Showing posts from September, 2011

India, Pakistan to liberalise business visa regime

New Delhi: India and Pakistan Wednesday agreed to liberalise business visa regime to facilitate bilateral trade and investment.

"The issue of multiple entry visa was discussed and the decision is expected soon," Commerce and Industry Minister Anand Sharma said addressing a press conference after meeting his Pakistani counterpart Makhdoom Muhammad Amin Fahim.

The new business visa regime would allow multiple entry and could be for a period up to one year, Sharma said.

According to a joint statement issued after the meeting, the two countries have agreed to conclude issue of liberalising business visas by this year.

The ministers expressed hope that a liberal visa regime would rapidly expand and strengthen bilateral economic and business relation.

"A more secure regional environment would progressively help both countries to keep liberalising the visa arrangements for business people," the joint statement said.

The business communities of both the countries have been…

Short-term visas to clear way for business visitors

(CNS): The five day instant visa for people visiting Cayman on business, first mooted by the premier last year, could become law by November 2011. The Immigration Review Team has suggested that a short term visa lasting one to five days for business visitors could be paid for at the airport and would not require a police clearance certificate. The business visitor would simply need a letter from a local sponsor and would no longer fall foul of the law that requires people coming to the island on business to acquire a work permit, even when they are here on a business trip lasting just a few days.

The premier has persistently complained that business visitors are not well treated when they arrive at the airport here and are questioned about permits. He said he wanted to improve the system for potential investors to enable them to receive a warmer welcome and get a better impression when visiting the Cayman Islands on a business trip.

The introduction of the new visa is expected to be o…

USCIS Announces FY 2011 Grant Recipients During Constitution Week

WASHINGTON - U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) today announced the award of $9 million in grants to expand citizenship preparation programs for permanent residents. Forty-two organizations from 27 states and the District of Columbia will receive funding.

The agency’s Citizenship and Integration Grant Program has assisted more than 19,000 permanent residents since its launch in October 2009.

“This important announcement embodies USCIS’s ongoing commitment to promote civic integration and citizenship among eligible permanent residents,” said USCIS Director Alejandro Mayorkas. “Recognizing the demand for high-quality citizenship preparation programs, this funding will provide greatly needed services to approximately 20,000 permanent residents striving to become U.S. citizens.”
Awards were granted through three competitive funding opportunities. The first provides funding for local citizenship instruction to prepare permanent residents for the civics and English …

Canada ranked one of best countries in the world for women

A recent compilation of rankings by the U.S. website Newsweek found Canada to be the third-best country in the world to be a woman.Canada ranks behind Iceland and Sweden which placed first and second respectively. Canada was also the only non-European country in the top seven.

Countries were graded on five factors and used a scale of one to ten. The five factors include justice, such as protecting women from violent crimes, health, education levels for women, economics including women’s work pay, and politics, which includes the number of women in government positions.

Canada earned an overall score of 96.6 out of 100. Out of the specific categories, Canada earned 100 points for justice, 92.7 for health, 92 for education, 91 for economics, and 66.9 on politics.

USCIS to Welcome More Than 27,000 New Citizens

USCIS to Welcome More Than 27,000 New Citizens During Annual Constitution Day and Citizenship Day Celebration

Note: The Sept. 23 special naturalization ceremony originally scheduled to take place at the Washington Monument has been moved to the Department of the Interior's Sidney R. Yates Auditorium due to inclement weather.

WASHINGTON - In recognition of Constitution Day and Citizenship Day on Sept. 17, U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) will welcome more than 27,000 new American citizens during 285 naturalization ceremonies held across the country and around the world during the week of Sept. 15. As part of this celebration, USCIS is again partnering with the National Park Service (NPS) to hold naturalization ceremonies at 14 national park sites across the country.

"Each year on Constitution Day and Citizenship Day, we commemorate the signing of the U.S. Constitution and what it means to be a citizen of this great nation," said USCIS Director Alejandro …

Malaysia ready to extend 'visa on arrival' to Indians

Kuala Lumpur: Malaysia Tuesday said it was open to the idea of extending "visa on arrival" facility to Indians but it could be done only if the tourists leave the country on the expiry of their visa and not stay on illegally.

Acknowledging that a large number of Indians visit Malaysia as tourists, Prime Minister Najib Razak said the facility of visa on arrival could be considered but the authorities were not able to take this step due to the large number of "overstayers" who continued to be in the country despite the expiry of the visa.

Few years ago, Malaysia had extended the visa on arrival facility to Indians but scrapped it after hundreds of Indian tourists stayed back and started working illegally at restaurants and other places without any work visa.

