India, 30th November: India has announced its e-visa scheme for 43 nations.
So, nationals from 43 nations will now be able to apply for India Tourist Visas online under this latest facility.
India offers online visas for 43 nations—Citizens from around 43 nations shall be allowed to make application for Indian tourist visas online. This will be possible through the latest move announced by India of extending e-visas for 43 nations.
<blockquote> India has announced extending its online visa scheme to 43 nations. However, Canada, Malaysia, the UK and France are not included in this new e-visa scheme yet. </blockquote>
The new e-visa scheme for 43 nations has been launched by Indian Home Minister Rajnath Singh along with Mahesh Sharma, Minister of Tourism and Culture. This means eligible foreigners wanting to come to India shall be allowed to apply for Indian visa online.
So, foreign visitors wanting to come to India can now get India visa without any need of visiting the Indian Embassy since Indian visa can be obtained online. They can collect their visas at airports.
What a great facility!
Which nations are included for Indian E-visa scheme?—Well, it has been already announced that India has announced the facility of e-visa or online tourist visas for 43 nations. Among the nations to be included under the latest facility of Indian tourist visas online are the US, New Zealand, Australia, Brazil, South Korea, the UAE, Japan, Kenya, Germany, Russia and Israel.
In addition, almost al Southeast Asian and South Pacific nations have also been included.
Which nations are not yet included in Indian tourist visas online?—The facility is not yet available for nationals from Sri Lanka, Canada, Malaysia, the UK, France, Italy, Spain, South Africa, Bangladesh and China.
Nine international airports for entering India for foreign visitors under Indian tourist visas online—Foreign visitors coming to India under the latest e-visa scheme launched by India recently can come through nine international airports namely—Delhi, Mumbai, Chennai, Hyderabad, Kolkata, Bengaluru, Kochi, Goa and Thiruvananthpuram.
The facility of e-visas for foreign tourists can be used by them twice during the period of calendar year. Validity of Indian tourist visas online will be for 30 days. Electronic travel authorization will be received by the applicant within a short span of just 72 hours.
Its being hoped that the UK will be included in the e-visa scheme by India in the next phase.
France, 30th November: Indians will be facilitated with France Tourist visas and France Business visas within a record of just 2 days.
Yes, this will become possible from 1st January, 2015.
New Year Gift for Indians from France—French Visas within 2 days—Are you an Indian and an aspirant of French Visa? Well, your wait for getting a French visa is going to be over now as France has announced a special New Year Gift for Indians.
With effect from 1st January, 2015, France is all set to issue French visas to Indians within 2 days only. Is it unbelievable? But, it is true.
<blockquote> Indians can get French business visas or French tourist visas within 2 days only from 1st January, 2015. </blockquote>
The French government has announced this special step for Indians wanting to travel to France in the coming times. This means simplification of France visa rules for Indian visitors.
Eight additional visa application centers in India—From 1st December, 2014, France has announced opening of eight new visa application centers across India. This means addition of eight new centres for visa application in India apart from six existing visa application centers.
Giving details about the facility, Ambassador of France to India, Francois Richier, said that the new visa application centers will be opened in Jalandhar, Pune, Goa, Ahmadabad, Chandigarh, Hyderabad, Jaipur and Kochi. This will help extending proximity for French authorities towards Indian applicants for French visas and will enable them service the growing number of foreigners wanting to visit France, affirmed Mr. Richier.
Visas with 72 hours at new visa application centers—New French Visa application centers will enable delivering of visas within 72 hours. Great. So, applicants will, no longer, need to any specific center catering to the area where they reside. They can apply from any centers, Richier confirmed.
Under current France visa rules, it takes nearly five to ten days for getting a French visa. So, the new French visa offer will help in increasing the number of Indians wanting to get a French Visa. In the period of January till October 2014, a total of 80,000 French visas were issued. It is being maintained that the number of French visas will go up to 90,000 by the year-end due to this special French visa norm being introduced for Indians from 1st January, 2015.
