Archive - October 2020

UK helps Hong Kong residents in trouble with new BN(O) visa

BN(O) visa

In the wake of the Chinese crackdown on dissenters protesting Chinese policies by imposing the Chinese security law, UK had stepped in to help Hong Kong residents.

The stand taken by the UK also comes due to the fact that China breached the Sino-British Joint Declaration. The Declaration agreed on the point that China would give Hong Kong political and social autonomy via a “one country, two systems” policy for a period of 50 years.

To help people in Hong Kong oppressed by China, the UK has announced the new BN(O) visa.The visa will be officially available to be applied for from January 31, 2020.

The British Nationals (Overseas) visa for Hong Kong nationals will grant its holders entry into the UK and allow them to study or work in UK under the BN(O) program. Anyone with BN(O) status can take advantage of the program along with his/her family dependents.

The BN(O) visa applications will impose no caps. The visa will also act as a pathway to citizenship in the UK.

The National Security Law has been imposed on Hong Kong, leading to a clear erosion of the freedoms and rights of the people there, has prompted the UK to act on its commitment to the Hong Kong people.

Now, the UK is ready to welcome the BN(O) to the country along with their dependents.

The fee for BN(O) visa has also been set much lower than the rates the country charges for its visas. The fee for a 5-year visa will be £250 per person. A 30-month visa is also made available for £180.

However, there will be a UK immigration health surcharge imposed on the BN(O) visa applicants which will have increased from October 27, 2020. The visa applicants will have to show evidence that they are able to financially support themselves along with their dependents in the UK for a minimum period of 6 months.

Those who already have a valid BN(O) passport won’t need to apply for a new BN(O) visa. Their applications can be submitted using a Hong Kong Special Administrative Region passport.

The Home Office is estimating over 1 million Hong Kong nationals to arrive in the UK of which 500,000 will arrive in thefirst 12 months of the launch of the visa.

Those with the BN(O) status currently can stay back in the UK without a visa for 6 months.

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

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UK to set new minimum salary for migrants to qualify

Now multi-linguals extra points in Canada immigration

Francophones multilinguals extra points

Are you a Francophone or French-speaking Express Entry candidate? You will now be eligible to get more points towards your application for immigration. This was announced by Marco Mendicino, Canada’s Immigration Minister.

French-speaking Canada immigration candidates will now get 25 extra points for their language proficiency. Earlier, this was 15 points. Bilingual candidates will get 50 points. This was 30 points before.

The aim of the Canadian government is to admit 4.4% of immigrants who speak French outside of Quebec by 2023. With this new initiative, Canada expects to achieve this target after the COVID-19 induced travel restrictions ease.

The development of minority Francophone communities outside of Quebec is part of the Canadian government’s plan for achieving economic growth. It will also contribute to prosperity in the long-run all across the country.

Between 2003 and 2019 60,000 French-speaking immigrants arrived in Canada. It’s noteworthy that just in 2019, 8,645 new French-speakers arrived in Canada. This affirms the Canadian government’s diligence in its plans to bring up minority French-speaking communities and bilingual immigrants.

IRCC is making an investment of $40.8 million over 5 years to support the consolidation of an integration pathway for Francophones.

About the Express Entry system

Express Entry is an application management system that manages immigration applications for 3 federal immigration systems namely FSWP, FSTP, and CEC. Eligible candidates are given a score based on CRS, decided based on factors like education, age, work experience, and language proficiency in English or French.

The candidates who score the highest points are issued ITAs via regular Express Entry draws. Upon receiving an ITA, they can apply for Canada PR. IRCC holds bi-weekly immigration draws.

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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2021 LMIA policy – Brighter prospects for foreign workers

Note:

IRCC – Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada

FSWP – Federal Skilled Worker Program

FSTP – Federal Skilled Trades Program

CEC – Canadian Experience Class

CRS – Comprehensive Ranking System

ITA – Invitation to Apply

PR – Permanent Residence

UK to set new minimum salary for migrants to qualify

Reduced UK minimum salaries for migrants

The UK government has reduced the minimum salary by almost 30% for migrants to work in UK and to settle in the country. The £35,800 that was earlier fixed has been revised to a lower amount.

