Jobs make Immigration Possible

In the past ten years I have noticed a steady reduction in the number of visas that allow a person to go to a new country just because they want to.  That can include student visas, family visas and retirement visas.  At the same time I have also noticed the criteria for a person entering a country based on their own skills or wealth becoming harder.  Now the entry requirement for most is simply too hard or too expensive unless their skill is bank robbery.  Even then I am not sure many banks have any cash left to rob!!!!

Joking aside the simple fact is the only way to emigrate that has not changed is via employment.  The Governments may have changed the forms for sure, from their name to their color and even font type but when it came to the crunch they were not prepared to take on big business and curtail their access to labor overseas.  In fact in many cases they have made it easier.  That is why now Global Visas works closely with most of our clients to support them in finding that perfect job and then in turn we work closer still to ensure the employer secures the work visa quickly.

International employment is profitable for both the employee and the employer.  It is a win – win arrangement the only down side is that the Governments have to justify why they allowed a foreign worker in to take the job of a local person.  The truth is of course the local person never applied for the job or was not willing/skilled enough to take the job.  International employment is a massive part of international commerce and will only continue to grow.  There are several pit falls to watch out for when looking for work overseas.

Never accept the first job offered unless it is perfect and you have been able to check out the company in detail.

Never sell yourself short as you are worth the market rate.

Always ensure you have the same medical and pension cover or alternative arrangements as your co-workers.

Do not expect the best jobs to come to you go and look.

Prepare for your interview and learn all about the local market conditions.

Always take every rejection as a step closer to receiving a yes.

Never give up following your dream.

Prepare a perfect Resume in the local terms so the employer is impressed.

Be prepared to travel when required – Good jobs don’t wait.

Money makes the immigration world go round

I have bee watching the UK news channels announce a politician has come up with a “New Idea” regarding immigration because his previous “New Idea” was not popular enough.  Well it go me thinking why is it always about how much money they can take rather than doing the right thing.  A little hopeful I know but we only need one honest politician not driven by greed to stand up and be counted and the concept might just catch on! Continue Reading »

Are Romanian the new bankers?

We all love to have a little moan.  Often I tut as I look out of my bedroom window in the morning if I see a rain drop.  I can get frustrated if the queue in my coffee shop is too long but over all I find myself recognising my silly ways as just that silly.  I then have more deeply held frustrations that get me hot under the collar or would cause me to ramble on at a dinner party after a few drinks to every ones cost.  This includes but not exclusively limited to the bankers.  One evening a friend actually asked my why I had such a dislike.  Remembering many of my friends are bankers and frankly I could not think of a single original thought that was not spoon fed to me by some TV show or News paper.  I was simply repeating what I thought sounded reasonable without doing my own research.

romanian dancers

At the same time the press has been sending out messages of concern regarding Romania and the flood of immigration from this country.  With over 20 years experience in Immigration this was a subject I could research and was well placed to filter the messages I received on the subject.  I came to the conclusion that yes Romanian’s do have a bad name but are they going to cause mayhem or the down fall of society.  The answer is simply no they will not.  Over time they will learn English, find work, pay taxes and before long be as British as a mild curry.  Nothing suggests their values and aspirations would clash with our own.  The idea of the Romanian gypsy is not reflective of the country overall.

We fear Immigration yet we are all part of the process of immigration.  We all love going overseas on our holidays and experiencing new things.  People in the UK are concerned right now and parties like UKIP are gaining ground.  This is not a bad thing but nor is it helpful.  The EU law is now in place and we must all accept the rule of law.  Like the Polish before Global Visas are certain they will be overall a force for good.

It is important to note we shall not profit from the movement of EU workers as they do not require a visa to travel within the EU and they are free to come and go.  Just like all EU citizens we all benefit.  Maybe one day we will need a passport to go to a different county or Scotland but until that day it is important not to call Romanians Immigrants as they are not they are fellow EU Citizens.

