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Tier 2 Visa Losing Fame – Indians Reluctant To Move In UK

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First H-1B in US. Now the Tier 2 visa in UK. What next? Changing immigration policies are hitting hard and fast.

The latest to get embroiled in the anti-immigration outburst is the Tier 2 visa from UK. The Home Office has revealed figures for the number of Tier 2 applicants recently. If their records are accurate, there is a decline of about 4 percent in the number of applications in the year ending in June 2017.

Tier 2 is the mainstay of the tech industry in UK as is the H-1B for US. But with radical changes about to happen in immigration policies for both nations, the panic is already spreading.

Up until now, Indians constituted a large majority of the applicants vying for the Tier 2 visa. And even after this decline, they continue to be so. However, the reduction in number may indicate a change in the trend.

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Surveys suggest that the complicated application process for both the employer and the applicants are the primary reasons for this. The labor market test for UK-based employers makes it hard for them to find the right candidate in UK and EU. Compounding this effect is the anti-immigrant sentiment rampant in the western civilization. This is despite the fact that Indians have an exit rate of 97%. Considering the fact that these figures showcase more than 96% compliance according to Home Office themselves, one would expect the Tier 2 to be simplified for the better. Tough luck, it seems, is prevalent even after pleas of ‘favorable visa terms’ for Indians from British Asian Lord Jitesh Gadhia.

Uncertain Future?

Not quite. Things are certainly on a positive track. Very recently, a leaked Home Office document revealed UK’s plans to introduce restrictions on EU nationals entering the UK for employment. This ought to make the labor market more competitive, giving a boost to job seekers from commonwealth countries. Until then, Indians seem to maintain a judicious approach.

International students wary of Trump’s view on immigration

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Strict immigration policies in the US on the horizon – international students shying away

The latest to fall in the line of dominoes are the US universities, feeling the sting of reduced admissions from the international student community. According to a study, officials from a dozen or so universities from the US have reported varying degrees of decline in the number of international students.

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The statistic seems to indicate that the downward spiral is mostly among students from India and China. Combined together, the number of applications usually make up more than half of the revenue stream for these universities. This has hit them truly where it hurts.

This development is not a surprising one though. It is the direct result of recent events. The sudden talk of clamping down on H-1B visas and the OPT has put a stop on most students’ plans post education. With uncertainty about potential employment after graduation looming on their heads, the students now have a valid reason to be apprehensive. Additional checking and paperwork may also adversely impact some students as they try to struggle with deadlines for enrollment.

As if this situation is not bad enough, intolerance is at an all time high and xenophobia is making its way in the minds of locals at an alarming pace. Clashes between far-right radicals and the diverse ethnic groups have increased in number, which puts most students at risk. Fearful about their security, the potential applicants are preferring to choose less frigid destinations to call home their land of dreams.

It is unclear whether this situation will change in the near future. But one thing is certain. If adequate measures are not put into place quickly, the US may lose its status as the most preferred destination for students to pursue their higher education.

Australian Immigration Department Planning To Control Permanent Residency

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The Immigration Department of Australia is pondering over the option of introducing a provisional visa in their policy. Now immigrants may have to spend time in a probationary period before they can apply for a permanent residency.

The current policy is quite relaxed, whereby any immigrant with a temporary visa can apply for a permanent residency in Australia. However, the Australian government is considering the possibility to introduce a temporary visa in their immigration policy. It has posted a consultation paper on the government website, which states the current visa policy. It also mentions the various visa reforms that are yet to be considered for implementation. And one of those reforms is the introduction of this provisional visa. The government is encouraging the public to submit their opinions about this paper through their online form before September 15th, 2017.

The primary purpose of these reforms stems from the concern over uncontrolled immigration of individuals in Australia. The consultation paper states that these reform are needed to put a check on immigrants who have ‘no legitimate purpose’ or ‘who could even wish them harm’.

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As a part of this measure, the paper also discusses the possibility of reducing the number of visa types from 99 to just about 10. The advantage, according to the Immigration Department is multi-fold. Not only will this system ease the burden on taxpayers, but streamline the process on the department as well. Furthermore, individuals looking to migrate to Australia will find it easier to navigate the immigration system, it is said.

Whether this system is going to be a boon or a bane is not yet clear. The Department of Immigration and Border Protection might find this step necessary to weed out the unwanted elements. Migrants are in opposition to this system as it will cost them their most valuable currency to find a better life abroad – time.

