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UK Immigration Update - 29 June, 2012

by Dominic 29/06/2012 15:58:00
The Government has made significant increases in UK immigration policy in recent months as part of the coalition's efforts to bring net migration down to the 'tens of thousands' but while the Government have found it easy to brush off criticism from immigration advocates and universities who are feeling the impact, the Government this week has had to endeavour to quash the concerns of potential users of the system.

The Government's restrictions to UK visa and immigration policy include removing Post Study Work privileges and salary caps. Immigration Minister Damian Green has spoken of his confidence that the changes will eventually take effect despite rising immigration figures and the complaints of immigration advocates and education establishments who claim the changes will cause signifcant damages to the UK's multi-billion pound international education industry.


Damian Green appeals to foreign students

UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has put out an appeal to foreign students to come and study in the UK despite changes to policy which have reportedly damaged the country's international reputation....read more.

Government denies Chinese UK visa snub

A Chinese journalist took an opportunity to ask the minister for sport, Hugh Robertson, why so many Chinese citizens, including prominent ones, were being denied a UK visa despite having already bought tickets for the upcoming Olympic Games...read more.

UK immigration figures revised up

Recently released UK immigration figures from the Office of National Statistics have revealed revised figures for migrant populations in many British cities, including London...read more.



Damian Green appeals to foreign students

Immigration Minister Damian
Green says international 
students are still welcome.
 

UK Immigration Minister Damian Green has put out an appeal to foreign students to come and study in the UK despite changes to policy which have reportedly damaged the country's international reputation.

As part of the coalition Government's attempts to bring down net migration, the Government has introduced new restrictions to UK immigration policy which include the removal of Post Study Work rights for foreign students.

A coalition of Britain's universities wrote to Prime Minister David Cameron to remove international student figures from net migration statistics in line with the country's competitors in the international education market, a move dismissed by Mr Green.

Mr Green has insisted that the changes will not affect the multi-billion pound industry and that the changes are only intended to clamp down on abuse of the system by foreign citizens using study as a cover to actually just find work in the UK.

"We have changed the system to cut out the abuse," said Mr Green. "We have changed the system to skew it towards the best students, skew it towards universities.

"But doing that at the same time as cutting out abuse is a nuanced message to send out," said the immigration minister, adding that the Government was doing 'a lot' to change the perception the UK was unwelcoming to international students.

"I think the sensible thing to do is to let the system bed down while we relentlessly go round the world saying the brightest students and the best are as welcome as ever to Britain.

"Please come, we have got some of the world's best universities." 

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Government denies Chinese UK visa snub

London is expecting hundreds of
thousands of visitors during the
Olympic Games.

A Chinese journalist took an opportunity to ask the minister for sport, Hugh Robertson, why so many Chinese citizens, including prominent ones, were being denied a UK visa despite having already bought tickets for the upcoming Olympic Games.

The journalist, Zijang Wang from the Xinhua news agency, said there was a growing concern on the Chinese social networking site Weibo that people hoping to attend the London Olympics next month were having their UK visa applications denied.

Zijang Wang said many of the rejected applicants were prominent Chinese citizens who had already purchased their tickets and had been given no explanation as to why their applications had been rejected.

Mr Robertson said there was no discrimination in processing visa applications and that each case would have to be looked at individually to determine why it had been unsuccessful.

"Anybody can be denied, but they are rejected for a reason, that can be investigated," said Mr Robertson.

Official Home Office figures show that almost 40,000 UK visa applications from China had been approved in the first three months of 2012 but did not state the rejection rate. In 2011, just 10,000 were rejected, compared to over 200,000 approvals.

"There has been no change in the rules for the Olympics, everything is the same and every application is considered on its merits," said a Home Office spokesperson. 

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UK immigration figures revised up

Revised figures from the ONS
include an increase in migrant
populations.

Recently released UK immigration figures from the Office of National Statistics (ONS) have revealed revised figures for migrant populations in many British cities, including London.

The revised figures could be embarrassing for the Government, who have consistently reiterated their desire to bring net migration figures down to the 'tens of thousands' by the next election.

While the figures have revised the population of London up by 130,000, it is the increase of a migrant population by 16% to over 900,000 people which have given some cause for concern.

Sir Andrew Green, chair of the anti-immigration watchdog MigrationWatch UK said the revised figures were damning proof of a failed UK immigration system:

"The impact of immigration on London has been revised up by 130,000 to very nearly one million in just five years.

"This is a measure of the huge churn in our population as a result of mass immigration which has serious consequences for our schools, housing and health services."

The figures, which are yet to be officially adopted by the Government, are likely to further fuel a Government capitalising on Labour Leader Ed Miliband's admission this week that Labour got it wrong allowing unchecked migration to the UK under Tony Blair.

While Sir Andrew's group advocates an even tougher and more stringent immigration system, the coalition has already made significant changes to UK visa and immigration policy since entering government yet have been criticised for cutting too hard too quick and, with more figures contrasting the Government's promises, it may be time to consider a different approach.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the UK Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Canadian Immigration Update - 29 June, 2012

by Dominic 29/06/2012 11:19:00
The ongoing battle for greater control of the Canadian immigration system continued recently with Immigration Minister Jason Kenney announcing further changes to policy.

Mr Kenney has made significant changes to Canadian visa and immigration policy in recent months; his stated aim is to bring the system under greater control in order to implement a system which can respond quickly to changes in the country's economy and the resultant labour needs the changes create.

Many of the minister's changes have proved extremely unpopular, including legislating away almost 300,000 visa applications and limiting the country's aid to refugees yet Mr Kenney contends the system will be better for all in the end.


Immigration changes hand power to minister

As part of new changes made to immigration policy in Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will receive new powers to override laws dictating whether people can or can't enter the country...read more.

New Canada visa applications halted

Canadian immigration officials have confirmed that they will not be accepting new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Immigrant Investor Program when the window opens again on 1 July...read more.




Immigration changes hand power to minister

Jason Kenney

Mr Kenney will have more
control over decisions.

As part of new changes made to immigration policy in Canada, Immigration Minister Jason Kenney will receive new powers to override laws dictating whether people can or can't enter the country .

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney has repeatedly said over recent months his determination to bring the Canadian immigration system under greater control and the latest raft of changes allows the minister to exert personal control over more aspects of the system.

