Do I want to be an academic until they take me out in a box?

"When you're working, you have a sense of mission and purpose. What's going to keep you engaged in life when you leave?" - Nancy Schlossberg

Zalman Amit, a woodturner, performs his craft from a 220-year-old house overlooking the ocean in rural Nova Scotia, Canada, a place he describes as "one of the most beautiful spots on Earth." But Amit, 76, hasn't always been a rural craftsman. Until 11 years ago, he was a psychology professor at the Center for Studies in Behavioral Neurobiology at Concordia University in Montreal. He decided to retire after undergoing major cardiac surgery at 62. He asked himself, "Do I want to be an academic until they take me out in a box?" he says. "Me and my wife concluded there were other things we wanted to do."

In preparation for retirement, we are often urged to build up our financial portfolio or perhaps down-size our home or move closer to family. Often neglected in this process, however, are the psychological ramifications that come with the transition into retirement. It is important for retirees to make a financial plan for their retirement, but also to take stock of their psychological portfolio at the same time. This means taking an honest look at how your sense of identity will change with retirement, how your relationships and support systems may change, and how your sense of purpose will be affected.

Revitalizing Retirement gives unique guidance on how to create a happy, fulfilling retirement. Nancy K. Schlossberg, a counseling psychologist and author of Retire Smart, Retire Happy, describes the secret to a happy retirement. She encourages readers to reshape their identity, relationships, and purpose. She discusses several coping skills that deal with accepting change and help retirees continue to feel that they are vital members of their community and that they matter.

Each chapter contains stories from actual retirees that demonstrate the numerous ways of pursuing an enjoyable retirement. There are short quizzes and discussion questions at the end of each chapter so that readers can reflect on what they have read and see exactly how it relates to their own lives. This book is a must-read for anyone considering retirement in the near future as well as current retirees who may be struggling to find happiness in their daily lives.

Britain's new points-based immigration system: Protests by artists

London: Author Salman Rushdie and over 100 others of the likes of Hanif Kureishi and Hari Kunzru from the world of writing and art have criticised Britain's points-based immigration system for non-EU artists, terming it "needlessly bureaucratic and intrusive".

In a letter to the Daily Telegraph, 120 writers and artists have criticised the points-based visa system as "inappropriate for short-term visits by artists". Besides Rushdie, signatories to the letter include Kureishi, Kunzru, Ruth Padel, Kamila Shamsie, Michael Morpurgo, Anita Sethi and Simon Singh. They said: "Writers and performers who have long been welcomed by Britain now find that they are required to undergo a visa application process that is needlessly bureaucratic and intrusive". "Non-European Union artists wishing to enter the country have been treated poorly, either through the application process or at entry points".

The signatories said that acclaimed artists, such as the Cannes Palme d'Or-winning director Abbas Kiarostami, and Grigory Sokolov, one of the world's great concert pianists, had been dissuaded from future visits. The letter said: "The 'licensed sponsors' system places a burden on arts organisations, many of which cannot afford the cost or cope with the administrative burden. Nor do they wish to be required (or are in many cases able) to 'monitor' the artists they invite". It said as short-term visits by artists have no impact on migration, there is no need to administer their entry via the points-based system.

Where to look to find a job

It can be very confusing deciding on where to begin your search for a job. The trouble is that it has been estimated that somewhere around three-quarters of all jobs get awarded 'on the nod' - in other words, they aren’t advertised so you won’t get to hear about them.

This means your jobseeking activities must be directed at the quarter of the iceberg you can see, so here are three main places you should try when looking for a job.

Internet Search Sites
There are some big internet jobs sites. These are free to use (and have to be by law) and their great advantage is that they will contain tens of thousands of jobs and cover the whole of the UK allowing you to see if relocating might be beneficial.

Tip: Keep a spreadsheet of which vacancies you've applied for as they may feature on numerous sites.

Employment Agencies
These are privately-run bodies who get paid through placing people in jobs. The difference is that, although there is a ruling body, there is relatively little control over them. Therefore there are both good and bad agencies and you should do your homework first by searching on the internet and talking to people they've helped. They are entirely funded by payments from the companies who use them to find workers therefore you should never be asked to part with money. Different employment agencies have different specialisations and some may be better for IT jobs, Driving Jobs, Civil Service Jobs etc.

Tip: Registering with an employment agency can take several weeks (because of references) so get testimonials, email addresses and phone numbers in advance from your referees.

Newspapers are the traditional way of finding work although, with their decline and increased advertising costs, companies are becoming more reluctant to use them. However, if you are looking for a local type job then it is definitely worth checking them out. The London Evening Standard is a good one for finding London jobs.

Tip: If you use the local library, then you don't even need to buy the papers!

Finding the right job is a numbers game and perseverance is its only rule.

What do non-immigrant visas do?

International visitors add greatly to a nation's cultural, education and economic life. A visa shows custom officials that you are authorized to enter a nation. There are many kinds of non-immigrant visas, each with different restrictions on:
  • How long you can stay
  • Whether you can work during your stay
  • Whether you can leave and re-enter the country.

For example, non-immigrant visas for U.S. are for international travelers (citizens of other countries), coming to the U.S. temporarily. The visa, placed in your passport when issued, allows you to travel to a U.S. port-of-entry (airport, for example) and request permission of the Department of Homeland Security (DHS), Customs and Border Protection immigration officer to enter the U.S. A visa does not guarantee entry into the U.S.

