Flight fares to remain high on strong demand

Dubai: Despite Gulf and Indian air carriers increasing capacity and flights between the two regions, fares are unlikely to come down while demand for seats remains high, according to a survey. As per the new Visa Global Travel Intentions Survey, 2011, released here by Arabian Business weekly magazine, India was voted one of the top global destinations for travellers from the UAE this year and continues to be popular with travelers in the Gulf.

"India is consistently popular with people living in the UAE, both because it is home to a large population of expatriate Indians who come to work here in the UAE, but also because of its relatively close proximity, extensive and good value travel links," said Kamran Siddiqi, the General Manager for Visa Middle East.

Air India already operates around 53 weekly flights to Dubai and its low-fare unit, Air India Express, operates 54 weekly flights. Other carriers in the Gulf and India are also looking to tap the lucrative market.

Qatar Airways said India would be one of its key growth markets in 2011 and recently launched a daily service to Kolkata. It already operates 95 flights a week to 12 other Indian cities, including Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai and Goa.

India's largest low-cost carrier, IndiGo, has also announced routes between Dubai and New Delhi and Dubai and Mumbai.

Jet Airways, Air Arabia, flydubai and Jazeera Airways are also eyeing expansion. The growth is said to be long overdue and prices are unlikely to decrease anytime soon, as demand for seats still remains extremely high.

"I know that the Indian carriers as well as Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)-based carriers and LCCs are increasing their routes to India, but that is just to serve a demand which has been long under-supplied," Basel Abu Alrub, Managing Partner of Utravel in Dubai, told Arabian Business.

The GCC region comprises Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the UAE. "I expect that airlines will try to hold their rates as much as possible until there is a clear oversupply in the market. But as of now, flights are overbooked to/from India all the time and so increasing the routes to India will only serve in meeting the explosive demand and not diluting the market with empty seats," he said.

Sunil D'Souza, Regional Travel Director at Kanoo Travel, said flights to and from India were routinely full or are operating with high capacity. "Airline offers/prices are yo-yoing based on supply and demand equation to the Indian sub-continent. The traffic scenario to India is always on the higher percentage at any given day/week/month. Hence, the percentage of reduction in fares is minimal and seasonal," he said.

For a career in mathematics

It is indeed possible to build a perfectly satisfying career in mathematics if one is deeply interested in the subject.

A trained mathematician can be very well employed outside academia. Government departments engaged in space research, defence research, aeronautical research, all employ mathematicians to solve their special problems. Today, cryptology is in vogue (the systems ensuring the safety of your credit card transactions are based on some very sophisticated mathematics). Organisations such as the Defence Research and Development Organisation (DRDO) and the Society for Electronic Transactions and Security (SETS) are interested in mathematicians with training in this area. Financial mathematics is another area that leads to well-paid jobs. Computer giants such as IBM and Microsoft have research departments which have highly paid scientists who are either mathematicians or theoretical computer scientists. (They can, for all practical purposes, be considered as mathematicians). Thus, there is plenty of scope, outside academia, for well-paid jobs for mathematicians.

Having said this, it must be emphasised that the majority of mathematicians will end up in academic jobs, namely, in research and teaching. Read full article here.

China to introduce US style visa rules for foreigners

PTI - Dec 27, 2011 - Beijing: China will introduce US style visa rules for foreigners, which included procedures like finger printing, to put in place biological identification data in order to "curb illegal entry" in the country to seek jobs.

The draft law on entry and exit procedures, currently under consideration by China's legislature, National People's Congress, for the first time, allows the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs to put in place a system to gather biological identification data, such as fingerprints, on foreign visitors.

The draft also stipulates that foreigners should be fingerprinted by public security departments when they apply for a residential certificate, official media reported today.

China already has stringent rules for resident permits which are given every year for foreigners working here.

All foreigners including the journalists have to under go health checks on arrival before getting resident visas and have to report to nearest police station within 24 hours.

Till last year China stipulated foreigners to undergo mandatory AIDS tests before they arrive to seek resident permits. It was done away with following criticism that it discriminated people with HIV.

The regulations currently stipulate that foreigners staying for longer than a year should apply for a residential certificate, while the proposed draft requires visitors to do so within a month after entering China, "if their visa requires".

Yang Huanning, vice-minister of public security, told lawmakers at their bimonthly session that fingerprints and other biotechnology information are "effective measures" in identification and can speed up arrival and departure procedures at customs.

The draft, an integration of the current separate rules for foreigners and Chinese citizens, aims to "facilitate exchanges while making sure that those who should not enter are kept out", Yang said.

In addition, the proposal said foreigners being suspected of illegal entry, stay for employment, or those suspected of threatening national security, can be detained for up to 60 days for investigation, if the case is "complicated".

China recorded 260 million arrivals and departures from January to September, according to state-run China Daily. This represented a massive increase from 12.1 million in 1980.

The number of arrivals and departures has been increasing by 10 per cent annually since the 1990s, according to the ministries of public security and foreign affairs.

The Ministry of Public Security said that although the number of illegal aliens was generally "stable", it is essential to improve the "management and control system" for foreigners. The draft also prevents foreign businessmen who do not pay wages from leaving the country.

It also said foreigners undertaking a job without a work permit, or overseas students working longer than the allocated time, are defined as "illegal employees".

10 key signs it time to move on

You've been in the same job for a while, but how do you know when it's time to move on? Journalist Polly Devaney lists 10 key signs it's time to get serious about job hunting.

1. You've reached a dead end
Have you gone as far as you can in your company? Looking around, is there no further scope for progress, either because the work would simply be 'more of the same' or because the flat hierarchy means you are in a 'dead man's shoes' situation? Perhaps you need specific professional qualifications to progress within this company or you are at the top of your pay band with limited options to move higher?

2. You fell into it in the first place It is particularly common for graduates to take any job offered on leaving university, simply to pay off student debts and to gain some work experience. However, several years down the line that position may turn into a comfortable but unchallenging rut. As career consultant Sherridan Hughes says, "So many of my clients 'fall into' their job, for example, a friend may mention that it is up for grabs, but without thorough self-assessment and matching to a role, it's essentially pot luck and people are all too likely to find such a job a poor fit, and then be less successful and fulfilled."

3. it’s like an episode of Friends – the one with you in a career rut!
Are you bored and unchallenged but can't face the thought of leaving your work mates behind? If your personal and social relationships with work colleagues are by far the best thing about the job, it's time to consider a move. If they are truly good friends, those relationships will last when you change organisation. With the help of online social and professional networks, it's easier than ever to keep in touch with people. Whilst it's important not to leave your team high and dry, remember that no one is indispensible and when it comes to your career, your main loyalty should be to yourself.

4. Fear of failure is holding you back
There are 1000’s of jobs from sales jobs to Engineering & Manufacturing and It can seem like a big scary world of unknown 'other jobs’ out there and you may think you've been in your current job too long to make a big move. But it is never too late to re-evaluate and change role, organisation or even both. It really could be a case of needing to 'feel the fear but do it anyway' in order to reap rewards in your career.

5. You need a lifestyle change.
As experienced professional coach Joan Bolton-Frost suggests, "If a long and arduous daily commute is grinding you down, why not look for a job closer to home? You may also decide you want a different work-life balance or a new challenge – promotions and pay rises are good reasons to move job but they are not the only valid reasons. Have a think about what's really important to you in your life and whether your job is helping or hindering you with them."

6. You're clinging to a sinking ship.
You may have been sitting tight, not wanting to take a risk during the recession. However, by keeping your head down you may be missing some exciting opportunities as we recover from the recession. If you know that your company is not doing well, it may be better to start job hunting now, rather than waiting for a possible redundancy. Otherwise, you may find yourself in the same talent pool, having to compete with your colleagues as well as the latest graduates and school-leavers. It's always easier to get another job when you're still in work and you won't be as tempted to just take the first job that's offered.

7. The training should never end
Are you stagnating? During difficult times, training budgets are often one of the first things to be cut, so to keep developing you may need to move job in order to gain the skills, competencies and experience important for progression. Bolton-Frost adds, "Don't be overly negative and afraid – it is easy to think it is all doom and gloom, but there are still firms thriving in these difficult times, so if promotion and pay rises are not forthcoming where you are, look elsewhere!"

8. You're getting the cold shoulder.
If your development meetings and one-to-one time with your boss are consistently being delayed or cancelled, it may be time to take a hint. Once or twice is to be expected in a busy firm but any more than that would start to suggest they don't take your career development seriously. If your boss and other key stakeholders are not supporting your progression and those around you get promoted but you don't, it's time to look for a new, more supportive environment.