United Kingdom, 26th November: The UK is wooing Indian students to come and study in the UK.
For this, several delegations are coming to India to help promote the UK as a favored destination to study overseas.
UK lures Indian students—Indian students are being lured to study in the UK. This is being done by the UK government following alleged claims that the UK visa restrictions are proving to be a dampener for the foreign students.
<blockquote> The UK is luring overseas students to come and study in the UK. </blockquote>
Recently, Vice-Chancellor of University of Birmingham and Chancellor Lord Bilimoria visited India along with Greg Clark, the Universities Minister, for attracting more and more Indian students to apply for UK study courses.
UK concerned over decline in foreign student enrollments—There has been a growing concern over the declining foreign student enrollments in the recent past. Especially, Indian students have been showing a downfall in terms of applying for UK student visas.
It may be noted that the aim of the delegation that arrived in India recently was to clarify some misunderstandings with regard to the UK student visa rules. It is being maintained that the latest reforms to UK student visas have been not just tough but too harsh.
Hence, they acted as a deterrent for overseas students wanting to come to study in the UK. There has been a fall of applicants for UK student visas from India in the last couple of years or so.
No UK visa obstacles for Indian students—Meanwhile, the UK government is taking all the steps to help ensure that Indian students wanting to pursue higher studies in the UK need to be assured of no obstacles.
Yes, the UK Minister of universities, science and cities, Greg Clark, on a visit India recently said the UK is trying its best to dispel all the perceptions with regard to the UK student visa process. The good thing about the UK student visas is that Indian students can come and study in the UK.
And after their successful completion of the study courses in the UK, they can look forward to staying in the UK for a period of one year. That is something great for Indians and will help as a great factor in enabling them to choose the UK for studying overseas rather than going to Canada, or the US for studying abroad.
United States, 22nd November: Obama’s Executive Action is including high skilled workers and entrepreneurs too.
Yes, that’s quite true. US President Barack Obama has announced to simplify the process for high-skilled workers and entrepreneurs to come to the US.
Obama to make it easier for high-skilled immigrants, entrepreneurs, graduates to work in the US—Obama will simplify the process of working in the US for high-skilled immigrants, entrepreneurs and graduates. This will be possible under his latest announced US immigration reform.
The US executive action by Obama aims to offer simpler and faster process of working in the US for graduates, entrepreneurs and high-skilled immigrants.
<blockquote> The US Executive Action will ease the process of work in the US for entrepreneurs, high-skilled immigrants and graduates. </blockquote>
Flexibility for high-skilled workers awaiting US Green Cards—US Green Card wait will be reduced for high-skilled workers. This will be possible under the latest Executive Action plan by Obama administration. So, skilled immigrants can look forward to having lesser wait for US Green Cards thereby facilitating the change of jobs while being in the US.
Average wait time currently for Indians happens to be ten years for getting a US Green Card.
Spouses to be allowed to work in the US—Spouses of US H-1B visa holders(dependent visa or US H-4 Visa holders) will now be allowed to work in the US as per the latest executive action by Obama. However, spouses must fulfill the eligibility criteria for doing so.
Expansion of options for foreign entrepreneurs—Foreign entrepreneurs wanting to start up businesses in the US will find expansion of options available to them. Although, there are no clear details about this, one thing is for sure, that is those who fulfill the criteria for generating revenue and creation of jobs in the US will be targeted.
This may lead to reform of US O-1A visa requirements.
Extension of existing OPT Program—The US will be expanding the OPT(Optional Practical Training) Program for foreign students to work in the US even without having a US work visa for 12 months following completion of graduation.
Its being maintained that Obama is likely to expand the definition or the time duration.
Reforms of US President Obama are part of the wider package that will be extending work permits and offering protection to nearly 5 million immigrants from the threat of deportation.
United Kingdom, 19th November: The UK is all set to attract more foreigners by extending its fast-track visas in Paris, UAE and New York.