Watch this video: Attending a Non-immigrant Visa Interview

What to expect when you attend the Embassy for a non-immigrant visa?

Non-immigrant visas: The issues and the facts (Philippine-American relations series)

What is a Schengen visa?

A Schengen visa allows a person to temporarily enter the Schengen zone. The Schengen zone refers to the area that encompasses the European states that are members of the Schengen Agreement. The Schengen Agreement is a set of international treaties that abolish physical borders among member states, and effectively synchronizes travel amongst member states under one visa program. If you apply for a visa to travel to one country in the Schengen zone, as long as you have proof of pre-existing travel arrangements, you can enter any other Schengen zone country with the same visa.

Immigration numbers plunge by almost half in two years

Melbourne: Australia is not wooing foreigners as latest official data says that the country's net migration has plunged by almost half in the last two years. Australia's Bureau of statistics report disclosed that net migration was just 171,000 in 2010, down sharply from 316,000 in 2008 and the lowest since the bureau changed its measuring system in late 2006, according to media reports.

The report said that country's population growth fell to 325,500 in 2010, down from 467,300 in 2008. However, in the six months to December, net migration slumped 37 per cent year on year, from 121,500 to 77,000. In the state of Victoria, net migration fell even more sharply. Since 2003, Indians had been the main source of permanent settlers in Victoria. But in 2009-10, their numbers slumped 14 per cent, and China became the state's main source of settlers. In 2010, migration of Indians to Victoria slumped 37 per cent, from 76,000 to 48,000, partly reflecting the impact of Indian media coverage of violence against Indian students.

Chinese (8151) and Indians (7739) easily outnumbered settlers from Britain (4282) and New Zealand (3696) in Victoria. They were followed by Sri Lankans (2484), Filipinos (2112), Malaysians (1638), South Africans (1477) and Vietnamese (1347). Other bureau figures show the slump in migration has continued in 2011. The government planned for an unchanged 168,700 family and skilled migrants in 2010-11, and 13,750 humanitarian refugees, but arrivals' data shows a far different trend.

The report said the figures suggest that the anti-immigration rhetoric of the ALP and the Coalition in the 2010 election campaign has influenced either the way immigration applicants are being assessed, or overseas interest in coming in the first place, or both. A spokeswoman for the Immigration Minister, Chris Bowen, said the sharp decline in net overseas migration reflected immigration reforms that had tackled the potential abuse of student visas and shifted the focus to high-value occupations.

Vicious Cycle: 'Best job is with military'

Good news stories for the U.S. economy are few and far between - with mass job cuts, layoffs and a growing national debt. However, some are staying optimistic, saying things could be even worse, as our own resident in New York found out.

Do I need a transit visa if I am going through New Zealand airport?

Most people will not need a transit visa. You will not need one if:

  • you are from a visa-free country
  • your next legal destination is Australia
  • you are a citizen of one of the following countries, which are exempt from transit visa requirements.
Bahamas  Papua New Guinea
Bermuda  Paraguay
Bolivia  Peru
Colombia  Philippines
Costa Rica Republic of Marshall Islands
Ecuador  Samoa
Federated States of Micronesia Solomon Islands
Indonesia  Thailand
Kiribati Tonga
Nauru Tuvalu
Palau Vanuatu
Panama  Venezuela

However, you may require a transit visa. See details.

Note, if you are stopping off at a New Zealand airport on your way to another country, staying in New Zealand for less than 24 hours, and not leaving the transit area of the airport, you do not need a visitor visa. Find more..

Visiting New Zealand: Do I need a visa?

Quick check
Take the quick check to see whether you need a visitor visa to come to New Zealand. You don't need a visa to enter New Zealand:
  • If you are a New Zealand or Australian citizen
  • Hold a New Zealand residence class visa
  • Have a current Australian permanent residence visa or a current Australian resident return visa
  • If you are 
    • a diplomat or carry out certain roles in a consular office
    • part of the military personnel
    • a cruise ship passenger who meets certain time and destination requirement
    • an aircraft crew member on any commercial aircraft flying between any other country and New Zealand, for 7 days beginning with the day on which the aircraft arrived in New Zealand, or
    • associated with a Contracting Party to the Antarctic Treaty and other Antarctic travellers
  • If you are from a visa-free country, and intending to visit for no more than your allotted time of three months (or six months if you are from the United Kingdom) - See more details

Visa-waiver countries
The following is a list of visa-waiver countries. If your home country is on the list, then you can enter New Zealand without a visa (where the purpose of the visit is not for medical consultation or treatment), depending on how long you want to stay. However, they are still required to provide:
  • travel tickets or evidence of onward travel arrangements, and
  • evidence of funds for maintenance
Andorra Bahrain
Brunei Chile
Denmark France
Hong Kong** Ireland
Japan Latvia*
Luxembourg Mexico
Norway Portugal***
San Marino Slovak Republic
Spain Taiwan******
Argentina Belgium
Estonia* Germany
Hungary Israel
Korea (South) Liechtenstein
Malaysia Monaco
Oman Qatar
Saudi Arabia Slovenia
Sweden United Arab Emirates
Vatican City
Austria Brazil
Canada Czech Republic
Finland Greece*****
Iceland Italy
Kuwait Lithuania*
Malta Netherlands
South Africa
United States of America****

* Visa waiver does not apply to people travelling on alien's (non-citizen's) passports issued by these countries.

** Residents of Hong Kong travelling on Hong Kong Special Administrative Region or British National (Overseas) passports.