"We don't know what happened to the overstayers...," Najib told a group of visiting Indian journalists. He felt that if the problem of overstayers was not there, Malaysia was "open to the idea …

E-gates at Dubai airport to clear immigration in 14 sec

Dubai: Passengers at Dubai airport will soon be spared of time-consuming immigration clearance procedures as 'smart electronic gates', which will solve the purpose in just 14 seconds, are being set up, according to authorities who expect around 90 million visitors here in next two years.

The smart e-gate, expected to come up by next year, will have a passport reader, which will instantly check from the existing data base whether the entry of a passenger is legal. Besides, a pre-installed camera will verify the passenger's identity by matching his image against the photograph on the passport. The new e-gate will also have an advanced automated facility to capture iris scans, to ensure that individuals who have already been blacklisted are unable to enter the country. "The e-gate will enable a passenger to clear immigration in 14 seconds flat," said Khalid Nasser Al Razooqi, the Director General of the immigration department's e-services sector. "We hope t…

Careers to Watch in 2012

Even after Obama's promise of jobs, people are still wary of whether or not the unemployment rate will decrease in 2012. The job market has been tough for years now, and many are starting to become disillusioned – believing that things won't turn around regardless of who is in the White House.

However, in spite of all the negativity, there are a few industries that are expected to grow in the upcoming year, and they are expected to create thousands of new positions. A few of these industries include:


Because of the aging baby-boomers, hospitals are increasing their staff to accommodate them.Physical therapy, medical coding and billing, and nursing are all expected to open more positions in the future. While that doesn't mean everyone with a degree with obtain the position they wish, it does mean that they have a greater likelihood at getting a job than their liberal arts counterparts.


Lower end positions are becoming more and more automated or ou…

An Interview with Joan Camp, 1946 Fulbright Alumnus

The U.S.-UK Fulbright Teacher Exchange Program began in 1924, making it the oldest U.S. exchange program with the UK. Since the program's inception, it has benefited over 16,000 American and British teachers. Joan Camp, was one of the first Fulbright teachers, she taught for one year in the U.S. and made this professional exchange her life's work. Watch Joan reminisce about her valuable teaching experience in 1946 and take a look back in time.

Kuwait Visa-to-work-permit system to be reintroduced

KUWAIT: Kuwait will once again allow expatriates to obtain a work permit through transferring their commercial visa by the beginning of next year, after the current system was suspended at the start of this month in order to introduce amendments to impose stricter immigration criteria.

Work is currently underway to introduce new controls and conditions for obtaining commercial visas which can prevent violations in the process of turning visas into work permits, before the procedure is allowed again by January 1, 2012", said a senior Ministry of Social Affairs and Labor (MSAL) official.

Although one of the conditions for obtaining commercial visas is that all applicants must have a university degree, the insider believes that this is inadequate without any verifiable proof of this qualification.

Speaking on condition of anonymity, the MSAL official said, "A lot of cases were discovered of people without any academic qualifications being able to obtain commercial visas and the…

Kuwait to streamline process of visa issuance

Dubai, Sep 19 (PTI) Kuwait plans to streamline the process of visa issuance to allow expatriates to obtain work permit through transferring their commercial visa, an official said.

"Work is currently underway to introduce new controls and conditions for obtaining commercial visas which can prevent violations in the process of turning visas into work permits," an official of Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MSAL) said.

The system was suspended earlier to introduce amendments that will impose stricter immigration criteria.

"The revamped procedure is expected to be allowed again by January 1, 2012," he was quoted as saying by Kuwait Times daily.

The condition that the applicant for a commercial visa must hold a university degree was inadequate without any verifiable proof of the qualification, according to the official.

"A lot of cases were discovered of people without any academic qualifications being able to obtain commercial visas and then turning them i…

Career Opportunities at Cisco

Cisco believes the most important change to the network experience is upon them. They see a future where the network is the platform. A network that is no longer used just for transactions, but for real-time collaboration to deliver the experience anytime and anywhere. They would not only change the way the world works, lives, plays and learns – they would change life experiences.

Cisco is an equal opportunity employer with a commitment to diversity. All individuals, regardless of personal characteristics, are encouraged to apply.
Graduate and Intern Career ProgramsCisco Channel Partner Jobs U.S. and CanadaCisco Channel Partner Jobs non-U.S. and CanadaAgency PortalFeatured Jobs

Cops ask for nod to register all immigration firms

Chandigarh (India): At a time when immigration firms in the region have come under the scanner for allegedly cheating hundreds of people, the Chandigarh police has decided to write to the Deputy Commissioner, Chandigarh, requesting him to authorise them to register all immigration firms in the city.

Police records indicate that there are nearly 6,000 immigration companies operating in the region.