9. You have that 'Sunday night' feeling – every night
If you have to drag yourself out of bed and hate the thought of another whole day or week at work, it's time to re-assess. As Hughes points out, "If you're in the wrong job, your family, friendships and health can all suffer. You might be doing 'OK' where you are but somewhere else could be a lot better than 'OK'– and there's nothing to lose by looking around at what's out there – you might well be pleasantly surprised!"

10. You wouldn't put up with it if it was a relationship
Would you stay with someone if the relationship had gone stale, was unfulfilling, the spark was gone and they weren't taking an interest in your thoughts or feelings? Probably not. You are likely to spend more time doing your job than you do with your partner, so if any of these key signs look familiar, don't accept less than you owe to yourself – start that job hunt!

Money Saving Tips for Backpackers

One of the most common ways of travelling the world on a budget is still considered to be backpacking. Highly popular amongst those looking to bridge the gap between leaving school and University or between University and employment, gap years still involve a number of costs however, shrewd saving and a little time spent planning your trip carefully can help save you a lot of money in the long run.

The obvious starting point for many is actually deciding the where they would like to visit and what route they would like to take. Part of this planning requires some thought about what activities you will be undertaking in each country as this will have a significant effect on the specific type of travel insurance is best to cover the trip as you will need to be covered for all eventualities. Although many consider travel insurance to be an expensive extra cost, there are special deals available for backpackers which help reduce costs such as annual travel insurance.

Money can also be saved by searching the internet for cheap one way flights, which is particularly useful if your intended destination is Europe.

Planning your itinerary carefully, particularly in knowing where you’re likely to be on which dates can help you save a fortune on accommodation especially if you decide to sign up to backpacker sites dedicated to couch surfing.

Such sites work on the basis where you are able to submit where and when you want to stay in a particular place, and for what duration, you are then matched up with households in that area which has agreed to provide free beds to travellers on the dates required. These schemes are usually perfect for the nomadic lifestyle of a backpacker as generally for no more than a couple of nights.

Australia - New visa measures to assist international students

The Australian Government is introducing new measures to assist overseas students affected by the closure of international education providers. Twelve education providers have closed in 2009, affecting about 4,700 students. 'In situations where an education provider can no longer offer a course, the government’s primary concern is the welfare of the student,' Senator Evans said.

Senator Evans said that although most students will be able to complete their studies on their existing student visa, some may need to enrol in a new course that finishes after their existing student visa expires and will require a new visa.

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Senator Chris Evans, said that from 1 January 2010, overseas students who require a new visa to complete their studies at another school or college will be exempt from paying the $540 student visa application charge.

In the interim, students will be able to apply to the Department of Immigration and Citizenship for a refund of their visa application fee if they’ve been affected by the closure of an education provider in 2009 and have had to apply for a new student visa.

Senator Evans said the government is also increasing the minimum financial requirements for overseas students to ensure they can meet their living costs while in Australia.

From 1 January 2010, prospective overseas students will need to demonstrate that they have access to at least $18 000 a year to fund their living costs in Australia, instead of the current $12 000.

Since these enhanced integrity measures were introduced, there has been an increase in the number of applications being withdrawn, from five per cent in July to 17 per cent in September.

And to date, more than 150 agents have had their eVisa access suspended due to evidence of fraud or inactivity.

More information on the changes will be available on the department’s website in coming days.

Short courses help adults to a second career

Sue Baughan spent a week of this summer decamped to London to learn how to shape patterns on leather. The summer before that, it was sandal-making, and the one prior to that was spent making boots. By day, the 39-year-old from Boddington in Northamptonshire works full-time as a team co-ordinator for an environmental organisation. But in her evenings, holidays and weekends, thanks to that bevy of short courses, Baughan works on shoe-making. She's part of the new breed of Britons aspiring for a portfolio career using different skills to earn money – either at the same time or across a working life – and the country's higher education institutions are reaping the benefits.

Demand for short courses in subjects ranging from African drumming to accountancy via French and family history is soaring.

"Initially, I enrolled on a short course because I wanted a pair of fitted knee-length boots and had difficulty finding any to fit, so I thought I would try making some," Baughan explains. "I enjoyed the boot-making course so much that I decided to carry on learning about shoe-making and working with leather. The more I'm learning, the more I think I would like to change my career in the long term."

Baughan believes the current economic climate means it's a "good idea to have a variety of skills in different areas – it should make you more employable". She's now making shoes for her friends and family, signing up to more London College of Fashion short courses and setting up a workshop at her home. "In the long term, I hope to have enough skills and experience to start my own bespoke shoe-making business," she says.

Canada issues first parent and grandparent super visa

Canada’s first parent and grandparent super visa has already been issued in a matter of weeks in a move aimed at reuniting families.

The parent and grandparent super visa was launched as an option for parents and grandparents of Canadian citizens and permanent residents looking to visit their families in Canada for an extended period of time.

Kenney explained that the process for getting a super visa is simple and straightforward. Applicants use the same form as applicants for the standard six month visitor visa. They must also submit proof that the host child or grandchild meets a minimum income, demonstrate that they have purchased comprehensive Canadian medical insurance and undergo the standard immigration medical examination.

The first super visa was issued at the Canadian mission in Manila on December 14, 2011, two weeks after CIC began accepting applications.

‘With the super visa, we have taken a common sense approach that allows parents and grandparents to spend extended periods of time with their loved ones in Canada, while at the same time, acting responsibly in protecting Canadian taxpayers. I’m pleased that the response to this programme has been so positive,’ Jason Kenney, Minister of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism added.

Before the super visa was launched at the beginning of the month visitors to Canada usually could only visit for six months at a time and visitors who wished to stay longer had to apply for extensions and pay a new fee every six months.

An open work permit allows the carer to move out of their employer’s home and seek jobs in other fields, if that is their wish. As of December 11, 2011, all live in carers who had met their obligations and submitted an application for permanent residence have had their files reviewed. Those who submitted an open work permit application with no missing information are being issued open work permits.

UK unemployment hits 17-year high

UK unemployment has hit a fresh 17-year high after the public sector shed thousands more jobs and the private sector failed to pick up the slack.

The number of Britons out of work rose to its highest level in more than 17 years in October, and these jobless figures look set to rise further as firms facing the threat of a renewed recession cut back on staff.

While a surprise slowdown in the number of jobless benefit claims over the past two months provided a glimmer of hope, many policymakers see the country on the brink of a sharp downturn as the euro crisis rages on and government spending cuts bite.

• Youth unemployment stays above 1 million
• Public sector loses 67,000 jobs in three months
• Private sector adds 5,000 over same period
• But claimant count rise is less than feared

But economists said there were tentative signs the deterioration in the labour market was slowing, if not reversing. The more recent data on the number of people out of work and signing on for benefits rose less than feared last month. The claimant count went up by 3,000, well below the 14,900 forecast by economists.

For 2012, Britain's independent government forecasting unit, the Office for Budget Responsibility, predicts that unemployment will average 8.7 percent over the whole year.

Young people have been hardest hit by the economic slowdown. Youth unemployment rose to 1.027 million, its highest level since records began in 1992.

Wage growth remains muted. Average weekly earnings growth including bonuses slowed to 2.0 percent in the three months to October, down 2.3 percent in September, in line with forecasts.

Chris Grayling: 'unemployment figures are unwelcome'

The UK Employment Minister, Chris Grayling MP, says the Government is doing everything possible to encourage growth despite the number of people out of work reaching a 17-year high.

In a series of grim figures delivering a pre-Christmas blow to the Government, the jobless toll for all age groups rose by 128,000 between August and October to 2.64m, the highest total since 1994.

The unemployment rate was 8.3pc, up 0.4pc on the previous three months, said the Office for National Statistics.

Employment Minister Chris Grayling said that the unemployment figures were "unwelcome" and that he recognised that there is "a long way to go to get the economy moving again."

Working Holiday Program as a tool for attracting new workers

A working holiday visa is a travel permit which allows travellers to undertake employment in the country issuing the visa for the purpose of supplementing their travel funds.

For example, Canadian Working Holiday Program is designed for young people, who want to travel in Canada and need temporary paid employment to help pay for their stay.

Specific conditions apply to different countries, but work permits for one year or more are available for young people, who are defined as applicants between the age of 18-30 or 18-35 in some cases.

There are often several restrictions on this type of visa:

  • many are intended for young travellers, and as such have an age restriction (usually 18-30 or 35)
  • there are usually limits on the type of employment taken, or the length of time the traveller can be employed.
  • the visa holder is expected to have sufficient funds to live on while they seek employment

Participants in the visa program are issued an open or employer specific work permit, without the need to obtain a Labour Market Opinion.

Those interested can find out about the Working Holiday Program online and submit their application at a Canadian embassy or high commission.

Successful applicants are issued a work permit at the port of entry on the date of arrival into Canada.