*** Portuguese passport holders must also have the right to live permanently in Portugal.

**** Including nationals of the USA.

***** Greek passport holders whose passports were issued on and after 1 January 2006. (Greek passports issued before 1 January 2006 are not acceptable for travel after 1 January 2007.)

****** Permananent residents of Taiwan travelling on a Taiwanese passport.
See more details

School kids are now seeking career guidance from Tarot card readers

Post-board exams results, every kid goes through the dilema of making a career choice. While career counsellors used to be of help till some time ago, now it’s the tarot readers that the kids are turning to for career advice.

When planning or even thinking about a career change, it's important to use all the resources available to you for advice. One of the best resources that many people overlooked till recently is a spiritual one: tarot reading.

Celebrity tarot card expert Munisha Khatwani agrees that the number of students and parents who rely on tarot readings to decide a career is going up every year. “In the last two years the number of people coming for tarot reading for career advice has upped by almost 100 per cent.

People come to me with all kinds of queries like ‘Will my child clear the exams? Or how much percentage will he/she secure? What career should they take up? Which college to enroll for?’ And so on. I do the readings after knowing the child’s interest and let the parents know what is good for them.

I have parents of three-year-olds coming to me to ask which school they should send their child to. Also, I’ve had 30-year-olds who want to know which country and university they should apply to. I guess people believe in tarot even more now because of the precise outcome of the readings,” says Munisha.

Tarot expert Punam Thakur, who herself is a teacher feels it’s the rising pressure and volatile job markets that makes parents worry so much about choosing the apt career path. She says, “Parents want to know if kids can achieve their target results. They also ask about how much will their kids score, will they need to pay donation or will the admission be on plain merit. Educated parents want to know if their kids will be as successful as them.” She adds, “But I put kids’ interests before anything else. Some parents do readings to find out about their kids progress when the pupil is studying abroad. It’s a way of keeping a tab on the kid. As a reader I am happy to see that people are taking Tarot seriously and are being benefitted by the readings.”

Apply for vacancies

Normally job application methods such as telephone for appointment for interview, submitting application letter and resume are provided in the recruitment advertisement. If you come across suitable vacancies, do not hesitate to submit your application at once.

Contact employer direct by phone

When phoning the person in charge for recruitment, you should:
  • choose a restful environment to contact the potential employer, and use pen and paper to jot down simple notes
  • introduce yourself in brief and explain the purpose of calling
  • state clearly the position you are applying for and the source of the vacancy information.
  • be calm, polite and confident.
  • take note of the details such as the date, time, venue of the interview, the contact person and the documents needed etc. if you are granted an interview
Don't hang up the phone first at your side,. You should let the potential employer hang up first.

Writing application letter and resume

When the recruitment advertisement is released, the person responsible for the recruitment will receive thousands of application letters and resumes daily. Solely possession of the qualifications and requirements needed is not enough. To stand out among your competitors and secure for an interview, your potential employer would have a good impression on you if you have prepared a well-written application letter and resume your potential employer.

Before Writing...
You should

understand the qualifications and requirements of the post for preparing a tailor-made application letter and resume.
  • list your qualifications first
    • such as academic background, working experience etc. for your reference in preparing your resume so that you will not miss those important information.
  • prepare clean white paper and envelope
    • for writing application letter and resume.
    • Such documents to be printed out by printer or typewriter.
  • Refer to templates of application letter and resume to choose the style which suits you most.

When writing...

Application letter and resume
  • The letter should be confined to one to two page.
  • Font size and spacing of lines should be suitable.
  • Specify those qualifications and experiences which are relevant to the post.
  • Express your career goal to persuade your potential employer that you are the most suitable candidate.
  • Don't exaggerate the facts as overstated and incorrect information would make people doubt your integrity and bring adverse impact on your job application.
  • Prepare your resume by using the computer and print them out with printer as it looks tidy.
  • Don't use correction fluid or eraser to correct typo mistakes. Print it again if there are typo errors.
Application letter
  • Be concise and to the point. Sentences and paragraphs should not be too long.
  • Set out the information which the potential employer most interested at the front part.
  • Explain you are the best candidate for the position and persuade them to grant you an interview.
  • Pay attention to the grammar and avoid erroneous characters.
  • Please sign your letter before sending out.

  • Should be tidy and systematically presented.
    • Use point form and use different sized headings.
  • The time sequence should be consistent
    • It is a usual practice that information such as education and working experience will be presented in reverse order.
  • Be consistent with the information you have mentioned in your application letter.
  • Highlight the skills and professional qualifications which are relevant to the post.
  • Young job seekers lacking working experience may include extra curricular activities in the resumes so that potential employers could have more understanding on their ability as well as personality.

Before Sending out...
  • Please double check the grammar, personal information as well as employer information.
  • If you are preparing several applications at the same time, make sure that the correct letters and resumes are put into the correct envelopes.
  • Attach copies of certificates.
  • Keep a copy of the document for reference in case your are granted job interview.
Source: Jobs Gov HK

Dozens mistakenly told they won visa lottery suing

Dozens of people who were mistakenly told they had won a spot to apply for a U.S. visa through the annual visa lottery system are suing the federal government.

Roughly 22,000 individuals were told in early May they'd been selected through the Diversity Visa Lottery Program, whereby foreign nationals from countries with low rates of immigration to the United States can apply for up to 55,000 available visas. But two weeks later immigration officials announced the selection was skewed due to a computer glitch and the initial round was invalid. Instead of selecting the candidates randomly, nearly all were chosen from those who filed on the first two days of the application process.