A senior police officer of the Special Investigation Team (SIT), probing the immigration racket, said, “After the surfacing of the immigration frauds, it is now important that we keep a tab on all the immigration firms.”

He said that they decided to take this measure to bring in more transparency and accountability. “If we are allowed to register these companies, no one will be in a position to cheat any resident,” he said.

The SIT is investigating eight cases of immigration fraud against Sector 42-based Healthyway Immigration. About 26 cases of immigration frauds are also being investigated …

Improvements made for Latin American travellers to Canada

Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC) is expanding its visa application centre network around the world to make visa application processes more efficient. Last month, nine visa application centres were opened in various countries around Latin America, including Santiago, Chile. Eight more offices are set to open this month. After these openings, there will be visa application centres in 35 countries.

“Service improvements are key to making the system for processing visas more effective and responsive to the needs of travellers,” said Minister Ablonczy, speaking on behalf of Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister Jason Kenney. “The outcome is a better use of resources, which will benefit both travellers to Canada and Canadians alike.”

Visa application centres provide travellers administrative support by phone, email, or in person. Client service agents at these centers are available to verifty if visa applications are complete.

“VACs are an example of our government’…

The Road to 2012: Nastia Liukin

Gold medal winning American gymnast Nastia Liukin visited London in September 2011. Here she is, talking to our Deputy Ambassador Barbara Stephenson about her sporting-life, London 2012 and what it takes to reach the top.

USCIS Publishes CNMI Transitional Worker Final Rule

WASHINGTON—U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) published a final rule in today’s Federal Register that establishes a Transitional Worker (CW) classification for workers in the Commonwealth of the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI). The CW classification allows employers in the CNMI to hire nonimmigrant workers who are otherwise ineligible to work.

A foreign worker may be eligible for CW status if he or she is:
Ineligible for a nonimmigrant or immigrant classification under the Immigration and Nationality Act (INA); Entering or staying in the CNMI to work as a needed foreign national worker to supplement the resident workforce; The beneficiary of a petition filed by a legitimate employer who is doing business in the CNMI; Not present in the United States, other than the CNMI; Lawfully present in the CNMI or, if not present, intending to enter the CNMI with a visa; and Admissible to the United States or is granted any necessary waiver of a ground of inadmissib…

Study finds skilled immigrants highest earners for immigrants in Canada

The study, entitled Immigrant Earnings Differences Across Admission Categories and Landing Cohors in Canada, was conducted by Queen’s University. The study examined the first ten years after immigrants landed in Canada in three different time periods: 1982, 1988, and 1994.

"The ten-year average of median earnings levels of skill-assessed economic immigrants exceeded the average median earnings levels for all immigrants by 30-37 percent across the [three periods studied] for men and by 39-56 percent for women," the study noted.

Refugees and family class immigrants had the lowest earnings of the four immigrant categories. However, refugees had the higest earnings growth rates for both male and female immigrants during the first ten years after arriving in Canada.

Immigrants who landed in Canada during 1998 generally had the lowest earnings growth rate and the highest growth rate was in the 1994 study period.

The study also noted that "since skill-assessed independent econ…

Unemployed Americans looking to Canada for jobs

More Americans are knocking on Canada's door for jobs as their economy worsens and unemployment rates rise.

In July, the unemployment rate in the U.S. stood at 9.1 per cent versus 7.3 per cent in Canada.

Numbers from Immigration Canada show that the number of Americans applying for temporary work visas has doubled since 2008 when the global recession hit. In 2010, the ministry received 4,109 applications versus 2,115 in 2008.

On Monday, U.S. President Barack Obama urged Congress to quickly pass a $447-billion jobs bill to stimulate an ailing labour market.

"This is a bill that will put people back to work all across the country.

This is a bill that will help our economy in a moment of national crisis," Obama said.

"This is a bill that Congress needs to pass. No games. No politics. No delays."

The U.S. Census Bureau said the number of Americans living below the poverty line rose to a record 46 million last year, with the national poverty rate climbing for a thir…

Kuwait: Dependent visa for In-Laws

Question: I am working for a leading private contracting company as an engineer, my salary is KD1,100/- and have been in Kuwait for 5 years. I would like to bring my mother-in-law (age 65) to Kuwait on a dependent visa. My father-in-law has died, my mother-in-law is not having anybody other than my wife, since she is the only daughter, to look after her. My father-in-law’s death certificate and his dependent certificate duly attested by the Foreign Affairs and Ministry of Justice are with me. Now, I would like to bring my mother-in-law and my wife and son together on dependent visas to Kuwait since she doesn’t have anybody to take care of her. Can I get the dependent visa? - Name withheld

Answer: We can’t say definitely ‘yes or no’ because all such applications are decided on a case by case basis by the head of the Immigration Dept in your area. But considering the circumstances, it is likely that you may be able to get the dependent visa.

