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Chinese migration agent’s OZ licence culled

Australia’s immigration authority has cancelled the licence of a Chinese immigration agent, following “a number of complaints about applications for protection visas”.

The Sydney-based migration agent failed in her bid to have a decision to cancel her registration overturned, with the Administrative Review Tribunal (AAT) confirming the decision by the Office of the Migration Agents Registration Authority (OMARA).

The Authority found that Weiming Qian had failed to competently and diligently assist her clients and act on their instructions, manufactured or encouraged the manufacture of claims for protection visas, failed to attend with her clients at the Refugee Review Tribunal and the former Federal Magistrates Court for appointed hearings and prepared applications for judicial review when not qualified.

A migration agent has a duty to act in the lawful interests of a client and this agent’s conduct was clearly not in her clients’ interests, a spokesman for the Department of Immigration and Border Protection said.

“She deliberately undermined the protection visa programme at every stage, the lodgement of applications for visa processing and review proceedings before the Refugee Review Tribunal and the courts.”

The AAT found the scale of the complaints indicated entrenched poor practice and found the decision made by the OMARA to cancel Ms Qian’s registration as a migration agent was correct, as was the decision that she could not be re-registered for five years.

“Only people who are registered with the OMARA are permitted to give immigration assistance,” the spokesman said.

“Registered agents must meet a code of conduct and be a fit and proper person to provide immigration assistance.”

There are more than 5000 registered migration agents in Australia and overseas who can provide immigration assistance. People wishing to find out whether an individual is registered as a migration agent can go to the Authority’s website,

Business Work Abroad

NZ, India two ends of a book – Peter Dunne

“Two ends of a book’, is how New Zealand’s Minister of Internal Affairs described the ties between India and New Zealand.



Minister Peter Dunne, while was speaking at India New Zealand Business Council’s seminar, ‘Business Beyond Barriers’, reiterated the need for increased economic, cultural and sporting ties between the two countries.

The India New Zealand Business Council held its second chapter of a series of seminars – ‘Business Beyond Barriers’, on 26 March. H.E. Mr. Ravi Thapar (Indian High Commissioner to NZ).

The Council Chair Sunil Kaushal shared how the members have been continuing to expand their business ventures into India without an FTA being signed between both the countries.

“(An) FTA is just one of the tools to increased trade and not the only tool,” said Sunil, stressing that more focus should be towards moving on with trade to be done between businesses in New Zealand and India.

Peter said it was important for New Zealand to recognise the potential of the Indian economy and work to have closer ties.

Ravi Thapar, India’s new High Commissioner to New Zealand, took charge in January and is since meeting crucial people and organisations that can make a difference to the bilateral relations.

Ravi shared insights about various fields that India-New Zealand can collaborate in. “We should work with the positives of both sides, like taking New Zealand’s IP and using India’s market footprint,” said Ravi, while emphasizing that India’s market footprint is huge and creates great potential for New Zealand companies to work with.

Taxation in the vast Indian market can be very complicated and can sometimes be a daunting task, said Greg Thompson, National Director, Tax at Grant Thornton NZ Ltd.

Earlier the council members also called upon the Indian High Commissioner at his office in Wellington and discussed collaborative areas between both the countries. Aviation, Education, IT, Agri were some of the sectors that were discussed including the need for a direct or code share flight between both the countries which will enhance tourism and trade.

Immigration News Work Abroad

Uphold migrant workers’ rights, UN urges

The United Nations experts have appealed to all countries to sign up to a landmark treaty on the rights of migrant workers that came into force some 10 years ago.

Jobs abroad


Forty-seven countries have ratified the treaty but that number is far too low given the abuse and exploitation that migrant workers continue to suffer, says Francisco Carrion Mena, Chairperson of the UN Committee on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families.

“It is also far too low given the contribution migrant workers make to both their home and host countries,”

The International Convention on the Rights of Migrant Workers and their Families (ICRMW) took 23 years to come into force, the longest of any of the 10 core international human rights instruments, and has registered the slowest rate of ratification.

No major developed countries that are destinations for migrant workers, including the US, EU member states and Gulf countries, have ratified it, even though it reflects rights set out in the other core human rights treaties.

“The treaty doesn’t create new rights or establish additional ones for migrant workers. What it does do is give specific form to standards that protect all human beings so that they are meaningful within the context of migration,” says Francisco.

The Committee’s renewed call to all states to join the treaty came during discussions in Geneva on Monday on protecting migrant workers from exploitation.

More than 200 million people worldwide are international migrants; of these some 30 million are estimated to be irregular migrants. According to the International Labour Organisation, almost 21 million people are trapped in forced labour.

“The Convention is the best strategy to prevent abuses and to address the vulnerability that migrant workers face. That’s why we urge all States to consider signing and ratifying the Convention,” says Francisco.

The CMW, composed of 14 independent human rights experts, oversees implementation of the Convention by States parties. Many of the 47 States parties are not only nations of origin but now also transit and destination countries given the changing patterns of migration.