Migrants will be entitled to settle once 6 years are completed after migration and become citizens if they have:

  • Salaries of £20,480
  • Enough points under the new points system for immigration to qualify for jobs that have a shortage of workers

The new rules will come into force on December 1, 2020. These rules were published on October 22, 2020, by the Home Office. The general threshold under the new rules will be lowered to £25,600. The contribution to the country made by migrant workers working at lower levels for lower payhas been acknowledged by the UK government.

The old £35,800 was introduced by Theresa May in 2011. She was home secretary at that time, making efforts to meet the targets on limiting net migration that was set by David Cameron.

Now, Boris Johnson has made this move reprising the core message of EU Vote Leave’s 2016 EU Referendum campaign. His aim is to appeal to the undecided Eurosceptic voters existing in Labor party marginals.

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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USCIS to increase its fees for premium processing for visas

2021 LMIA policy – Brighter prospects for foreign workers

LMIA for 2021

The need for skilled foreign workers to work in Canada is high in the Canadian labor market. Immigration is a mainstay and biggest source of talent in Canada. But when Canadian employers choose to hire foreigners for their job positions, the Canadian government has to be sure that such a choice is not made at the expense of the native Canadians’ opportunity to work.

That’s why LMIA is in place. It’s a document that the Canadian employer may need to obtain to hire a foreign worker. Its necessity depends on the position for which the worker is hired. Not every Canada work visa applied for temporary foreign workers has a need for an LMIA.

For positions that need LMIA, it has to be obtained by the employer before the Canada work permit visa is applied for. The document validates the necessity of the employer to recruit a temporary foreign worker for a particular position as no Canada PR or citizen is available for the job.

For job positions that need LMIA, an employer-specific work permit will be applied for. Even after the work permit expires, the workers can be retained until the next permit is approved. LMIA policy allows time between the previous permit and the next pending permit application.

The applicants eligible to apply for LMIA are:

  • Business visitors
  • Super visa holders
  • Those who entered Canada via an exemption under the Global Skills Strategy work permit

Those foreign workers who are aiming to benefit from the LMIA policy need to:

  • Have a job offer
  • Have been in Canada on August 24, 2020, and has remained in Canada hence
  • Have a valid visitor status in Canada on the date of application
  • Apply for an employer-specific work permit that’s supported by LMIA / LMIA-exempt employment offer no later than March 31, 2021
  • Meet all other standard criteria for admissibility

LMIA policy for 2021

Horticultural producers trying to hire temporary foreign workers in 2021 can submit LMIA applications for arrivals in January and February 2021. ESDC is accepting LMIA applications 6 months ahead of the first worker arrival that’s mentioned in the application. In case there’s more than one date, they will work back from the earliest date. If it’s within 6 months, while others are beyond that time frame, it will not be rejected.

Ontario’s FARMS cites the first possible arrival date to be January 5, 2021. From June 10, 2020, Service Canada doesn’t need SAWP employers to advertise for certain jobs. These include:

Employer type NOC
Nursery and Greenhouse Workers 8432
Harvesting laborers 8611
General farmworkers 8431

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All about Austrian work visas – What you need to know

Note:

LMIA – Labour Market Impact Assessment

PR – Permanent Resident

WALI – Western Agriculture Labour Initiative

ESDC – Employment and Social Development Canada

FARMS – Foreign Agricultural Resource Management

PR – Permanent Residence

US now proposes not to grant business visa for H-1B jobs

US proposal against business visa for H-1B jobs

The US seems to be on an offensive mode against visa issues for non-immigrant class. The US government has now proposed to stop issuance of temporary business visas like B-1 for H-1B specialty occupations. Till now, it allowed overseas companies to send their tech professionals to the US for a short term to work in USA to complete jobs on-site in the US.

The case in point is the B-1 visa, which is a non-immigrant visa for foreigners who want to enter the USA temporarily for business. It has been looked on as an opportunity for foreign professionals to enter the US and work in USA in skilled jobs. It even encourages the workers and their employers to circumvent the requirements and restrictions under the ‘H’ non-immigrant visa class. These restrictions were originally established by Congress to protect US workers.

The State Department has stated that the proposed changes and the transparency that will come as a result will bring a favorable change for the US workforce. The proposed policy will save the US workers from the impact of aliens taking over specialty occupation without the protections under the procedure attached to the H-1B visa classification.

