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Latest UK Visa News and UK Immigration News

newspaperNews from the UK and Overseas

Welcome to the news section of UK Working Holiday.

The immigration, work permit and uk visa situations are constantly changing. Make sure you come back to this page for the latest developments in the UK.

We will also report on news stories that affect the wider world of working holidays and work permits.

UK Border Agency has agreed a concession for this year only to allow students applying to study A-Levels in the United Kingdom to make a visa application based on a conditional offer from their education provider, whilst they wait for their GCSE results.  This is in recognition of the fact that GCSE results are not released until the end of August whilst some courses may begin in early September, narrowing the window to make an application in time to travel for the start of term.  This approach will enable the visa application process, such as the submission of biometrics, to begin before final results are known.  

We have agreed that this concession should not be limited to those wishing to study A Levels only.  The concession will be extended to cover all students waiting for GCSE results and going on to study other equivalent courses, such as Higher Diplomas in the UK.  The applicant will still be required to submit an unconditional offer when they receive this, and the visa may only be issued on this basis.


Change in the rules for healthcare while in other EU states

Starting from this year UK residents or those normally resident in the UK can apply for the new EHIC card (the European Health Insurance card). This will entitle the holder to receive necessary healthcare while visiting an EEA country or Switzerland.

The card will be valid for up to three to five years from application. In some cases you will have to make a contribution to any healthcare while you are away.

The EHIC card is available for people nornaly resident in the UK but there are certain rules involving certain nationalities so check on the ehic web site at www.ehic.org.uk.

UK Governement announces new managed migration scheme

21st January 2006

The UK immigration service has announced that a new migration scheme will come into effect in Spring of this year. The scheme is expected to include a five tier points system. Those migrants that are expected to benefit are workers with highly specialist skills and people with large sums of money to invest.

Out of the 5 tier system only the top two will be able to settle in Britain after 5 years. The scheme also includes a new temporary permit for low skilled workers and the use of biometric resident permits for all new migrant foreign workers to the UK. With this the workers will then be able to access UK Government services.

Europe and Asia will have biometric passports by 2010

20th December 2005

Indonesia have stated that by 2010 most of Europe and Asia will have introduced biometric passports in order to help the fight against terrorism. After a meeting of Euro and Asian immigration ministers on the island of Bali, Indonesia hopes to start introducing the passports by next year.

Canada and the United States already have the passports as they see this is a way of combating terrorism.

Biometric passports contain a microchip that can store fingerprints and facial recognition.

New website launched in New Zealand to attract home expats from overseas

20th November 2005

The New Zealand government has launched and informational web site that they hope will tempt home Kiwis who continue to flock overseas. The site will be focused on jobs in particular as this appears to be the number one reason why many decide to leave the country in search of better opportunities.

The New Zealand Immigration Minister David Cunliffe said that "New Zealand is a great place to live, work and play. We want to remind expats that New Zealand has an incredible amount to offer".

The thinking behind the web site is that it will keep Kiwis up to date with the latest developments in their home land and could be the bridge back home.

New Zealand currently has the lowest unemployment in the Western world and has up to half a million of it's 4 million residents overseas. The labour market is crying out for skills in order that the economy does n't stall.

The website can be seen at http://newzealandnow.info/

EU is proposing a Europe-wide "Green card" scheme for skilled migrants

8th November 2005

Well if you have ever wanted to work and live in Canada or the United States you will be aware of the Green Card scheme operating in those countries.

The top Justice Official of the European Union is suggesting a similar scheme for Europe whereby highly skilled migrants will be rewarded with permits to work anywhere in Europe.

It would be the first time a work visa covers all of the European Union states not just one. There is a similar proposal whereby the work permit would be available in one country for the first five years.

"I am favourable to the idea of a European Green Card that would link staying to a job, so finding a job would be a condition of staying" said Mr Frattini in a recent press conference.

The UK, who has an opt out of all EU wide immigration legislation, welcomed the announcement but cautioned that a one glove fits all approach will need careful planning.

Due to an ageing population the EU could lose up to 20 million skilled workers by the year 2020.

End of the UK ancestor visa for Commonwealth countries?

29 October 2005

The UK government are considering abolishing the ancestor visa for working holidaymakers. The scheme applies to Australians, New Zealanders, Zimbabweans, South Africans and Canadians, and any changes would affect all these nationalities.

The UK Government had promised before their May elections that there would be sweeping changes to the UK immigration system and the way that UK visas are distributed. It would appear that the UK will be adopting a system similar to Australia and New Zealand where potential migrants are judged more on skills.

Over the past 5 years it is thought that as many as 60,000 commonwealth citizens have moved to the UK.

Under the current system the ancestor visa allows for stays up to 4 years and then allow migrants to settle after that in the UK.

The ancestry visa is currently available to applicants with at least one British grand-parent.

2004 - A Record Year for UK Immigration

27th October 2005

Immigration to the UK in 2004 hit record highs when nearly 500,000 people migrated to the UK (non-British passport holders) from other countries.

The number of people migrating from other EU states almost doubled in this period fueled by economic migrants from the new EU states in Eastern Europe.

Approximately 200,000 more people arrived in Britain than emigrated.

More Students Coming to the UK from China

21 October 2005

The number of student visas to the UK from China rose to 19,000 in 2005. This makes the current number of Chinese students in the UK at around 60000.

Most of the Chinese students are enrolled on higher education courses such as Diplomas and Masters.

The figure is expected to grow over the next few years as the Chinese look beyond their borders for education.

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