Under the new changes, Mr Kenney will be given greater authority to deny entry to visitors for public policy reasons as well as over rule decisions to let people who would otherwise be inadmissible under existing rules.

Mr Kenney said the rules would allow for greater consideration in exceptional circumstances. Announcing the changes, Mr Kenney cited the case of an imam who would be granted entry to Canada under existing rules but due to his public calls for the execution of homosexual men and women, his entry could be harmful to Canada.

"Sometimes we have foreigners who do not have a criminal conviction and are therefore not strictly inadmissible to Canada under our current law," said Mr Kenney. "But who, for example, may have a long track record of promoting violence or hatred against vulnerable groups." 

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New Canada visa applications halted

Canada will not be taking
new FSW applications.

Canadian immigration officials have confirmed that they will not be accepting new applications to the Federal Skilled Worker Program and the Immigrant Investor Program when the window opens again on 1 July.

Immigration Minister Jason Kenney, who is expected to announce the moratorium in a speech today, said he wanted to continue making changes to the Canadian immigration system before new applications are accepted to either scheme.

The Federal Skilled Worker (FSW) Program is one of the most popular methods for people with desired skills or guaranteed job offers to move to Canada. The Immigrant Investor Program is for wealthy foreigners prepared to invest at least $800,000 (£625,000) in the Canadian economy.

Both programs were expected to begin taking new applications on 1 July.

Mr Kenney has repeatedly stated his intention to bring the immigration system under greater control and make it more responsive to changes in the country's labour needs; earlier this year, said that almost 300,000 Canada visa applications made before 2008 would be returned with a refund in an effort to eliminate a growing backlog which hinders the system's response to change.

The immigration minister said the new system, which some have predicted won't be ready until January, 2013, will be faster, economically-driven and prioritise potential migrants with strong language skills and professional skills currently in demand in the country.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Canada Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

New Zealand Immigration Update - 28 June, 2012

by Dominic 28/06/2012 14:51:00
While their closest neighbour Australia continues its ongoing battle with asylum seekers, New Zealand has failed to learn from the litany of mistakes of their Tasmanian cousins. New Zealand has maintained one of the world's best records on refugees and, with an almost unique remoteness, has never faced the prospect of asylum seekers arriving by boat.

However, the arrival in Australia last month of a group of Chinese asylum seekers who claimed to be headed for New Zealand has prompted a response from the country. Legislation was passed recently which would allow New Zealand immigration authorities to detain any potential large groups of asylum seekers arriving in New Zealand for up to six months on a single warrant.


New Zealand simulates mass boat arrival

New Zealand immigration authorities have spent NZ$20,000 (£10,000) on a simulated mass arrival of illegal immigrants...read more.

Terminally ill grandmother to be granted a New Zealand visa?

Immigration New Zealand is reportedly considering granting a South African grandmother a visa which will allow her to remain in the country during her last few months...read more.




New Zealand simulates mass boat arrival

The operation is taking
place in Auckland

New Zealand immigration authorities have spent NZ$20,000 (£10,000) on a simulated mass arrival of illegal immigrants.

Immigration Minister Nathan Guy and Customs Minister Maurice Williamson confirmed a staged mass arrival of over 100 role playing asylum seekers took place in Auckland.

Despite never having received a single asylum seeking vessel, the ministers claim it is a situation they need to be prepared for.

"This is a major exercise to make sure New Zealand is fully prepared to respond to a mass arrival by sea of potentially illegal immigrants," said Mr Guy. "A freighter with 500 asylum seekers from Asia made it all the way to Canada two years ago so New Zealand is certainly within reach."

The operation follows an amendment to the Immigration Act which is intended to deter human traffickers to target New Zealand. The amendment has been labelled as 'seriously flawed' by the Refugee Council of Australia.

Mr Williamson said the operation ran "very smoothly" but urged the country's immigration officials not to become complacent over the issue.

The full operation, titled 'Exercise Barrier', started in May and will run for eight weeks. 

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Terminally ill grandmother to be granted a New Zealand visa?

New Zealand immigration
authorities are considering
the woman's application.
 

Immigration New Zealand is reportedly considering granting a South African grandmother a visa which will allow her to remain in the country during her last few months.

Elizabeth Liebenberg, 61, had been told she would need to leave the country and return to South Africa as the restrictive lung diseas, moderate aortic stenosis and hypertension she has been diagnosed with presents too large a burden on New Zealand's medical facilities.

Doctors claim Mrs Liebenberg's life expectancy is 'measured in months rather than years' and warned that if the grandmother was forced to fly, her life would be in danger.

After receiving extensive media attention following her plight to remain with her children and grandchildren, New Zealand immigration authorities confirmed that they are considering granting her a special New Zealand visa on exceptional humanitarian grounds.

"Mrs Liebenberg's visa expires on 31 August and she currently has an appeal to the Immigration and Protection Tribunal," said an Immigration New Zealand spokesperson.

"Any application will be assessed on its merits including the humanitarian factors we acknowledge are present in her current situation." 

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the New Zealand Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

US Immigration Update - 26 June, 2012

by Dominic 26/06/2012 14:18:00
Immigration in the US has always been a controversial subject but in an election year, every facet is more closely scrutinised, every proposal is more vociferously debated and every fact and figure is doubted. While an election year makes it all the more difficult to pass any legislation, politicians from across the political spectrum propose their own solutions and ideas to the issues they perceive will secure their re-elections come November.

This week, we have seen the fallout from President Obama's executive order and his Republican rival Mitt Romney's tentative response, but away from the presidential election, we have also seen two new contrasting US visa proposals, one which advises an expansion of existing visa programmes, another which cautions against similar measures.

Here is a breakdown of the week's stories:


President Obama's excutive order shakes up election

President Obama put a halt to the deportation of an esimated 800,000 young people earlier this month in a move which has dramatically altered the landscape of November's election...read more.

Congressman warns against Visa Waiver Program expansion

Republican Congressman Lamar Smith has said that adding Poland to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) would lead to an increased risk of terrorism...read more.

US visa for foreign homeowners proposed

A bipartisan bill has been proposed in the US Senate which would grant foreign nationals who purchase a home in America a three-year visa....read more.

Supreme Court Rules on controversial US immigration law

The American Supreme Court has handed down its ruling on Arizona's controversial US immigration law which could have far reaching consequences...read more.