Immigration News Work Abroad

NZ employers look to new Kiwis to bridge skills gap

As skills shortages increasingly impact on New Zealand businesses, employers are looking for new ways to find great people to meet their needs.


Jobs in Auckland


Many are now looking to newcomers and returning Kiwis who bring the powerful combination of international work experience, qualifications and experience gained from working offshore, say New Zealand Chambers of Commerce.

Recognising demand, the Chambers are promoting the New Kiwis website which connects employers and recruiters to a rich source of new and returning Kiwis to help fill these skills gaps.

New Kiwis is more than just a “skills matching” database which employers can use autonomously, say the Chambers.

New Kiwis is a national employment initiative which is funded by Immigration New Zealand and managed by Auckland Chamber of Commerce in partnership with NZ Chambers of Commerce.

“The employer also has the option of advertising or just searching, access to resources that will assist them in supporting their new recruits understand New Zealand workplace norms and they have access to me, I can help with every step of the way,” New Kiwis Liaison for the Chambers of Commerce Cheng Goh says.

David Litherland, Talent Manager at First Assistance, used the Chamber services to find a Mandarin speaking medical assistance assessor.

“We decided to go to the experts. We cast the recruitment net wide and utilised the New Kiwis database of candidates with the skills we specifically required – hiring two people initially.

“What appealed was that the New Kiwis services help get new migrants work ready from a New Zealand workplace perspective.” says David.

(Photo credit: Photologue_np)

Immigration Lifestyle News Work Abroad

NZ ranked world’s most socially advanced country

New Zealand is the most socially advanced nation in the world according to a global index published by US-based nonprofit, the Social Progress Imperative, and released at the 2014 Skoll World Forum on Social Entrepreneurship.

move to New Zealand

New Zealand topped the rankings across a wide range of measures–according to the Social Progress Index 2014 which ranks 132 countries based on their social and environmental performance. The result was described as “exceptional” by Michael Green, Executive Directive of the Social Progress Imperative.

The Social Progress Index, created by a team led by Professor Michael E. Porter of Harvard Business School, is designed as a complement to GDP and other economic indicators to provide a more holistic understanding of countries’ overall performance.

What is social progress?

Social progress is defined as the capacity of a society to meet the basic human needs of its citizens, establish the building blocks that allow citizens to improve their lives, and create the conditions for individuals and communities to meet their full potential.


Measuring a country’s social progress outcomes the Index identifies a number of areas in which New Zealand is performing strongly compared to countries with a comparable GDP per capita, including on ‘Personal Rights’, ‘Water and Sanitation’ and ‘Personal Freedom and Choice’.

Until now, the assumption has been that there is a direct relationship between economic growth and wellbeing, says Professor Michael E. Porter.

“However, the Social Progress Index finds that all economic growth is not equal. While higher GDP per capita is correlated with social progress, the connection is far from automatic. For similar levels of GDP, we find that some countries, like New Zealand, achieve much higher levels of social progress than others.”

It’s some accolade that across so many measures New Zealand outperforms countries like the United States, UK and Australia, says
Michael Green, Executive Director of the Social Progress Imperative.

“It’s particularly on the measure of ‘Opportunity’ that New Zealand performs strongly thanks to it’s top global rankings on ‘Personal Rights’ and ‘Personal Freedom and Choice’.”

The Social Progress Imperative created the Social Progress Index working in collaboration with scholars from the Harvard Business School and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), as well as international organizations in social entrepreneurship, business and philanthropy led by the Skoll Foundation and Fundacion Avina as well as Cisco, Compartamos Banco, Deloitte Global and its member firms (Deloitte).

The result is particularly impressive in the context of New Zealand’s relative economic weakness compared to countries that finished much lower on the Index. New Zealand enjoys the world’s 25th highest GDP per capita of $25,857, finishing ahead of the United States in 16th ranking with a per capita GDP of over $45,000*; the UK in 13th with a per capita GDP of over $32,500*; and Australia in 10th with a per capita GDP of $34,669*.

Key global highlights:

  • The top five countries in order of ranking are: New Zealand, Switzerland, Netherlands, Iceland, and Norway.
  • Canada is the best performing G8 country.
  • Brazil is the top of the BRICS, followed by South Africa, Russia, China and India. Apart from Brazil, the BRICS are all significant under-performers on social progress, suggesting that, for China and India in particular, rapid economic growth is not yet being converted into better lives for their citizens.

Key New Zealand findings:

Of the 54 indicators measured within each country to make up the overall Index ranking, New Zealand scores top spot in no less than 20, across a wide variety of different measures. These include tying in first place globally on measures of homicide (less than 2 per 100,000 people); levels of corruption and religious tolerance.


New Zealand scores strongly on the ‘Access to Basic Knowledge’ component finishing 2nd globally. Included in this is secondary school enrollment on which New Zealand scores top.

