Sunday, February 28, 2010


The UK Government today announced the go-live date for Tiers 2 and 5 of the new Australian-style points based system (PBS).

These tiers, which cover skilled and temporary workers, will come into effect on 27 November – sweeping aside around 30 previous schemes, including the old work permit system. This is part of the biggest shake-up to the UK immigration system for 45 years. It will reinforce the UK’s position as a destination of choice for foreign workers, while tightening control against those who seek to abuse the system.

The changes will also end the Working Holiday Maker scheme which allowed 17 to 30 year olds from commonwealth countries to live and work in the UK as part of a cultural exchange. Anyone wanting to go the UK to work must from the 27th November qualify for a visa under Tier 1 or 2 of the PBS (provision is also specifically made for work in creative, sporting,

voluntary and religious sectors under tier 5 of the PBS).

To qualify under Tier 2, skilled foreign nationals will have to earn a certain number of points before being allowed to work in Britain. These points are awarded only if a person can prove they will be doing skilled work, speak a good standard of English, and have a recognised qualification. Points will also be awarded for prospective earnings. Employers in Britain will need a licence from the UK Border Agency to offer jobs to skilled workers.

The new system is fairer for applicants – allowing them to calculate how many points they will be awarded, and therefore if they are likely to be issued a visa, before making their application. Tier 2 is also simpler because it replaces a two stage application process with a single application.

Border and Immigration Minister Phil Woolas said:

“The UK is a fantastic place to work and we want the UK to stay open and attractive to skilled workers. At the same time we are determined to deliver a system of border security which is among the most secure in the world.

“The new Australian-style points system will allow us to attract those people who have the skills we need. It is also flexible, allowing us to raise or lower the bar according to the needs of the labour market and the country as a whole.”

The Home Office will also introduce a new Business Visitor Visa for visa nationals on the 27th November to cater for business activities falling outside the points system. It will allow travel to the UK for people undertaking specific business activity – including attending meetings or conferences, arranging deals, undertaking fact finding missions, and conducting

site visits. Non visa nationals will not need prior entry clearance (visa) to come to the UK to

undertake this work.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010


The United States L1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows companies operating both in the US and abroad to transfer certain classes of employee from its foreign operations to the USA operations for up to seven years. The employee must have worked for a subsidiary, parent, affiliate or branch office of your US company outside of the US for at least one year out of the last three years.


Companies operating in the US can apply to the relevant USCIS service center for an L1 visa to transfer someone to the US from their overseas operations. Employees in this category will, initially, be granted an L-1 visa for up to three years.

There are two types of employees who may be sponsored for USA L1 visas:


The legal definition of management and executive roles for these purposes is quite strict, and a detailed description of the duties attached to the position will be required. In particular, the executive or manager should have supervisory responsibility for professional staff and/or for a key function, department or subdivision of the employer. Such personnel are issued an L1A visa, initially for a three year period extendible in two year increments to a maximum of seven years.

Specialized Knowledge Staff 

This category covers those with knowledge of the company's products/services, research, systems, proprietary techniques, management, or procedures. Staff in this category are issued an L1B visa, initially for three years extendibles to a maximum of five years.

On completing the maximum allowable period in L-1 status, the employee must be employed outside the United States for a minimum of one year before a new application is made for L or H status.

Friday, February 19, 2010

Interview Tips for Candidates, Interview Tips Canada

Interview Tips for Canadian Immigration

Interview is a decisive factor in the process that covers your Canadian Immigration application process. It is natural for you to be concerned about your Interview and do all the essential preparations previously to keep away from any annoy in future.

  1. The first thing - You have to prove your intentions are genuine, not fake, before the Immigration officer.
  2. Make certain that you have all the documentation so as to prove your qualifications.
  3.  It is very important to understand the interview questions to answer them appropriately. Misinterpretation often leads to wrong answers and thus enhance your chances of a visa denial. If by in any case, you are not able to hear the question correctly, never be uncertain to ask the question again, but respectfully.
  4. Be polite to your Interviewer at the same time as maintaining an eye contact with him. This will demonstrate your honesty towards your case.
  5. You can also make notes during your interview to get ready for your question in advance. Write down the main points in the bulleted form to make it easier for you.
  6. Have a brief knowledge about your occupation, the country where you are planning to immigrate and other such factors linked with Immigration. Knowing the official language of Canada i.e. English or French would give you an added advantage.