President Obama's excutive order shakes up election

President Obama has thrown
election predictions into doubt.
 

President Obama put a halt to the deportation of an esimated 800,000 young people earlier this month in a move which has dramatically altered the landscape of November's election.

Earlier this month, President Obama used his executive powers to bypass the Houses of Congress and put a stop to the deportation of all illegal immigrants under the age of 30 if they were brought to the country before they were 16, have graduated high school or served in the military and have no criminal record.

The affected people, of which some studies estimate there to be as many as 1.3 million, will instead receive a working US visa.

The president's political opponents would typically have outraged at any executive order coming out of the White House and while some have criticised the use of the presidential power, most are cautious about voicing too strong an opposition.

Many analysts and political strategists claim the growing demographic of Hispanic voters will determine this year's election and Republicans' reactions need to take into consideration the makeup of their potential voters.

On the one side, Hispanic voters have been shown to rank the struggling economy as their priority issue yet with obvious ties to Central and South America, they also have vested interests in US immigration policy. While Republicans typically have strong economic policies, their frequent hardline on immigration such as the line presidential nominee Mitt Romney took during the primary, risks alienating Hispanic voters.

On the other side, Republicans are wary about supporting the president's order as this risks alienating the typical Republican voter who has conservative ideals, supports strong border controls and opposes any policies that grant amnesty to anyone who entered the country illegally.

With such a tough proposition, Republican reaction and the political fallout of the president's order was widespread and far reaching.

To read the full story and subsequent developments, click here.

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Congressman warns against Visa Waiver Program expansion

Congressman Lamar Smith

Republican Congressman Lamar Smith has said that adding Poland to the Visa Waiver Program (VWP) would lead to an increased risk of terrorism.

"We know that terrorists have used the VWP to their benefit," wrote Mr Smith. "September 11 conspirator Zacarias Moussaoui, 'shoebomber' Richard Reid and 1993 World Trade Center conspirator Ahemd Ajaj all entered or attempted to enter the US through this program."

The Visa Waiver Program allows citizens of 36 countries, including the UK, Australia and New Zealand, to enter the US without a visa. The programme attracts significant debate in the US; Mr Smith also wrote that a governmental report found almost half the 36 countries currently in the programme did not meet security requirements.

Poland's acceptance to the scheme is a controversial topic; despite maintaining significant ties with the US, including participating in Iraq and Afghanistan, Poland is one of only four EU countries currently not a part of the VWP. 

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US visa for foreign homeowners proposed

Foreign citizens who invest in
property could obtain a visa.
 

A bipartisan bill has been proposed in the US Senate which would grant foreign nationals who purchase a home in America a three-year visa.

Republican Senator Mike Lee and Democratic Senator Chuck Schumer introduced the bill in an effort to entice further foreign investment to the US and give an extra boost to a still recovering economy.

The senators claim the bill was inspired by an influx of wealthy foreign buyers purchasing luxury homes in Manhattan, some of which are reportedly the most expensive residential homes in the world.

The bill would allow foreign buyers willing to spend at least $500,000 (£320,000) on real estate and reside in the property for 180 days to live and work legally in the US for three years. 

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Supreme Court Rules on controversial US immigration law

The Supreme Court passed down
its ruling after weeks of
deliberations.

The American Supreme Court has handed down its ruling on Arizona's controversial US immigration law which could have far reaching consequences.

The law, known as the Support Our Law Enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, was signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in April, 2010 and was intended to take effect by the end of July that year. However, legal challenges over its constitutionality were filed almost immediately and the law has remained subject of legal challenges ever since.

The Law

SB 1070 is anti-illegal immigration law intended to crack down on illegal immigrants by making it almost impossible for them to remain in the state. At the time of its writing, SB 1070 was considered the strictest immigration law in the country.

Provisions in the law state that any foreign citizen over the age of 14 who remains in the country for more than 30 days must register with the government and all foreign citizens must carry registration documents on them at all times; the law makes it a misdemeanour crime for any foreign citizen found without the proper documentation.

The law makes it difficult for illegal immigrants to find work and includes fines for individuals or companies found to be hiring or harbouring illegal immigrants.

When enforcing the law, SB 1070 allows law enforcement officials to determine an individual's immigration status during either a routine stop or lawful arrest, or during any time that an official has 'reasonable suspicion' as to an individual's status.

The US immigration law was written in large part by Kansan Secretary of State Kris Kobach and sponsored by former State Senator Russell Pearce, both Republicans. The law has influenced similar laws in other states including South Carolina and Alabama which are subject to similar legal challenges. Alabama's HB 56 law, also drafted in large part by Mr Kobach is considered even tougher than SB 1070...

...to read the rest of this story, click here.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the American Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

US Immigration Update - Supreme Court, Arizona and the Presidential Election

by Dominic 26/06/2012 12:21:00
With the 2012 Presidential Election firmly on the horizon, President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney face a tough few months of campaigning on a variety of issues. However, a series of events regarding US immigration legislation have brought the issue to forefront of American politics and currently looks set to be the deciding issue in the race for the Whitehouse.

The presidential election has traditionally depended on the outcome of a few states, known as swing states. While the majority of other states have voted relatively consistently throughout recent years, states such as Florida, Ohio and Pennsylvania are harder to predict and could go either way depending on the candidates and their policies and promises.

The 2012 election is predicted to hinge upon the Hispanic vote, the fastest growing demographic in the country, as the population is strongly distributed throughout several swing states therefore both candidates are eagre to secure their vote.

Polls have consistently shown that while Hispanic voters have significant ties to Central and South America, making immigration predictably an important issue, the economy remains the most important.

While the country's economy continues its slow crawl towards recovery, the contenders' credentials for righting the ship have come under the microscope; Barack Obama has focussed on his achievements during his first term while Mitt Romney has relied on his business expertise and record as Governor of Massachusetts.

With a net worth of approximately $200 million (£130 million) Mr Romney has concentrated on his business prowess in an effort to appeal to Hispanic voters, claiming he possesses the capabilities to repair the economy.

The president's standing among Hispanic voters was also considered to be severely damaged due to his inability to secure the comprehensive immigration reform he promised during his 2008 win combined with his administration's record levels of deportations.