New Zealand also finishes top ranked on ‘Personal Freedom and Choice’, owing to impressive results on religious freedoms and freedom over life choices.

On ‘Tolerance and Inclusion’ New Zealand scores fourth globally, thanks partly to its high tolerance for immigrants and religious tolerance.

On the ‘Access to Information and Communications’ measure New Zealand scores 7th globally, which is a relatively strong result compared to countries of a similar GDP. The result owes partly to an exceptionally high rate of mobile telephone subscriptions (more than 110 for every 100 people) as well as ranking number one globally for press freedoms.

Other findings

According to the researchers New Zealand doesn’t have any specific weaknesses. However, the Social Progress Index 2014 highlights obesity as a challenge to ‘Health and Wellness’ – more than one in four New Zealanders are obese.

Also, one of New Zealand’s weaker score is on ‘Nutrition and Basic Medical Care’ (28th), a result partly of its 36th place ranking on the measure of maternal mortality (15 deaths per 100,000 live births). The top ranking country on this measure is Estonia with just two deaths per 100,000 births. Similarly, New Zealand’s child mortality rate of 5.7 deaths per 1000 live births is more than double Iceland who ranked in first place with just 2 deaths per 1000 live births.

Sally Osberg, President and CEO of the Skoll Foundation, said: “Making social progress a true imperative means putting the progress of humanity and our wellbeing on an equal footing with GDP. The Social Progress Index prioritizes and measures what matters, capturing data that ranges from basic needs such as health to the building blocks and guarantees of opportunity such as education and rights.

Immigration News Work Abroad

Indian group takes to streets for safety awareness

racist attacks on Indians

Following crime incidents targeting Indians in New Zealand,  community leaders Kanwaljit Singh Bakshi and Claudette Hauiti are organising a walk on 7 March to “Claim Back Safe Streets”.

The walk for “safer communities” will be followed by an event behind Auckland’s Papatoetoe Library to raise awareness.

Papatoetoe witnessed a vicious attack earlier in January, when Praveet Kaur was savagely assaulted in daylight by a stranger as she walked down a street in her neighbourhood.

racist attacks on Indians

She was not far from her home while a group of 15 neighbours watched as she was brutally punched in the head and face by the attacker.

The only help the watchers offered was dialling 111. Her repeated plea for help fell on deaf ears. Praveet fractured her nose and eye socket, and ended up with bruised eyes and swollen hands.

In the wee hours of a Saturday in November last year, 25-year-old Tarun Asthana was mercilessly beaten outside McDonald’s in downtown Auckland – apparently because he complimented a young woman. The trainee teacher was punched so hard by Grenville David McFarland, a navy sailor, that Tarun’s head hit the pavement. Tarun succumbed to fatal injuries.  Grenville has been allowed to remain on duty.

Immigration News Work Abroad

For our vote, heed our voice – ethnic group

New Zealand’s political parties are being urged to listen to migrant and ethnic communities if the parties want their votes in the upcoming general election.

The suggestions comes from New Zealand Federation of Multicultural Councils (known as Multicultural New Zealand), which launched its 2014 election policies at its national council meeting in Dunedin on Friday.

In the diverse communities of New Zealand, ethnic communities comprise 15 percent of the population (the 2013 census).

Visa to New Zealand

The election policy comprises 26 proposals covering ethnic affairs, constitutional issues, race relations, settlement support and refugees.

The federation would like to see a national multicultural policy, support for community languages and the establishment of a national ethnic peoples advisory panel.

The federation wants the Office of Ethnic Affairs to be elevated to Ministry status, alongside the Ministries of Pacific Island Affairs and Maori Development.

All government departments should be required to have an ethnic community relationship strategy to ensure their services are equally available to ethnic communities, says Priyani de Silva-Currie,  the national president of Multicultural New Zealand. Of Sri Lankan descent, Priyani is a branch manager of Opus International Consultants and an expert in energy and asset management. Married with two children, Priyani replaced Tayo Agunlejika, who resigned the position last month to become the Federation’s new Executive Director.

The federation wants a review of Immigration New Zealand ‘s decision to terminate regional partnerships to provide settlement support services, and the government’s decision to downsize and transfer the Settling In programme from MSD Family and Community Services to the Office of Ethnic Affairs.

“The recommendations of the Auditor General on improving migrant settlement support services should be implemented, and settlement strategies put in place for all regions,” says Priyani.

“We want the safety of migrant and refugee women and children, particularly in relation to domestic violence, prioritised; and further measures taken to prevent the exploitation of temporary migrant workers.”

Immigration Work Abroad

Canada culls Immigrant Investor program

The Citizenship and Immigration department of Canada has decided to government’s terminate its Immigrant Investor Program (IIP) and Federal Entrepreneur (EN) Program.

Under the IIP, an immigrant is guaranteed permanent residence in Canada in exchange for a guaranteed $800,000 loan (before 2010, the amount was only $400,000). In comparison, the United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand require $5 million to $10 million, and do not offer up-front permanent residency.

