Showing posts from June, 2013

Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, Cisco hail US immigration bill

CEOs representing top American technology companies including Google, Yahoo, Microsoft and Cisco has hailed the passage of the comprehensive immigration reform bill by US Senate, arguing that this would give a big oost to the economic growth and attract high skilled workers.

"In passing this legislation on a strong bipartisan basis, the Senate broke the logjam on immigration and high-skilled worker reforms," said John Chambers, Chairman and CEO of Cisco and co-chair of TechNet, the coalition of CEOs of US tech companies.

"America's economic success stems from our culture of innovation and the constant infusion of new ideas from a skilled and talented workforce. Now - as the House of

Representatives takes up the issue - Cisco will continue to work with our legislative leaders to ensure that the reforms help attract the best, the brightest and the most ambitious minds from around the world to our shores," he said yesterday.

Steve Ballmer, CEO of Microsoft said b…

US Senate passes landmark immigration bill

Washington: The United States Senate has passed the landmark comprehensive immigration reform bill that will provide a pathway to citizenship to some 11 million illegal immigrants, including over 240,000 Indians.

The landmark legislation of the Obama administration received bipartisan support as it passed Thursday with 88 votes for and 32 votes against it. The bill now moves to the House of Representatives before it can be sent to US President Barack Obama to sign it into law.

However, the bill retained killer provisions when it comes to H-1B Visas that would badly hit Indian companies in the United States.

"Today with a strong bipartisan vote, the United States Senate delivered for the American people, bringing us a critical step closer to fixing our broken immigration system once and for all," Obama said in a statement.

"If enacted, the Senate bill would establish the most aggressive border security plan in our history," he said.

"It would offer a pathway t…

Iimmigration bill to reduce deficit by $175 bn in 10 years

The US immigration bill, which is awaiting passage by the Senate, will reduce the American budgetary deficit by USD 175 billion in 10 years, an independent Congressional report has said. The Congressional Budget Office, in its report, said the bill, if passed by the Congress in its present form and signed into a law, will save USD 197 billion in 10 years.
The report subtracts implementation cost of the bill, which is expected to stand around USD 22 billion. The bill, the CBO report says, will decrease the deficit by an additional USD 700 billion in another ten years. "This report is a huge momentum boost for immigration reforms.

This debunks the idea that immigration reform is anything other than a boon to our economy, and robs the bill's opponents of one of their last remaining arguments," said Senator Chuck Schumer. "We have more proof that bipartisan commonsense immigration reform will be good for economic growth and deficit reduction, this time in the form of a…

Kuwait may scrap sponsorship system soon

Dubai (June 20, 2013): Kuwait is likely to scrap the sponsorship system for hiring labour force in the private sector, including the recruitment of expatriate workers, to fight visa trafficking, a media report said on Thursday.

The new system would help efforts to fight visa trafficking by preventing job providers from issuing work permits they can sell to workers, a Kuwait Times report quoting insiders in the Ministry of Social Affairs and Labour (MSAL) said.

According to the report, MSAL is expected to establish the Public Authority for Labour Affairs as a first step towards cancelling the sponsorship system for private sector labour force.

After the system is abolished, the new authority will handle all matters pertaining to private sector employees, including recruitment of expatriate labour forces and management of their relationship with their employers.

“The sponsorship system will be replaced with an alternative system that allows the MSAL to be responsible for expatriate lab…

To Be A Refugee (UNHCR)

Uploaded on Mar 16, 2010 - Copyright UNHCR 1998, Produced by Leigh Foster.
In this video, three young refugee children vividly show viewers the conditions in which they live and the experiences they've had leaving home. 

To see the whole video, please visit:

World Refugee Day: 20 June

For years, many countries and regions have been holding their own Refugee Days and even Weeks. One of the most widespread is Africa Refugee Day, which is celebrated on 20 June in several countries. The UN General Assembly, on 4 December 2000, adopted resolution 55/76 where it noted that 2001 marked the 50th anniversary of the 1951 Convention relating to the Status of Refugees, and that the Organization of African Unity (OAU) had agreed to have International Refugee Day coincide with Africa Refugee Day on 20 June. The General Assembly therefore decided that 20 June would be celebrated as World Refugee Day. This year the UN refugee agency, UNHCR, continues its award-winning "1" campaign with its first ever personal fundraising site, which asks us to Take 1 minute to support a family forced to flee.