However, a series of events over the past two weeks has proved how unpredictable an election year can be.


Executive order stumps Republicans

Earlier this month President Obama used his executive powers to put a halt to all deportations of illegal immigrants who fit certain criteria. The move is highly controversial yet many Republicans have been left wary of openly denouncing the order...read more.

Immigration pushed front and centre in presidential race

President Obama's directive to immediately halt the deportation of illegal immigrants under the age of 30 has shaken up the American political landscape and brought US immigration to the very forefront of the race to the Whitehouse...read more.

Obama’s immigration order solidifies Hispanic support

President Obama's executive order has strengthened his position among the crucial Hispanic demographic, independent polls show...read more.

Supreme Court rules on Arizona US immigration case

The US Supreme Court has finally passed its judgement on the controversial case of Arizona's SB 1070 law in a ruling which looks set to have serious ramifications on American life and politics, particularly the presidential election...read more.




Executive order stumps Republicans

President Obama's directive left
Republicans in a tricky situation.

Earlier this month President Obama used his executive powers to put a halt to all deportations of illegal immigrants who fit certain criteria. The move is highly controversial yet many Republicans have been left wary of openly denouncing the order.

The executive order stipulates that any illegal immigrant under the age of 30 who was brought to the country before they were 16, has no criminal record and has either graduated college or served in the military be granted a working US visa instead of a deportation order.

Government estimates put the number of people likely to be directly affected at 800,000 although a Pew Hispanic Centre study put the number as high as 1.3 million people.

While the people it will directly affect will be unable to vote in November's presidential election, the move has been praised by Democrats and Hispanics.

However, Republicans have traditionally opposed immigration legislation which grants anyone who entered the country illegally permission to stay, and therefore have been wary of the expected response.

This is in large part due to the upcoming election and the ability of the GOP to attract a significant proportion of votes from the Hispanic demographic. Openly opposing the president's order could have disastrous consequences for a party which is predicted to need at least 40% of the growing demographic to remain competitive.

Yet this doesn't lead to an obvious answer of supporting the order either; the GOP's base is centred on conservative white voters who typically support the party's strict border control and tough immigration measures. While coming out and supporting the president's directive is unlikely to sway any Republican voters to the Democrats, it could mean many simply don't turn out, and in an election when the Republicans, particularly presidential nominee Mitt Romney, is going to need every vote from his base, this isn't an option either.

It meant many Republicans tread a delicate line this week, with many opposing views and many questions dodged, to read the full story, click here.

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Immigration pushed front and centre in presidential race

The battle for the White House 
could hinge on immigration.

President Obama's directive to immediately halt the deportation of illegal immigrants under the age of 30 has shaken up the American political landscape and brought US immigration to the very forefront of the race to the Whitehouse.

President Obama last week issued an executive order which has put an immediate stop to all illegal immigrants under the age of 30 who were brought to the US before they were 16 and have graduated high school or served in the military. Illegal immigrants who meet these requirements will be granted work permits in a move which the president said was 'the right thing to do'.

The move, which is thought to affect as many as 1.5 million people according to some estimates, completely bypassed the Houses of Congress and has added an unexpected twist to the upcoming presidential election.

President Obama will face a stiff challenge from Republican nominee Mitt Romney in November and the still-struggling economy and high rate of unemployment had been considered to be the most crucial, deciding topic.

Mr Romney has been citing his success as a private businessman, his net worth is estimated to be around $200 million (£127 million), as his chief credential in helping America return to prosperity.

While immigration has been shown to be of considerable importance to many voters, particularly the potentially crucial Hispanic vote, research and surveys have consistently shown that the economy remains the most important to almost every demographic, even Hispanics.

However, the president's announcement last week has brought the issue front and centre...

...to read the rest of this story, click here

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Obama’s immigration order solidifies Hispanic support

Barack Obama's executive order
has solidified his support among
Hispanic voters.
 

President Obama's executive order has strengthened his position among the crucial Hispanic demographic, independent polls show.

Earlier this month President Obama issued an executive order which put a halt to the deportation of any illegal immigrant under the age of 30 who was brought to the country before they were 16, has graduated high school or served in the military and has no criminal record.

The order is thought to have a direct effect on 800,000 people, although some place it as high as 1.3 million.

President Obama promised a reform of the US immigration system during the 2008 election but his failure to do so led some to believe his popularity among Hispanic voters has fallen.

Hispanic voters are the fastest growing demographic in the country and, given their distribution throughout the swing states which could decide November's election, they are widely considered the most important vote to secure and both President Obama and his Republican rival Mitt Romney are trying their best to win their support.

While Republicans, including Mr Romney, have criticised the president's order, independent polls show the president's popularity among likely Hispanic voters to be as high as it was four years ago after the order was announced.

The nationwide USA TODAY/Gallup poll of more than 1,000 registered Hispanic voters found the president enjoying more than double the support of his rival: 66%-25%.

Not only is President Obama far ahead of the former Massachusetts governor, the poll's results show Mr Romney's standing among Hispanic voters is the lowest of any Republican presidential nominee in the last 16 years, during which time the size of the Hispanic electorate has doubled.

The hard line positions Mr Romney took during the primary appear to have damaged his campaign and while he has taken significant steps to soften his rhetoric since securing the nomination, independent analysts predict the former governor will need as much as 40% of the Hispanic vote to remain competitive in November. 

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Supreme Court rules on Arizona US immigration case

The Supreme Court's ruling could
have far reaching consequences.

The US Supreme Court has finally passed its judgement on the controversial case of Arizona's SB 1070 law in a ruling which looks set to have serious ramifications on American life and politics, particularly the presidential election.

The law, known as the Support Our Law enforcement and Safe Neighborhoods Act, was signed into law by Arizona Governor Jan Brewer in April 2010 and was intended to take effect by the end of July that year. However, legal challenges over its constitutionality were filed almost immediately and the law has remained subject of legal challenges ever since.

The Law

SB 1070 is anti-illegal immigration law intended to crack down on illegal immigrants by making it almost impossible for them to remain in the state. At the time of its writing, SB 1070 was considered the strictest immigration law in the country.

Provisions in the law state that any foreign citizen over the age of 14 who remains in the country for more than 30 days must register with the government and all foreign citizens must carry registration documents on them at all times; the law makes it a misdemeanour crime for any foreign citizen found without the proper documentation.