USA Immigration – Will the brave be set free?

For over 20 years I have worked with Immigrants of one type or other.  I have studied Immigration Law and won thousands of complex cases against tough Government opposition.  When I worked for the Government in Immigration I can confirm I was just as competitive and winning a case meant everything to me.  Over the years of working in Immigration I have always had once wish.  That the USA would fix their immigration system.  If flies in the face of everything the USA stands for or at least what the USA used to stand for.


The USA Immigration controls are excellent and the people working for US Immigration are professional and dedicated to their jobs.  It is not the system that is broken but the laws which they they are allowed to enforce.  No young immigrant should be subjected to years of illegal employment, exploitation and lower wages because there is no way of becoming a legal citizen able to contribute legally to society.  If the USA could separate out those who are conducive to the economy and public good against those who are not them the men and women in immigration enforcement could focus their budgets on dealing with the less desirable cases.

This would also allow the USA to attract many more top skills from around the world.  The USA needs skills and right now USA business is being held back because they can not secure those skills due to the lack of visa options.  I hope Obama is good to his word and we start to see a grown up debate on immigration.  Not just about how can we all help the poor Mexican but how can we help the USA too.

Dear Santa, I want a New life for Christmas

It is that time of year again when many people will be going to their family homes and sharing the holiday season with their family.  Father Christmas will come for the children and wrapping paper will cover the floor.  Maybe a burnt turkey and a mince pie will complete the picture but then what?

Immigration turkey needs a visa

Another successful Christmas!

While many people will be looking for a space on the couch to sleep it all off I sit on my laptop and view Google reports to see the number of people clicking on our site and applying to emigrate.  It always surprises me just how many people want to emigrate on Christmas Day.  Why do so many people wait and suddenly realise life could be so much better anywhere else.  In January Global Visas peak in terms of volume of enquiries.  We simply are rushed off our feet addressing every Immigration enquiry we receive.  thousands of people each year promise to change their life for ever at New Years and I get that completely my only question is why wait until that date.   Does that mean thousands of people have happily lived a life they have had enough of during November and December just waiting for the excuse of New Year to change their fortunes?

I will be making a New Years resolution this year to spend more time following the sun and cycling.  I am not great at skiing so I have to go where I fit in the best.  My children are so excited and already planning lots of stuff for us to do like camping and swimming.  For me South Africa is still lovely but so is Dubai and Australia.  Canada is great to but we all have favourites and I have fond memories of holidays in Cape Town.

Anyway, to all of you who are on our site Christmas Day I wish you a VERY MERRY CHRISTMAS and a fantastic New Year.   We will do our best to make it special.  I hope this post lets you know you are not alone :)

Dear Immigration Law, Don’t You Know Who I am?

The law prevents people from posting lies about others on line and rightly so.  Then there is the ethics of never disclosing another persons failings.  Due to my ethics I would never name a client but I can share a story about a very famous client I once work for on an immigration case to secure their nanny’s visa, this is not reflective of the many fantastic famous people I have helped, but a warning to others.  This person is so famous I am certain you would know their name instantly.  In the main they were rude and arrogant which one would expect from a celebrity with their lifestyle and panache for mixing drugs.  They were in every way a caricature of what a famous drug fuelled diva could be like if allowed to run wild.

This person was not born from rags but into riches as their father was incredibly famous and prior to that their family were linked to the highest rungs of society.  Therefore the arrogance was even harder to accept in many way.  Each day their man servant would call me demanding that we found a way to break the immigration law.  Which we were of course unable to facilitate, the crux of the case was that they wanted their domestic servant to remain illegally in the country and were prepared to enrol their domestic helper and nanny into a cheap college course to secure a student visa to remain and work in the household.


Famous Immigration face. Do you know who she is?

It is common thing that people look to circumvent the immigration law but the law ultimately needs to be respected and upheld when securing a visa.  As once said “The law is not meant to be just, it is just meant to work.”