The federal government’s official quota for the Working Holiday Program in 2011 is 59,470 people.

The allocation of the quota to specific countries varies widely, with the largest number being given to France (14,000), Australia (10,500), Japan (6,500), Germany (5,000) the United Kingdom (5,000) and Korea (4,000).

One of the best examples of the impact the Working Holiday Program is having on the local economy is the hospitality and tourism industry in Whistler, B.C. It has a workforce composed of foreign workers from Australia, the United Kingdom and New Zealand.

Canada bans burqa during citizenship oath

Toronto: According to Canada's immigration minister, new Canadian citizens must remove any face coverings, such as the Islamic niqab or burqa, while they take the oath of citizenship.

Jason Kenney said most Canadians have misgivings about Islamic face coverings and said new Canadians should take the oath in view of their fellow citizens. He said he has received complaints from lawmakers and judges who say it’s difficult to ensure that individuals whose faces are covered are actually reciting the oath.

The Conservative minister called the issue a matter of deep principle that goes to the heart of Canada’s identity and the country’s values of openness and equality. He said women who feel obliged to have their faces covered in public often come from a cultural milieu that treats women as property rather than human beings.

“I do think that most Canadians find that disquieting to say the least,’’ Kenney said in a telephone interview with The Associated Press. “Most Muslim Canadian women I know find the practice of face covering in our society disturbing, indicative of an approach to women that is not consistent with our democratic values,’’ Kenney added.

Kenney made the announcement in the French-speaking province of Quebec, which has experienced heated debates over how much Canada should bend to accommodate newcomers.

Kenney said his government would not go further by drafting laws to ban women from wearing veils that cover their faces in public. The new Canadian rule takes effect immediately.

What Jobs Can You Get During Christmas Time?

Traditionally, the period of time surrounding Christmas is a very good time to look for work. This is because the increased demand for services and products in the run up to Christmas and the sales that take place after it mean that more people are needed to deal with it. This leads to many companies taking on extra staff to complete the extra work and make sure their customers’ needs are met.

The retail sector is a very good example of this and if you are looking for a temporary Christmas job, it is an excellent place to start. With a wide variety of shops and businesses taking on extra employees, there is generally a good range of employment opportunities to choose from. Plus, one of the benefits of jobs in retail is that it is often a flexible way to work.

For instance, many Christmas retail jobs are part time so if you are looking for something to fit in around your children or other aspects of your life, you should be able to find a position to suit. Another benefit of retail work is that the vast majority of people are qualified to do it: as long as you have decent Maths and English GCSEs, there shouldn’t be any other qualifications you need (although previous retail experience can be a bonus if jobs are competitive).

There is also a wide variety of retail work available, from customer service to stock control and setting things up for post-Christmas sales. However, if you are unsure whether retail work is for you then another great place to look for a job over Christmas is the postal service. Royal Mail always take on extra staff over Christmas to account for the fact there is much more post than usual, caused by people online shopping and sending holiday greetings to each other.

If you get a job with Royal Mail, you could find yourself charged with sorting post so that it can be delivered – or even delivering the post yourself. Again, this means that there is a good selection of jobs available and thousands of extra workers are normally hired to deal with the work – so there are lots of opportunities for you to get a job.

You might also find that other sectors require extra staff over Christmas (such as charities carrying out Christmas fundraising campaigns), so it’s worthwhile applying for jobs in charities too.

Perth compliance operation nabs construction illegals

14 Dec 2011: Compliance officers from the Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC), Australia located seven illegal workers in the Perth central business district today.

Officers detained the six men and one woman – all Chinese nationals – at a residential property.

The group, who all arrived on temporary visas and failed to depart before they expired, has been working illegally in the WA construction industry, largely in gyprocking. One of the men had previously escaped from Perth immigration detention centre in 2009.

A departmental spokesman said they have all been placed in immigration detention for processing ahead of their removal from Australia as soon as possible.

The spokesman said investigations into the circumstances of their employment are ongoing. The workers were located through information gathered by WA compliance officers.

“Illegal workers in Australia will not be tolerated and the department actively investigates community reports and takes swift action to apprehend non-citizens without work rights,” the spokesman said.
“It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that non-Australian workers they hire hold a visa with valid work rights.”

Employers have access to the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service, allowing them to provide relevant identification details of prospective employees, with their consent, to confirm they are eligible to work in Australia.

Employers convicted under Commonwealth legislation of having illegal workers face fines of up to $13 200 and two years’ imprisonment, while companies face fines of up to $66 000 per illegal worker.

People with information about illegal workers or visa overstayers should call the Immigration Dob-in Line on 1800 009 623.

2012 International Conference on Bioinformatics and Biomedical Science - ICBBS 2012

7 to 8 April 2012
Bangkok, Thailand

ICBBS 2012 will be published in one Volume of IPCBEE, and all papers will be be included in the E&T Digital Library, and indexed by EBSCO, CNKI,WorldCat, Google Scholar, and sent to be reviewed by Ei Compendex and ISI Proceedings.

The deadline for abstracts/proposals is 1 February 2012.

ICBBS 2012, aims to bring together researchers, scientists, engineers, and scholar students to exchange and share their experiences, new ideas, and research results about all aspects of Environment Science and Engineering, and discuss the practical challenges encountered and the solutions adopted.

The conference will be held every year to make it an ideal platform for people to share views and experiences in Bioinformatics and Biomedical Scienceand related areas. ICBBS 2012 will be be included in the Engineering & Technology Digital Library, and indexed by EBSCO, CNKI, WorldCat, Google Scholar, and sent to be reviewed by Ei Compendex and ISI Proceedings.

English is the official language of the conference. We welcome paper submissions. Prospective authors are invited to submit full (and original research) papers (which is NOT submitted/published/under consideration anywhere in other conferences/journal) in electronic (PDF only) format through the easy chair conferences management system website or via email.

Enquiries: icbbs@cbees.org
Web address: http://www.icbbs.org/index.htm
Sponsored by: CBEES

Migrant workers are now facing hefty fines for overstaying their visas

Burmese migrant workers at the Sang Chareon Hot Dip Galvinize Co Ltd in Pathum Thani told MAP Foundation that they are being fined over Bt15,000 for overstaying because of the floods. The workers' visas expired on October 28 and the human resources manager who held their passports could not get to the Immigration office because Pathum Thani was under water. On November 25, they were told that Immigration would charge them Bt15,000 each for the 20 days overstay. Overstay fees for visa are Bt500 a day with a maximum of Bt20,000 fine.

These workers have dutifully followed all the rules and regulations to ensure that they are fully documented with the temporary passport and work permit - a system which costs a lot of money and time on their part. Now, they not only face the cost of renewing their passports and work permits after completing their first two-year stint, but also are faced with fines equivalent of 70 days work. On November 29 the Cabinet discussed the waiving of overstay fees but no decision appears to have been made. In April 2010, when the Icelandic volcano caused flight disruptions and tourists were stranded in the airports, a timely waiver of overstay fees was introduced. Why not now?

These workers were then amazed to hear the plan of the government to recruit 100,000 new workers from Burma and fly them in. Surely the effort and energy now should be expended on sorting out the problems for the workers who stayed throughout the floods and for those who had to go home because their places of work were flooded and now need help getting back from the borders and finding or changing their employers.

These workers at the Sang Charoen Hot Dip Galvinize Company never stopped working. When the factory flooded, they were moved to a different branch and carried on. But now, with a Bt15,000 fine hanging over their heads for staying, they realise they would have been better off packing their bags and leaving. If the overstay fees for visas and 90-day notification are not waivered, many more will be doing just that.

MAP Foundation (Thailand) calls for:

1. An immediate waiver of all overstay fees for visas and 90-day notification for all foreigners (including migrant workers) in the flooded provinces of Thailand, and provision of extension of visas.

2. Facilitation of the return of migrants who were previously working in Thailand and who left due to the floods. This would need to include issuing directives to border police and Immigration to allow migrants to travel from the borders to their places of work, and providing information and facilitating the process of migrants changing employers, including waiving the need for the signature of the previous employer in cases where that employer is no longer available.

2nd International Conference on Information and Network Technology (ICINT 2012)

2012 2nd International Conference on Information and Network Technology (ICINT 2012)
28 to 29 April 2012
Chennai, India

All papers of ICINT 2012 will be published as a Volume of IPCSIT Journal (ISSN: 2010-460X), and will be included in the Engineering & Technology Digital Library, Google Scholar, WorldCat, also sent to be indexed by Thomson ISI Proceedings

The deadline for abstracts/proposals is 25 January 2012.