The law makes it difficult for illegal immigrants to find work and includes fines for individuals or companies found to be hiring or harbouring illegal immigrants.

When enforcing the law, SB 1070 allows law enforcement officials to determine an individual's immigration status during either a routine stop or lawful arrest, or during any time that an official has 'reasonable suspicion' as to an individual's status.

The law was written in large part by Kansan Secretary of State Kris Kobach and sponsored by former State Senator Russell Pearce, both Republicans. The law has influenced similar laws in other states including South Carolina and Alabama which are subject to similar legal challenges. Alabama's HB 56 law, also drafted in large part by Mr Kobach is considered even tougher than SB 1070...

...to read the rest of this story, click here

back to the top


- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the American Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Australian Immigration Update - 25 June, 2012

by Dominic 25/06/2012 14:03:00
In a turbulent week for Australian politics, immigration once again dominated the news. The influx of asylum seekers arriving in the country and the policy of detaining all those who arrive by boat has fuelled political debate throughout recent months yet a change could be imminent as a landmark case of a Sri Lankan asylum seeker who has been held in indefinite detention for over two years has finally headed to trial.

While the outcome of the case could have a significant impact on Australian immigration policy, the issue came to a head when an asylum seeking boat carrying an estimated 200 Afghan and Pakistani asylum seekers capsized in Indonesian waters.

Australian immigration officials assisted in the search operation but when the search was called off after nearly five days, just 110 people had been saved.

The disaster marks the importance of political cooperation in finding a morally sound and fair solution to the issue yet while the deadlock continues, boats continue to arrive.

The upsurge in boat arrivals combined with an increased rate of people choosing to move to Australia to take advantage of opportunities as a result of the mining boom has led to a sizeable increase in the country's population. The population growth hasn't made everyone in the country happy though as a new political party has formed whose aim is to stop the unlimited migration from New Zealand.

While the majority of the population growth is down to legal migration of skilled labour eagre to contribute to the growing economy, the increase in asylum arrivals has led to the growing concern of over-burdening the country's detention centres.

In order to combat this, the government has opened a new detention centre in Western Australia yet the news was overshadowed and a few faces were left reddened as an alleged people smuggler was arrested in an Adelaide detention centre with AU$25,000 (£16,000) on him.


Australia’s immigration fuelled population swell

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) latest report has shown that immigration has fuelled a 1.4% population growth rate to the end of 2011...read more.

Indefinite detention case heads to court

The case of a Sri Lankan refugee who has been detained in Australia for two and half years without being informed of the process used to deem him a security risk has headed to the Australian High Court...read more.

Alleged people smuggler caught in detention centre with $25,000

An alleged people smuggler suspected of being part of an extensive human trafficking operation has been detained in an Australian detention centre with AU$25,000 in cash...read more.

Party calls to end NZ migration to Australia

A newly-formed political party in Australia has called for an end to the unlimited migration of New Zealanders to Australia...read more.

New detention centre opens in Western Australia

A new detention centre in Western Australia built to house 600 asylum seekers has opened its doors to journalists to inspect the new centre's facilities...read more




Australia’s immigration fuelled population swell

The population of Australia has
grown by over 300,000 people.

The Australian Bureau of Statistics' (ABS) latest report has shown that immigration has fuelled a 1.4% population growth rate to the end of 2011.

The growth rate represents an increase of over 300,000 people, bringing Australia's total population to almost 22.5 million people.

The ABS report, derived mainly from the 2011 Census, shows that over half (55%) of the increase was due to net overseas migration, a 9% increase on 2010 which has been attributed to the country continuing to bring in foreign labour to support its ongoing resources boom.

The rest of the growth was a natural increase of births minus deaths.

The growth was largest in Western Australia, where the majority of the resources and mining projects are taking place; the smallest growth (other than the Australian Capital Territory) was in Northern Australia.

Prime Minister Julia Gillard originally promoted a message of a 'Big Australia', with a population of 36 million, during her time in the Rudd ministry but has since abandoned that policy since assuming her position as prime minister.

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Indefinite detention case heads to court

The High Court's decision could 
have a widespread impact.

The case of a Sri Lankan refugee who has been detained in Australia for two and half years without being informed of the process used to deem him a security risk has headed to the Australian High Court.

Australian immigration policy dictates that if an arrival is given an adverse assessment by the Australia Security Intelligence Organisation (ASIO), the individual will not be granted a visa and will be detained until a third party country to resettle the individual can be found.

The government has reportedly tried to resettle the man, who has remained unnamed, in 11 countries: seven have declined, four have ignored the request.

The process by which ASIO deems an individual is a security threat has not been released to the public due to apparent security concerns that the process could be exploited if widely known.

The Sri Lankan man is being represented by the human rights lawyer behind the scuttling of the government's Malaysia Solution last year who argues that the man wasn't afforded procedural fairness as ASIO did not detail the allegations against him.

A judgement on the case is not expected for some time but the eventual outcome could have large ramifications for the process of indefinite detention.

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Alleged people smuggler caught in detention centre with $25,000

Waves

The man was found with $25,000.

An alleged people smuggler suspected of being part of an extensive human trafficking operation has been detained in an Australian detention centre with AU$25,000 in cash.

The Afghan man, Ewaz Ali Rezaie, 45, arrived in Australia as an asylum seeker and was detained in an Adelaide detention centre. The man was arrested after increased investigations into people smuggling activities following the authorities' failure to keep a trafficker known only as 'Captain Emad' from leaving the country after being exposed by an investigative TV program.

When he was arrested on people smuggling activities, authorities found AU$25,000 (£16,000) in cash. Rezaie was denied a bail application for him to return to immigration detention, instead he was ordered to be taken into federal custody.

"It is alleged that he's in the business of people-smuggling and he has an extensive network both within and outside of Australia," said prosecutor Jillian Smith, who argued bail should be deined on the grounds that Rezaie could intimidate witnesses in detention.

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Party calls to end NZ migration to Australia

A newly-formed political party in Australia has called for an end to the unlimited migration of New Zealanders to Australia.

The Stable Population Party claims the migration agreement between the two countries, in which citizens of either can live and work in the other country visa-free, should be abolished.