Monday, February 15, 2010

UK Student Visa Requirements 2010

Home Secretary Alan Johnson has announced changes to student visas that will mean that students will need to have better English; Also, those on shorter courses will only be allowed to work a smaller number of hours in the UK. It is interesting to note that only a week ago UKBA announced a temporary ban on student visa applications from Northern India, Bangladesh and Nepal.

The new requirements since 7 February 2009 are as follows:

  • If you are from outside the EU you will need to speak English to a level just below GCSE standard, instead of beginner level English at present
  • If you are a student taking a course below degree level you will only be allowed to work for 10 hours a week, instead of the 20 hours presently allowed
  • If you are on a short course of under six months you will not be allowed to bring dependants into the UK.
  • If you are on a course below degree level your dependants will not be allowed to work

Visas for courses below degree level with a work placement will only be granted if the institution that you attend is on a new register, the Highly Trusted Sponsors List.
The Home Secretary said that 30% of migrants to the UK gain entry on a student visa. A number of these students take courses at a lower level than degree level. There were 240,000 student visas issued by the UK in 2008/09. A review of the system had been ordered in November 2009. This is despite the fact that the new Tier 4 student visa points based system was only introduced last year.

The UK Government has stated that tougher rules have been brought in to stop people abusing the student visa system to remain illegally in the UK. It should be noted that the UK has benefitted enormously from overseas students. Overseas students provide a substantial income to colleges and Universities. Especially during times of economic growth students and their dependents provide a useful source of new employees.

The opposition party the Conservatives had said that the student visa system had been the "biggest hole in border controls".

The Home Secretary had the following to say on the BBC's Andrew Marr Show:

"By 2011, we will have the most sophisticated system in the world to check people not just coming into the country but to check they have left as well," he said.

He said the UK remains open to those foreign students who want to come to the UK for legitimate study.

"If you are coming here for a course that is under six months you cannot bring your dependents"

"We are the second most popular location for people going into higher education," he said.

"We have to be careful that we are not damaging a major part of the UK economy, between £5bn and £8bn."

Immigration Minister Phil Woolas on the BBC's Politics Show said that 200 bogus colleges had been closed. He had the following to say:

"Students have foreign national identity cards. We have the e-Border counting in and counting out."

"The latest proposals are a response to the moves by people who are trying to get round the system."

Friday, February 12, 2010

DS 160 form, DS 160 form for US Visa

US application form DS160 must be be completed online. No paper application.
Applicant from India, applying at US consulate in India, will soon be able to complete this application online at VFS website beginning 19JAN 2010. 
FAQ on form DS160

1. Where can I find the DS-160?
You can access the DS-160 from the Consular Electronic Application Center website or from the link on the U.S. Embassy or Consulate website.

2. Can my answers be in my native language?
No. All application questions, except as specially provided, must be in English, using English characters only. Applications that are submitted in any language other than English may be denied, and you may be required to submit a new application.

3. Are all fields on the DS-160 mandatory?
Most fields on the DS-160 are mandatory. You may leave fields marked “Optional” blank. Some fields may also give you the option to select “Does Not Apply”. If that field does not apply to you, you may mark the box next to “Does Not Apply.” All other fields must be completed: the application will not allow you to submit a form with any mandatory fields left blank. In this instance, an error message will be displayed and you will be required to complete the field before continuing with the application. If you do not answer questions that apply, your form may also be rejected.

4. What happens if I need to step away in the middle of data entry?
The DS-160 will “time out” approximately 20 minutes after the application has been idle. The “time out” is designed to protect your privacy. If the application times out, all the data that has been entered will be lost. In order to guard against possible “time out” issues you should save the application at regular intervals while you are completing the application. To save the application, click the “Save” button at the bottom center of the application. Clicking save will temporarily save your application. In order to permanently save your application, select the “Save Application to File” button. Then, click the “Save” button on the File Download window. Identify a place on your computer to save the application file, browse to that location, and click the “Save” button on the Save As window. The system will download your application to the specified location. Once the download is complete you can click “Close” to return to the application. You can then use the “Import Application Date” option on the “Getting Started” page to upload the data that you have already entered.