However, the IIP provides limited economic benefit to Canada, says The Citizenship and Immigration department of Canada in a statement.

The department believes that an immigrant investor pays about $200,000 less in income taxes than a federal skilled worker over a 20-year career, and almost $100,000 less in taxes than one live-in caregiver.

“Research shows that immigrant investors pay less in taxes than other economic immigrants, are less likely to stay in Canada over the medium- to long-term and often lack the skills, including official language proficiency, to integrate as well as other immigrants from the same countries,” the statement says.

Canada visa

The termination of IIP will also help the immigration department in getting rid of pending applications. The IIP has a backlog more than 65,000 persons, larger than any other economic immigration program in Canada. “At current levels, it would take more than six years to process this inventory,” the department says.

The measures announced in the Economic Action Plan (EAP) 2014 will help “build a faster, more flexible immigration system”, says Canada’s Citizenship and Immigration Minister Chris Alexander.

This will also allow the government to launch programs that will meet Canada’s labour market and economic needs.

Eliminating the IIP and EN programs will allow the government to focus on attracting experienced business people and raising investment capital.

The government revealed its plans to replace these programs with more focused programs that will ensure that “immigrants who come to Canada deliver meaningful benefits to our economy.

“This will complement CIC’s Start-Up Visa, enabling Canada to remain competitive in the global economy.

The new programs will be launched later this year.

What is IIP

Under the Immigrant Investor Program, Canada offers guaranteed permanent residence in exchange for a guaranteed $800,000 loan (before 2010, the amount was only $400,000). The United Kingdom, Australia and New Zealand require as much as $5 to $10 million, and do not offer up-front permanent residency.

Over a 20-year career, an immigrant investor pays about $200,000 less in income taxes than a federal skilled worker and almost $100,000 less in taxes than one live-in caregiver.

The current IIP has an inventory of more than 65,000 persons, larger than any other economic immigration program. At current levels, it would take more than six years to process this inventory.

Immigration News Work Abroad

Indian gay couple gets asylum in US

LGBT gay sex ban in India

One country’s loss is another country’s gain. A recent landmark judgement by India’s supreme court – reinstating criminal status for homosexuality – is likely to force its gay population to leave the country fearing persecution and prosecution.

One such case is of Sukhwinder Sukhwinder and his partner Jagdish Kumar.

In what could be termed as converting adversity into opportunity, the gay couple from a conservative part of India found a new life – in the US.

Gay LGBT sex ban India

When Sukhwinder fell in love with Jagdish in India’s Chandigarh, he felt that their relationship had bleak future. He had seen his uncle getting beaten up by his family when he came out of the closet.

Being gay is a taboo in India, and a recent judgement by the country’s apex court has made it illegal too.

With no hope of being able to pursue their relationship in his hometown, the pair decided to leave the country. This was June 2012, much before India’s apex court criminalised sodomy in December 2013.

The pair visited many countries before arriving in Texas on foot, and immediately claimed asylum in the US. They had a genuine reason – they feared persecution because of their sexual orientation if they returned to India.

They thought that this would be a straightforward case. Instead, their visit to the immigration department culminated in an arrest and detention.

The hope of new life together had reduced to the confines of a detention facility, where they were separated from each other.

Not wishing to give up fight, they approached Immigration Equality, a charity that works for the protection of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV immigration rights.

The charity took up their case, which marked the beginning of a legal battle.

Despite relatives who had volunteered to take them in, the government denied their request for parole many times.

Immigration Equality believed that there was no legal reason they should be denied release while they waited for their asylum hearing.

However, the Indian apex court’s recent decision to re-criminalize gay union improved the prospects for the Indian couple. It solidified their case for asylum in the US.

Clement Lee, a staff attorney with Immigration Equality, successfully pleaded for asylum which was granted to the couple on 20 December 2013.

“He (Jagdish) was afraid his family would kill him if he didn’t marry a woman,” Clement told a newspaper. “He felt he would be poisoned or strangled or burned alive by homophobic people,”

Jagdish and Sukhwinder now live in Wisconsin – a state that prohibits gay marriage, but recognizes domestic partnerships.

As political refugees, they can live and work indefinitely in the U.S.

The decision has now shown a ray of hope for the growing LGBT community in India. According to a Forbes India estimate, there are 30 million LGBTs in India, and this number is likely to grow as more people choose to disclose their sexual orientation.



Under India’s 153-year old Indian Penal Code, Section 377, homosexuality was a criminal offence until Delhi High Court passed a welcome judgement in 2009, decriminaling gay sex. However, India’s apex court reversed the high court’s judgement in December 2013, and left it for the Indian Parliament to legislate on the issue.


The supreme court’s decision against LGBT union has drawn heavy preotests and criticism in India, including from celebrities.

Judging the pulse of public opinion, the ruling UPA government has decided to re-look into the  century-old law designed during the British Raj.