"You can still have a close relationship with New Zealand, without having a completely open-slather policy on immigration," said Clifford Hayes, the party's candidate for the Victoria Senate.

The party's announcement comes after the Australian Bureau of Statistics released a report based on Census data that showed the country's population has grown by 1.4% in the last year.

Mr Hayes claims more than 50,000 people had arrived in Australia from New Zealand in the last year alone and by introducing policy which would require New Zealanders to apply to migrate, rates of net migration to Australia could be reduced by as much as 100,000.

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New detention centre opens in Western Australia

Northam is located 60 miles (100
km) from Perth.

A new detention centre in Western Australia built to house 600 asylum seekers has opened its doors to journalists to inspect the new centre's facilities.

The Yongah Hill Immigration Detention Centre in Northam, Western Australia was originally intended to house 1,500 asylum seekers but was reduced amid concerns of a breakout by local residents.

Australian immigration authorities have fought hard to win over local residents and have promoted community interaction between locals and the detainees which will include sporting contests and tours of the local area.

While facilities inside the centre will allow the detainees access to the Internet as well as sporting facilities and a library, authorities have been quick to assure people detainees are not pampered.

"Frankly, it's a detention centre - it's not a holiday resort," said Bruce Needham, regional manager of detention for WA.

"But nor is it a prison, so we think we've got a suitable blend between reasonable accommodation and activities programs while maintaining the security of the facility."

All asylum seekers arriving in Australia are immediately detained while their refugee claims are evaluated. As arrivals numbers have reached alarming levels in recent months, already more than 1,000 this month, more than double the amount budgeted for, authorities are keen to avoid the overcrowding that saw riots break out in a Sydney facility last year.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Australian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Australia bound asylum seeker disaster sparks political debate

by Dominic 25/06/2012 11:59:00
As more and more desperate people flee their home countries in search of a better life in Australia, record numbers of boats are attempting to make the perilous journey from Indonesia and Sri Lanka. Many are bound for Christmas Island but with unpredictable seas and often ill-equipped, over-crowded boats making the journey, disaster remains a permanent, realistic risk.

The latest such disaster occurred last Friday and resulted in the death of an estimated 90 people, thought to be of Afghani and Pakistani origin.

The disaster has had serious political ramifications within Australia and has prompted politicians to consider returning to the discussions which stalled in January over how best to address the Australian immigration situation and drastically reduce the likelihood of another such catastrophe.


Boat carrying 200 hundred asylum seekers capsizes

A search and rescue operation is underway after a boat believed to be carrying 200 asylum seekers capsized off the coast of Christmas Island...read more.

Opposition MP implores party to negotiate after asylum seeker disaster

After another disaster which has seen more people die at sea in a desperate bid for asylum in Australia, a member of the opposition has pleaded with his party to negotiate with the government to prevent a further tragedy...read more.

Search called off as death toll reaches 90

The search for survivors after an asylum seeker boat bound for Australia has been called off after just 110 of the estimated 200 people on board have been found...read more.

Government offers to resume Australian immigration talks

After last week's disaster which saw an Australia-bound asylum seeking vessel capsize in Indonesian waters, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has offered reopen discussions with the opposing Coalition over how best to address the ongoing asylum seeking problem...read more.




Boat carrying 200 hundred asylum seekers capsizes

A search and rescue operation is underway after a boat believed to be carrying 200 asylum seekers capsized off the coast of Christmas Island.

A spokesperson for Indonesian search and rescue authorities said the boat is believed to have capsized less than 130 miles north of Christmas Island. Australian authorities have requested permission to enter Indonesian air space to assist the operation and cover a wider area in the search for an unknown number of survivors.

"Australia has asked for clearance to enter Indonesian waters for surveillance flights of P3 Orions," said the spokesperson.

The spokesperson said the alert was raised when a distress call was received claiming 100 Sri Lankan asylum seekers were aboard the boat.

However, a spokesperson for the Australia maritime Safety Authority (AMSA) claim the figure is nearer 200.

There is a capsized vessel 120 nautical miles north of Christmas Island, there's believed to be approximately 200 people on board," the spokesperson told AFP.

"The Indonesian search and rescue authorities are co-ordinating the response.

"We can confirm there are survivors but we can't confirm numbers at this stage."

Three merchant vessels and two Australian military ships have reportedly been sent to the site but how long it will take them to reach the site is cause for concern. The P3 Orion fixed wing aircraft is already on the scene.

Authorities are determined to prevent a tragedy similar to other disasters in the same waters which have seen huge numbers of asylum seekers drown.

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Opposition MP implores party to negotiate after asylum seeker disaster

Tony Abbott 

Tony Abbott has been urged 
by his own party to negotiate
with the government.

After another disaster which has seen more people die at sea in a desperate bid for asylum in Australia, a member of the opposition has pleaded with his party to negotiate with the government to prevent a further tragedy.

Talks between the government and opposition over the asylum seeking issue broke down at the start of the year; the government refuses to reinstate some of their predecessors' staunch, albeit successful policies, while the opposition refuses to negotiate legislation which would allow the government's people swap deal with Malaysia, the Malaysia Solution, to pass after it was struck down in the High Court last year.

Meanwhile record numbers of asylum seekers have continued to arrive in Australian waters; already this month more than double the number budgeted for have reached the country. While the rising numbers increases pressure on the country's detention facilities, leading to the risk of the riots similar to those which resulted in a Sydney detention centre being torched in April 2011, immigration advocates have repeatedly stated that a failure to negotiate a solution will lead to a more serious disaster...

...to read the rest of this story, click here.

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Search called off as death toll reaches 90

Waves

The rescue operation has been
abandoned after just 110 of the
200 people
 aboard were rescued.

The search for survivors after an asylum seeker boat bound for Australia has been called off after just 110 of the estimated 200 people on board have been found.

Indonesian authorities received a distress call on Thursday reporting that an asylum seeking boat had capsized less than 130 miles off the coast of Christmas Island.

After Australian authorities requested permission to enter Indonesian waters to assist with the search, reports claimed 40 people clung to the capsized hull of the ship with the rest of the passengers in the water.

Authorities managed to rescue 110 of the passengers, who were taken to Christmas Island for medical treatment; 17 bodies were also taken to the island's detention centre where a makeshift morgue was erected.

The search was called off on Monday while counselling was offered to the survivors.