Already, it has successfully launched its Super Priority Visa Service for Indians. This simply means getting a UK visa within a record span of only 24 hours each month. The scheme was rolled out in India by the UK in 2013.
UK’s Same Day Visa Service to 7 New Nations—So, its official. The UK has announced launching of Super Priority Visa Service to 7 new countries soon. UK Prime Minister David Cameron is offering such service for wooing rich foreigners to the nation.
Already, the special same-day UK visa service has been launched by the UK in India and China.
In China, each month, nearly 100 applications for UK Super Priority Visas are getting processed and nearly 60 Indians have been taking the benefit of this special UK visa service each month since the introduction of the program by the UK in the year 2013.
<blockquote> The UK Super Priority Visa Service will be extended to around 7 new nations including New York, Paris and UAE. </blockquote>
7 nations to be included under Super Priority Visa Service—UK Super Priority Visa Service will benefit foreigners from seven nations. These include members of G20 like South Africa, Turkey, UAE, Thailand, the Philippines and Paris’ as well as New York’s visa processing centers.
Application cost of of UK Super Priority Visa Service—The UK Super Priority Visa Service will be costing £600 for each application on top of fee for standard visa. It ensures same day visa service(that is within a period of 24 hours).
The special 24-hour visa service is going to be introduced by April next year to some additional cities as they are highly sought after and popular among high-value travelers and businesses.
UK Super Priority Visa Service to boost foreign visitors to the UK-The aim of this latest step by the UK is, undoubtedly, to boost foreign visitors to the nation. It has been alleged by the firms that the tedious and lengthy process of UK visa applications is proving to be a big obstacle in the way of foreign investors, tourists and business travelers wanting to come to the UK.
So, its quite clear that the special UK visa service will be in great demand, confirmed the office of the UK Prime Minister David Cameron.
United Kingdom, 18th November: The UK has simplified its visa norms for South Africans who have a US, Australian, New Zealand or Canadian visa.
Yes, as per the details, the UK government has maintained that South Africans who possess any of the above stated visas will not need a transit visa for traveling through the UK.
Simpler UK visa rules—South Africans having Canada visa, New Zealand, Australia visa or a US visa wishing to travel through the UK will not need to have a transit visa provided they are going to arrive as well as depart on the same day from the same airport.
This seems to be a great development for South Africans. The new facility will be available to South Africans with effect from December 2015. This was revealed by the British High Commission.
<blockquote> South Africans(including nationals of Lesetho and Swaziland) will not be required to have a Travel transit visa to the UK if they possess any of these visas—i.e. US visa, Canada visa, Australia visa or New Zealand visa. </blockquote>
Reduction in UK Transit visa fee—The UK has also, in a related move, cut down the UK transit visa fee to 30 pounds in the month of October 2014. And the validity period has been increased to two years.
This is going to be a big relief for many aspirants wanting to travel through the UK.
Details of relaxed UK visa rules—As per Hooman Nouruzi, the British High Commission’s official spokesperson, US visas, Canada visas, New Zealand visas and Australia visas are compliant with the rules of the UK visas. Hence, the exemption for having UK travel transit visa has been introduced by the UK government.
Speaking about it in detail, Nouruzi maintained that the step comes following a global review. So, South Africans having visas from the above named four nations(any of these—Canada visa, Australia visa, New Zealand visa or US visa) can transit through the UK to almost any part of the world without having the need to get a direct air side transit visa.
This step will be giving a big boost to attracting more foreigners to travel through the UK, he further clarified.
Meanwhile, it needs to be notable that UK citizens are allowed to visit South Africa without any need of a South Africa. On the other hand, South Africans are required to possess a UK visa for coming to the UK. And something needs to be done stated spokesman of Home Affairs Mayihlome Tshwete.
MCC Toronto Group of Five, a philanthropic organization helps Gay refugees settle in Canada.