These draconian laws could force LGBT couples to leave India in search of safer shores. This would be a huge financial and cultural loss for India.

According to Out Now, a marketing agency that specialises in marketing to LGBT audience, the revenue potential from India’s 30 million gay people is Rs. 1.5 lakh crore. The Greater Philadelphia Tourism Marketing Corporation, which ran a successful gay marketing campaign, claims that for every dollar invested in gay tourism, $153 was earned in visitor spending.

India should tap this potential by changing repressive laws.

America, on the other hand, will have a different challenge.

The United States’ decision to grant asylum to Jagdish and Sukhwinder  could also open flood-gates of straight migrants pretending to be queer so as to seek asylum in the US.

India Supreme Court verdict on Section 377:

SK Koushal & Anr v Naz Foundation & Ors

Immigration News Study Abroad Work Abroad

Ex-immigration lawyer charged for fraud

work visa Canada

Richard James Martin has been charged with providing immigration advice without being licensed.

New Zealand’s Immigration Advisers Authority has brought four charges against the former immigration lawyer in Auckland’s the North Shore District Court following an investigation.

Richard of Richard Martin Immigration Limited, was charged under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act with three counts of providing immigration advice when neither licensed nor exempt; and one count of receiving a fee or reward for such advice.

The 48-year former immigration lawyer, who helped entertainer Michael Barrymore to obtain residency in New Zealand, entered not guilty pleas in the court on 18 December 2013.

work visa Canada

New Zealand’s green environs attract many people to move to and work in New Zealand.

Registrar of Immigration Advisers Barry Smedts said: “These charges are part of the Authority’s ongoing work targeting people giving immigration advice unlawfully.”

Barry urged people to choose their immigration adviser wisely.

“Licensed immigration advisers are skilled people who have met immigration adviser competency standards and who follow a code of conduct.

People acting unlawfully can be incompetent and have no obligation to treat migrants ethically.”

Licensed immigration advisers are listed on the Authority’s online register at

Richard has been remanded on bail till 7 February 2014. This is not the first time that Richard has found himself on the wrong side of the law. In 2011, the Authority had brought 91 immigration-related charges against him for alleged offences between 2009 and 2010.

Earlier in 2009, Richard was convicted for stealing money from his former employer, and was sentenced to five months home detention, according to a report in Lawyer’s Weekly. Subsequently, the New Zealand Law Society struck him off the lawyer’s register.

Anyone considering seeking immigration advice from a lawyer is advised to check the New Zealand Law Society’s online register. This will confirm the person they are hiring holds a current practising certificate.

Anyone looking for immigration attorney for New Zealand should check the Immigration Advisers Authority online register to find a licensed immigration advocate. The register contains an international list of licensed immigration advisers and can be consulted either online or by contacting the Immigration Advisers Authority directly on New Zealand freephone 0508 422 422 (from within New Zealand).

The Immigration Advisers Authority issues licences to people who are competent to give immigration advice. If you have any complaint against licensed immigration advisers in New Zealand, contact the authority which investigates people giving immigration advice without a licence or exemption.

The Immigration New Zealand website provides detailed information about:

Immigration Study Abroad Work Abroad

Indian visa applicants unfairly treated by NZ

Work visa

Close to 500 visa applications from Indian couples declined by Immigration New Zealand will be re-assessed, following complaints to the Ombudsman.

The immigration authority had wrongly turned down the visa applications of the partners of Indian migrants, the Ombudsman found.

The investigation was caused by 14 complaints against Immigration NZ’s offices in New Delhi and Mumbai.

The immigration department has accepted the Ombudsman’s findings that the staff had put too much weight on ensuring applicants had incentives to return home.

The immigration department has contacted all potentially affected applicants and informed them if they were eligible for reassessment, says INZ area manager Michael Carley.

The New Zealand Immigration department has set up “a dedicated team of immigration officers not involved in any previous decisions relating to the cases” for the reassessment process.

INZ has also decided to reassess these applications “as a matter of priority by dedicated specialists” in India. INZ has also provided extra staff training.
Work visa

However, INZ’s handling of these cases was not taken lightly by immigration advisers and New Zealand’s leading professional association for immigration specialists, the New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment (NZAMI) who had made complaints to the Ombudsman.

These complaints related to cases where applicants were declined temporary entry class visas “despite appearing to comply with the requirements”, a statement from NZAMI said. “All were partners of student or work visa holders already here in New Zealand.”

Immigration New Zealand is currently notifying the 480 applicants who may have been affected to advise them of the review process and possible reassessment of their case or refunding of fees paid.

The initial assessments in India were very badly handled, says NZAMI chairperson, Walter Stone. “They show a lack of training and bias. This reflects poorly on Immigration New Zealand.”

“These potential migrants have applied for visas because our immigration policies allow for partners of foreign students and workers to come to New Zealand to join them.

“In the majority of cases the student partner has already come to New Zealand and invested tens of thousands of dollars in an education here.

