The US proposal: Work permits to those waiting for Green Card: A Green Card is a document issued to immigrants to the US as evidence that the bearer has been granted the privilege of residing permanently. The wait for it can be agonising but if the recommendations of the presidential advisory committee is signed by the Biden administration, applicants waiting for their Green Card might be eligible for work permits. Called employment authorisation documents (EADs), the work permit will grant individuals increased job opportunities, improved job security, the ability to start a business as well as the employers will have the advantage of using the expertise of the skilled workers while they wait for the approval of the immigrant visa.
The UK proposes changes to Graduate Visa: The United Kingdom is toying with the idea of cutting short the post-study duration after graduation to six months. If promulgated, under the revised Graduate Visa rule, international students will have to leave the country if they are unable to find a job within six months of completing their graduate studies.
Under the present rules of the UK Graduate Visa, international students can stay on in the UK for two years after their graduation during which they can apply for jobs.
At present, the UK is one of the top destinations for higher education, especially for Indian students.
Albania ends Golden Visa Program: Close on the heels of Portugal suspending its much sought-after Golden Visa program, Albania has also suspended its Golden Passport scheme or Citizenship by Investment Program (CIP) that gave wealthy foreign investors free passports, provided they bought apartments in the Durres Port.
The European Commission has asked Albania to refrain from the program that might serve to bypass the European Union (EU) short-stay visa procedure and also pose security and migratory risks.
“Regarding the golden passports, we have made it clear that we have suspended the process until the position is clarified at the European level. We did not invent this. We took it from EU countries that have implemented it successfully,” Alabanian Prime Minister Edi Rama said recently.
Indian immigrants top new Canadian Citizens list of 2022: Of the 374,554 permanent residents (PRs) who became Canadian citizens in 2022, 59,503 PRs of Indian origin transitioned into Canadian citizenship — the largest number by birth country. Indians topped the list of new citizens followed by the Philippines and Syria with 41,540 and 20,355 new citizens, respectively.
It was the second year in a row that India was the top source of new Canadian citizens — in 2021, Canada welcomed 20,866 new citizens from India. Before 2021, the Philippines was the biggest source country for new citizens.
In the next three years, Canada will welcome more than 1.45 million new immigrants across several immigration streams.
Australia grants two-year extension of post-study work rights for international graduates: The Australian government has announced a two-year extension of post-study work rights for international graduates with select degrees in areas of verified skills shortage to strengthen the pipeline to skilled work. The extension will take effect from July 1, 2023.
The extension is in addition to the existing additional one to two years of post-study work rights available to eligible students who study, live and work in regional areas.
The allowable work hours cap will also increase from 40 hours a fortnight to 48 hours per fortnight.
Slovenia to amend its Aliens Act to attract skilled workers: In the face of acute skilled workers’ shortage, Slovenia is planning to amend the Slovenian Aliens’ Act. The proposal includes removal of several administrative procedures deemed unnecessary, and to offer free Slovenian language courses to interested foreigners to move to Slovenia.
It may be noted that those applying for a permanent residence permit have to prove that they have an A2 level Slovenian language knowledge and have passed a basic level Slovenian language examination at an authorised institution in Slovenia when submitting an application to extend their residence in the country.
Other proposed changes include issuing residence permits and extensions by mail; storing fingerprints for up to five years so that the same can be used when permits are extended; enabling foreigners with expired temporary protection status to submit an application for a temporary residence permit in eight days; scrapping the requirement to submit a written confirmation by the administrative unit when changing employers and facilitate procedures for hiring foreigners in healthcare and social services to tackle the shortage of workers in these fields
The planned changes to the Aliens Act will also make possible quicker procedures for issuing residence permits and registration certificates, according to an official statement.
According to the Slovenia’s Statistical Office, the number of workers between municipalities in Slovenia had increased significantly in 2022 — 10,800 more than in the previous year.