Training to Become a MEDAVAC Pilot

Preparing for a career as a MEDEVAC pilot requires the same level of due diligence as any occupation in which peoples' lives may be on the line. In this case, a MEDEVAC pilot may be responsible for operating civilian EMS vehicles, aeromedical helicopters, Army air ambulances, and fixed-wing aircrafts. Here are a few steps to following in becoming a MEDEVAC pilot:

Lay the groundwork for a career in a highly skilled occupation by taking plenty of math and science classes in school. Science should be complementary to your career for a long time. You will also need to lay the foundation for medical training as well, as you will be required to provide medical evaluations in your future career. Plan on getting at least a two year degree from a medical school. If you're worried about the cost you might want to look into medical school loans from Discover.

Get flying training early on by being a part of your college ROTC program. This will provide you with one-on-one training that is usually paid for by the government. Many college students who aim for MEDEVAC flight training accrue enough hours during their ROTC years to apply for a pilot's license right out of college. In this way, planning ahead and knowing how many hours will need for your particular license is helpful.

Get experience in the field of emergency conditions by flying aircrafts and helicopters, especially under simulated combat situations. This will prepare you for the sometimes turbulent, trauma conditions a MEDEVAC pilot has to operate under. If you're unable to get entry level experience this way you should try to work for a fire department or hospital paramedic unit or any kind of rescue team that has to treat civilians in emergency situations.

Get licensed and certified in as many fields as you can. Many companies who hire MEDEVAC pilots require rigorous backgrounds and training and prefer a second class flying license, which permits you to fly commercial aircrafts. A first class FAA license may allow you to leapfrog ahead of the competition entirely, as a first class license is only technically required for an airline transport pilot and would look extremely impressive for someone right out of school.

Once you're finally ready to apply for a specific MEDEVAC pilot position, you'll want to have your paperwork ready. This includes a resume, references, military record and any relevant copies of licenses and certificates. Look at openings at hospitals, clinics and any medical institution that deals with EMS vehicles and trauma wards.

Strict immigrations rules for students visa forces UK private colleges to shut down

The British government’s introduction of stricter immigration rules for foreign students has seen the number of foreign students fall substantially, putting many colleges and groups of colleges out of business.

Following a decline in the student population, the number of private colleges forced to close down has increased to almost half in just a year. Figures revealed by Wilkins Kennedy, an accountancy firm, say that some 169 educational institutions shut down in 2011, which showed a sharp increase compared to 117 in 2010.

Experts claimed that many of the closures apparently related to private language colleges and institutions offering specialist business courses, The Telegraph reports. Following the introduction of tough new controls, on foreign students as a way to cut down on migration, the number of insolvencies in the education sector increased by 44 per cent last year, compared with a three per cent rise in other corporate insolvencies over the same period.

The firm said all closures involved international higher education colleges providing courses in areas such as languages, IT and management.

Japan embassy in India introduces new system of visa processing

The Embassy of Japan has introduced a new system of visa processing through VFS Global, with effect from April 2, 2012.

Akitaka Saiki, Ambassador of Japan to India, in statement said: ''It is my sincere hope that, with the opening of the JVAC, the visit to Japan will become more convenient for all travellers from India to Japan. This year, Japan and India celebrate the 60th anniversary of the establishment of their bilateral relationship. It is quite timely to announce the opening of the visa centre on this commemorative year, since the visa center will facilitate more Indian tourists, business travellers and others to visit Japan.

About 15 million people in India travel overseas, and it is expected that the number will grow up to 50 million by the year 2020. The Japanese government has designated India as one of the focal countries in its 'Visit Japan Campaign'.

For those applying for visa, there will be following advantages after the introduction of this system. Visa applications will be accepted during 8.30 am – 5.30 pm (Mon-Fri) and 8.30 am – 12.30 pm (on Saturdays - returning passports only)

Applications will be also accepted at two convenient locations in New Delhi, and several other drop-off offices outside New Delhi.

South Africa: Short-term work permit move is ill-considered

If a foreigner wants to come to South Africa to work for more than three months, one must apply for an appropriate category of work permit.

But if the person is only flitting into the country for a few days (or any period up to three months) to attend meetings, work on a film or do other such work, he or she can apply for what is called a Section 11(2) visitor permit. This is permission to be here as a visitor and to work – for that very limited window.

Until very recently, all that was required (if your passport is visa exempt) was a letter confirming when you were coming and what you intended doing, where and for how long. You would present this on arrival at OR Tambo International Airport and you would get permission to work for up to three months. This was nice, clean and efficient. Unfortunately, this business-friendly facility was also open to serious abuse – and it was abused.

