill their job vacancies. On the flip side, it also makes life easier for the immigrant workers who can now save time, money, and effort of going out to come back.

As Marco Mendicino, Canada’s Immigration Minister opines, this move will achieve the purpose of removing barriers so that a more agile workforce is created. It will set job opportunities for visitors in Canada possessing the experience and skills needed to drive the development of the Canadian economy.

Due to travel restrictions owing to COVID-19, many temporary workers stuck in Canada have had to change their status to “visitors” to stay on legally. Now, by meeting certain criteria these workers can start working for a new employer with a new work permit Canada offers. These criteria are:

  • The applicant must have a valid “visitor” status in Canada on August 24, 2020, and an intention to stay in Canada
  • The applicant must have a job offer from an employer in Canada
  • The candidate must apply for an employer-specific work permit that’s supported by an LMIA (Labour Market Impact Assessment) or a job offer exempt of LMIA submitted before March 31, 2021
  • The applicant must meet all other standard criteria for admissibility

The candidates that meet all these criteria and had possessed a valid work permit in the 12 months before putting in the application can start working for the new employer; so much that their new work permit could be due to be fully approved.

Now, to work in Canada is a more conveniently realizable prospect with the Canadian government offering all kinds of support it can offer.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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British Columbia on a roll, its latest PNP draw invites 302 candidates

Fresh facts on Canada labor market performance by immigrants

Canada immigration streams and labor market

Statistics Canada brings out so many fascinating facts and so much intriguing information on the state of affairs related to Canada immigration. The world looks out for the latest happenings in Canada and how immigration is making new benchmarks in the economic and social scene of the country.

This time, Statistics Canada reveals that immigrants who get permanent residence in Canada via CEC (Canadian Experience Class) and PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) perform better in the labor market than those immigrants who arrive through QSWP (Quebec Skilled Worker Program) and FSWP (Foreign Skilled Worker Program).

This interesting fact about immigration Canada sees lately was found in a study conducted by Statistics Canada in collaboration with IRCC (Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada).

In the study, an effort was made to explore how often pre-arranged employment and Canadian work experience can lead to a prediction on the labor market results generated by economic immigrants.

Now, for the reasons why CEC and PNP fare better as the studies show. A major factor that contributes to this scenario is that the immigrants who come under these two streams are most likely to have been temporary workers in Canada before they became permanent residents. What does that mean? It means they have far more experience and insight into the Canadian labor market than any other stream.

Another fact is that many of these workers were international students in Canada in the beginning and have obtained their PGWP (Post Graduate Work Permit) that helped them work in their respective areas. So, obviously, they have a better caliber to demonstrate the knowledge and skills that employers are seeking in their workers.

And what about the cherry on the cake?! These workers will also have much greater language proficiency as they have been in Canada for a while!

In fact, as the study results say, temporary workers constitute two-thirds of permanent residents selected via the PNP draws. Coming to CEC draws, all the candidates selected were temporary workers.

That’s a considerable difference compared to just a quarter of those selected through QSWP and FSWP being temporary workers.

Nowadays, the Canadian experience has gained more importance in immigration as those with such experience can easily integrate into the labor market of Canada.

There are more interesting facts if you dig deeper into the topic. Around 95% of CEC immigrants and 93% of PNP immigrants got employment in the first full year after obtaining their permanent residence. Only 80% of FSWP immigrants achieved this.

There’s another crucial factor which is the difference in the earning of immigrants under these different streams. The CEC immigrants earn 56% more than FSWP immigrants in the year one of turning to permanent residents. Even By the fifth year, CEC immigrants earned 30% more than their FSWP counterparts.

Things are similar to PNP immigrants too. The only difference is that by the fifth year PNP immigrants tend to have much lower earnings than FSWP immigrants. The PNP immigrants being mostly medium or low skilled is a reason attributed to this trend. Their earnings obviously will be lower than high-skilled jobs and so will be the growth of earnings.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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British Columbia on a roll, its latest PNP draw invites 302 candidates

Greece’s new COVID-19 measures keep 10 nations on watch

Greece makes COVID-19 test mandatory

Greece has now a list of 10 countries, the citizens from which arriving in the country say, on a visitor visa, must have a PCR test result handy showing a negative result. The PCR test mustn’t be older than 72 hours.