Walter believes that the situation is worse for applications processed in India. “Partners applying through the Indian branches have been declined at much higher rates than through other branches, including China.

“It is precisely this inconsistent and poor decision-making that impacts very negatively on the reputation of New Zealand as a migrant destination – not to mention the cost to taxpayers of re-opening over 480 cases.”

The adverse outcomes of these applications seem to contradict with the government’s  recently announced plans to encourage growth in education sector.

Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce had recently reiterated New Zealand’s commitment to international education which contributes $2.6 billion a year to NZ economy and 28,000 jobs for New Zealanders. “Plus it helps build strong linkages with the countries that are our trading future,” the minister had said.

Walter believes that allowing partners to join international students is a great way for New Zealand’s education sector to market courses to overseas students who pay around three times the fees of national students.

“Many of those students then go on to contribute through gaining skilled employment and working their way to becoming NZ residents,” says Walter.

Let us know if you were affected by an adverse immigration decision.

Check your eligibility to get a visa to New Zealand, on the Immigration NZ website.

For US visa applicants too, the process to obstaining a visa and staying with the spouse in the U.S. is not easy.

“You’re engaged or married to a U.S. citizen or permanent resident, and all you want is the right to be together in the U.S. Should be easy, right? It’s not,” says Ilona Bray J.D., author of “Fiancé & Marriage Visas: A Couple’s Guide to US Immigration”.

“Information can be hard to find, the government bureaucracy isn’t helpful, delays are inevitable.”

To help prospective US visa applicants, Ilona wrote the book Finance and Marriage Visas which attempts to make obtaining a visa and green card as painless as possible. “It helps you make sure you’re truly eligible and decide the fastest and best application strategy — whether you’re married or unmarried, living in the U.S. or overseas.

Buy now your copy from Amazon: “Fiancé & Marriage Visas: A Couple’s Guide to US Immigration” (Affiliate link.)

Immigration Work Abroad

NZ agriculture needs skills to harvest

Agriculture jobs

Despite long being New Zealand’s most profitable industry, agriculture continues to have difficulties attracting the manpower it needs to preserve its place at the forefront of global innovation and productivity.

According to those involved in the industry, the issue is not one of economic viability, as agriculture continues to produce a significant proportion of New Zealand’s exports while offering annual wages that exceed those of workers in other industries by an average of $5500.

Agriculture jobs

Agriculture jobs in New Zealand pay higher wages than other sectors.

Rather, it’s one of image. Agricultural workers such as Bay of Plenty dairy farmer Ian Bell feel that agriculture has been “dumbed down” as a career choice, and consequently many university students are turned off the prospect of “milking cows” for a living, without realizing that there’s a lot more to agriculture then manual labor.

This false perception needs to be addressed, and agriculture needs to be presented as the dynamic and skills-intensive career choice it is, so that graduates will begin to view it as a viable career option.

Else the industry will suffer the effects of skill shortages that are already purported to be reaching crisis levels.

NZ a world leader in agriculture

Its relatively small size and geographically isolated position may lead some to underestimate the impact New Zealand has on the global market, but it remains the world’s largest exporter of dairy.

Agriculture contributed two-thirds of New Zealand exports in 2006-2007 (Wikipedia) and, together with fisheries, 72% of its exports in 2012.

Some even joke that New Zealand’s population of sheep exceeds that of its people. But the last laugh is had by Kiwi farmers, who find themselves in prime position to feed a growing global population.

They are especially well placed to meet demand from China, which has roughly a fifth of the world’s people, but with only 7% of its arable land with which to feed them.

However, economic opportunity alone is not enough to draw young New Zealanders who, much like the central characters of certain cinematic trilogies produced on their shores, would rather pursue more adventurous career opportunities.

Entry-level positions in agriculture may receive 40% more pay than the average arts graduate, but of the 22,820 degrees awarded in 2011, only 68 were for agricultural sciences and 90 for farm management, versus 650 for performing arts and 334 for mathematics.

Dairy NZ claims that 1250 agriculture graduates per year are needed if the industry is to meet future demand.

More needs to be done to promote New Zealand agriculture as a sophisticated industry that requires good management and problem-solving skills.

Not only that, many of the most pressing issues facing the world today, such as sustainability, poverty and hunger, are issues that agricultural innovation can have a hand in solving.

So those who choose to pursue a career in agriculture have the chance to participate in formulating new technologies and methods that can help change the world.

Job opportunities in agriculture

Skills are in high demand in New Zealand agriculture, particularly management skills, and those interested in working in New Zealand will find no shortage of job opportunity, particularly in the highly profitable fields of agricultural science, dairy, forestry, viticulture and beekeeping.

Organizations such as Farm Relief Employment Services (FRES) can assist overseas workers in finding temporary or permanent positions in the New Zealand agriculture industry, and the Immigration New Zealand website provides information on what it’s like to live and work on a dairy farm.