Call For Papers

The area of Information and Network Technology consists of the provisions made in an underlying computer network infrastructure, policies adopted by the network to protect the network and the network-accessible resources from unauthorized access, consistent and continuous monitoring and measurement of its effectiveness. Information is crucial for any business and protecting confidential information is a business requirement. Availability, integrity and confidentiality of information are most important concerns today.

Topics of interest include, but are not limited to:

• Biometrics
• Cryptanalysis
• Digital Signatures
• Intrusion Detection
• Mobile Communications Security
• Security Management
• Cryptographic Protocols
• Access Control & Audit
• Internet/Intranet Security
• Secure cloud computing
• Soft Computing
• Multimedia Compression Technique
• Computer Networks
• Mobile Computing
• Signal Processing
• Image Processing

All papers of ICINT 2012 will be published in the Volume of IPCSIT Journal (ISSN: 2010-460X), and will be included in the Engineering & Technology Digital Library, Google Scholar, WorldCat, also sent to be indexed by Thomson ISI Proceedings.


1. Electronic Submission System; ( .pdf)
If you can't login the submission system, please try to submit through method 2.
2. Email: icintatvip.163.com ( .pdf and .doc)

Enquiries: iacsitconferences@gmail.com
Web address: http://www.icint.org/
Sponsored by: IACSIT

US Job Openings and Labor Turnover – October 2011

There were 3.3 million job openings on the last business day of October, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.1 percent) and separations rate (3.0 percent) were little changed over the month. The job openings rate has trended upward since the end of the recession in June 2009. (Recession dates are determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research.) This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by geographic region.

The PDF version of the news release

Online courses in Digital Biology

At the University of Manchester, UK, we have over 10 years experience in teaching a range of distance courses in computational biology. Participants in our Masters programme in Digital Biology can take one or two courses for professional development, or can apply to complete a formal qualification.

Each course, which is paced to suit those in full-time employment, runs over 16 teaching weeks.

The courses available next semester, beginning in March 2012, include :

Bioinformatics for transcriptomics, using Bioconductor Mathematics for metabolic modelling (An introduction to modelling approaches, using R)

For further information, please visit :


If you have any questions, or would like advice on the options, please contact our office for Advanced Professional Education (ape@cs.man.ac.uk).

US student visa in sex trade abuse row

In a shocking report, in the latest debacle for the J-1 Summer Work Travel visa, a federal indictment unsealed recently accusing the mafia of using the cultural exchange program to bring Eastern European women to work in New York strip clubs. US Secretary of State Hillary Clinton has ordered an "extensive and thorough review'' of a foreign exchange program that has been used by US businesses as a source of cheap labor and exploited by criminals to import women to work in the sex trade.

The US House Judiciary Committee's immigration subcommittee also has been gathering information on the J-1 visa, which was created in 1963 to allow college students from other countries to spend their summer breaks living, working and traveling in the US

As the program has grown to bring more than 100,000 young people here annually, it has become as much about money as cultural understanding.

State Department has made several changes since an investigation last year uncovered widespread abuses, including living and working conditions that some participants compared to indentured servitude.

In one of the worst cases, a woman said she was beaten, raped and forced to work as a stripper in Detroit after being promised a job as a waitress in Virginia.

More common than sex trade abuses is shabby housing, scarce work hours and paltry pay. In August, dozens of workers protested conditions at a candy factory that packs Hershey chocolates in Hershey, Pennsylvania, complaining of hard physical labor and pay deductions for rent that often left them with little money.

A State Department spokesman, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said Clinton "has called for an extensive and thorough review of the program.''

"We continue to be committed to working to strengthen the Summer Work Travel Program to safeguard the health and welfare of the participants,'' the official said in an email late Friday. "We have already instituted one set of reforms and are working toward additional ones that take additional measures to protect participants and prioritize the original cultural intent of the program.''

The New York case was made public just days after the State Department opened a period of public comment on proposed changes that would require companies that sponsor the participants to gather more information about employment and living arrangements.

It's not clear if the proposed changes would have prevented the situation in New York, in which authorities say fraudulent offers for jobs as waitresses were used to help Eastern European women get visas to come to the US instead of working in restaurants, they allegedly danced in strip clubs. Authorities say members of the Gambino and Bonnano crime families were involved, along with the Russian mob.

The reforms being considered by the State Department would limit and refine the types of jobs students can have, expand the list of prohibited employment categories, and strengthen the "the cultural aspects of the program to ensure that the objective of the program - positive exposure to the United States - is accomplished.''

The agency already prohibits participants from taking jobs "that might bring the Department of State into notoriety or disrepute'' but it was found that strip clubs and adult entertainment companies openly solicited J-1 workers.

Most of the abuses in the J-1 program over the years have been blamed on unregulated, third-party labor brokers who work with the students. Critics say the students have gotten little help from companies designated as sponsors by the State Department.

The State Department said in November that it has temporarily stopped accepting any new sponsors and will limit the number of future participants to this year's level, or about 103,000 students. The State Department also revised its rules to require more oversight by its 53 designated sponsors, which help students arrange for visas and find jobs and housing in return for a fee.

"Foreign exchange student abuse continues due to lack of oversight by State and the unadulterated greed of the exchange sponsors,'' according to Danielle Grijalva, director of the Committee for Safety of Foreign Exchange Students, an advocacy group. Grijalva called on the State Department to enact a strict moratorium and impose sanctions for sponsors who fail to maintain the integrity of the program.

Under the J-1 program, foreign students are granted visas for up to four months and often land jobs at hotels, resorts and restaurants.

Participation has boomed from about 20,000 students in 1996 to a peak of more than 150,000 in 2008, and roughly 1 million foreign students have taken part in the past decade. The students come from around the world, with some of the top participating countries being Russia, Brazil, Ukraine, Thailand, Ireland, Bulgaria, Peru, Moldova and Poland.

UK introduces online visa checks for migrant workers

UK employers will be able to carry out online visa checks soon to verify whether a migrant worker has the right to work in the UK, said UK Immigration Minister Damian Green.

The scheme, which will expected to start in Spring 2012, will allow UK companies to access an online system allowing them to verify that the details contained on a foreign employee's biometric residence permit (BRP) are correct. This new process will also help companies that hire staff to avoid the large fines imposed for employing immigrants from outside the European Union who have forged or invalid work permits.

"It is vital that we work with employers to give them the tools they need to meet their obligations," said Green. "Our new online checking service will also turn up the pressure on those who wish to live and work here illegally."

The BRP will replace the wide range of documents UK employers currently used to check an individual's right to work in the UK. Non-EU citizens who are currently in the UK and applying to stay for longer than six months are issued with a biometric pass consisting of fingerprint, photographic and identity data held on a secure chip. Immigration Minister Green announced that from 29 February 2012 BRPs will also be issued to refugees and those granted permission to settle in the UK.

BRPs will also make it easier for UK employers to verify foreign individuals right to work in the UK while enabling real-time checks on UK visas and other necessary information. According to the UK Border Agency, around 600,000 BRPs have been issued since November 2008.

Postdoctoral training in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP)

Program Description: Postdoctoral training in the NIH Intramural Research Program (IRP) provides the opportunity for recent doctoral degree recipients to enhance their research skills in the resource-rich National Institutes of Health (NIH) environment, which consists of more than 1200 laboratories/research projects located on the main campus in Bethesda, MD and the surrounding area as well as in Baltimore and Frederick, MD; Research Triangle Park, NC; Phoenix, AZ; Hamilton, MT; Framingham, MA; and Detroit, MI. Trainees pursue basic, translational, and clinical research free from the demands of obtaining grants and teaching, although opportunities to do both are available.

At the NIH, postdocs work in a highly collaborative research environment with leading scientists and clinicians.  They share the NIH campus with the largest translational research hospital in the nation.  They explore areas such as bioinformatics, biophysics, epidemiology, immunology, cell and molecular biology, neuroscience, health sciences, structural biology, sensory and communication neuroscience, molecular pathology, biobehavioral research, and developmental biology.

The postdoctoral community at the NIH is large (approximately 4,000 strong) and vibrant. Trainees come from across the U.S. and around the world, with large contingents from the People's Republic of China, India, Korea, Japan, and various European countries. Support for international postdocs is provided by the NIH Division of International Services.

Announcements of some currently available postdoctoral positions are posted online. Given the large size of the NIH postdoctoral program, new positions become available daily. Additionally, some postdoctoral positions are not posted; information on such positions can be obtained by contacting the PIs directly.

Eligibility: To be eligible for postdoctoral training in the NIH IRP, individuals must hold a doctoral degree (PhD, MD, DDS, or the equivalent) and have no more than five years of relevant research experience since receipt of their most recent doctoral degree. U.S. citizens and permanent residents are appointed to Postdoctoral Intramural Research Training Awards (IRTAs); citizens of other nations are appointed as Visiting Fellows.