"Hopefully it will help bring closure to the families who have lost loved ones," said one of the 20 officers brought to the island to help with the operation.

The Australian Federal Police has confirmed it will be conducting a criminal investigation into the causes of the accident.

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Government offers to resume Australian immigration talks

Prime Minister Julia Gillard has
said she is willing to resume talks.
 

After last week's disaster which saw an Australia-bound asylum seeking vessel capsize in Indonesian waters, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has offered reopen discussions with the opposing Coalition over how best to address the ongoing asylum seeking problem.

An asylum seeking boat estimated to be carrying 200 Afghan and Pakistani refugees contacted Indonesian authorities last week, reporting that the vessel had capsized and the majority of the passengers aboard had gone into the water. Australian authorities assisted with the search and rescue operation but when the operation was abandoned, only 110 of the 200 onboard had been rescued.

The disaster brought the issue of addressing the problem to the fore; discussions on how best to address the problem originally broke down in January and while record numbers of boats continue to reach Australian shores, politicians from both sides of the debate continue to blame each other for the worsening situation.

Julia Gillard's government attempted to pass its Malaysia Solution policy last year. The deal would involve new arrivals, approximately 800, being taken to Malaysia in exchange for 4,000 bona fide refugees. However, the policy was struck down by the High Court before it could be implemented, forcing the government to require revised legislation to allow the policy to be put into law.

The Coalition wants to reinstate their much harsher policies which saw boat arrivals drop to almost zero during the previous Howard government. Their policies include issuing a temporary protection Australia visa for bona fide refugees and offshore processing on the Pacific island of Nauru. Leader of the Opposition Tony Abbott has said he would make 'turning the boats back' a core policy of his premiership should he be elected prime minister.

The Australian Greens, who also have a say in the issue, have also voiced their opposition to the government's Malaysia Solution, claiming any form of offshore processing violates the country's duties to international law when it comes to the care of refugees. The Greens have proposed allowing more refugees to enter which 'prioritises the safety of life at sea'...

...to read the rest of this story, click here.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the Australian Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

Theresa May's Wobbly Week

by Dominic 22/06/2012 14:20:00

The Home Secretary Theresa May experienced an uncertain week last week. At the start of the week, Mrs May went out on a limb to obtain the support of the Parliament for her message to judges over the exploitation by foreign criminals of the right to family life, she received unanimous support.

While this would normally be seen as a substantial victory in her efforts to enforce a more stable UK immigration system, Mrs May's week was quickly undermined after becoming only the second Home Secretary in British legal history to be held in contempt of court.


Home Secretary gets parliamentary support

The Home Secretary Theresa May has received the support of the Parliament over her recommendation to British judges to prioritise deportation over the use of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR)...read more.

Theresa May slams City critics

The Home Secretary Theresa May has rebuffed comments made by British businesses that the Coalition's immigration restrictions are hurting the UK's international reputation...read more.

Theresa May in contempt of court over immigration case

After a home secretary-led motion by the Parliament to urge judges not to prioritise foreign criminals' rights to family life over deportation, the Supreme Court has passed judgement in five deportation appeals, upholding only one...read more.


Home Secretary gets parliamentary support

 

Parliament supported
Mrs May's proposal.

The Home Secretary Theresa May has received the support of the Parliament over her recommendation to British judges to prioritise deportation over the use of Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights (ECHR).

Article 8 guarantees a person 'the right to family life' but Mrs May contends that the rule has been exploited too many times in recent years by foreign criminals to avoid deportation.

Mrs May asked the Parliament for their support in making the Government's displeasure at judge's rulings known; after over four hours of debate, MPs unanimously supported the motion.

The Home Office wants judges to consider overturning deportation orders for foreign criminals only in 'exceptional circumstances' which include the sole responsibility of a child and a 'genuine and lasting relationship' with a British citizen.

The Home Secretary had previously said that if judges did not heed the Parliament's recommendations, she would consider introducing primary legislation which could directly contradict the ECHR.

The Home Office says it was not legally required to have parliamentary approval for the recommendations but that Mrs May wanted "to give a clear message to courts about how Parliament believes Article 8 should be interpreted, the stronger the voice from Parliament, the better the message will be".

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Theresa May slams City critics

The Home Secretary Theresa May has rebuffed comments made by British businesses that the Coalition's immigration restrictions are hurting the UK's international reputation.

Immigration was a major factor in the Conservative's election campaign in 2010, accusing Labour of having lax immigration policies, the Conservatives promised to reduce net migration figures from approximately 250,000 to the 'tens of thousands' by the time of the next general election.

In line with this, the Home Office, led by the Home Secretary Theresa May and Immigration Minister Damian Green, has made substantial changes to UK visa and immigration policies which have ostensibly been to tackle abuse of the system, but which have left many claiming the measures are too far.

The changes have so far included annual limits on the number of foreign workers who can enter the country each year in certain occupations, an extension on waiting periods before foreign citizens can apply for settlement, a proposed limit on Intra Company Transfers and salary thresholds on British citizens wanting to bring in a foreign partner.

However, businesses feel these changes limit the ability to bring in highly skilled foreign workers who can help companies expand, contribute better to the British economy, create jobs for British citizens and improve the country's international reputation...

...to read the rest of this story, click here.

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Theresa May in contempt of court over immigration case

 

Mrs May was held in
contempt of court.

After a home secretary-led motion by the Parliament to urge judges not to prioritise foreign criminals' rights to family life over deportation, the Supreme Court has passed judgement in five deportation appeals, upholding only one.

Judge Barry Cotter, QC, accused Mrs May of 'unacceptable and regrettable behaviour' after ignoring a legal agreement to release Algerian national Aziz Lamari when it became clear that there was no reasonable likelihood of deportation.

Judge Cotter said there has been the 'most regrettable and unacceptable behaviour' on the part of the Home Secretary and held her in contempt of court, which could have resulted in a fine and even imprisonment if Lamari hadn't been released...

...to read the rest of this story, click here.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the UK Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.

UK Migration News - Weekly Roundup

by Dominic 21/06/2012 16:46:00

In a busy week for immigration news, the Home Secretary Theresa May instructed parliament to help her send a strong message to the judicial, the Government's changes to UK visa policies needed attention and Labour Leader Ed Miliband was tasked with swallowing his pride and admitting his predecessors' mistakes. 