European Union Has Gloomy Employment Figures, Middling Inflation Rate

Employment in the first three months of 2013 fell 1 percent from the same period last year for the 17 countries that use the euro, but it fell only 0.4 percent for the wider EU, which includes 27 countries.

In the short term, euro zone countries saw a 0.5 percent decline in unemployment from the previous quarter, while the EU saw a 0.2 percent decline.

Greece, Portugal, Cyprus and Spain reported the worst increases in unemployment for the year, with Greece employing 6.5 percent less people than it did in the first quarter of 2013. By far the quickest climb in employment came from Latvia, which saw 4.8 percent employment growth.

The latest U.S. unemployment rate is 7.6 percent as of May, a 0.6 percent decrease from last year.

Inflation figures from Eurostat also pegged the EU’s inflation rate at 1.6 percent, up 0.2 percent from April, but down from last year’s rate of 2.6 percent.

More expensive fruits, vegetables and electricity pushed the inflation rate up.

According to Reuters, the…

Can I apply for a Graduate Job Search Work visa in New Zealand?

To be eligible for a Graduate Job Search visa you must have successfully completed in New Zealand an acceptable qualification.

A job offer is not required, but a graduation certificate is mandatory.

There are some further requirements you will need to meet for this category of work visa, before you can apply.

If you decide to apply after your student visa expires, you have 3 months to do so (or 6 months if you have obtained a PhD).

Please note if you completed your qualification on a Limited Purpose Visa and left NZ, you will not be eligible for a Graduate Job Search Visa.

This is because our policy WD2 specifically requires people to be on a Student Visa to be eligible for Graduate Job Search Visa.

Can I get more a Graduate Job Search Work Visa more than once?

If, after obtaining your first Graduate Job Search Work Visa, you have completed a second and higher qualification, that is either a New Zealand bachelor degree or post-graduate qualification and you studied that qualification for at …

Immigration bill: US Senate votes for a debate on the controversial legislation

The US Senate has voted overwhelmingly for a debate on a landmark immigration bill, which if signed into law would pave the way to citizenship for 11 million illegal immigrants.

"A permanent, common-sense solution to our dysfunctional system is in sight. This bipartisan legislation is the solution our economy needs. It is the solution immigrant families need," Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said.

Acknowledging that this bill isn't perfect and "compromise" is necessary and inevitable, the Democrat leader said this measure takes important steps to reform the broken legal immigration system, strengthen border security and hold unscrupulous employers accountable.

"Over the next three weeks Senators will propose many ideas to make this legislation better. But those changes must preserve the heart of the bill, a pathway to earned citizenship that begins by going to the back of the line, paying taxes and fines, learning English and getting right with the law,&…

Refugee Week 2013

Refugee Week is celebrated all over the world with events and activities to recognise the plight of refugees around the world and acknowledge the contribution made by government and non-government organisations in helping refugees to contribute to the society.

Australia Refugee Week has been celebrated in Australia since the 1980s and coincides each year with World Refugee Day on 20 June.

In 2013, the department is celebrating the arrival of the 800 000th refugee and other humanitarian entrants since World War II and is launching a social media campaign, Pathway to Protection which is centred around a series of videos depicting a family’s settlement journey from a refugee camp in Nepal to their new home in Launceston, Tasmania.
UK Refugee Week is an annual event celebrating the contribution of refugees to the UK and encouraging people to take a more positive look at asylum. Performances and awareness-raising events take place across the UK. The event takes place every June, so why no…