A new lottery is set for July 15, and those from the first round will be eligible. They must still go through security and other background checks, but those who qualify are generally accepted.

Heide Bronke Fulton, a State Department spokeswoman, said Tuesday the department was aware of the "potential" for a lawsuit but could not confirm if the case had actually been filed and would not comment on potential or pending litigation. She said the department had no choice but to invalidate the initial results and hold a redrawing because the first lottery had not been random as required by law.

French native Armande Gil is a psychologist in Miami who is among those seeking class action status in a federal lawsuit filed Thursday in Washington. Gil said she spent time and money preparing for her new life and was devastated to learn it was just a bureaucratic snafu. She and others want to be reinstated as lottery winners.

Gil, 42, said she initially came to the United States 13 years ago to complete a master's degree at the University of Texas. After receiving a doctorate degree from the University of Georgia, she said she most recently trained at the University of Miami in neuropsychology. When her student visa ran out, it became impossible to adjust her status — or find work.

"In my situation, this is the only way," she said. "For many, many professionals, if you don't make an arranged marriage to a citizen, it is impossible. The system doesn't let you be legally a resident. There are many professionals who want to contribute and can't."

White said the immigrants include Ivy League graduates, engineers, doctors and economics researchers, and they hail from more than 20 countries including Cameroon, France, Iran, Japan, Nepal, Russia and Yemen.

Choose your career

Know yourself and the market well
What kind of job I am looking for? To answer this questions, job seekers should first of all know more about themselves and the current labour market situation. By doing this, they can avoid wasting their precious time and missing the chance of employment.

Know yourself

Know yourself is the first step towards success in job hunting. Job seekers should clearly understand their own characteristics and job preference, and to choose their job accordingly.

You can know yourself more through different aspects such as personality, interests, ability, merits, qualifications, job preference and job expectation, etc. Knowing yourself well not only can help job seekers set up their career goal and to choose a suitable job, but also help them to answer questions about themselves in the interview.

Know the current labour market and industry situation

Besides knowing yourself, job seekers should acquaint themselves with the current job market situation, so as to set up a practical target for job hunting.

To cope with the changing situation, job seekers should know more about the current requirements in the labour market. They can obtain the latest market information through various channels including newspapers, electronic media as well as Internet.

In addition, job seekers should pay attention to the recruitment method, entry requirements as well as prospects and potential for long-term development of various trades and industries. By doing this, they can equip themselves well and face the challenges ahead.

Ways to Collect Vacancies Information

By making good use of the various job hunting channels, job seekers can have access to vacancies information and raise their chance of success. You can collect vacancies information through the following :
  1. Employment Services of Labour Department
  2. Newspapers and magazines
  3. Internet (eg. job sites like
  4. Private employment agencies
  5. Large-scale job fairs/recruitment days
  6. Referrals by your family members or friends:
  7. Recommend yourself to potential employer
You can first have an understanding of the business and structure of the company through its website and annual reports. After confirmation of the title and post of the staff in charge of recruitment, you can send your application letter and resume to apply for the job direct.


Two nabbed for duping visa seekers

AHMEDABAD: A 42-year-old woman and her manager running a visa consultancy agency near Swastik crossroads were arrested for duping 13 people of Rs 16.50 lakh.

Navrangpura police arrested the duo from SG Highway on Monday.

According to police, Mehul Soni, a resident of Khamasa, filed a complaint in April 2010 against Asha Shah, a visa consultant running operations from her residence in Anhill Complex near Swastik crossroads. As per the complaint, Shah had advertized her consultancy Alpha Infocomm in newspapers that claimed to provide assistance to procure a work permit and visa for the UK.

"In July 2009, Soni and his group of 10 youths approached Shah and her manager Frances Joseph, 44, for jobs in London. Shah promised them quick processing and charged for the services. Over the next four months, she took their passports and signed documents for visa processing. During this time, the youths paid Rs 16.50 lakh to Shah and Joseph," said P M Sarvaiya, inspector of Navrangpura police station.

By the beginning of 2010, the youths became desperate and tried to contact the duo. Shah did not meet the group but Joseph assured them of the visa and said their documents had been sent to Mumbai for processing. As a final resort, the group filed a complaint for cheating against Shah and Joseph.

"We arrested Joseph soon after the complaint in 2010 whereas Shah was declared absconding. Joseph got bail and denied knowledge of Shah's whereabouts. On Sunday, we got a tip-off about a meeting between Shah and Joseph. We sent teams to different locations and spotted the duo at a popular eatery near Gota on SG Highway. The duo was arrested from the spot. During questioning, Shah confessed that she had not provided the promised services to the visa aspirants. However, she blamed it on her Mumbai connections who were helping her find jobs. We are corroborating her claim," said Sarvaiya.

Examination stress

Some people are afraid of failing their exams, causing them to suffer from nervous tension, insomnia, confusion, loss of appetite, shaking of the hands and feet, and headache, all of which can affect ability to study. With the appropriate physical and psychological preparation, you can reduce fear and worry before an exam.

Ways to deal with exam stress
  1. It is important to have the right attitude toward exams. Exams are simply a stage that a student must pass through. Grades don't mean everything. If you fail an exam, it's not the end of the world. The important thing is to do your best and be satisfied with that.

  2. Plan out your exam study sessions. Make sure that your study environment is quiet and well lit. This will not only help you concentrate, it will also improve your memory.