Stipend and Benefits: The stipends for postdoctoral trainees at the NIH are adjusted yearly; with supplements for prior experience, multiple degrees, and expertise in areas of current interest to the NIH such as mathematics, engineering, chemistry, and bioinformatics. For details, see the Trainee Stipends page. Note that stipends for Postdoc IRTAs and Visiting Fellows are identical. Benefits include health insurance for the trainee and his/her family, and support for coursework related to the trainee's research and travel to meetings is often available. In addition, the NIH Fellows Committee (FelCom) and the NIH Office of Intramural Training & Education (OITE) sponsor a wide range of career development and social activities. The OITE includes an Office of Postdoctoral Services, a Career Services Center and Career Library.

Application Procedure: As is generally the case, potential applicants for postdoctoral positions are encouraged to contact NIH investigators with whom they would like to work directly, regardless of whether a position has been posted or not.

Bill to eliminate green card per-country caps put on hold

Washington: Influential American Senator Chuck Grassley has blocked a bill to eliminate per-country caps on employment-sponsored green card, putting on hold a legislation that would have benefited highly-skilled Indian workers seeking to stay in the US. The bill, the "Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act" (HR 3012), which sailed through the US House of Representatives last week on a 389 to 15 vote, had been sent to the Senate for consideration.

Grassley, the ranking Republican on the Senate Judiciary Committee, who has been fighting for major changes in the H-1B rules, placed a "hold" on the bill, saying "it does nothing to better protect Americans."

"I rise to inform my colleagues that I am placing a hold on H R 3012, the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act," Grassley said on the Senate floor. "I have concerns about the impact of this bill on future immigration flows, and am concerned that it does nothing to better protect Americans at home who seek high-skilled jobs during this time of record high unemployment," He said.

The bill if signed into law will completely eliminate the per-country caps for employment-based visas and raises the per-country cap from seven per cent to 15 per cent for family-based visas. The current Immigration and Nationality Act generally provides that the total number of employment-based immigrant visas made available to natives of any single foreign country in a year cannot exceed seven per cent of the total number of such visas made available in that year.

This has resulted in applications, in particular by large number of qualified Indians, being rejected.

Many people seeking the card had to wait for as long as 70 years to get a green card under the existing law.

Australia Immigration - Inflammatory email untrue

05 Dec 2011. The Australia Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) dispelled myths contained in a scurrilous email currently circulating titled: "The truth about the boat people". The email purports to have been written by a reliable source, however, a DIAC spokesman said the information it contained was inaccurate, misleading and inflammatory. The email was a discussion item on Weekend Sunrise yesterday (see: www.youtube.com/watch?v=wTCHtbDHcag).

Specifically, the spokesman said claims "asylum seekers received thousands of dollars in welfare benefits while in immigration detention" and that they were "given mobile phones for personal use" are incorrect.

"People in immigration detention do not receive cash payments and do not have access to welfare. Nor are they given mobile phones. In fact, asylum seekers who arrive by boat are not allowed access to mobile phones while they are in a detention facility. Their access is restricted to landlines only. And they’ve had restricted access to the internet since 2007."

"Violence of any kind is not tolerated in the detention environment," the spokesman said. "The department and its detention services provider make very clear the standards of behaviour expected of people in detention and anyone who breaches those standards could jeopardise their chances of being granted a visa that would enable them to stay in Australia.

"Any criminal act or inappropriate behaviour is always investigated and referred to police if it required. To suggest otherwise is inflammatory."

US house votes to end country caps for work visas

December 1, 2011 - Washington: In what could be a boon for highly-skilled workers from countries like India seeking green cards and firms who hire them, the House of Representatives have passed a bill to end per-country caps on worker-based immigration visas. The bill eliminates the cap placed on the number of green cards that are available to each country annually.

Many people seeking the card had to wait for as long as 70 years to get a green card under the existing law. But now, employment-based green cards will be handled on a first-come-first-served basis with no limits on the country whose citizens would be given the US permanent residency. T

he bill, passed by the US House of Representative in a voice vote on Tuesday, completely eliminates the per-country caps for employment-based visas and raises the per-country cap from seven per cent to 15 per cent for family-based visas. The current Immigration and Nationality Act generally provides that the total number of employment-based immigrant visas made available to natives of any single foreign country in a year cannot exceed seven per cent of the total number of such visas made available in that year. This has resulted in applications, in particular by large number of qualified Indians, being rejected. Supporters of this bill termed it as pro-growth and pro-job. Speaking on the floor of the House in support of the bill, Congressman Steve Cohen said the bill removes the so-called "per-country" limits from applying to employment based green cards.

Australia- Immigration catches 16 illegal workers

Immigration compliance officers have located 16 visa overstayers who were working illegally on a farm in Ti Tree (near Alice Springs) as part of a crackdown on illegal work in the region today.

Arrangements are being made for the removal of 15 illegal workers detained during the compliance operation, which was conducted with the assistance of Northern Territory Police, while the remaining person has been granted a bridging visa with strict conditions to depart Australia.

A departmental spokesman said those detained were thought to be long-term unlawful non-citizens. “There were 13 men and two women detained, comprising eight Malaysian males and one female, one Vietnamese male, three Chinese men, one Indonesian male and one female,” the spokesman said.

Those detained are being transferred to the Northern Immigration Detention Centre (NIDC) and the Darwin Airport Lodge (DAL).

The operation was conducted at a farm that has had a history of hiring unlawful non-citizens and a departmental spokesman said investigations into the circumstances of the employment of the illegal workers were continuing.

“The department relies on information from a range of sources to help it identify non-compliance concerns, such as illegal workers or overstayers. The department compliance operations target anyone who is found to be in breach of Australia’s immigration laws,” the spokesman said.

“Illegal workers in Australia will not be tolerated and the department actively investigates community reports and takes swift action to apprehend non-citizens without work rights. It is the responsibility of employers to ensure that non-Australian workers they hire hold a visa with valid work rights.”

Employers have access to the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service, allowing them to provide relevant identification details of prospective employees, with their consent, to confirm they are eligible to work in Australia. Employers convicted under Commonwealth legislation of having illegal workers face fines of up to $13 200 and two years’ imprisonment while companies face fines of up to $66 000 per illegal worker.

People with information about illegal workers or visa overstayers are encouraged to call the Immigration Dob-In Line on 1800 009 623.

Media enquiries: National Communications Branch 02 6264 2244

Report says unemployment rises in Illinois

December 1, 2011 - SHELBYVILLE, Illinois — As per the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics and the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES), unemployment figures continue to rise for the state over the past two months in spite of adding more than 30,000 jobs in October.

The October rate is 10.1 percent.  The U.S. rate in September was 9.1 percent and dropped to 9.0 percent in October. Illinois unemployment statistics shows an increase over the past two months since the August 2011 rate of 9.9 percent.

A simultaneous increase in jobs and the unemployment rate could suggest that more residents feel optimistic about finding work. As that optimism grows, more people re-energize their job search, which is reflected in a higher unemployment rate. Historically, the unemployment rate tends to creep upward at this time of year as weather conditions limit work opportunities. Also, individuals who were not looking for work, and therefore not counted in the unemployment rate, traditionally re-enter the workforce to seek temporary employment.

In October 2011, unemployed individuals increased +5,700 (0.9 percent) to 668,800 compared to September. Total unemployed has declined -71,300 (-9.6 percent) since January 2010 when the state unemployment rate peaked at 11.2 percent. The unemployment rate identifies those who are out of work and seeking employment. A person who exhausts benefits, or is ineligible, still will be reflected in the unemployment rate if they actively seek work.

Singapore: False Work Permit application

Obtaining a legally valid work permit is important while securing your abroad. Making a false Work Permit application is an offence under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act in Singapore, and you can be fined up to $15,000 and/or go to jail for up to 12 months.

You should not apply for a Work Permit for a foreigner if you have no intention to hire the person to work for you. Your foreign domestic worker (FDW) can only work for you and cannot be engaged in any part-time employment as at your relative’s house.

A man falsely declared his Filipino girlfriend as his FDW has been fined $5,000. After the Work Permit was issued, the man allowed her to work as a part-time domestic helper for other people. When he was found out in January 2011, the man was fined $5,000 for making a false declaration, and the FDW was similarly fined $5,000 for abetting the man to apply for the Work Permit and she has been repatriated.

Similarly in another insident, a Filipino man and a Filipino woman conspired to submit a false Work Permit application for the latter. The Work Permit was issued, but the woman worked as a part-time cleaner for three expatriate households. In May 2011, the two were fined $6,000 each for submitting a false Work Permit application.

An FDW can only work for the employer in the address stated in the Work Permit, and cannot engage in any part-time employment elsewhere. Anyone who has no intention of hiring an FDW should not lend his or her name to the Work Permit application.