Scotland’s Politicians Worry As Economy Falls Due To Brexit

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Scotland has been seeking independence from the United Kingdom for a long time now. Their failure to achieve independence in the 2014 led to a huge disappointment in the country and they are now facing economic downfall due to Brexit. This has also made the chances of Scotland getting their independence even slimmer, even though a second referendum has been made for initiating so.

In June 2016, 51.9% of the UK voted to leave the European Union (EU), popularly known as Brexit. Out
of the percentage who voted against Brexit, Scotland had given in 100% of their votes towards not
exiting the EU. This has led to a lot of international break in relations and the economy graph is not at its
best.

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Most EU nationals have been leaving Scotland and the UK. This has led to a huge net migration fall.
The number of EU nationals leaving the UK is rapidly rising and is the highest now in comparison to the last 10 years. Over 50 percent of the people that have left the UK are from the EU.

Scotland has been suffering from lack of people working in various sectors. A lot of people working in
Scotland were EU nationals. Businesses depending on workers from the EU, could suffer from a
standstill. The oil revenue in Scotland has plummeted way below normal and is affecting its economy
adversely. The currency exchange rate has also fallen largely since the Brexit.

Nicola Sturgeon, the First Minister of Scotland, is trying to persuade the Scottish Parliament to regain its
hold over immigration policies so that can get workers back from the EU. She mentioned not believing
that the country’s best interests lie in blanket immigration policies. She feels that freedom should be
given to all parts of the UK to decide what suits the requirements of their individual economy.

Visa war between USA and EU countries intensifies

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Recently Washington has refused to allow citizens from European Union countries to make visa-free travel in the United States of America. European Parliament has responded to that decision which is going to restrict Americans from a visa-free visit in some of the new countries under the European Union.

The European Parliament has come up with this decision to continue its battle with the USA while the American government is planning to make it more difficult for the foreigners by bringing restrictions in the B1 and B2 visitor visa schemes. Currently, the EU citizens can obtain entry in the USA under these two schemes for less than 90 days by applying online through ESTA.

The initial visa battle between the USA and MEP started when the American government decided not to allow citizens from Croatia, Bulgaria, Romania, Poland and Cyprus under any of the visa-free travel schemes to enter in the American soil.

John Kelly, the secretary of Homeland Security said the Trump government may also bring some other restrictions for the European citizens in near future. He also mentioned that due to concern about terrorism, the reason for a European person to visit in the USA should always be reviewed as the B1 and B2 visa schemes have enabled citizens from 38 different countries to visit the USA without facing any interview at any of the US consulate or embassies.

Recently, Mr. Trump has issued an executive order to review and suggest any possible changes in the H-1B visa scheme, though the future of this order is highly dependable on the Congress. It is clear that if the Trump government makes it difficult for the European citizens to visit the USA, then it will surely increase the enmity of the Trump government.

The EU commission has now 60 days to force visa visit for the Americans after the Parliament decided to put a restriction of 12 months for the American for a visa-free visit in the European countries.

Mr. Santander, executive director of the European Travel Commission said that the suspension over the Americans for visa-free access and declaring a visa war against the USA may bring harm towards the tourism sector of Europe.

In 2014, the European Commission issued a deadline for the USA with some other countries to deliver reciprocal visa schemes for the European citizens while USA responded not to allow visa-free visit for citizens of five new countries under the EU, as these countries are yet to meet the necessary requirements by the USA for security reasons.

 

H-1B Visa Changes may require Congressional action

in USA/Visas by

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US immigration experts are of the opinion that the new order of Trump on H-1 B visa will not be as smooth as some approvals in the Congress may be needed. In her latest statement, Rebecca Bernhard a well-known immigration expert said that the new executive order by the USA president to make changes in the H-1 B visa scheme will require either some actions by the US Congress or some new regulations by the agencies to trigger it. She made her statement after Mr. Donald Trump has ordered every department of the state, labor, homeland justice and security to judge the ongoing laws and fundamentals of the country and then to suggest some changes, giving priority to positions with high skill and wages.  

Rebecca Bernhard also said that H-1B visa which is very much popular among the Indian professionals requires a person to hold a bachelor degree certificate for the offered position in the USA. Additionally, she mentioned that what Mr. Trump is trying to do can be implemented quickly as the employers are already paying training and anti-fraud fees to the government and documented fraud cases for H-1B visa are very low.