  3. Group study sessions can be helpful. Discuss the exam subjects with your fellow students, and take sample exams to help you get used to answering exam questions.

  4. Don't expect too much of yourself. The important thing is to do as well as you are able and demonstrate the full extent of your talents.

  5. Have plenty of friendly discussions with your parents. This will help them understand the extent of your abilities, and will also help you free yourself of worries that may be troubling you. If you feel you are having difficulties with your studies, ask your teacher for help.

  6. Good physical health is a crucial factor in good exam results. Maintain healthy eating habits and a balanced diet, and get plenty of rest. Don't try to increase your energy through strong tea or coffee, smoking, energy foods or medicines. If you find you have difficulty sleeping, try taking a warm bath, and drink a glass of warm milk. You should try to take half an hour of exercise or other recreation every day, for example jogging, bicycling, listening to music or watching television. This will help you to relax and recharge mentally, so you will be able to take up your studies again with more energy and efficiency.

  7. You may wish to learn some self-relaxation techniques to help you reduce mental stress.

U.S. Jobless Claims Fell to 414,000; Housing Starts Rose

June 16 (Bloomberg) -- U.S. jobless claims declined by 16,000 to 414,000, fewer than forecast, in the week ended June 11, Labor Department figures showed today. Separately, housing starts increased more than forecast in May, led by a jump in the West as other parts of the country languished. Work began on 560,000 houses at an annual pace, up 3.5 percent from the prior month, according to the Commerce Department. Michael McKee and Betty Liu report on Bloomberg Television's "In the Loop." (Source: Bloomberg)

Canada announces new 10-year visa for Indians

The Government of Canada recently announced a 10-year multiple entry visa that will now be available for Indian citizens. The new visa is hoped to boost trade ties between Canada and India by tripling their trade to $15 billion within four years.

Preneet Kaur, Minister of State for External Affairs with the Government of India, has stated that Indian citizens living abroad play an important role for India’s prosperity “by sending remittances back home, making investments, transferring technical knowhow, and projecting India's soft power by popularizing its culture, films and dance.”

She also commented on the growing relationship between Canada and India, “We have already signed the historic civil nuclear agreement. In the near future, India and Canada will sign the social security agreement, conclude a bilateral investment protection agreement and complete an ambitious comprehensive economic partnership agreement. India-Canada ties are developing at a time of enormous opportunities in India. We need $1 trillion in the infrastructure sector over the next decade and foreign investment (and trade) will continue to be an integral part of our growth."

According to David Johnston, Canada’s Governor General, by 2017 Indian immigrants will be one of the strongest groups in Canada and play an important role in Canada’s success. [source]

Find out if you qualify for Canadian immigration by completing our free immigration assessment.

Sisters: Canada and India 

Unemployment and Underemployment Statistics for March - May 2011

Hong Kong (HKSAR) - According to the latest labour force statistics released  on June 16, 2011 by the Census and Statistics Department, HKSAR Govt., the seasonally adjusted unemployment rate stood at 3.5% (provisional figure) in March - May 2011, same as that in February - April 2011.The underemployment rate also remained unchanged at 1.9% in the two periods (provisional figure).

Comparing March - May 2011 with February - April 2011, decreases in the unemployment rate (not seasonally adjusted) were mainly observed in the wholesale, foundation and superstructure, as well as manufacturing sectors, while increases were more apparent in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings, warehousing and support activities for transportation, and food and beverage service activities sectors.As to the underemployment rate, decreases were mainly seen in the arts, entertainment and recreation sector, offsetting increases in the decoration, repair and maintenance for buildings sector.

Total employment increased by around 15 000 from 3 585 500 in February - April 2011 to 3 600 500 (provisional figure) in March - May 2011.Over the same period, the labour force increased by around 17 800 from 3 717 500 to 3 735 300 (provisional figure).

The number of unemployed persons (not seasonally adjusted) increased by around 3 000 from 131 900 in February - April 2011 to 134 900 (provisional figure) in March - May 2011.Over the same period, the number of underemployed persons increased by around 700 from 68 900 to 69 600 (provisional figure).

Detailed analysis of labour force characteristics is given in the "Quarterly Report on General Household Survey" which is published four times a year.The current issue of the publication covering the quarter January - March 2011 is now available and the next issue covering the quarter April - June 2011 will be available by end August 2011.Users can download this publication free of charge at the website of the Census and Statistics Department (

Enquiries for more detailed labour force statistics for February - April 2011 can be directed to the General Household Survey Section (2), Census and Statistics Department (Tel.: 2887 5508; Fax: 2508 1501; E-mail:

Source: HKSAR Government

Canada prepares to introduce biometric scanning for immigrants

The Canadian government will soon require immigrants to undergo biometric scanning in order to enter the country in order to improve border security. This technology has been used for years by other Western countries to reduce the instances of immigration fraud.

At the present, Canadian border officials use photo identification to determine if the person before them is the same as listed on the passport, a process that can be subjective. To remove the subjectivity, biometrics would use digitial measurements of a person’s fingerprints, face, and retinas which will be stored on computer chips and machine-readable strips.