The State Department has also decided lately to the effect that if a foreign firm sought H-1B visas for its professionals to work in the US, the firm will require to pay the current US rate of wage for such professionals. The firm will also needto meet the other requirements dictated by Congress. These requirements are in view to safeguard the US workers.

The application process for a B-1 visa does not include the procedural requirements that come with an H-1B visa. Also, the fees for B-1 visas are much lesser than that of H-1B visas. These are also contributory factors to firms opting for the B-1 visa to get similar advantages of H-1B visas along with the absence of H-1B’s checks that are meant to protect US workers.

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

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New minimum wage rule turns up the heat on US immigration

US new minimum wage rule

The US has become a tricky place for immigrants. As per the latest rules imposed by the Trump administration, the minimum salary of doctors and other personnel arriving in the country on H-1B visa has been hiked by 40%. This has virtually made it impossible for US hospitals to hire physicians and medical specialists from foreign countries.

Will Trump’s “Save Americans!” clarion call work against America finally? As the Trump administration regularly affirms, the latest moves against immigrants have been intended to save American jobs from draining into the hands of immigrants. But will a stark disregard for the skilled professionals serving America’s vast range of enterprises really serve the purpose? Time will tell.

The push back against the Interim Final Rule

The decision to increase the minimumwages of overseas professionals was passed as an Interim Final Rule. This was challenged by US colleges and a group of trade organizations by filing a lawsuit in the Northern District of California court. The plaintiffs included:

  • US Chamber of Commerce
  • National Association of Manufacturers
  • American Association of International Healthcare Recruitment
  • California Institute of Technology
  • Stanford Junior University
  • Cornell University
The odds are against industries and immigrants! The increased minimum wages for foreigners arriving on non-immigrant USA work permit is impacting American businesses in a big way. The immigrants are also finding it hard to enter the US enterprises to work in USA, as the recruitments stall owing to increased overheads.

Even the not-for-profit sponsors for H-1B visa holders are feeling the adverse impact of the new visa decision. These include hospitals and some general business sponsors.

Smaller towns will have a bigger problem! Going by the new wage rates, a pediatrician’s wage will increase by 177% in Wichita, Kansas. In parts of Michigan, this will be 153%. This is a daunting situation for such smaller regions.

In places where DoL (Department of Labor) have not enough data in hand, a $100 hourly wage has been made mandatory. This will raise the annual pay of medical residents in teaching hospitals from $50,000 – $70,000 to 208,000. This will also be the case with Minneapolis, where the prevailing wage rate for a pediatrician is $115,000. The rural clinics in smaller towns will be hit hard with this hike.

Obviously, concerns are mounting! The employers in the US could be forced to violate the new wage rule in desperation, risking fines of up to $100,000 per violation.

In view of common interest on both sides, the US could well be reconsidering its decisions in time. This is especially a relevant possibility as the USA’s northern neighbor Canada is doing much better.

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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USCIS to increase its fees for premium processing for visas

USCIS increase premium processing fees

USCIS has announced that it will raise the fees for premium processing of US immigration visas. This will be effective from October 19, 2020. This move is as per the requirement of the Continuing Appropriations Act, 2021. Also, there are Other Extensions Act, Pub. L. No. 116-159involved. This was signed into the law on October 1, 2020.

The USCIS Premium Processing service lets petitioners pay an extra filing fee to make adjudication faster for certain forms. This process is generally done within 15 days. This Act includes the Emergency Stopgap USCIS Stabilization Act. It requires USCIS to impose and collect fees for additional premium processing. The proceeds from the additional funds from the fees will be used for expanded purposes.

The forms for which fees have been raised include:

  • Form I-907 – Request for Premium Processing – fee raised from $1,440 to $2,500
  • Form I-129 – Petition for a Nonimmigrant Worker requesting R-1 or H-2B non-immigrant status – fee raised from $1,440 to $1,500.

The new fee will be included in any Form I-907 postmarked on or after 19th October 2020. If this form is received by USCIS without the correct filing fee, it will be rejected. The filing fee will be returned keeping with the rules of USA immigration.

In case of filings sent by a commercial courier, the postmark date is the date seen on the courier receipt.

The legislation will be used as a guide to bring about the expansion of premium processing to other forms.