Bernhard added that an employer who is applying for an employee H-1B visa completes all the legal steps because it really needs talent for that particular job position. She also said H-1B visa doesn’t work as a way to replace an American worker, but it actually helps to obtain access for a foreign worker in the country for some certain skilled jobs. Supporting the latest data report by the universities, she mentioned that 60% of the foreign students who are applying for H-1B visa are actually graduating from the USA itself and the rate of unemployment for companies with a requirement of H-1B visa is low than the other visa related cases of unemployment.

Continuing her statement, Bernhard added that most of the USA companies ask workers with H-1B visa not because the cost of a successful application is very high, but they also can’t find a suitable American worker to replace their requirements.

Marina Whitman, a professor at the Michigan University, mentioned that the hiring of workers from foreign countries on H-1B visa to support skill gaps of American workers are truly genuine, but to force them to train employees with lower wages than them is not fair. She added that according to Mr. Trump the new order may bring a suitable wage floor for the H-1 B visa holders who will be judged as a highly skilled professional.

International students need new immigration policy

in UK/Visas by

UK universities

The furor that the immigration issue has created, it is increasingly becoming difficult for aspiring applicants from countries like India to go to the UK for higher studies. The result being that there has been a sharp decline in the number of applications. Going by the recent trends, the Universities of UK has urged the government to do away with the method of taking international students from its yearly target of immigration cuts.

Dame Julia Goodfellow, President of Universities UK said that the recent crackdown on visas by the Government has lead to the perception that the international students are not welcome there and it may lead to decrease in business by the Universities.

She coherently stated that if the UK wants to maintain its position of being the top destination for international students, it would need to imbibe alterations in the existing immigration policy. Such a policy would be required that you infuse confidence in international students to choose the UK as their study destination.  She feels that the UK needs to approach the international talented community and make them feel safe than anything else now.

Goodfellow’s comments clearly voice the results of a poll that were conducted by Universities UK. According to the poll, almost a good 73% of the British public were in favor of students from international communities and countries coming to the UK to study. Against this, a meager 26% of the British population viewed international students as immigrants.

Another study by UK’s official agency for the study of quantitative information about higher education, Higher Education Statistics Agency (HESA), showed a decline of 9% in the year 2015-16 in the number of applications of international students and with the new immigration policy, this gap seems to be on the rise. What is worth mentioning here is that the highest percentage of decrease has been registered in India with a massive 44% between 2011-12 and 2015-16.

The Universities UK along with various other groups have laid down a referendum to the UK government for a new immigration policy to facilitate international students to study there.

A leading Indian-origin entrepreneur and Cobra Beer founder, Lord Bilimoria said that the two-year post- study work visa UK must be reintroduced so that the foreign students can implement their newly learned skills and it can give a boost to the UK economy. The said visa was withdrawn in the year 2012 and it was recently reintroduced.

EB5 Visa Program may end on April 28th

in USA/Visas by

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Rumor is in the air that US President Mr. Trump may put further restrictions on the working visa of H1B and also L1B. L1A involves transfer of senior executives and managers of the company and L1B is in case of workers who have a specialized knowledge on the field.

Officials in the US administration are saying that Trump is also putting restrictions on EB5 Immigrant Investor Visa Program. Chances are there that the said visa may also get cancelled in the near future. Indians with a fat purse are applying for this visa in huge numbers in order to get  the Green Card in USA before any changes are brought into effect. This visa program helps the High Net Worth (HNI) to get a Green Card for themselves and also Permanent Residency Status for their immediate family members. To get this visa, Indian nationals are required to invest $500,000 in a US company so that it generates at least 10 jobs in the US market.

According to the latest statistics, thousands of EB5 visas are getting filed in the current year of 2017. The list shows that Indians constitute 4th largest beneficiary of the EB5 visa program in the current year. With Trump closing different avenues for getting Green card, Indians are trying to obtain this route to obtain Green Card and permanent residency status. This is the main reason for which the numbers of EB5 filings have increased so much this year.

Moreover, in an unofficial attempt to stop the entry of Indians, Trump administration have also put a ban of the Indians under E1 Treaty Trader or E2 Treaty Investor Scheme. Hence Indians are vying for the EB5 route, in spite of the fact that it is very expensive.

Mr. Trump is also planning to double the minimum salary requirement to $130,000 to restrict the entry of Indians through H1B visa programs. If this is implemented into law, it will almost become impossible for Indian students to get a job there. Regarding cancellation of the EB5 visa program, experts are of the opinion that he may not entirely cancel the Visa program as that is directly related to some form of investment. He may increase the investment cap to $1,300,000 which now stands at $500,000. Even this visa is also under extension till April 28th and whether it gets extension, can only be seen in the weeks to come at the end of this month.

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