The Canadian government has decided to use fingerprint technology rather than facial recognition software, investing approximately $200 million on the program. $3.5 million was invested on a biometrics field trial at Canadian offices in Hong Kong, Seattle, and Etobicoke. During the trial, over 14,000 visa applicants provided fingerprints and photos and verification was accurate in 96 per cent of cases.
Canada will not be able to introduce biometrics in every Canadian overseas office and Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials are trying to determine which countries will be first to have this technology introduced. While there have been rumours of Canada implementing the first phase of the project in India, Citizenship and Immigration Canada have stated that no decision has been made yet.
1,000 Places to See in the U.S.A. & Canada Before You Die

How to get into charity work

So you want to get involved with a charity, but how to you take those first steps? Well, there’s obviously a big difference between unpaid short-term tasks and full-time roles designed to progress you along your career path. Also, as a hefty chunk of the UK job market, the charity sector contains myriad job types, and to go into all of these would require substantially more of your time than we intend to take up, so instead we’re going to focus on a few key areas.


Most charitable organisations live or die by their public perception – the better known a charity is, the more likely it is to maintain those all-important fundraising contributions at a level that allow it to continue its good work. In this regard, public relations and marketing staff are vital in ensuring that media outlets are constantly being reminded of the charity’s actions and that the charity’s brand is consistently implemented to help keep its aims and needs in people’s minds. Either of these roles are available in virtually every sector, but the kudos of boosting a charity’s efforts is always a significant lure.


Behind the frontline care and services provided by any charity lies the fundraising department, feverishly generating cash below the surface to ensure the smooth operation of the charity’s work. Roles are available as both full-time and occasional fundraisers, with the latter seeing you thrown into the deep end on high streets up and down the country. As a full-time, career-based fundraiser, don’t expect to work any less hard or face less rejection, but expect much higher targets, way more autonomy and even more goodwill flowing into your karma bank.


If you really want to get involved in charity work at the sharp end, then providing your services as a carer or mentor will certainly allow you to gain experience of what service the organisation in question actually offers to people. Again, if you are prepared to do this on a part-time, voluntary basis, then you can expect to be trained quickly by qualified staff. Once you’ve completed this, you’ll be able to provide your services when they are needed. But if you want to be a full-time carer or mentor, and really get involved in people’s development over time, then you’ll be required to complete an SVQ or equivalent. The majority of people who have chosen this hands-on career gain an immense amount from it.

Getting the gig

It’s all well and good for us to bang on about relevant charity positions, but how do you actually get into charity work in the first place? Well, in most cases, the first step would be to get in touch with your chosen charitable organisation and offer your services on a voluntary basis. If you’re looking for a long-term charity-based career, then prospective employers will view your volunteering efforts as an example of your dedication.

Fulbright Fellowships in ENVIRONMENT; Professional Development opportunities in the USA - 2012-2013

USIEF administers Fulbright-Nehru and other Fulbright fellowships for study, research, teaching and professional development in the U.S. Two fellowship programs in the field of environment are available for 2012-2013.

1. Humphrey Fellowship Program: This is one of the most prestigious programs under the Fulbright banner. Funded by the U.S. Department of State, Humphrey is a 10-month professional development program in the U.S. Selected candidates will be placed at a top rated U.S. University and will get lots of opportunities for professional development and networking with decision makers in the U.S. Some of the prominent Humphrey fellows from India include: RBI Governor Dr. Subbarao, NAC Secretary Dr. Rita Sharma, PMO JS Ms. Vini Mahaj, Pune Police Commissioner Ms. Meeran Borwankar among others. Natural Resources, Environmental Policy, and Climate Change is an important field for Humphrey. Applicants need not to contact the U.S. University. Humphrey, Washington, D.C. office will take care of the placement of the selected candidates. Please visit this link for complete details. Application deadline: July 15, 2011.

2. F-N Environmental Leadership Program (FNELP) is designed for mid-level Indian environment professionals in public/private sector or non-governmental organizations. This program is for up to four months. FNELP combines short-term practical training/internship with opportunities for networking with American counterpart organizations. Selected fellows will be placed at U.S. environmental public/private or non-governmental organizations, academic institutions or research centers and environment related government agencies. Fellows will be expected to explore future linkages between Indian and American organizations with common agendas. For details visit here. Application deadline: July 15, 2011.

Please bring this to the attention of eligible candidates and encourage them to apply. Please contact me if you need any additional information or clarifications.

Thank you so much for your assistance in raising the visibility of Fulbright program. With warm regards, Sudarsan Dash

Dr. Sudarsan Dash | Senior Program Manager | Indian Program | United States-India Educational Foundation | Fulbright Commission in India | 12 Hailey Road | New Delhi 110 001 | * +91 11 4209 0945 | 7 +91 11 2332 9718 | * |

Legislation - Immigration Bill - Battling bureaucracy

The new legislation introduces extensive changes to SA’s travel, visa and permit system, which critics says will have severe implications for foreign skilled professionals working in this country.

Despite the fact that the controversial new Immigration Bill was muscled through the national assembly two months ago, industry professionals are hoping that some of the more contentious provisions may still be revised during the parliamentary process.

The new legislation introduces extensive changes to SA’s travel, visa and permit system, which critics says will have severe implications for foreign skilled professionals working in this country.

It will herald new areas of bureaucracy for an already over burdened home affairs department and has also imperilled the work of legal and immigration practitioners .

Every major opposition political party voted against the bill during its passage through the national assembly and the ruling ANC had to use its parliamentary majority to get it passed.

The bill is now before the national council of provinces and hearings by that portfolio committee were held this week.

Read more here.

Tier 4 English Language Requirement Changes

Clarification of English language requirement for Tier 4 sponsors and students: 
Following the recent announcement of changes to the English language requirements for students under Tier 4 of the points-based system, the UK Border Agency has produced a document clarifying the requirements for students and sponsors.