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

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New rules in the US to regulate H-1B visa, help citizens

Note:

USCIS – US Citizenship and Immigration Services

New study takes stock of the impact of Trump’s work visa policy

New study on Trump decision

The new working paper from The Brookings Institution says something about the Trump administration’s restricting entry to non-immigrant work visa holders. The matter is concerning as it says that the move may have cost the US economy $100 billion.

“An Executive Order worth $100 billion: The impact of an immigration ban’s announcement on Fortune 500 firms’ valuation” This is the name of the paper published with the facts that reveal the extent of the financial burden that the Trump administration’s move mayhave created. The $100 billion in losses was calculated on Fortune 500 firms. This was calculated based on the valuation of these companies before the new order was issued by the Trump administration.

The results of Trump’s decision had more impact on those US firms that had a higher reliance on immigrants willing to work in USA. They possess good working skills especially in information technology and financial services.

Hard time for H-1B, L-1, and J1 visa holders On June 22, 2020, Trump proposed to bar the entry of H-1B, L-1, and J1 visa holders and suspended these non-immigrant work visas till the end of 2020.

The Trump order was however nullified by a US district court in early October 2020. The study conducted for the paper was focused on L-1 and H-1B visas. The reason was that these visas were the most relevant to top companies.

The possibility of jobs moving overseas leading to a dip in innovation in the USA is a glaring impact projected as a result of the new policy related to US work permit visa.

The restrictions on skilled visas are bound to create a supply shock for firms in the US in a range of industrial and service sectors. However, the negative impact that will be immediately felt could be countered in the long-run with offshoring arrangements.

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

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Norwegians can now bring grandparents living abroad home

Norway family members can enter country

Norway has announced that it will allow more family members of Norwegian residents and citizens to enter the country from abroad. These family members could be third-world citizens banned by the EU currently.

Family members including grandparents of Norwegian citizens and residents will be exempted from the entry ban. Erna Solberg, the Norwegian Prime Minister, and Monica Maeland, the Minister of Justice and Public Security, have dedicated this is Norway’s early Christmas present for grandparents abroad. They are eagerly awaited in the country.

The new rule will be implemented from October 21, 2020. From then the following people will be able to enter on a Norway visit visa:

  • Children and stepchildren to a resident in Norway, aged above 21 years
  • EEA citizens and their family members residing in third countries
  • Children of established boyfriend/girlfriend (a relationship existing for at least 9 months, and both persons involved have met physically)
  • Parents and stepparents of children living in Norway and aged above 21
  • Grandparents and grandparents of a Norwegian resident
  • Grandchildren and great-grandchildren of a Norwegian resident
  • Spouse, cohabitant, registered partner, and children of Norwegian citizens living abroad and traveling to Norway together with the Norwegian citizen

In spite of the exemption, the general rules in the Immigration Act governing the rules of entry such as travel documents will be applicable to them.

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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Norway issues a safer passport with unique design

New safer Norwegian passport

Norway has started to issue safer passports to its citizens. The application for the new passport can be submitted at all passport and ID offices in Norway. The new passport will be more secure and will be difficult to forge.

The new passport will be instrumental in preventing evils like ID theft, terrorism, and human trafficking. The first new passports have been issued on October 19, 2020. They were issued to Ine Eriksen Søreide, the Minister of Foreign Affairs, and Monica Mæland, the Minister of Justice and Public Security.

The application procedure for the new passport will be the same as before. For applying, an appointment has to be booked at police.no. The existing passport holders with validity remaining in them needn’t apply for the new passport. They can apply for the new passport once their current passport expires.

The passport has details from Norwegian nature that’s used both as security element and background illustration. A distinct feature of the new passport’s design is that when UV light is applied on the pages of the passports it reveals a reproduction of the Norwegian landscape that changes from day to night.

Neue Design Studio designed the new passport. Their creative and innovative design won a competition for the passport design that, besides its safety features, had criteria like:

  • Expressing the Norwegian identity
  • Maintaining Norwegian traditions
  • Having relevance that stays for many years
  • Universal design
  • High functionality

The design is lauded for successful in instilling a sense of belonging to Norway in its citizens irrespective of their gender, age, or the region the passport-holder originates from.

Norway visit visa offers you a great opportunity to reach out for several attractions of Norway. The country offers so many thrilling tasks you can undertake like skiing and trekking. The beauty of its landscape will also captivate anyone and will want them to return on a Norway 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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New Zealand helps Ph.D., PG students to return for studies