But instead of ‘tweaking’ its software, deploying its officials to inspect known suspect employers or even just engaging business and other stakeholders for an efficient response, the department has implemented a ‘butter-cutting chainsaw’ response which threatens to hit a whole range of industries that, legitimately, need to deploy employees to South Africa at short notice and for short periods.

The move will just force genuine ‘workers’ to arrive on ordinary Section 11(1) visitor permits and do their work stint illegally. If detecting 11(2) abuses was difficult, how much more difficult is it going to be to detect 11(1) abuses. The abuses of the 11(2) permit needed to be set right. But this is not the way, Home Affairs.

US Regional and State Employment and Unemployment Summary - March 2012

Regional and state unemployment rates were little changed in March. Thirty states recorded unemployment rate decreases, 8 states posted rate increases, and 12 states and the District of Columbia had no change, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. Forty-nine states and the District of Columbia registered unemployment rate decreases from a year earlier, while New York experienced an increase. The national jobless rate was little changed from February at 8.2 percent but was 0.7 percentage point lower than in March 2011.

In March 2012, nonfarm payroll employment increased in 29 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 20 states, and was unchanged in Alabama. The largest over-the-month increase in employment occurred in New York (+19,100), followed by California (+18,200) and Arizona (+13,500). The largest over-the-month decrease in employment occurred in Ohio (-9,500), followed by New Jersey (-8,600) and Wisconsin (-4,500). Arizona experienced the largest over-the-month percentage increase in employment (+0.6 percent), followed by the District of Columbia and Nebraska (+0.5 percent each). Maine experienced the largest over-the-month percentage decline in employment (-0.5 percent), followed by Wyoming (-0.3 percent). Over the year, nonfarm employment increased in 45 states and the District of Columbia, decreased in 4 states, and was unchanged in Alabama. The largest over-the-year percentage increase occurred in North Dakota (+6.5 percent). The largest over-the-year percentage decrease in employment occurred in Wisconsin (-0.9 percent).

The PDF version of the news release

Swiss to limit immigration from eastern Europe

ZURICH (Reuters) - Switzerland Said on Wednesday it was reimposing quotas on workers from central and eastern Europe as it faces criticism over soaring immigration to an economy that is holding up better than most others on the continent.

The Swiss cabinet said it had decided to invoke a "safeguard clause" in its agreement with the European Union on the free movement of persons, reimposing quotas that were abolished a year ago for citizens from central and eastern Europe.

"In invoking the safeguard clause, the Federal Council is seeking to apply one of the means at its disposal to control the immigration flow into Switzerland," it said in a statement.

The government is imposing a quota of 2,000 permits for the year from May 1 for citizens from Estonia, Latvia, Lithuania, Poland, Slovakia, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and Hungary compared to the 6,000 permits granted in the last year.

The government said the 1.1 million EU citizens in the country of 7.9 million benefited the economy, but added the rate of immigration was raising concerns over issues of integration and compliance with minimum wage and working conditions.

Switzerland, which has managed to keep unemployment at a low 3 percent despite recent economic turbulence, has seen a big influx in immigrant workers from the EU in recent years.

The right-wing Swiss People's Party has blamed immigration for pushing up rents, overcrowding public transport and eroding cultural values and is seeking to amend the constitution to set annual quotas on permits granted to foreigners.

US Employment Situation - March 2012

Nonfarm payroll employment rose by 120,000 in March, and the unemployment rate was little changed at 8.2 percent, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported. Employment rose in manufacturing, food services and drinking places, and health care, but was down in retail trade.

Household Survey Data

The number of unemployed persons (12.7 million) and the unemployment rate (8.2 percent) were both little changed in March.

Among the major worker groups, the unemployment rates for adult men (7.6 percent), adult women (7.4 percent), teenagers (25.0 percent), whites (7.3 percent), blacks (14.0 percent), and Hispanics (10.3 percent) showed little or no change in March. The jobless rate for Asians was 6.2 percent, not seasonally adjusted.

The number of long-term unemployed (those jobless for 27 weeks and over) was essentially unchanged at 5.3 million in March. These individuals accounted for 42.5 percent of the unemployed. Since April 2010, the number of long-term unemployed has fallen by 1.4 million.

The civilian labor force participation rate (63.8 percent) and the employment-population ratio (58.5 percent) were little changed in March.

The PDF version of the news release,

How Does 2012's Increasingly Bimodal Class System Compare With 1912?