Clarifications include 'students who wish to study at NQF/QCF level 6 (SCQF 9) and above normally need to produce a Secure English Language Test (SELT) certificate, from a UK Border Agency approved provider, showing that they have achieved level B2 on the Common European Framework of Reference for languages (CEFR) in each of the 4 components: speaking; listening; reading; and writing.'

'Students who wish to study between NQF/QCF levels 3 and 5 (SCQF 6-8) normally need to produce a SELT certificate, from a UK Border Agency approved provider, showing that they have achieved level B1 on the CEFR in each of the 4 components: speaking; listening; reading; and writing.'
More details here (PDF document)

You can download the document, which provides answers to some frequently asked questions, here.

Murthy unhappy over US probe on B-1 visa issue

Manorama, Saturday, June 11, 2011 - Bangalore: Infosys' outgoing chairman and chief mentor N.R. Narayana Murthy Saturday expressed disappointment over a US court issuing a legal notice to the IT bellwether on its reported misuse of B-1 visa rules.

"As I leave the board, I feel sad that Infosys, voted most often as India's most respected company during the period 1995-2011, has been issued a subpoena by a grand jury in the US on the B-1 visa issue. The issue will be decided on its merits in due course," Murthy told his shareholders at the 30th annual general meeting (AGM) here.

Though a district court in Texas May 23 served the legal notice to the company on the alleged violation of visa rules, the management decided to contest it and clarify its position to clear the air.

Asserting that the blue chip company would strengthen its well-acclaimed and much respected focus on embracing meritocracy and transparency, Murthy said during the last three decades he had never compromised on values, and advocated openness in discussions on the importance of values at every level in the organisation.

"This is the path I have walked during the last 30 years at Infosys with much peace of mind and a clear conscience. I never waffled and remained unambiguous about practising our values, punishing the guilty and being firm in every decision-making based on our values," Murthy said.

In a regulatory filing, the company admitted that any action by the US government against it in this regard would seriously affect its business in the North America market, which accounts for about 60 percent of its export revenue.

The US immigration authorities issues B1 visas for short-term visits to attend business seminars and restrict employees from engaging in gainful employment during their stay.

The global software major has about 10,000 of its software engineers on H-1B visas and 2-200 on L1 working in the US.

Skilled migration blog fosters informed decisions - DIAC, Australia

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) has launched a blog to promote Australia’s skilled migration policy and contribute to an informed public policy-making environment.

The blog will highlight existing skilled migration policy, flag potential program changes and be a vehicle for engagement with the community to increase awareness about skilled migration in Australia.

These programs include the temporary 457 visa program, the permanent employer-sponsored programs and the permanent general skilled migration program. The first blog post focuses on enterprise migration agreements (EMAs), a policy response to the tight labour market in the resource sector.

Visitors to the skilled migration blog,, will be able to explore different aspects to skilled migration over the coming months. The department will update the blog regularly.

More information about skilled migration programs can be found on the department’s website at

Department’s Facebook page
YouTube channel

Canada Immigration - Fast Track Immigration for Skilled Workers

A comment about this video: Fast tracking immigrants is beyond stupid. I work with a group of engineers and we have a new guy on board. Every day we have to teach him what engineers do!! Every step? of the way! It looks politically correct that we have this guy on board but he is being paid a lot of money for what??? His schooling (laughs) has him prepared for a job at Tim Hortons at best. See Immigrating to Canada and Finding Employment

Obtaining Green Card (become permanent residents) through family

Many people get Green Cards (become permanent residents) through family members. You may be eligible to get a Green Card as:

Obtaining Permanent Residency Through Marriage to a US Citizen

A foreign national who has married a U.S. citizen is generally entitled to apply for permanent residency. This process is known as "adjustment of status," and it requires the cooperation of both the U.S. citizen as well as the foreign national spouse.

The first step in the adjustment of status process is to determine if you fit into a specific immigrant category . Most immigrants become eligible for a green card (permanent residence) through a petition filed on your behalf by a family member or employer.

Procedure is here.

Unemployment is highest among the most recent veterans in US

Discussions has been done about the high unemployment rate among veterans from the post-9/11 wars, but a new US Congressional study offers some fresh insights into the nature of the problem.

The report, citing data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, shows that the unemployment rate among men and women who served in the military in the aftermath of September 11, 2001 was 10.9 percent in April. Despite their training and experience, many of these veterans are unable to find civilian jobs after leaving active duty.

In 2010, the unemployment rate for these veterans averaged 11.5 percent, compared to the overall veteran-unemployment rate of 8.7 percent, and 9.4 percent unemployment rate for nonveterans. Job gains in recent months have brought down the national unemployment rate, which is now 0.8 percentage point below last year’s level. New data from the Bureau of Labor Statistics put the unemployment rate of Post-9/11 veterans at 10.9 percent in April, 2.2 percentage points lower than it was one year ago. In comparison, the unemployment rate is now 7.7 percent for the entire population of veterans and 8.5 percent for nonveterans (data are not seasonally adjusted).

Already, 2.5 million servicemembers have separated since September 2001, and many more will follow in the immediate future. The report says 'Cutting or eliminating essential programs for veterans in the name of deficit reduction would be a disservice to men and women who have made great sacrifices in defense of our country, and a disservice to the nation. Rather, making investments to ensure the existing federal programs are successfully enabling all veterans to transfer the skills they gained in the military to employment in the civilian sector will strengthen the economic security of veterans, their families and the nation'.