5. I understand that I can upload a photo with my application. How do I get a digital photo that will successfully upload to my application?
Please refer to the Guidelines for Photographs - for Online Visa Applications for detailed guidance for using a digital camera, and requirements for scanned images.

6. The confirmation page has an "X" in the box where the photo should be. What does that mean?
That means that the photo upload failed. Therefore, you will need to submit one printed photograph meeting requirements, along with the online DS-160 confirmation page. Please verify with the U.S. Embassy or Consulate where you are applying for specific instructions on how to attach your photo to your confirmation page. See the print photo format found in the Nonimmigrant Photograph Requirements. If the confirmation page includes a photo image, then the photo upload function has succeeded and no separate print photograph is required.

7. Why did the edits I made from the review page "edit" link not save?
In order for data changes made from the review page links to save, you must use the buttons at the bottom of each page to navigate, instead of the browser's back/forward buttons or the buttons along the left of the screen.

8. Should I save my application before I submit it?
YES! You should, if you can, save your application locally (to either your computer hard drive or a CD) before you submit your application. Saving your application locally is beneficial in two ways. First, if your application is rejected by the U.S. Embassy or Consulate for being incomplete, i.e., your application contains non-responsive answers or you failed to answer a critical question, you will be able access your saved application data, correct the non-responsive or incomplete answers and submit the corrected application without having to complete an entirely new application. Second, if you are a frequent visa applicant, you can update your saved application the next time you wish to apply for a visa and submit the updated application. This will save you time by not having to re-enter information that has not changed since the last time you applied.

9. How do I save my application?
To save the application, click the “Save” button at the bottom center of the application. Clicking save will temporarily save your application. In order to permanently save your application, select the “Save Application to File” button. Then, click the “Save” button on the File Download window. Identify a place on your computer to save the application file, browse to that location, and click the “Save” button on the Save As window. The system will download your application to the specified location. Once the download is complete, you can click “Close” to return to the application. You can then use the “Import Application Date” option on the “Getting Started” page to upload the data that you have already entered.

10. Do I bring my entire application with me to the interview, or do I just bring the confirmation page?
You should not bring your entire application. Your confirmation page is all that is needed to retrieve your application data. You must bring the confirmation page with you during all phases of the application process. Without the confirmation page, it may not be possible to access your application and process your visa case.

11. I am traveling with my family or as part of a group. Can I create a family or group application?
Yes. On the “Thank You” page you will see an option to create a family or group application. When you select this option, certain information from your application, such as destination, will automatically be imported to and displayed on a new application. Please note that if you use this option you will need to create an individual application for each of your family members traveling with you or for each individual within the group.

12. If I use the option on the "Thank You" page to create a family or group application, can I modify the data automatically populated by the system?
Yes. If one of the dependents has a different surname or nationality, for example, the applicant can alter that data on the application before submitting.

13. When I apply for a nonimmigrant visa using the online DS-160, are additional forms required?
No, with one exception. When applying at a U.S. Embassy or Consulate that is using the new DS-160, Online Nonimmigrant Visa Application, you will use only one (1) form. For Embassies and Consulates that have converted to this new process, the DS-160 has replaced all of the following forms: DS-156, DS-157, DS-158, and DS-3032, which are no longer necessary.NOTE: The exceptions are Fiancee Visas (K-1/2) which still require use of the forms DS-156 and DS-156K, and the Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor visa application, which is explained in #14 below.

It is important to check the Embassy or Consulate website where you will apply for your nonimmigrant visa for information on the application process in place. Embassies and consulates worldwide will transition one-by-one to the DS-160. Therefore, those Embassies which have not yet converted to the new DS-160 online form continue to require all application forms, as necessary.

14. I am applying for a Treaty Trader/Treaty Investor, E Visa. Do I need to fill out the DS-160 and the DS-156E?
It depends. If you are an E Visa, Principal Investor (E-2) applicant, all you need to complete is the DS-160. If you are a Treaty Trader (E-1) or an Executive/Manager/Essential Employee you will need to complete the DS-160 and you or your employer will need to complete the paper DS-156E. (Sometime next year a new form, the DS-161, E Visa Business Information form, will be released. This form will allow you or your employer to complete an online form and submit the form electronically to the Department. Until that time all treaty traders, executives, managers, and essential employees of an E visa business will be required to complete and submit the paper DS-156E.)