On discovering that the immigration law was far bigger than their own ego this person lost it completely and I was not only subjected to a 20 minutes lecture on “Do you know who I am?” on the phone but in person too.  Their rage was quite a picture and very different from their public image.  With a great deal of patience and kindness I explained the options available to them which I believe they did not hear a word.

A few weeks later I heard the nanny and child was indeed flying out of the UK with them.  While the famous lady sat in first class the nanny was demoted to the back of economy.  I was sorry I could not help them secure a visa but the law is more important than any one individual.  In some ways however I did find comfort in knowing the nanny who had to return home was going to be free from what could have potentially been a contract of slavery for want of a better word.

A couple of years later I was lucky enough to fly first class long haul and going through the first class security channel at the airport I heard “Do you know who I am?” The voice sent a chill down my spin and a smile across my face as it was not me on the receiving end this time.  As I looked around I could see her clearly as a very sharp tongued official quickly reply “I am not paid to know who you are love, I am paid to make sure you follow the rules or you do not board your flight.”  silence followed as the shoes and belt were removed.

Be a Good Immigrant

In the past four years I have moved three times.  Prior to that I have had several opportunities to join new communities in different countries.  What makes every move unique are the people I met.  They have in the main been wonderful with just one or two people I  now prefer to avoid.  I am naturally a shy person and quiet but I have learned to be a good immigrant you have to throw that to one side and get out and say hello – I have arrived…..  and I won’t bite!

Most people I have met are the same, they are hopeful you are nice, enjoy their company and are interesting.  The best way to sound interesting is to just listen to what they are interested in.   Before you know it they will love you.  The Japanese always say we have two ears but only one mouth for a reason.   Another great tip is to ask them how to prepare or cook a local dish, people enjoy showing others new things and it allows them to see you are making an effort to share the things they like.  In Africa I once had five people arguing over the best way I should prepare my sheep head for eating.

I never ate the sheep’s head – I must have gone wrong in the preparation because it looked terribly sad on the plate and I just couldn’t bring myself to the table.  I have eaten pigs feet, crocodile, hedgehog, nettles and snails to name a few in my time.  Food is a great leveler and something we can all enjoy.  Asking people to your home to eat is not about how fancy your home is or even the food.  It is about the people and reaching out to your new community.

I am shy, they might not like me, the world will end.  It is only a few hours and 99.9% of diner dates are great.  Indulge, go wild and cook up a storm.  You will make new friends really quickly.

My other trick to making a good Immigrant is to play a local and international sport, not only to burn off all those extra dinners but also to meet people in an informal setting.   I once played cricket for a season and made some great friends, American football and lost some great teeth but over all I came out a winner meeting some fantastic people.

immigration, dinner

Be a Good Immigrant

When you are an immigrant make no mistake the responsibility is on you to break down cultural barriers and turn strangers into your best friends.  It is really easy and there are no excuses.  Muslim, Christians and Jews we are all the same and all need great friends to share our lives with.

What came first Immigration or Racism?

I am white, I could have been born an Indian or African but I am white.  I notice this the most when I am in India.  There a person one moment will hand me a baby so they can have their picture taken with me and the next I am being insulted and called the stupid whitey before the person turns away and speaks in the local language.  I mention this because often it is those same people that want to be my client and emigrate to a mainly white populated country like the UK, USA or Canada.

When I am in the UK I often hear people say “This country is going to the dogs, since they let all the immigrants in….”  often these are the comments of people who are asking for my help to become an immigrant themselves.  In the USA the people have a different view of the world and only travel north to south but when they do go overseas I mean left to right they seem to think it does not matter as everywhere is American anyway.  They are the ones who need coke and Mac Donalds to be at their destination waiting.  Even the US Marines have a Pizza Hut on every base!

Immigration or racism what came first?