It is popular for American society to bemoan the decline of the middle class. Our shared cultural narrative tells us that the middle class was once large and all-encompassing, that it was relatively easy to enter and represented widely shared values, and that it was what set America apart from the stratified societies seen in Europe and across the developing world.

To a point, this nostalgic narrative contains a substantial shred of truth. Indeed, in the decades following World War II, the United States saw a substantial growth in the middle class. Postwar prosperity coupled with the GI Bill, the accessibility of cheap suburban housing, and a rapid expansion of service industries all propelled America towards a white-collar, picket-fence, middle class identity. The amount of GDP controlled by the wealthiest earners slowly fell. The number of people in poverty gradually decreased likewise.

But the once unstoppable march of the middle class took a hit in the past decade. Since 2000, almost 2/3rd of all income growth has gone to the top percentile of Americans. Meanwhile, the country’s bottom 50% of earners aggregately own less than 1% of the national wealth. Despite the financial recession, the upper class continues to grow disproportionately while the middle class and the working class get squeezed together. America’s class system, in short, has grown increasingly bimodal.

Many explanations have been given for this shift. Analysts have blamed the decline of domestic manufacturing, the skyrocketing executive salaries, and the growth of an increasingly stratified meritocracy – a stratification that gives top students their choice of consulting and Huntingdon Life Sciences careers, while students with less stellar educational credentials are forced to scrounge for whatever positions they can get. Analysts have further pointed to positive feedback loops that push the upper middle class towards the upper class and the lower middle class towards the working class. And they have highlighted rapid increases in housing, fuel, insurance, and retirement costs. All of these reasons are certainly valid factors in the big picture trends.

It’s a situation we’ve seen before – 100 years ago. At that time, in 1912, America was in another period defined by a stagnating middle class. Established over a century beforehand as a middle class nation, the country had seen a trend towards bimodalism with the onset of the Gilded Age. The ranks of wealthy American’s grew alongside the growth in manufacturing and industry. Meanwhile, an influx of European immigrants swelled the ranks of the poor in the country’s urban centers. The middle class, for the first time, found itself increasingly isolated.

While the differences between 2012 and 1912 are certainly numerous, the similarities can add some clarification to our current class system. Today, as aforementioned, one of the driving factors in the constriction of the middle class has been the decline of unions and of manufacturing jobs. In 1912, a similar trend was taking place in the agricultural sector: for the first time, less than 35% of American workers were employed in agricultural production, a number that would only continue to plummet. 1912 also saw the growth in certain types of white-collar jobs (clerks, managers, staffers, salesmen) that initially accelerated the class divide, but ultimately strengthened those in the middle. Similarly, the growth in internet-based industries may signal a comparable trend today.

So what can we learn from these broad similarities? On the most basic level, we can take away that America’s middle class has not been an historical, permanent reality. There have been times in the country’s history where income was less differentiated and other times when it has been large bimodal. These periods are capable of dissipating – and of coming back. The more stratified world of 1912, after all, gradually moved towards greater equality as the 1920s and the Depression years arrived. These changes took years to realize. When, then, can we expect our contemporary trend towards bimodalism to reverse? Surely, that remains to be seen.

US Job Openings and Labor Turnover – February 2012

There were 3.5 million job openings on the last business day of February, little changed from January, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reported today. The hires rate (3.3 percent) and separations rate (3.1 percent) were little changed in February. The job openings rate, at 2.6 percent, 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

22,000 H-1B applications filed in first four days

The US Citizenship and Immigration Services has received about 22,000 petitions for the much sought after H-1B work visas in the first four days after it started accepting applications on April 2, officials said.

"We have received approximately 22,000 H-1B petitions for the fiscal 2013 beginning October 1 this year," US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) spokesperson Bill Wright said.

The USCIS official, however, was quick to note that these are preliminary figures.

The 22,000 H-1B petitions received in the first four days are from both the categories: Congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 in the general category and another 20,000 in the advance degree category.

Even these preliminary figures indicate that there has been quite an increase in the H-1B petitions this year as compared to the previous two years, it is much less than the previous years when the cap was reached on the very first day.

In 2011, in the first week, the USCIS had received approximately 5,900 H-1B petitions counting toward the 65,000 cap, and approximately 4,500 petitions toward the 20,000 cap exemption for individuals with advanced degrees.

In 2010, USCIS had received only 13,500 petitions in the Congressionally mandated cap of 65,000 in the first week and approximately 5,600 petitions for individuals with advanced degree.

USCIS, in 2009, had received 42,000 H-1B applications under the Congressional mandated quota of 65,000 in the first week.