Parliament expected to rally around UK immigration rules

Parliament is expected to pass a vote today which will mean convicted foreign nationals can no longer exploit the right to family life to prevent deportation...read more.

Britain reassures Indian students over visa issues

British diplomats have sought to reassure Indian students who have baulked at the recent changes made to visa policy...read more.


Olympic performers to avoid immigration delays

Performers taking part in the cultural festival to mark the run up to the London Olympics will receive special assistance to help them avoid delays...read more.

Supreme Court supporting parliament's insistence?

After a home secretary-led motion by the Parliament to urge judges not to prioritise foreign criminals' rights to family life over deportation, the Supreme Court has passed judgement in five deportation appeals, upholding only one...read more.


Labour admit immigration failures

Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband is to give a speech today in which he will admit the previous Labour government's failings on UK immigration policy and outline his party's new policies...read more.



Parliament expected to rally around UK immigration rules

 

Parliament is expected to support
Mrs May's proposal to limit abuse
of Article 8.

Parliament is expected to pass a vote today which will mean convicted foreign nationals can no longer exploit the right to family life to prevent deportation.

Under current UK immigration legislation, a foreign national convicted of a criminal offence will be deported unless they can prove they have genuine and legitimate grounds to remain in the country.

The grounds are usually based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights:

Article 8 – Right to respect for private and family life

1. Everyone has the right to respect for his private and family life, his home and his correspondence.

2. There shall be no interference by a public authority with the exercise of this right except such as is in accordance with the law and is necessary in a democratic society in the interests of national security, public safety or the economic well-being of the country, for the prevention of disorder or crime, for the protection of health or morals, or for the protection of the rights and freedoms of others.

However, a multitude of cases in recent years has led the Home Secretary Theresa May to claim the right is being exploited to allow violent and dangerous criminals to avoid deportation. Mrs May contends British judges are 'softer than their European counterparts' in enforcing the law...


...to read the rest of this article, click here.

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Britain reassures Indian students over visa issues

British diplomats insist UK visas 
are available to genuine students.
 

British diplomats have sought to reassure Indian students who have baulked at the recent changes made to visa policy.

Demand for the student visas has reportedly dropped 62% in the wake of changes which include the limiting of employment rights and the abolishment of post study work rights for international students who have graduated.

International education is a multi-billion pound industry for the UK and, with India representing one of the largest contributors of foreign students, diplomats at the British embassy in India have insisted the changes will not restrict the 'brightest and best' from studying in the UK.

"University students who are studying at or above degree level may work for up to 20 hours per week during term time and full time in the holidays," said Thomas Greig, regional director for the UKBA in South Asia.

Mr Greig said the changes were to tackle the rates of abuse by international students who enter the UK ostensibly to study but end up in employment. Mr Grieg assured Indian students that the changes would not prevent genuine students from entering the UK.

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Olympic performers to avoid immigration delays

London 2012

Parliament is expected to support
Mrs May's proposal to limit abuse
of Article 8.

Performers taking part in the cultural festival to mark the run up to the London Olympics will receive special assistance to help them avoid delays.

Over 25,000 performers will take part in the 12 week festival; with 130 events held across the UK, the festival is being hailed as the largest cultural festival Britain has ever staged.

In order to ensure the festival progresses as smoothly as possible, the event's organisers have been coordinating with the Home Office to allow performers' UK visa applications to be given priority processing to avoid delays at the UK's borders.

"We've got special status and the immigration authorities have been exceptional so far," said Ruth McKenzie, London 2012 Festival director. "We have a massive amount of artists coming and there's always a danger that some artists don't leave enough time for the [visa] process."

Performers have been instructed to register their biometric details - fingerprints and photographs - registered in advance otherwise they will be processed upon arrival.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Hunt said two million people had already purchased tickets for the various events.

"People are just beginning to appreciate the scale of the excitement," said Mr Hunt.

"It's a really huge moment."

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Supreme Court supporting parliament's insistence?

London 2012

The Supreme Court has
rejected 4 of 5 appeals.

After a home secretary-led motion by the Parliament to urge judges not to prioritise foreign criminals' rights to family life over deportation, the Supreme Court has passed judgement in five deportation appeals, upholding only one.

The Supreme Court ruled on five separate UK immigration cases of deportation appeals yesterday, involving Polish, Italian and British citizens. All the appeals were based on Article 8 of the European Convention on Human Rights, the right to family life.

After the Home Secretary Theresa May asked for the support of the Parliament on Tuesday, MPs passed a motion which called on the judiciary to prioritise the public interest over the individual in instances of foreign criminals.

It would appear the Parliament's insistence has been noted after the court ruled that just one of the five cases, involving a Polish national with five children who is wanted in her home country on dishonesty charges, had genuine cause to remain in the country.

The other four cases, including an Italian couple wanted for drug importation charges who have three children and two British nationals wanted for importing drug manufacturing chemicals who have six children between them, were judged to not involve strong enough causes to 'overcome the overwhelming public interest in giving effect to the extradition request'.

The rulings have been praised by many including civil liberties groups who welcomed the decision to stay the Polish woman's deportation on the grounds her young children would be severely affected if their mother is deported.

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Labour admit immigration failures

Ed Miliband

Labour Leader Ed Miliband will
address the IPPR today.

Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband is to give a speech today in which he will admit the previous Labour government's failings on UK immigration policy and outline his party's new policies.

The current coalition Government has made significant changes to UK immigration policies which have seen new restrictions added to visa policy, intra-company transfer policy and the removal of foreign criminals. The efforts are a part of a long term goal of reducing current levels of net migration, approximately 250,000, down to the 'tens of thousands'.

The Government blames its predecessor for allowing uncontrolled immigration from new EU states in 2004 which saw an influx of Eastern European migrants come to the UK.

In a speech at the Institute of Public Policy Research think tank to be given today, Mr Miliband is expected to acknowledge those errors...

...to read the rest of this story, click here.

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- Dominic Ladden-Powell is the Online Editor for the UK Visa Bureau.

Visa Bureau takes no responsibility and cannot be held accountable for action taken as a result of any information or comment provided on this blog, and we recommend that you always seek a number of opinions before making a decision regarding your migration or visa application. Please refer to the Visa Bureau terms of use for more information.