Fight Racism, emigrate and learn about yourself and others

In South Africa I am often approached and told how South Africa is nice to visit but the Nigerians have brought too much crime, drugs and illegal immigration which is killing the country.  You guessed it, they are the very same people looking to emigrate.  The Filipino’s love everyone as long as they are Catholic and Filipino!  They also love to emigrate.

In short people in my opinion all start life a little racist.  I certainly was, not because of what anyone did or said but simply because I assumed other people were different and less important, funny, charming, educated or special.  I was above others and looking down on others which allowed me to feel special and make sense of my little world.

Now I am a gold club, frequent flier and I have been humbled, made to laugh (and often at myself), educated and charmed I have grown up and grown respectful of others.  I look forward to the day we can all celebrate our differences.  We are all beautiful and everyone is unique.

When someone highlights your differences smile, it is OK.  I am also of Irish decent and for a while that meant living in the UK was not easy as often there were signs “No Blacks, No Dogs, No Irish” in that order.  Well those places have gone but I haven’t and many who wrote those signs are now old people and are also my friends, some even own a dog.  Proof things are changing.

US Immigration Officers – Are they all the same?

I recently traveled from Canada to the USA during trip that started in India via South Africa, Dubai, UK then Ireland.   Working in Immigration for the past 20 years I am always fascinated by the various approaches of Immigration officers to the power they hold and how nice they are as people.

Immigration Officer is a Pudding

Immigration Officer is a Pudding

I can now confirm the worst Immigration officer in the world award (If I had one) would go to the Immigration Officer I met on the Rainbow Bridge crossing, Niagara Falls into the USA from Canada.  The reason for travel into USA – to see Niagara falls from the US side, duration of stay I would assume two or three hours.

I had no luggage, a camera and the look only a very cold tourist who has spent an entire day in -30 degrees taking pictures of a giant ice cube.

After several questions about my TRUE intention to enter the USA the officer just looked at me like I was interrupting his bathroom break.  His tone was short, in his eyes I  could see I was certainly a deep under cover terrorist ready to destroy his country.  The rude comments about my passport, my preferred route and even my marital status was painful and very droll.

Slowly he began ticking some boxes on my application form of some 20 cm or 8 inches long, so limited in content…. once he had his fun!

I assumed his pen was not his preferred weapon of choice based on the speed which it moved and accuracy of application on paper.  I needed to build bridges here not just ride across them I thought.  I could not be so narrow minded as to assume he is horrid just because he was not funny and maybe cold like myself.  So I aimed my conversation carefully at the large hand gun in his holster.  I gently inquired about the number of Canadian’s he would be expect to shoot during the average day along with other friendly chat.

Eventually he could tell I was interested his best friend and his chest expanded as he explained.  ”Guns are not dangerous, only the people who use them are the danger.”

Mmmm, I thought what does that say about you and US Immigration officers who use them as part of their uniform?

I was a UK Immigration Officer for five years before deciding to help other with their Immigration issues around the world.  In my opinion arming a man who works in an office, a busy office at that with an IQ of a single spent bullet is not the best Immigration policy in the world.

I know the US leaders would like to reform their immigration controls.  I would suggest they start with removing weapons from officers in offices.  An droll and slow immigration officer is a far more effective deterrent from entering the USA than a gun as I quickly turned my car around and headed back to Canada I realized how just one immigration officer real can ruin an entire country and first impressions do count.  Next time I flew into the USA and the next Immigration Officer was much nicer and restored my faith.

Canada set to make more immigration changes

Jason Kenney

Canada’s immigration system has introduced a number of major reforms over the last 12 months – and more are on the way.

Immigration minister Jason Kenney (pictured above) says with record numbers of immigrants arriving in the country, plans are underway to further strengthen system integrity and economic benefits that immigration brings.

The Citizenship, Immigration and Multiculturalism Minister says, “Our government has a plan for a faster, more flexible, responsive and secure immigration system that will better meet Canada’s economic needs while continuing to uphold our humanitarian commitments.

“With our changes, immigrants will see their lives improve, and Canadians will see the economy grow.”