For further information, please visit MOM website at http://www.mom.gov.sg/

Star check required not only for marriage but also for employment

A check of the stars and their suitability is important for Hindus. It is highly advised not to proceed further if the stars are not compatible. However, it is uncommon to use star as deciding factor for employment.
A Chinese firm recently advertised for a job and stated in the ad that Scorpios or Virgos need not apply, whereas Capricorns, Pisces and Libras would be prioritised.

The unusual requirements are part of a job ad posted at a university in the central city of Wuhuan by an English language training company, and have generated a storm of online controversy since they were uncovered this week.

The report quoted a woman in charge at the unnamed firm as saying she had done research and found Scorpios had strong personalities and were moody, while Virgos were hugely critical and did not stay in one job for long.

The story has gone viral on the Internet, with commentators ridiculing what they say is blatant employment discrimination.

This is not the first time that unusual job requirements have sparked controversy in China. State media reported in 2004 that one of the requirements for women applying to join the civil service in the central province of Hunan was for their "two breasts to be symmetrical."

It is unclear why this was required, but news reports quoted local officials as saying the rule would soon be abolished, adding that no candidate had been rejected for that reason.

Women seeking employment in foreign countries

Recently Dammam Police has arrested a Saudi aged about 40 years who pretented to be a civil service employee and deceived a large number of women who applied to the Ministry of Civil Service for jobs with the aim of swindling and blackmailing them.

This need not be a single incident. Women workers are facing many issues like non-payment of salaries, long working hours, inadequate living condition, physical harassment, refusal of leave, etc.

India Government has tightened immigration rules for women seeking employment in labour- intensive Gulf region to protect them from harrasment and exploitation. Overseas Indian Affairs Minister Vayalar Ravi said in Rajya Sabha that government has taken a series of measures to protect interest of women including imposing age restriction of 30 years for allowing them to go to the Gulf region and some other countries for employment under ECR (Emigration Check Required) category.

Ravi said his ministry has also made it mandatory for attestation of employment contract of women under ECR category by Indian missions. The missions will also have to identify the foreign employer before allowing any woman to go the region for work. As per the guidelines of the ministry, a pre-paid mobile phone will have to be given to every household worker by the employer. "If the foreign employer recruits the worker directly, he is required to deposit a security of USD 2,500 (Rs 1.3 lakh) with the Indian Mission," said Ravi.

As per the rules, ECR clearance is mandatory for undergraduates seeking overseas employment in 17 countries. The countries where ECR is mandatory include United Arab Emirates, Saudi Arabia, Qatar, Oman, Kuwait, Bahrain, Malaysia, Libya, Jordan, Yemen, Sudan, Brunei, Afghanistan, Indonesia, Syria, Lebanon and Thailand.

The Various Careers Within Driving

If you are looking for a new career then one industry you might like to consider is driving. There is a massive range of driving jobs available right across the country and there are even some international opportunities available, depending on the kind of driving work you get into.

It’s worth bearing in mind that some driving jobs require you to have a special license and so some training may be necessary, but as long as you have a regular driving license, you’ll have a good place to start. Read on to find out about some of the most popular careers within driving.

HGV/LGV driver
One of the best known and most popular driving jobs is to be an HGV/LGV driver. For this, you will need to have a special HGV license to prove you know how to handle large articulated lorries and other vehicles. Many companies use HGV drivers so there is a wide range of opportunities; whether you’re looking for jobs in Leeds or anywhere else in the country, you’re more than likely to find quite a lot of HGV/LGV vacancies.

You could also be a courier, who is someone who delivers packages to places. For instance, some companies employ couriers to take important documents to their clients to make sure they stay safe. Couriers often drive motorbikes as this allows for greater manoeuvrability when driving through a busy area, but cars and vans are also used depending on the type of deliveries you’re asked to do.

Being a chauffeur is another popular driving job. If you look for driving jobs in London, you could find yourself driving people to parties in nice cars or even ferrying about the rich and famous. Some people also have personal drivers, so you might look into the possibilities in that area. Linked to this is being a taxi driver; arguably this is one the most popular driving jobs of all as from black cabs to minicabs, there is a high level of demand for taxis right across the country.

Removals is another common area to look for a driving career; many companies base their entire business around the idea of removals. Often this involves house removals; collecting possessions from one house and delivering them to another when someone is moving. It could also involve transferring items into storage or getting involved in deliveries for retail companies.

Whichever driving job you get into, there are plenty of career opportunities so it’s certainly a worthwhile sector to investigate when you’re searching for a job.

Working Beyond Retirement in Singapore

The Retirement Age (RA) Act covers all employees who are Singapore citizens and Permanent Residents, including those in managerial, professional and executive positions.

The minimum age of retirement is 62 years.

An employer can continue employing a worker beyond age 62. The RA Act only prescribes the retirement age whereby employers can retire their employees without contravening the Act.

The Act does not legislate compulsory retirement; neither does it prohibit an employee from continuing employment beyond the statutory retirement age.

Employees above age 62 are not covered by the RA Act, regardless of whether they are employed on a contract or tenure basis. Thus, any extensions in an employee's employment beyond age 62 will be based on mutual agreement between the employer and employee.

Some categories of employees are exempted from the Act's coverage. These include persons employed to work on a specific project for a fixed term. The full list of employees exempted from the Act's coverage can be found under the Retirement Age (Exemption) Notification.

Read more..

Earnings and Wages in Singapore (2000 to 2010)

Source: http://www.mom.gov.sg/statistics-publications/national-labour-market-information/statistics/Pages/earnings-wages.aspx

Last updated:15 September 2011 | Source: Derived based on data from Central Provident Fund Board
Latest figures published in:
Labour Market Report

Passes and Visas in Singapore

Non-residents must hold a valid work pass before they can work in Singapore. Employers who hire foreigners without valid work passes can be prosecuted under the Employment of Foreign Manpower Act.

Enhanced Employment Pass Framework
From 1 January 2012, the qualifying salary for the Q1 Pass will be increased from $2,800 to at least $3,000 for young graduates, while older applicants would have to command a higher salary to qualify, commensurate with the work experience and quality they are expected to bring. The qualifying salary for the P2 Pass will be raised from $4,000 to $4,500. There will be no change in the qualifying salary for P1 Pass which remains at $8,000. Concurrently, educational qualifications requirements will be tightened. For more information, please refer to our press release.

Changes to Work Pass Administrative Fees
From 1 December 2011, administrative fees for most work passes will be increased. For more information, please refer to our press release and FAQs.

Foreigners can perform certain activities in Singapore for short durations without a work pass. Before engaging in these activities, they are required to submit an e-Notification to inform Ministry of Manpower.

Working in Singapore - Employment Agencies

With a population of just under 5 million, Singapore is home to a multicultural local workforce of Chinese, Malay, Indian and other races. Sound workplace integration policies and a common working language have made unity and diversity prominent features of its workforce. Many companies here ensure fair working environments that reward individuals based on merit.

Businesses prize the Singapore workforce for its high literacy rate, competency levels, and its ability to bridge Asian and Western cultures. With over 110,000 expatriates and 7,000 multinational companies operating here, global citizens will also feel right at home forging a career in Singapore.

You may search for an Employment Agency here.

Part-time Employment in Singapore

A part-time employee is one who is required to work for only less than 35 hours a week. Part-time employees (except managers, executives, domestic workers and seamen) are also covered under the Employment Act.

A part-time employee's contract of service must specify his/her:
  • Hourly basic rate of pay;
  • Number of working hours for one day or one week;
  • Number of working days for one week or one month; and
  • Hourly gross rate of pay, with the description and amount of each allowance payable separately itemised.
Part-time employees are entitled to one rest day per week if he/she is required to work for at least five days in a week. Moreover, part-time employees should be paid for overtime work. They are entitled to paid public holidays. The public holiday pay should be pro-rated based on the part-time employee's number of hours of work.

All employees covered by the Employment Act are entitled to annual leave. A part-time employee who has completed three months of service is entitled to paid annual leave in proportion to the yearly entitlement of a similar full-time employee, on the basis of his/her working hours.

Read more here..