MCC Toronto Group of Five, heard the plight of a young gay In Iran, sprung into action as they decided to help this young man. Iraj Moezi, a 30-year-old Iranian, was imprisoned by the authorities for being gay. He was thrown out by his own family and somehow ran away to Turkey. The team of seven young professionals in Canada, MCC Toronto Group of Five decided to form a group to provide all help and assistance to such refugees so that they could migrate and settle in Canada.
The newly formed group contacted the refugee via email mentioned in his refugee application. They were thrilled when he replied that he was coming over settle in Canada. Members of the group divided the responsibilities of airport pickup, accommodation, clothing etc. between themselves. These guys were happy that they got a chance to save the life of an individual.
The LGBT community was asked to actively participate in the refugee program
It all started 4 years ago when the Immigration Minister of Canada Jason Kenney threw the ball in the court of the LGBT community when they approached him to look after the cases of refugee gays. He told them that they would have to take up the responsibility of accepting gays facing persecution and execution in other countries. In effect, Kenney wanted gay organizations to stand up and provide active support to refugee gays to settle in Canada.
The challenge was accepted by the LGBT community and their efforts were bolstered by a grant of $100,000 that Minister Kenney announced later. This fund was meant to provide support to the incoming gay refugees who faced threats to their lives because of the ban on homosexuality.
Things were bleak at first
The group was quickly formed and they looked for a gay refugee they could sponsor. They eventually found a gay couple that had to elope from their home country Iran to India to save their lives. However, by the time the couple was finalized a year later as beneficiary under this program, the gay group learnt that the couple had gone back to Iran and had started to live separately. This was because they could not afford to wait for another 54 months to become eligible to enter Canada as refugees from India.
Help arrived in the form of the blended visa-office referred program from the government. Under this program, the group only had to look after the requirements of the refugee arriving in Canada as Government looked after selection and arrival of the candidates. This changed the scene completely and gay refugees started to pour in. Now, Iraj Moezi is the latest entrant to this club of gay refugees.
United Kingdom, 31st October: The UK government has announced relaxing UK visa rules for Chinese Businesspeople.
Yes, this is the latest step by the UK government for ensuring a simplified UK visa application system for Chinese business partners.
Easier UK visas for Chinese Businesspeople—Chinese visitors can look forward to easier UK visa process from now onwards. This has been affirmed by the UK government. The UK Home Office has, in a latest step, simplified UK visa rules for Chinese visitors wanting to come to the UK for business purposes.
<blockquote> The UK visa rules have been simplified for Chinese business people wanting to visit the UK for business purposes. </blockquote>
What are the new UK visa rules for Chinese business visitors?—Chinese business visitors will now find easier UK visa rules for coming to the UK. Lets see what are the changes to UK visa rules for Chinese business visitors.
The only requirement for Chinese visitors wanting to come to the UK for business needs will be an application form, a letter of employment as well as an invitation letter for supporting their UK visa application. And partners or suppliers will be required to submit household registration books and bank statements as well as other documents for UK business visit.
So, this new provision was available earlier just to Chinese officials who are registered on the payroll of the UK company. But, from now onwards, members of CBI(Confederation of British Industry), companies or firms referred by UKTI(UK Trade & Investment), British Chamber of Commerce in China and China-Britain Business Council members in China.
Measures aimed to speed up UK visa process–All these measures are the steps towards speeding up the UK Visa system for Chinese visitors. The UK government has been urged for a number for times by UK business leaders.
The UK business leaders are of the view that tougher UK visa rules are resulting in loss of nearly £1.2bn annually to the UK economy.
Chinese visitors have also been provided a recent facility of European Schengen Visa while they change planes at airports in the UK. So, this facility means no need of a UK visa for Chinese visitors going to Europe with flights connecting at UK airports. That is certainly a great move for Chinese leading to bigger savings(as they will not have to spend on getting a UK visa).
United States, 29th October: The US DOS Visa Office has provided a prediction of some important developments in the coming months.