In the advanced degree category it received about similar number of applications.

US businesses use the H-1B programme to employ foreign workers in speciality occupations that require theoretical or technical expertise in specialised fields, such as scientists, engineers, or computer programmers.

H-1B visa staff crucial to US: Microsoft

On Monday, the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS) began receiving petitions for the H-1B visas for the fiscal 2013 beginning October, 2012.

The congressionally mandated numerical limitation on H-1B petitions for the fiscal year 2013 is 65,000, as has been in the previous years.

Additionally, the first 20,000 H-1B petitions filed on behalf of individuals who have earned a US master's degree or higher are exempt from the fiscal year cap.

Smith has predicted that the numerical limitation for H-1B could be filled up very soon than previous years.

"Even with our economy in the midst of a prolonged recovery, the annual allotment of H-1B visas is projected to be exhausted earlier than last year, and well before the end of the government's fiscal year.

"This isn't surprising, with the unemployment rate in the technology sector below 4 per cent," he wrote on a Microsoft post.

Smith said, "Our economy is hungry for workers with strong educational backgrounds, especially those with degrees in the science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields.

"We must continue to improve educational and professional opportunities for American workers, while keeping the door open to highly skilled talent from around the world to support the needs of US businesses."

Anu Peshawaria, a California-based attorney at law, said while there are no indications that the filings this year will resemble fiscal 2009 - the last time when the cap was reached in the initial filing period -- it is important to be aware that, as the economy is slowly recovering there has been an increase in H1B demand.

"Indian students (number) in the US is growing, recording an increase of 30 per cent more than last year.

"However, unless we reduce the waiting period for visa seekers, particularly students and cut down on the backlog we will continue to loose trained employees and US cannot make significant progress," Peshawaria said.

Referring to the huge Green Card backlog, especially that from China and India, the top Microsoft official said America's country's approach to high skilled immigration must do a better job of reducing these backlogs to enable US

companies to retain this talent, and reap the economic benefits of their brainpower and contributions over the long term.

"There are important steps that Congress can take right now to accomplish this. The House passed the Fairness for High-Skilled Immigrants Act in November with overwhelming and rare bipartisan consensus, 389-15," Smith said.

He added, "The bill would replace the discriminatory 'per-country' limits on employment-based green cards with a merit-based, first-come-first-served system, but it has unfortunately stalled in the Senate.

"The Senate should act now and pass this important legislation. Congress should also pass legislation to help ensure that the US can retain top foreign students who complete their education at US universities, rather than driving them away after graduation to compete against us in other countries."

UK closes post-study students' 'work' visa

Under the Tier 1 (Post-study work) route, non-EU students were able to take up work for two years here after the completion of their university courses. This route will be closed, the UK Home Office has announced on April 5th, 2012.

The facility was popular among self-financing Indian students who sought to recover some of the expenses of studying here by working for two years.

The facility also enabled them to gain work experience in the UK that was seen to aid career prospects in India. There are already reports of falling numbers of Indian students applying for university courses starting from September 2012.

From tomorrow, following the closure of the facility, international students will be able to apply for leave to remain in the UK under other immigration routes if they meet the criteria, but most such students are unlikely to meet the higher income level and other criteria.

International students are estimated to contribute over 14 billion pounds annually to the UK economy.

The closure of the post-study route was opposed by Universities UK and the British Council, given the possibility that the measure would reduce Britain's attraction as a destination for students from India and other non-EU countries.

Prime Minister David Cameron had promised to crack down on immigration at last year's Conservative party conference.

In February, the British Council had called for an "urgent review" of the changes to the student visa system, particularly the closure of the popular post-study work visa from April this year.

The Council, which is responsible for promoting British education overseas, presented a detailed report to the government on the likely impact the recent student visa changes will have, and compared the experiences of Australia and US in this regard.

In a report titled 'Impact of Visa Changes on Student Mobility and Outlook for the UK', the British Council said: "Students from certain countries who mainly study postgraduate courses in the UK - such as India, Pakistan and others --will be affected by the removal of the post-study work visa...The sooner this situation is addressed, the more contained the damage of bad publicity overseas will be."

The Home Office also announced that the annual limit for skilled Indian and other non-EU migrants with job offers in the UK would remain at 20,700 for the next two years until April 2014.

During the first year of its operation ending this month, the limit has been undersubscribed by about 50 per cent.

Immigration Minister Damian Green said: "The government has been clear that the UK is open for business and our limit has been designed with the industry's needs in mind.

We believe there is no incompatibility between economic growth and controlling migration --our reformed, more selective immigration system can achieve both."