Highlights of Labour Market, First Quarter 2013 in Singapore

The seasonally adjusted overall unemployment rate remained low at 1.9% in March 2013, compared with 1.8% in December 2012. The unemployment rate for residents rose to 2.9% from 2.7%, while the citizen unemployment rate was unchanged at 2.9%. An estimated 57,700 residents including 50,000 Singapore citizens were unemployed in March 2013. The seasonally adjusted figures were 60,600 for residents and 52,900 for citizens.Long-term unemployment improved slightly over the year. 13,700 unemployed residents making up 0.6% of the resident labour force in March 2013 had been looking for work for at least 25 weeks, down from 14,000 or 0.7% a year ago. Employment creation slowed from the seasonal high in the previous quarter. Total employment grew by 28,900 in the first quarter of 2013, substantially lower than the increase of 44,000 in the last quarter of 2012, but slightly above the 27,200 in the first quarter of 2012. This brought total employment to 3,386,500 in March 2013, which was 4.0% hig…

Australian visa pricing changes to drive use of online services

14-06-2013 - New visa pricing arrangements to begin soon will encourage Department of Immigration and Citizenship clients to use online services where available.

Visa pricing measures already in place include a visa evidence charge, first announced by the Australian Government in November 2011.

From 2013 July 1, a “per-person” charge will apply to each family member included in a visa application.

They will each be required to pay the visa application charge.

“This will bring Australia's visa pricing arrangements into line with comparable countries,” a Department of Immigration and Citizenship spokesman said today.

There will be an additional charge of AUD80 for certain visas when visa applicants choose to lodge a paper application rather than an online application through the department’s eVisa service (where this service is available).

There will also be an extra charge of AUD700 for visa applicants who seek to stay in Australia for extended periods on successive temporary visa…

French unemployment hits 15-year high

The French state-run employment agency, Pole Emploi, faces an uphill battle. The country's unemployment rate hit a 15-year high in the first quarter of 2013, according to the latest official estimates.

The unemployment rate in France continues to climb, hitting 10.4% in the first quarter of 2013. That's the highest level the country has seen since early 1998.

Including French territories and islands, the unemployment rate was 10.8%, according the latest unemployment estimates from France's national statistics agency, INSEE.

The French government has been struggling with a sluggish economy and rising unemployment for years.
A report released last month showed French gross domestic product shrank by 0.2% in the first three months of the year, which put the country back in recession.

"There are lots of internal issues that France needs to grapple with," said London-based Tom Bewick, chief economist at the International Skills Standards Organisation. "It needs …

Unemployment rate rises in Waterloo Region, Guelph

OTTAWA -- Canada's economy pumped out a stunning 95,000 in May 2013 -- one of the biggest monthly gains in history -- as employers resumed hiring again after a four-month winter hibernation.

Historically, it was the second-biggest job creation month in 35 years -- just 100 lower than August 2002.

The number was so shocking that economists, and even Prime Minister Stephen Harper, cautioned that the Statistics Canada monthly reports are subject to wide margins of error.

Last month Canada saw the biggest month of employment growth in more than a decade.

"We don't obviously want to pay too much attention to what happens month to month, because we know this is very volatile, but the Canadian economy is now up to about a million net new jobs created since the recession," he said at a photo event in Ottawa.

"We obviously know that's one of the best records in the developed world."

Taken as reported, the massive gain was the first major improvement of 2013 and…

Foreign workers paying excessive fee for Australian work visa

Melbourne: Eighty Indians were among hundreds of foreign workers and students who were reportedly duped to pay excessive fee for Australian working visa by recruitment agents, raising serious concern over the misuse of a visa scheme, which allows hiring immigrants.

Foreign workers were promised long-term work or permanent residency if they paid between 5,000 and 40,000 Australian dollars to middlemen across the nation only to be given temporary work or, in a small number of cases, with little or no pay, a media report said.

Around 80 Indians were duped into paying 4,000 Australian dollars for a cleaning course in Melbourne worth only 1,300 Australian dollars after being told that it would enable them to get a work visa, the report said.

Some of those Indians were directed by their recruitment agent to work as unskilled labourers in abattoirs in an arrangement one of the abattoir owners, JBS Australia, said involved the agent misleading it and the workers, it said.

The Fairfax Media i…

Popping tech into studies

TO advance the usage of technology in education, Microsoft, in partnership with the Education Ministry and Multimedia Development Corporation, has launched the Pop-up Classroom project.