Visa Interview Preparation

Despite having all the documents and meeting all the criteria people often get the refusal. A lot of its depends on the Interview, whether you successfully get the Visa or not. Here are few tips based on the people's experience and facts.
Now don't get nervous with the word interview. This is not like a job interview, however this is an important process (for visa seeker) so take it easy with confidence and follow the following tips.

The first essential step toward a successful interview is preparation.

The most important thing that you can carry with you is your self-confidence. Applicants who are well prepared and confident in their responses to the visa officer, are almost always successful in getting the US visa.

General Preparation

Get some information/ general knowledge on what the Visa is all about? What is the process etc.?
Prepare for most commonly asked questions.
Be there a little earlier.
Ask for a interpreter if you are not conversant or confident with English.

Document Preparation:

  1. Fill all the forms/applications neatly and completely.
  2. Know what you have filled in the form. Many times it happens (specially in parent's case) where children or the sponsor fill out the application and the applicant him/her self don't know what information is provided.
  3. Provide correct and authentic information.
  4. If getting copies for documents make sure the copies are of good quality and readable.
  5. Verify that the Names, Date of Birth, etc. should match with the information in your passport.
  6. Organize your documents in proper logical order:

A well organized and orderly arranged documents can make it easy for you to find the right documents quickly during interview.

Physical Preparation:

Your physical presentation is often an important point. What you look like and how you say something are just as important as what you say. So dress up nicely and keep smiling.

Attitude Preparation:
Provide to the point and concise answers. Do not add any thing which is not relevant or not being asked. (In most the cases, this is where people make a mistake by giving unnecessary and unasked details). Other tips for the interview are:

Do not argue.
Do not ask unnecessary questions.
Be polite.
    What the officer is looking for?

    The primary goal for the interview is to verify all information presented in the application and to make sure that, you (applicant) has enough ties back in your home country and will come back after your visit to the United States.

    Documents and interview/questions are a few ways through which the consulate officer tries to determine the eligibility for the visa grant.

    What do "ties" mean?

    "Ties" are the aspects of your life that bind you to your place of residence, including family relationships, employment and possessions. In the case of younger applicants who may not have had an opportunity to establish such ties, interviewing officers may look at educational status, grades, the situation of parents, and an applicant's long-range plans and prospects in your home country. As each person's situation is different, there is no set answer as to what constitutes adequate ties.

    During the interview:

    Greet the Interviewer when you see him/her at the beginning.
    Communicate clearly and in a comprehensive way. Do not hesitate to politely ask to repeat or rephrase the question, if you don't understand any questions.

    Generally asked questions:

    Why do you want to travel to the USA?
    Who is sponsoring you ?
    What do you do?
    When did you retired ?
    How much pension do you get?
    What is your annual income?
    Have you ever visited any other country?
    Do you have leave granted application? (If you are job holder)
    Can I see you Business/visiting card?
    Who will look after your business in your absence (if you are a business man).
    Do you have a credit card?
    How many children do you have ? And where are they? What do they do?
    Who is there in USA?
    How long will you be staying in USA?
    Will you work there?
    Will you come back?
    How can you assure me that you will come back?
    What does your daughter/son/son- in- law do?
    How long has your son/daughter been living in USA?

      Monday, February 8, 2010

      Indian Government in talks over ban on UK student visas

      The Indian Government has stated that educational cooperation is an "important facet" of Indo-UK ties. They will be in contact with the British High Commission to "better understand the reasons" for the temporary freeze on UK student visa applications by those based in Northern India.

      The Indian Government is trying to help genuine students planning to study in the UK who have been affected by the temporary ban on student visa applications made at UK Visa application centres in New Delhi, Chandigarh and Jalandhar from 1 February 2010. An Indian official said, Student exchanges form a vital component of this cooperation. We would remain in touch with the BHC (British High Commission) on this matter.

      The Ministry of External Affairs has been in touch with the British High Commission on this matter to better understand the reasons behind this decision and also to ensure that bonafide Indian students planning to go to the UK for studies are not adversely impacted," he said.