It’s also to be noted that the rule is applicable also to permanent residents and citizens of Greece. The 10 countries included in the new list are:

  • Malta
  • Spain
  • North Macedonia
  • Sweden
  • The Netherlands
  • Belgium
  • Albania
  • UAE
  • Romania
  • Bulgaria

This new decision made by the Government of Greece will be in place until August 31, 2020. What’s more, the government makes it required that the result certificates must be written in English, bearing the passport national ID number and name of the traveler.

Greece is doing its best to keep COVID-19 from spreading. That’s why HCCA (Hellenic Civil Aviation Authority) extended the entry ban for citizens coming from outside the EU until August 31, 2020.

The citizens of the following countries are exempted by Greece from entry ban:

  • The UAE
  • Tunisia
  • Uruguay
  • Rwanda
  • Thailand
  • South Korea
  • New Zealand
  • Japan
  • Canada
  • Australia
  • Georgia

So be it on a Greece tourist visa or any other visa, entry into Greece is now cautiously planned to stay protected from the pandemic.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Europe, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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The UK makes quarantine of French visitors compulsory

UK’s Heathrow shows a better way with COVID-19 testing

Heathrow airport COVID-19 test

Let’s turn our attention to the UK’s Heathrow airport, where a provision for COVID-19 tests will save the trouble of compulsory quarantine for all arriving travelers. The UK has secured 13,000 COVID-19 tests in Heathrow airport at terminal 2 for passengers arriving, say on a UK visitor visa. This will serve as a second test for COVID-19 upon arrival and only those who are positive will have to go into quarantine.

While this goes easy on travelers coming to the UK, it will also help the country open up flights to countries like Singapore, the US, and Canada. Talk about bringing these key trading partners into confidence with a feel-good treatment, and here’s a good start!

Matt Hancock, the British Health Secretary, stressed on the fact that the UK is working in this direction to lessen the period that people coming to the country are made to stay at home upon arrival. It helps in going back to business sooner after all!

World countries are taking an approach of imposing a quarantine on every passenger entering their borders for lack of an alternative. Often, the 2-week quarantine is not very welcome with the people though. Now that the UK has taken a different path, alternatives like this may be found in Europe too and implemented. Otherwise, a Europe-wide travel ban may come to be and that won’t be good news for the region.

Indeed, the idea for an alternative is gaining momentum. IATA (International Air Transport Association) and ACI (International Airports Council) have already decided to push the reconsideration with a request in the UN meeting. The push will be to use testing in the place of compulsory quarantine.

UK immigration is looking to come back into better action and the present decision will contribute to it as it will take away the need for the displeasure of travelers.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to the UK, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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The UK makes quarantine of French visitors compulsory

The US instructs F-1 aliens to update relevant data on time

F-1 aliens instructed by the US for updates

There are many immigration statuses under US immigration of which F-1 is a non-immigrant status. This status is conferred by the USCIS on an alien student undergoing study in USA. An alien outside the US must first apply for an F-1 visa at their local US Consulate abroad.

COVID-19 has already caused a great deal of unemployment in the US. While the situation is still ongoing, the US government is giving a heads up to the international students with F-1 status regarding updating their employment status details with the authorities.

The F-1 aliens taking part in post-completion OPT (Optional Practical Training) and their DSOs (Designated School Officials) must update the information of their employer in the SEVIS (Student Exchanger Visitor Information System). Any unemployment data must also be given.

Under Federal regulations, F-1 visa holders must notify their DSO of any changes to their employment or personal information. This must be done within 10 days.

The DSOs in turn must update SEVIS with the information of the F-1 alien. This must be done within 21 days. Acting appropriately to these reminders will help to make sure that F-1 aliens and their DSOs properly comply with the prevailing requirements.

F-1 aliens could use the SEVP (Student & Exchange Visitor Program) portal to update their employer information. This portal can be used as a tool for M and F aliens taking part in post-completion practical training. With it, they can report timely and accurate information to the SEVP directly. DSOs may follow the instructions in the tool to add, delete, or edit OPT employer and update information in SEVIS. The aliens can contact their DSO in case of any doubt about using the tool.