Work Permit for Foreign Workers - eServices by Govt of Singapore

Online Declaration of Business Activity
Declare business activity online - applicable to first-time business employers who have not applied for Work Permit or S Pass before.
Internet Foreign Worker Levy Billing System (iFWLB)
View levy bills online.
Application /Validity Status Check via SMS
Check Work Permit application/validity status/last medical date/cancellation date via SMS using your mobile phone.
For electronic submission of your scanned documents to the Work Pass Division. Available 24 hours daily.
Work Permit Online (WPOL) For Business & Employment Agency users
Apply, issue, renew and cancel Work Permits as well as print the 6-monthly Medical Examination Notification Letter for foreign workers.
Online Foreign Worker Address Update
Update addresses of foreign workers online.
Work Permit Validity Check via Work Permit Online (WPOL)
Check Work Permit validity online (e.g.for prospective tenant).
Application Status Check via Work Permit Online (WPOL)
Check Work Permit application status, company's quota and low levy application status online.
Quota Calculator for Work Permits & S Passes
Calculate your quota for Work Permits & S Passes

US Business Employment Dynamics Summary: 1st Quarter 2011

Thursday, November 17, 2011    - The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported that from December 2010 to March 2011 the number of gross job gains from opening and expanding private sector establishments was 6.3 million, a decrease of 671,000 jobs compared to the previous quarter. Over the same period, gross job losses from closing and contracting private sector establishments fell to 6.1 million, the lowest level since this series began in September 1992.

Firms of all sizes experienced a decrease in gross job gains in the first quarter of 2011. Firms with less than 250 employees had the largest contribution to employment growth. Job gains at expanding establishments fell to 5.2 million in first quarter 2011, a decrease from the previous quarter’s gain of 5.6 million.

Opening establishments gained 1.1 million jobs in first quarter 2011, a decrease from the previous quarter when opening establishments created 1.4 million jobs. This is the smallest number of jobs gained at opening establishments since the series began in September 1992.

Contracting establishments lost 5 million jobs in the first quarter of 2011. This is the smallest number of jobs lost at contracting establishments since the series began in September 1992.

In the first quarter of 2011, closing establishments lost 1.1 million jobs, a decline from the previous quarter. This is the smallest number of jobs lost at closing establishments since the series began in September 1992.

From December 2010 to March 2011, gross job gains exceeded gross job losses in all industry sectors except construction, information, financial activities, retail trade, and transportation and warehousing. This is the fifteenth consecutive quarter of net losses for the information sector.

The PDF version of the news release

US Real Earnings OCTOBER 2011

November 16, 2011 - Real average hourly earnings for all employees rose 0.3 percent from September to October, seasonally adjusted, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. This increase stems from a 0.2 percent increase in average hourly earnings and a 0.1 percent decline in the Consumer Price Index for All Urban Consumers (CPI-U).

Real average weekly earnings rose 0.3 percent over the month, as a result of the increase in real average hourly earnings combined with the unchanged average workweek.

Real average hourly earnings fell 1.6 percent, seasonally adjusted, from October 2010 to October 2011. An unchanged average workweek combined with the decline in real average hourly earnings resulted in a 1.7 percent decrease in real average weekly earnings during the same period.

The PDF version of the news release

Want to work during visit in Dubai? Get probationary permit

Dubai: Visitors to Dubai who wish to work during their visit visa period have been advised to acquire a probationary work permit first, a news report has said, quoting a senior official.

Counsellor Ali Humaid bin Khatem, Head of the Naturalisation and Residency Prosecution Department in Dubai, appealed to visitors to acquire this permit instead of flouting the Foreigner Entry and Residency Law by working when they are on a visit visa.

"The permit is valid for three months and is available at the Ministry of Labour (MoL) for visitors who find an employer during their stay. However, if they are caught working while here on visit visas, they would be jailed and fined," Bin Khatem told Khaleej Times.

The penalty could be a one-month jail term or a fine of 1,000 dirhams. Deportation is compulsory in such cases.

"The MoL organises regular and impromptu inspection visits to establishments to check on the companies' compliance with the labour laws and the Foreigner Entry and Residency Law," he said.

Bin Khatem also advised residents who have pending labour cases against their sponsoring employer at the Labour Court to acquire an approval from the Labour Court if they want to work elsewhere.

The ignorance of laws would not spare the violators from being held legally accountable. "Regulations and laws should not be crossed and ignored, whatever be the reason.

Breaching laws entails jail terms and deportation," Bin Khatem warned. He also urged private sector workers to get familiar with the Foreigner Entry and Residency Law to avoid committing violations, even if they are not intentional.

US Job Openings and Labor Turnover – Sept 2011

There were 3.4 million job openings on the last business day of September, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.2 percent) and separations rate (3.2 percent) were little changed over the month. The job openings rate has trended upward since the end of the recession in June 2009 (as determined by the National Bureau of Economic Research). This release includes estimates of the number and rate of job openings, hires, and separations for the nonfarm sector by industry and by geographic region.

Large numbers of hires and separations occur every month. Over the 12 months ending in September 2011, hires totaled 48.3 million and separations totaled 47.0 million, yielding a net employment gain of 1.3 million based on not seasonally adjusted data. These figures include workers who may have been hired and separated more than once during the year.

Read full news at: http://www.bls.gov/news.release/jolts.nr0.htm
The PDF version of the news release

Canada introduces new 'super visa' for families

Montreal: Canadian officials announced a new two-year, multi-entry "super visa" for parents and grandparents of immigrants settled in Canada.

The move came after wait times for sponsorship of "family class" applications had grown to an unwieldy seven years or longer.

"Without taking action, those times will continue to grow, and that is unacceptable," said Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney in announcing the move yesterday.

"Action must be taken to cut the backlog, reduce the wait times, and ensure that the parents and grandparents program is sustainable over the long run," Kenney said.

The multiple-entry "Parent and Grandparent Super Visa" will be valid for up to 10 years, officials said, and allow applicants to remain in Canada for 24 months before needing seek visa renewal.

The new visas will begin on December 1 and will be issued, "on average, within eight weeks of the application," officials said.

Blanket L US visas for Indians to be issued only from Chennai

New Delhi: The US visa for intra-company transfers, known as 'blanket' L visa, will now be issued only from Chennai and not at four other places-- New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata and Hyderabad.

"Starting December 1, the US Consulate General in Chennai will be the US Mission to India’s sole blanket L category visa acceptance and processing center ("blanket” L visas are issued to managers, executives, or specialized knowledge professionals transferring within their company)," according to a release from the US embassy here Tuesday.

It said companies throughout India will be requested to send blanket L applicants exclusively to Chennai for visa interviews.

The L1B and L1A categories include specialized knowledge professionals, executives and managers transferring to the United States. "This change is in order to streamline the blanket L visa issuance process and is part of the US government’s ongoing effort to provide efficient visa services throughout India. It does not affect the spouses and children of L1 visa holders – they and individual L1B and L1A visa applicants may still be processed at any US Consular section in India," it said.

This centralization affects only the location for processing of L-1 blanket visas and does not change the law or policy for visa processing, the release added.

Blog contest: Win a Net Book


TheScienceJobs.com is offering a wonderful Net Book for one who wrote the best blog post about the www.TheScienceJobs.com and www.MyDailyCareerNews.com in your personal or preferably academic, institutional blog or website.

How to Apply
To apply for an award, you should submit a blog post that highlights www.TheScienceJobs.com and www.MyDailyCareerNews.com and its various sections. Posts should have at least 500 words. One recipient will be chosen by a panel of judges from both TheScienceJobs.com and the scientific media world.

After posting your blog, please send your name, full postal contact information, the title, date and a link URL of your blog post to blogs [at] thesciencejobs [.] com before December 31, 2011.

If you have any questions, please contact Mrs. Thripthi at thripthi [at] thesciencejobs [.] com

Working and living in Denmark

Many companies are characterized by an open dialogue between employees and management. Danish business culture is quite informal, and in comparison to other countries we do not have very hierarchical structures. Thus, you find a fairly relaxed atmosphere in Danish work places – somewhat like you may already have experienced at DTU in your relations with your teachers.

Most tasks in Danish companies are performed through cooperation between colleagues and departments. Team work is very important in the Danish job market.

Danes also tend to get more out of their working lives than just work: many companies have a cultural club, a sports club and a couple of social events a year for their employees (Christmas lunch and a summer outing).

Equal opportunities
In Denmark, women have the same career opportunities as men. As for equality of wages the level is by law required to be equal for men and women performing the same job. Employers are not allowed to refuse applicants on grounds of gender, religion, race or sexual preferences.

Some useful information
Many things will be new to you if you choose to stay in Denmark. Some things you may already have come across while taking your Msc. in Denmark. But you may well find useful information on these websites:

This site contains information about social security, taxes, living expenses and much else.

A website written by and for expats, it contains lots of information about settling and working in Denmark.

New rules for Turks and Caicos Islands visas

The visa application system in the Turks and Caicos Islands will undergo a major overhaul and changes will include a new requirement that all applications must be made at UK posts overseas.

This was announced in a Government press release which stated that applications will be decided by a visa referral unit in the TCI. Further work will be done to expand the countries whose nationals will require a visa to enter the TCI, and to improve security features.