The project, with outreach workshops for educators and government policy-makers, features a blend of localised content and technology showcase that aims to increase understanding on the impact of technology in education.

Johor Education Information Management Sector head Bahariah Temu said technology and education go hand-in-hand.

“We can’t educate tomorrow’s leaders with tools and practices from the past. We must continue to invest in the development of better learning environments that lead to better outcomes,” said Bahariah.

The Pop-up Classroom event featured panel discussions designed to help educators grasp important technology issues and opportunities impacting education today such as cyber security and online safety for students.

Further discussion was centered on helping students acquire 21st…

Wage Changes in Singapore, 2012

The tight labour market continued to raise workers’ wages, but the pace of increase moderated in 2012, amid weaker economic conditions. After adjusting for inflation using Consumer Price Index (CPI) for all items, real wages dipped in 2012, but increased slightly when adjusted using CPI less imputed rentals on owner-occupied accommodation. Over the long term, real wage increases have been supported by productivity growth.

Wage Changes in Singapore, 2012The tight labour market continued to raise workers’ wages, but the pace of increase moderated in 2012, amid weaker ...05 June 2013 Wage Flexibility in Singapore, 2012Large majority of private sector employees were under some form of flexible wage system in 2012, following the general uptrend ...05 June 2013 Labour Market, 2012Local employment rose faster in 2012, as foreign employment growth slowed amid tighter foreign manpower controls. With high employment ...15 March 2013 Labour Force in Singapore, 2012The resident employment rate reach…

Australian efforts to combat Sri Lankan irregular migration

The Minister for Immigration and Citizenship, Brendan O’Connor, sought to strengthen ongoing cooperation with Sri Lanka on the shared challenges of irregular migration and people smuggling during his May 2-4 visit to Sri Lanka.

The visit also highlighted Australia’s keen interest in continuing to work closely with Sri Lanka on issues discussed at the recent Bali Process meeting. Mr O’Connor travelled with Department of Immigration and Citizenship (DIAC) secretary Martin Bowles who co-chaired the inaugural meeting of the Sri Lanka-Australia Joint Working Group on People Smuggling and Transnational Crime in December last year.

DIAC funds a range of activities to assist Sri Lanka to improve border management practices along with Displaced Persons Program (DPP) projects that are designed to support people’s livelihoods and future prospects in Sri Lanka.

Meanwhile, a further 42 Sri Lankan irregular maritime arrivals were returned home on May 1. Almost 1100 Sri Lankans have been returned h…

Becoming an American can be bad for your health

A growing body of mortality research on immigrants has shown that the longer they live in the US, the worse their rates of heart disease, high blood pressure and diabetes. And while their American-born children may have more money, they tend to live shorter lives than the parents.

The pattern goes against any notion that moving to America improves every aspect of life. "There's something about life in the United States that is not conducive to good health across generations," said Robert A Hummer, a social demographer at the University of Texas at Austin. For Hispanics, now the nation's largest immigrant group, the foreign-born live about three years longer than their American-born counterparts, several studies have found.

Why does life in the United States—despite its sophisticated health care system and high per capita wages—lead to worse health? New research is showing that the immigrant advantage wears off with the adoption of American behaviours—smoking, drinki…

Rise of 20,500 in Republic of Ireland employment figures

The number of people employed in the Republic of Ireland has risen by 20,500 (1.1%) to the first quarter of 2013, according the figures released by the Central Statistics Office (CSO).

The figures also show that unemployment rate now stands at 13.7%.

It is the first time is has fallen below 14% in over two years.

The figures show there was a fall in full-time employment of 3,700 over the year, which was offset by a rise in part-time employment of 24,200.

The number of people in work increased by 7,700 in the first quarter of this year, following on from an increase of 12,100 in the final quarter of 2012.

The number of people unemployed fell by 29,900 over the same period, bringing the number of full-time unemployed to 292,000 - the first time it has dropped below 300,000 since 2010.

The CSO said the long-term unemployment rate fell over the year from 9.5% to 8.4%.

The long-term unemployed account for 61.8% of all those out of work.

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