US Visa changes in November 2014 have been mentioned.
Lets see these details here.
US F2A Family Sponsored Category—The US F2A Family Sponsored Category’s cut-off date is expected to advance by nearly three to five weeks each month.
EB2(Employment based second) preference category—The EB-2 China category is likely to advance by nearly three-to-five weeks each month.
The cutoff date for EB-2 India category is expected to stay unchanged.
<blockquote> The US Department of State has revealed some important predicted changes for different US visa categories in November 2014. </blockquote>
EB-3 Preference Category—Employment-based third preference category’s cut-off date is going to advance quite rapidly for the coming couple of months. The cut-off dates are likely to get adjusted due to expected increase in the demand at a rapid rate.
In the period of next few months, due to increased demand, the EB-3 China category’s cut-off date may advance at a quick rate.
The EB-3 India category’s cut-off date is also likely to advance somewhat. And the cut-off date for EB-3 Mexico category shall stay at the worldwide date.
The EB-3 Philippines category’s cut-off date is going to stay at the worldwide date too. Meanwhile, later, some adjustments might be made in the cut-off date due to increased demand in this US visa category.
So, for those who are planning(including employees and employers) for US visas to consider the immigration visa backlogs in mind before taking any steps. Assessment of priority date cutoffs is done on a monthly basis by the US Department of State depending on the anticipated demand for the concerned US visas.
Affect of developments on US F2-A Family Sponsored Category—The October Visa bulletin had suggested 1st February, 2013 as the cut-off date for US F2A visa applicants from all nations except Mexico. The cut-off date indicated by the November Visa Bulletin is 1st March, 2013.
What this indicates is that applicants for US F2A visas from all other nations having a priority date before 1st March, 2013 shall be allowed to fill AOS applications or have their applications approved next month this year.
The US DOS(Department of State) unveiled its November 2014 visa bulletin and its provides cut-off dates for each country. However, for further details, one can visit the official website of the US Department of State and read the details in the November 2014 US visa information.
If you have a plan to visit UK, then hurry as after November you have to be ready to spend more money. The British government has planned to introduce a new scheme from November this year to target at visitors from across the world including India. India like six other countries will require paying 3,000 pounds that is Rs 2.7 lacs in the form of bond starting from November to get into the United Kingdom. Visitors from countries like India, Pakistan, Nigeria, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Ghana and some other countries of Asia and Africa will be compelled to pay the said bond before entering the UK. Money will be returned to the visitors only upon leaving the country. Visitor shaving age of 18 and more shall be compelled to pay the said sum for a six-month visit visa which will forfeited in case they overstay in UK. Object of introducing the new regulation: The Home Secretary of the UK declared that their intention is to make the system of immigration in UK more selective. They also aim to stop migrants from ‘overstaying’ after the termination of the time period of their visitor visa. The new system is being brought in primarily for checking the abuse of the visa system prevailing in UK. Plan to extend the scheme: At the initial stage the scheme will aim at thousands of visitors, but there is a plan to extend the scheme to many others, as reported in the front page of a leading newspaper. It is stated that the step taken by the Home Secretary Theresa May is purported to express that the Conservative party of Prime Minister David Cameron wishes to cut down the abuses of the immigration system. It also aims to counter the by-election gains of the United Kingdom Independence Party. This step aims to make sure that immigration system becomes selective and lower down the total migration from the hundreds of thousands to the tens of thousands. It only tends to welcome the brightest and the best folk to UK. The country is keenly interested in a system of bonds that will lay a check upon overstaying and will recover expenses from foreign nationals using their public services. The scheme also aims to double the penalty for unscrupulous employers engaging illegal immigrants for getting cheap labor for every illegal worker. Countries chosen for the scheme: As stated by one of the Home Office officials the six countries chosen were those nations having the most noticeable risk of abuse of visa rules. The number of Indians getting visas to visit the UK for the purpose of work or studies has decreased by almost 20% between 2011 and 2012.