There are a number of visa options are available to skilled migrants, some of which can serve as a stepping stone to permanent residence in New Zealand.

is concerned about the shortage of farmers in New Zealand, lest the trolls on the Middle Earth film set run out of sheep and decide to start eating hobbits instead. That’s why he’s a fan of job sites that specialise in international employment opportunities, such as, because they can help ensure that countries keep their people (and not trolls) fed.

Image license (c) Creative Commons

Immigration Lifestyle News Work Abroad

Australia celebrates 65 years of citizenship

get australian citizenship

Australia’s Channel 10 personality and Spanish celebrity chef Miguel Maestre is among the new Australians who received Australian citizenship today. Miguel says he is becoming an Aussie because of his Australian-born two-year-old daughter.

Also receiving citizenship were Egyptian-born pharmacists, Bahar Derias and Ereny Ghabrial and their 11-year-old triplets, Andrew, Marian and Peter.

Sydney witnessed the citizenship ceremony involving people from 65 different countries, marking the completion of 65 years since the passage of Australia’s citizenship law. Before he Citizenship Act 1948 was passed, migrants could not become Australian citizens.

get australian citizenship

Celebrity chef Miguel Maestre takes Australian citizenship

The event the Parramatta Riverside Theatre was part of the Parramasala festival programme, in recognition of the diversity of Parramatta.

One new young citizen, Angela Lopez from Spain, celebrated her sixth birthday in the company of 10 other family members who were also becoming citizens.

Since the first citizenship ceremony was staged, 4.5 million people have chosen to become Australian citizens, with a million new citizens in the past decade.

In 2012-13, about 120,000 people were conferred Australian citizenship. As much as 95 per cent of the nation’s population are Australian citizens.

This was the first citizenship ceremony for Australia’s Minister for Immigration and Border Protection Scott Morrison.

“We encourage anyone who is eligible to formally become a part of our community as Australian citizens,” says Scott.

“Australian citizenship means accepting Australia as our home, embracing the Australian way of life and providing a settled environment for our children where they feel part of the country in which they will probably live for the rest of their lives,” he says.

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4 mistakes of a business traveller

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Travelling with a work colleague? Lisa Holland warns of these common mistakes to avoid.

Business trips excite almost every young professional who has just started the job and is profoundly dedicated in making a successful career out of it.

Official tours may be for trainings or meetings, may it be a sole trip or with a partner who can be a colleague or supervisor. In either case there are certain protocols that one must bear in mind.

The simple little happy posts on Facebook and pictures of waving at the international airport of the destination can at times be at the cost of personal image, professionalism and wrong messages sent across.

When there are many other colleagues who could have been selected, being the lucky one can have many envious people behind ready to contribute to the grapevine and shoot!

Here’s how to be at one’s best behavior and be professional to make the business trip a success and climb the corporate ladder.

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1. Avoid too much personal information

Some pep talk is always good when it comes to a travel partner on a business trip. It acts as a networking tool and builds a comfort zone which aids in performing better at work. However, keep in mind that this discussion should stick to general and lightweight topics such as education, work history, interests and hobbies.

Stepping ahead and spilling too much personal information is a hazard of jeopardizing personal image in front of the colleague and most probably everyone finding it out once back at work.

2. Don’t get in the holiday mode

When leaving the workplace, be sure that all relevant documents and supporting files have been taken along. Despite of the fact that the colleague must be carrying the same information, it is one’s responsibility to be fully prepared and make the organization’s investment in  the trip worth it.

Carrying copies of the same important file is also important. Re-check, as getting there and then finding out that a page or some information is missing can be embarrassing and also show careless attitude which is a big negative.

Once at the destination, do not get the adrenaline rushing, avoid tossing around stuff in the room. Be as organized as possible.

3. It’s not a food tasting holiday

Some lucky employees have easy-going bosses or managers accompanying who do not mind fun. Even if the boss is the happy-go-lucky kind, refrain from feeling too easy. Maintain professional behavior.

When ordering food beware that the new place might be cooking stuff that can prove to be allergic and harmful. Unnecessary bowel movements and sickness may hinder the productivity of the trip.  Avoid any food tasting and stick to safe foods that one knows the tummy would be friendly with – sandwiches, rolls, salads and steaks. These don’t get messy while eating too. Spurring on a noodle or spaghetti unconsciously is also a no-no.

4. Avoid casual dressing

Although the destination can be anywhere from the far east to north, maintain professional attire and wear semi-casual while traveling. Dropping in with a spaghetti strap for flight while others have coats on may simply turn to a nightmare.

Be wise, carry less and opt for coats, shirts and formal looking attire only.

As for the trip, times when two colleagues are away can be enticing to make either one or both vulnerable. To avoid falling into weak moments and risking personal reputation at work and worse, chances of promotion, maintain a distance and stay to oneself whenever business work is not being conducted.