DSOs and F-1 aliens must make sure that timely entry of information must be done in SEVIS. This will keep the alien’s record current and will reflect factual data on employment. Each day without employer information will be counted by SEVIS to be added to the number of unemployment days allowed. A failure in updating employer information in SEVIS indicating that the alien is unemployed may end up in any or all of the actions as listed below:

  • The alien exceeds unemployment limits due to which he/she fails to keep up F-1 non-immigrant status. This will make them fit to be removed unless they are otherwise in a period of authorized stay.
  • SEVP will set the status of the SEVIS record of an alien to “terminated” in case they have exceeded unemployment limits.
  • The USCIS (US Citizenship and Immigration Services) initiates proceedings for revocation of the Employment Authorization Document of an alien in case they have exceeded unemployment limits.
  • The exceeding of unemployment limits will negatively affect the alien’s requests for future benefits filed with USCIS.

Detailed information in regard to the SEVP portal is available on the Department of Homeland Security Study in the States website. The information includes step-by-step instructions and videos.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to USA, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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More exemptions for work visas granted by the US

British Columbia on a roll, its latest PNP draw invites 302 candidates

BC-PNP-draw-302

BC (British Columbia) conducted a PNP (Provincial Nominee Program) draw on August 18, 2020. It invited 302 immigration candidates to submit applications for a provincial nomination.

Candidates registered under International Students and Skilled Workers categories of BC PNP’s Express Entry BC and Skills Immigration streams were sent invitations. Also, candidates belonging to the Skills Immigration’s Entry Level and Semi-skilled Workers categories were also invited.

Candidates with a profile in the pool of federal Express Entry system got the opportunity to participate in the BC PNP draw under the BC PNP categories. It’s the Express Entry system that handles thecandidates pool for Canada’s main economic immigration programs namely:

  • The Canadian Experience Class
  • The Federal Skilled Trades Class
  • The Federal Skilled Worker Class

The federal government of Canada’s application management system is achieved through the Express Entry. The candidates in the Express Entry get points based on human capital factors like age, education, work experience, and proficiency in English or French language.

Those Express Entry candidates that get a provincial nomination will receive an extra 600 points added to their original CRS (Comprehensive Ranking System) score.

The Skilled Immigration (SI) category aims at semi-skilled and skilled workers who are involved in occupations that are in high demand in British Columbia.

A minimum score ranging between 76 and 98 has been prescribed for the 5 SI and EEBC categories involved in the draw.

The minimum score distribution was like this:

  • SI – Entry Level and Semi-Skilled: 76
  • SI – International Graduate: 98
  • SI – Skilled Worker: 96
  • EEBC – International Graduate: 98
  • EEBC – Skilled Worker: 96

If an invitation has to be received through the EEBC, a candidate must be registered under both BC SIRS (Skills Immigration Registration System) and the federal Express Entry system.

Skills Immigration candidates need only register with the SIRS.

In August so far, BC has held 3 provincial draws. This includes a tech draw that was conducted on August 11, 2020.

Tech Pilot draws are weekly draws held involving candidates who are awarded a score based on factors such as work experience, education, and proficiency in English or French language. These are requirements of the registration process as per Canada immigration rules.

The Tech Pilot was created in 2017 to address the labor demands in BC’s technology sector. The local human resources could not satisfy the labor demands and in such a situation, foreign skilled workers are sought after. With their participation, BC’s technology sector can grow into the future.

Candidates participating in Tech Pilot draws have an exemption granted due to which, they don’t need a permanent full-time job offer from an employer in BC. The candidate must nevertheless show that the job offer is valid for at least a year and has a minimum of 120 calendar days left when they apply for a provincial nomination.

The BC Tech Pilot draw will be extended until June 2021.

If you are looking to Study, Work, Visit, Invest or Migrate to Canada, talk to Y-Axis, the World’s No.1 Immigration & Visa Company.

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Saskatchewan holds a near record draw with 533 invites