      It is also interesting to note that the UK Border Agency is investigating a number of UK education providers. This week approximately 60 education providers in the UK were suspended from the sponsors' register.

      The UK Border Agency on 31 January 2010 announced the temporary ban on UK Tier 4 student visa applications at the three Visa Application Centres in India and at Visa Application Centres in Bangladesh and Nepal. There was a huge increase in the number of UK student Tier 4 visa applications made in Northern India in the last three months of 2009. The temporary ban was introduced as UKBA was concerned that many of these student visa applications were not genuine.

      Tuesday, February 2, 2010

      Ultimate jobs program for America: Immigration timeout

      In his State of the Union speech a few days ago, President Obama said, “Jobs must be our number one focus in 2010.” I agree with that statement. But unfortunately, Obama’s solution will just make things worse and he overlooked a real jobs program that would not cost taxpayers a penny. Many Democratic strategists and talking heads are saying the party erred by putting health care before the economy. But the real problem is not Obama’s priorities, but that his solution to every problem is more government spending.

      Obama first took on jobs by wasting over a trillion dollars in his stimulus package, and then he tried to deal with health care by proposing another trillion-dollar boondoggle. The new jobs bill he outlined in the State of the Union speech was more of the same: spending money we don’t have on public sector jobs in infrastructure, education and energy.

      Instead of putting future generations further into debt, we could immediately free up millions of jobs by tackling immigration reform – true immigration reform, not the imposter called amnesty. Barack Obama mentioned immigration only briefly at the end of his speech when he said, “We should continue the work of fixing our broken immigration system to secure our borders and enforce our laws, and ensure that everyone who plays by the rules can contribute to our economy and enrich our nation.”

      Like with the economy and health care, Obama has identified a problem but then proposes a solution that makes the problem worse. While the statements in the speech seemed innocuous and vague, the White House’s website issued talking points that explained what the line meant: The president is pleased Congress is taking steps forward on immigration reform that includes effective border security measures with a path for legalization for those who are willing to pay taxes and abide by the law. Obama is referring to a bill by Rep. Luis Gutierrez (D-Ill.) that will gut enforcement, reduce border security, grant a blanket amnesty to illegal aliens, and massively increase legal immigration. This will cost Americans literally millions of jobs!

      In last week’s column, I discussed a number of real reforms we should make to fix our immigration system. The final step I advocated was a three-year “timeout,” a moratorium on legal immigration. In light of the growing debate on job creation, I’d like to elaborate on what exactly a moratorium is and why we need to enact one immediately.

      Every month our government lets in 75,000 permanent foreign workers viagreen cards” and 50,000 temporary workers through numerous guest worker programs. That’s 1.5 million new foreign workers each year. Then add all the illegal aliens flooding across our open borders. Every one of those new arrivals is competing with American citizens for jobs and contrary to the propaganda of the open borders lobby, they are not taking only “jobs Americans won’t do.”

      Last month, the Census Bureau data showed one out of six people in the American workforce is foreign born. That’s the highest figure since the 1920s and over three times as high as it was in 1965, when our immigration system was overhauled by the then-junior senator from Massachusetts, Edward Kennedy.

      When our economy was growing, these figures were easy to ignore, but with 25 million Americans out of work, it is insane to continue these policies. Yet, few members of Congress in either party are willing to discuss reducing legal immigration to safeguard American jobs.

      While I applaud immigrants who arrive legally, who want to assimilate and become Americans, our immigration policy needs to put the interest of the American economy and American citizens first. And with so many Americans out of work and millions of legal immigrants already in the work force, we need a three-year timeout on legal immigration as well as secure borders to halt illegal immigration.

      In addition to freeing up jobs for American workers, a three-year moratorium will free up resources to help government immigration agencies deal with existing case backlogs and fraud investigations. A timeout on immigration will also make it easier for the legal immigrants already here to assimilate. And unlike Obama’s jobs program, a moratorium will not cost a penny and will create new private sector jobs for Americans and legal immigrants already here.

      It is true that a moratorium on immigration will not solve our unemployment problem, but this is a classic case where the old axiom ought to be heeded: when you find yourself in a hole, the first thing to do is  stop digging.


      Immigration Information