Non-UK born workers and the skill level of their jobs

This podcast from the Office for National Statistics explains how the number of non-UK born workers within the UK has changed since 2002.

It then looks at the changes in those born in the EU 14, EU A8 and rest of the world, before then looking at differences depending on the skill level of their jobs.

US - Hiring slowed dramatically in May; jobless rate ticks up to 9.1%

Recent report from the Labor Department confirmed earlier data pointing to a U.S. economic recovery in deceleration, but the same report also contained signs that a slide back into recession is unlikely.

After two consecutive months of strong hiring, the pace slowed precipitously in May 2011 with employers adding just 54,000 jobs as the jobless rate ticked up one-tenth of a point to 9.1 percent, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The dip in hiring wasn't a complete surprise, since Wednesday's ADP National Employment Report had forewarned what might be coming. It measures private-sector hiring and reported employment gains of just 38,000. The broader government report Friday actually showed more robust private-sector hiring at 83,000 jobs. The overall national jobs number was dragged down by continued layoffs by state and local governments, which shed another 29,000 posts. Read more

Employment cafe in Toronto helps job seekers take action

Moshe Sakal was looking for a career change when he happened to visit Centennial Library in Toronto and came across the Bathurst-Finch Employment Cafe.

For the past year and a half, the cafe has run out of the Bathurst Street and Finch Avenue library every Tuesday from 1 to 3:45 p.m.

The cafe is a collaborative effort of local employment service providers to reach out to job seekers. The free service is open to everyone who needs employment assistance.

Agencies involved are JVS Toronto; Toronto Employment and Social Services; Toronto Public Library; Toronto Social Services, Finance and Administration; vpi; St. Stephen's Community House; AYCE; and YMCA.

The cafe went on hiatus in December and started up again at the beginning of May, much to the relief of those seeking help.

The cafe helps one to identify their needs and then refer them to the appropriate partner agency. Many people are visiting the cafe, a lot of newcomers who are looking for work and also get a lot of youths who are looking for summer employment.

Since starting up again last month, the employment cafe averages about 10 to 12 people a week, Watson said, adding two agencies are typically on hand every session.

Read books at - Encyclopedia of Careers and Vocational Guidance

France visa and work permit

First of all, visit the website of the Consulate General of France in your country which provides information on procedures applicable to foreign nationals who wish to apply for a visa to travel to France.

For Prospective Applicants
If you wish to apply for a temporary visa to France, read the information on the Consulate website carefully. If you follow the guidelines listed on the site, you will be able to submit your documents accurately. This will reduce the chances of your application being rejected due to inadequate or faulty submission of documents.

Spouse of a French citizen
As the spouse of a French citizen, you need to get a spouse visa and that you have to do through the French consulate in the country in which you are currently resident. This being France, each consulate seems to have slightly different procedures for visa applications so you should check the local consulate's website.

Basic process, though, should be much the same. You need to get a French livret de famille first (also through the consulate). It helps if your French spouse has been registered with the consulate, but if not, now is a good time to start the process. They'll want to have proof of your marriage, plus the usual i.d. and for the French spouse, their French carte d'identité and passport.

Finding a job in construction

Construction is a really varied industry that offers lots of diversity, challenges and jobs to suit all levels of qualification. This makes it a really great option for anybody hunting for a new job – whether you’re after your next career move, your first job after leaving education, a career change or to re-enter the labour market after a break, construction could be the industry for you.

If you say ‘construction’ to people, they tend to immediately think of building, because that’s the most obvious form of construction. But there’s much more to it than that – construction entails architects, building surveyors, facilities managers, town planners, painters and decorators, welders, foremen, joiners and more. You can see just from the list the potential wealth of jobs available to you and the creativity and importance of the industry.

When you’re looking for construction jobs, you need to think carefully about what you really want. Do you want a skilled job, like an architect, that requires extensive training? Or would you prefer something that you can do without a degree? You also need to decide whether you want to be on the planning side of construction or the building side.

No matter what you choose to do, as with any other industry, it’s always a good idea to get relevant qualifications and experience if you can, as this will improve your chances of being successful when you go for that dream job. Even if you’ve never worked in the construction industry before, think about any past jobs you might have had that could help you land a role in construction. Have you ever had to supervise other staff before? This could be something that helps you if you decide to go for a managerial role. Think over your past experiences and use them to support any applications you make – often employers like to see evidence of adaptability, so tell them how your skills meet their requirements.

Even if you don’t have any professional experience, what about your personal skills? For example, if you decide you would like to work as a painter or decorator, are there any domestic decorating projects you could cite as evidence of experience? Think creatively and be confident, and you never know what you might get out of it.

When you’re after jobs in Bristol or the rest of the UK within the construction sector, it’s often a good idea to keep your skills up to date, especially if you’re going for a job that requires training. See if there are any courses you could go on or professional organisations you could join to demonstrate your commitment and keep your knowledge fresh. Construction is also a great industry to get into if you want to learn a trade, so why not have a look for any apprenticeships that might be available? This can be a great way of getting that first step on the ladder and learning valuable skills at the same time.

Above all, don’t give up. Be focused in your job search – decide what you want to do, what you need to do to get it, and then go and do it. Construction is vital; society couldn’t function without the skills of the people who work in the industry. If you think you have the necessary skills and determination, then it could well be the right industry for you.