The press statement, which outlined a number of changes in the Immigration Ministry, said that the Employment Services Department will launch new job placement services in November. The Department will publish on its website and in leaflets clear guidelines on the process for registering as unemployed, and the services offered to employers and employees to match people to vacant posts. The Employment Officers will be located downstairs in Sam’s building on Provo.
The Department will also streamline labour clearance and work permit procedures through the setting up of a single front office and a new back office function. Customers and staff will be able to continue to feed in their ideas for improvements to policies and processes, which will be published. The structure and arrangements for collecting work permit fees will be reviewed.

Conciliation and arbitration services are being enhanced and a guide to procedures will be published shortly. It was also noted that the Borders are being strengthened with clear published entry criteria, a stronger intelligence base, enhanced passenger profiling and improved partnership with police and customs. The recently launched National Contingency Plan for Irregular Migrants will remain in place, and work will continue to get the coastal radar system fully operational by April next year.

Enforcement and compliance are being improved with comprehensive training for officers based around new written procedures and guidance. The Ministry’s enforcement and compliance staff are being brought together into a single unit, and they will place renewed emphasis on compliance activity with employers and develop a planned and systematic approach to the deportation of people who are in the islands illegally.

Options for a long term multi-purpose detention centre are being looked at. In the meantime a new security contract for the existing centre is being procured and discussions are being held with the owner to ensure compliance with minimum standards.

The issue of trafficking in human beings is also being tackled through the drafting of an Ordinance which will make trafficking a specific criminal offence with stringent penalties, the release added.

Meantime, the Border Control Ministry is also developing a paper for the Advisory Council, drawing together for a wider public consultation, the options for new criteria for PRC and a fair and transparent process for acquisition of Turks and Caicos Islander status. There will also be discussions with other government departments, the Human Rights Commissioner and community groups about which documentary evidence is acceptable to confirm the facts in order for births outside hospital to be registered.

The Change Programme is led by Permanent Secretary Clara Gardiner, Under Secretaries Sharon Taylor and Willette Swan, and the Commissioner of Labour Michelle Fulford-Gardiner. It is supported from the UK by a Senior Immigration Adviser, Lorraine Rogerson and two recently arrived Change Managers; Simon Excell, Border Control and Enforcement; and Kerstin Thompson, Policy and Casework, both of whom provide advice, mentoring and training.

The change programme is being carried forward within the context of the wider public service reform agenda.

Spend $500,000 or more on a residential property and get a visa to live in US

The news in the Wall Street Journal on 20 October, under the header “Foreigners' Sweetener: Buy House, Get a Visa,” came as something of a surprise. The body of the piece said two senators, New York’s Charles Schumer (D) and Utah’s Mike Lee (R), were preparing to introduce a bill that would grant foreigners who spend $500,000 or more on a residential property a visa effective for as long as you own such property. These lucky people would be allowed to bring along spouses and any children under the age of 18. There would be no cap on the number of visas granted.

The reason behind the proposed bill was contained in the following paragraph of the WSJ article: “Foreigners have accounted for a growing share of home purchases in South Florida, Southern California, Arizona and other hard-hit markets. Chinese and Canadian buyers, among others, are taking advantage not only of big declines in US home prices and reduced competition from Americans, but also of favorable foreign exchange rates.” Without such buyers, said real-estate agents interviewed for the piece, the US housing market would be stagnant. It was hoped by a mortgage-bond pioneer that the bill would help turn around general buyer psychology.

But the 669 comments under the article have shown there are some Americans who don’t think the bill is such an excellent idea. Like Mike Scott, who wrote: “For all the talk about ‘affordable housing’ that comes from the Democratic party, they sure like to implement policies that make housing about as unaffordable as possible. Price drops are great. We should be embracing them and allowing the poor and middle-class to get deals that won't enslave them to debt for years.”

The same argument was made by Robert Reich, who served as secretary of labour under Clinton, in an opinion piece published in the Christian Science Monitor on 25 October. Still, it wasn’t the affect of the bill on first-time and middle-class American homebuyers that Reich was lamenting as much as the hypocrisy contained in its objectives. The visa-for-home swap proposal, he wrote, comes at a time when the nation is making it harder than ever for foreigners of modest means to get a visa. With student visas and green cards in increasingly limited supply, and states like Alabama and Arizona demanding “papers” from anyone they regard as suspicious (that is, of Latin American origin), the system is effectively deporting 400% more people a year than 15 years ago.

Reich suggested, as a consequence, that the immortal words of Emma Lazarus beneath the Statue of Liberty should be changed to read: “Give us your richest, fattest cats/ Your highest net-worth, seeking pleasure domes/ Your wealthy heirs and pampered brats./ Send these, with a half-million to buy our homes.”

Australia cancels visas of 15,066 student for violation of rules

MELBOURNE: Australian authorities have cancelled 15,066 student visas of foreign nationals for breaching visa conditions, reports said.

The Immigration Department has already cancelled 15,066 foreign student visas in the past year, a 37 per cent spike from the previous year.

About 3,624 students are facing deportation for flunking subjects or missing classes and a further 2,235 visas were cancelled on students who quit their original courses and were either working illegally, in some cases in brothels, 'The Daily telegraph' reported.

The report said that Indian students have been hit the hardest where as Chinese students were fared better as they were less likely to be studying for a trade.

Under the new rules, University graduates will have the right to work here for two years after they graduate, leaving vocational training students to wait on a second tranche of changes, due next year, to find out where they stand.

Of the 332,709 international students in Australia in June, more than half were studying at university, while a third were on vocational training visas studying diploma courses.

The report said that one in every five international students is Chinese, while one in every six is Indian. The majority of international students were placed in New South Wales and Victoria.

To receive a visa students must be enrolled in a course and show they can pay tuition and living costs and meet health and English language tests.

Immigration Department offers eight kinds of student visas - including vocational training, university, English language courses or school education visas.

The department's annual report said that 8,309 student visa holders became "unlawful" in the past year because their student visa expired and they did not apply for a new one, such as a bridging visa.

In some cases, foreigners were not genuine students and use the work rights of a student visa as a back door to higher wages and working conditions in Australia.

Some women have come to Australia on student visas to work in illegal brothels.

Scandal-hit UK University closes down

London: The 120-year-old University of Wales, which was recently in news for validating degrees at colleges where controversial practices were revealed affecting many students from India, among others, has been abolished.

An Indian-origin lecturer at the Rayat London college was recently filmed in an undercover investigation advising students on how to cheat Britain's immigration officials while securing a work visa. Its degrees were validated by the University of Wales. Many Indian students were stranded when the Tasmac London School of Business, which also offered degrees validated by the University of Wales, closed down. Efforts were made to accommodate the stranded students in other colleges.

The University also received criticism for the working of two institutions in Malaysia and Thailand where its degrees were offered without the necessary clearances or standards. Now the scandal-hit university has been abolished after it merged with two colleges to form the new University of Wales Trinity St David university. University of Wales council chairman Hugh Thomas resigned after the merger decision. Medwin Hughes, the vice-chancellor of the merged university, said it was a 'strong brand'. Hughes said students in the UK and beyond would still be able to finish a University of Wales degree. Once the merger has taken place, new degrees would bear the name of the new university, he said.

Career-changing strategies that worked

Today's job market is full of experienced candidates. Are you one among them? The answer may be no, especially when you are changing a career to a new field.

It's not at all unusual for a hiring manager to be looking at a pile of 200 resumes for each opening. Some of those candidates are going to have exactly the industry experience they're looking for. So if yours doesn't, why shouldn't they throw it out?Wait! Before you throw in the towel on trying to change careers, consider these tried-and-true methods. One of them, or some combination, might get you where you want to go.

Try temping. Since you're at a disadvantage without industry experience, an obvious solution is to get some. Sign on with a temp agency that specializes in the field you want to enter. You'll probably have to take a step down in pay, but it gives you the chance to prove yourself. The important thing is to get a foot in the door.

Be ready to talk up your portable skills. What have you done well that a different type of employer might be able to use? If you've succeeded in sales, customer service, or business analysis in any industry, you can do it almost anywhere else.

Go back to school. Taking courses in your chosen field not only teaches you the business and introduces you to new people, but "the classes count as experience on your resume, since you're learning the business.

Smart. But don't forget to look close to home as well. Do you have the wrong personality for sitting in front of a computer all day? You need to like human interaction!

Look for the right match. Big-company denizens looking to change careers often overlook smaller firms, including startups. That's a mistake. Big companies usually have more rigid job descriptions. Your best bet might be companies with between 100 and 300 employees, which are big enough to have opportunities but small enough that individual roles are more broad, fluid, and flexible.

Keep trying. Don't be afraid to knock on doors and tell people why you would be valuable in their company.