Kuwait: Visa transfer - University Degree Holder for Commercial Visit Visa

An Arab Times reader asked, "I read an article last month stating that people with a university degree will be exempted from ban on transfer of commercial visit visas to work permits. But now it seems they have banned the transfer completely. I got my commercial visit visa last month. I hold a masters degree in computer science and currently awaiting my police clearance in India. Will the rule be applicable to me?"

Answer: Yes, the transfer rule will also be applicable to you. According to the latest rule, all those — with university degrees — who entered the country on commercial visit visas before September will be allowed to transfer to work permits. As you are still in India, you can use your visa to come to Kuwait but can’t transfer your visit visa to a work permit.

US Employment Situation Summary - August 2011

Nonfarm payroll employment was unchanged (0) in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Employment in most major industries changed little over the month. Health care continued to add jobs, and a decline in information employment reflected a strike. Government employment continued to trend down, despite the return of workers from a partial government shutdown in Minnesota.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons, at 14.0 million, was essentially unchanged in August, and the unemployment rate held at 9.1 percent. The rate has shown little change since April.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (8.9 percent), adult women (8.0 percent), teenagers (25.4 percent), whites (8.0 percent), blacks (16.7 percent), and Hispanics (11.3 percent) showed little or no change in August. The jobless rate for Asians was 7.1 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed …

Australia: Enterprise Migration Agreement submission guidelines released

02 Sep 2011

The Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) today announced the release of the submission guidelines for Enterprise Migration Agreements (EMA), to assist project owners and prime contractors on eligible resources projects.

The guidelines contain all the necessary information for those who wish to make a submission for an EMA. The agreements are a new migration initiative that will allow major resource projects to gain access to overseas skilled workers for genuine vacancies that cannot be filled from the Australian skilled labour market.

“Now that the submission guidelines have been released, eligible projects will be able to make submissions for access to an EMA,” a departmental spokesman said.

“The agreements are available to resource projects which have been approved by the relevant state or territory government with capital expenditure of more than $2 billion and with a peak workforce of more than 1500 workers.”

The spokesman said the EMA program would ensure …

How do you balance work and play?

Whether you’re a student looking for part time jobs in London to cover your living costs or a graduate needing a job to tide you over while you get on the career ladder, getting part-time work can be essential to keeping your finances ticking over.

However, it’s important not to burn yourself out. It’s very easy to take on too much and forget that we all need a bit of down time every now and again. And by balancing work and play you won’t end up resenting your job or course.


We all need to stretch ourselves to reach our potential, and that includes funding our way through – and after – uni. And this is a good thing that future employers like to see even though it would be more fun to backpack through Australia for a year. By getting a part-time job you’re learning important transferable skills that you can make the most of when getting into a career. And it’s never wrong to have a bit of extra cash.

Always be realistic

While stretching to reach your full potential, make sure you…

What to Consider Before Taking Online Classes

The education environment has changed quite a bit since accredited online colleges have become available to the broader public. Just a few years ago, the predominate way to get an education was through a traditional brick-and-mortar education institution, but now, with online degree programs, we've seen an increase in the diversity of students and programs being offered.

In the past, online colleges received a lot of stigma from the public because they've been seen to be less credible than traditional educations. This seems to be changing according to an article that appeared on MSNBC. The article discussed how, in the last couple years, employers are looking at online degrees with a greater level of seriousness and acceptance. This is largely due to the huge numbers of individuals entering the workforce with a degrees from online colleges.

Now that employers are taking online degrees seriously, more people are giving higher education a serious thought. Even though these p…

US Metropolitan Area Employment and Unemployment Summary JULY 2011

Unemployment rates were lower in July than a year earlier in 257 of the 372 metropolitan areas, higher in 94 areas, and unchanged in 21 areas, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Twelve areas recorded jobless rates of at least 15.0 percent, while ten areas registered rates of less than 5.0 percent. Two hundred thirty-two metropolitan areas reported over-the-year increases in nonfarm payroll employment, 133 reported decreases, and 7 had no change. The national unemployment rate in July was 9.3 percent, not seasonally adjusted, down from 9.7 percent a year earlier.

Metropolitan Area Unemployment (Not Seasonally Adjusted)

In July, 117 metropolitan areas reported jobless rates of at least 10.0 percent, down from 127 areas a year earlier, while 62 areas posted rates below 7.0 percent, up from 54 areas in July 2010. El Centro, Calif., and Yuma, Ariz., recorded the highest unemployment rates in July 2011, 30.8 and 30.0 percent, respectively. All of the remaining 10 areas with…

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