The changes introduced during the past year include introducing and passing:

  • the Protecting Canada’s Immigration System Act that reforms the asylum system to make it faster and fairer, combats human smuggling and allows biometric data to be collected from visa applicants;
  • the Economic Action Plan 2012, which makes the economic stream faster and more flexible to boost jobs, growth and prosperity. The changes cleared the way for a new, Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP) and eliminated a backlog and wait times of more than seven years for skilled worker applicants;
  • the Faster Removal of Foreign Criminals Act, that will close attempts by convicted foreign criminals to delay deportation and remain in Canada.

There have also been regulatory changes. As part of the Canadian government’s commitment to family reunification, it has:

  • introduced the Parent and Grandparent Super Visa, valid for up to 10 years for visits of up to two years, that has attracted nearly 3,700 successful applications in its first six months;
  • cut the backlog for sponsored parents and grandparents.

Other changes have been introduced to crack down on fraud and abuse in the system by:

  • preventing marriage fraud by barring sponsored spouses from sponsoring a new spouse for at least five years and proposing a new two-year period of conditional permanent residency for some sponsored spouses;
  • cracking down on crooked immigration representatives;
  • fighting residence fraud in citizenship and permanent residence by enhancing integrity measures and working with the Canada Border Services Agency and the RCMP on investigations into suspected false representation and fraud;
  • launching a new tip phone line through Citizenship and Immigration Canada’s (CIC) Call Centre to report suspected citizenship fraud cases;
  • reforming the Interim Federal Health Program to act as a disincentive for people not needing Canada’s protection and to ensure that failed claimants do not receive additional health care to Canadians;
  • protecting vulnerable workers by refusing visas and work permits for foreigners.

Recognizing the vital role of immigration in the Canadian economy, and growing labour shortages in some areas, the government has also:

  • proposed improvements to the FSWP to place greater emphasis on selection criteria that encourages better labour market outcomes, so Canada can select skilled workers that quickly find and settle into jobs;
  • reduced the backlog of Federal Skilled Worker applications before February 2008 by over three-quarters, from 640,000 to almost 150,000
  • proposed a new Federal Skilled Trades Program;
  • suggested changes to the Canadian Experience Class to make it easier for talented skilled workers proficient in English or French, with Canadian educational credentials and work experience who are already doing well in Canada to gain permanent residence
  • improved the Live-in Caregiver Program by speeding the process of issuing open work permits to caregivers to establish their own homes and seek jobs in other fields;
  • increased the number of provincial nominees and distribution of newcomers across Canada;
  • in partnership with provincial and territorial partners, introduced new minimum language requirements for immigrants under the Provincial Nominee Program, helping social, economic and cultural integration;
  • expanded a pilot project with the Government of Alberta to help provincial employers seeking highly skilled foreign workers to fill acute, regional labour shortage;
  • introduced a new immigration stream to attract and retain international PhD students;
  • proposed changes under the Educational Credential Assessment Initiative to introduce a mandatory requirement that FSWP immigrants have their education abroad assessed against Canadian education standards;
  • tripled investment in settlement services outside of Quebec since 2006, while ensuring fair funding across Canada for services like free language classes;
  • launched a new website promoting innovations in the assessment and recognition of international qualifications.

To further help the world’s persecuted, the government has increased resettlement targets by one-fifth. Canada’s resettlement program continues to be one of the top three largest in the world. Its Refugee Assistance Program has been expanded and a new Refugee Appeal Division at the Immigration and Refugee Board of Canada has been introduced for refugee claims made in Canada.

Mr Kenney says, “We are continuing to make changes to create a faster, more flexible immigration system. We have made great strides in the past year, but we know there is always more work to do and look forward to even more improvements and reforms in the year ahead.”

Global Visas has offices all over the world to provide assistance advice on immigration, working and studying overseas and more. Every year, it helps thousands receive visas to go to Canada, as well as the US, UK, Australia and New Zealand and other countries.