Lisa Holland loves to share knowledge about travel. She refers for providing best services in Location de voiture Alicante

Featured Immigration Work Abroad

Dos And Don’ts For A Successful Job Interview

Winning job interview

Being a graduate, I have spent countless hours in university careers events being given guidance on how to be the perfect interviewee. They tell you the obvious tips such as “always ask questions” but, from my first-hand experience I have decided to compile a few of my own hints, tips, dos and don’ts for having a successful interview.

I have just graduated with an honours degree in Spanish and History and have started working as an online marketing intern at The Workplace Depot. Yes, I know, Spanish and History doesn’t have a lot in common with online marketing, but this is my first tip which actually concerns the process before you get given an interview – applying for positions.


Winning job interview

It is always worth sending an application for a job that on first glance you don’t appear qualified for, but once you look at the job description you know that your skills and what you’ve learned through university or from previous work experience make you a perfect fit. You have to be in it to win it!

Let’s start with the positives, here are the dos:

1. It is important that you know why you want the job. To turn up to an interview when you aren’t convinced yourself will never win over a potential employer. Think about your future prospects with the company and how they fit in with your personal future plans. It’s not all about wanting a job for the pay, you have to want to do the job and gain something from it.

2. When promoting yourself in your interview try to include key words mentioned in the person specification and job description. Obviously, only use them if they flow naturally. Don’t try and force them in if they don’t make sense! By naturally slipping these terms and phrases into conversation it shows you might be just what the company is looking for.

3. Another important consideration is what to wear. It is important to make a good first impression, and what you look like is vital to this. You want to be able to walk into your interview and the interviewer see that you are the sort of person they want to have in their office. It goes without saying; you need to look smart and presentable.

From your shoes being clean to your shirt being ironed, it all makes a difference. Also, my advice is to look at the company website and try to figure out what the dress code might be. Are there pictures of employees on the website? Do you think you need to wear a suit or can you get away with more casual work wear?

Another tip of mine is: girls, do not wear high heels. There would be nothing worse than falling flat on your face in front of a potential boss. First impression can even come down to a good handshake, so practise this too.

4. My fourth tip might sound cliché, but it is key to a good interview. Be yourself. Portray some positive aspects of your personality through how you speak and your body language. Maybe mention some productive activities or hobbies you have outside of work that will make you memorable.

Whether it’s as the person who bakes cakes or the candidate who spoke French, it might not be relevant to the job but you will be remembered for those little things.

5. Finally, just relax. Going into a job interview is a nerve-wracking experience but you will come across so much better if you are calm and relaxed. Take your time to speak and remember that your interviewer is human; they understand that you might be nervous and need a couple of seconds to think of an answer or a response to a tricky question.

I don’t recommend “umming” and “arring” for minutes on end, but taking a deep breath and a couple of seconds to think before you open your mouth will work wonders and it will help you not to start babbling.

Now, the don’ts. These may seem obvious but you’ll be surprised at how many people make these common mistakes.

1. The first suggestion is something I fell victim to in one of my past interviews. Don’t arrive unprepared. Know some background about the company and what they do. I advise that you have a good look at the company website beforehand and make a mental note of key things the company does and stands for.

In my experience, I was asked who the main competitors for this brand were. I reeled off an answer, thinking off the top of my head and I was rather pleased with my quick thinking. However, when the interview was over I was slated by the interviewer for not doing my research and wasting her time.

It’s safe to say I have never made this mistake again and now I always have a thorough look through the web pages and social media of the business before an interview. It’s always better to be over-prepared than under-prepared.

2. The second point might sound foolish, but when in an interview, don’t pretend to have heard the question. If you didn’t quite catch what the interviewer has said or don’t understand the question fully, don’t be afraid to ask them to repeat the question. Like I said before, they are human, and it would come across so much worse if you start answering a different question!

3. Now I turn to the dreaded “what’s your biggest weakness” question. This is always a difficult one to answer as you want to talk about how good you are, not reveal what you are not good at to a potential boss. One piece of advice is not to do what the majority of interviewees do, which is to turn a positive attribute into something negative such as: “I’m just such a perfectionist” or “I work too hard”.

These just come across as fake and it is much more advantageous to say something that is an actual weakness. By this, I don’t mean something like “I’m rubbish at time keeping”. Mention something constructive for example, if you aren’t very knowledgeable about using Microsoft Excel then say so, but it is essential that you follow up your weakness with how you intend to rectify this and progress in the particular area.

4. This is another piece of advice that comes straight from my own experience. It’s brilliant when you can show some of you personality in an interview, but don’t try to make too many jokes. In a recent interview, the interviewers were extremely casual and cracking jokes back and forward between each other throughout the meeting.

This situation was all too tempting for me and I began to join in. I left the interview thinking I’d made a great first impression and had a laugh with the staff, however after a couple of days I began to realise the mistakes I had made. A job interview is a professional situation and you have to act professionally. There is no harm in letting your sense of humour come through but do not get carried away. They are assessing your professional capabilities and not how you tell a joke. Oh and if you wondered, I didn’t get that job either.

5. The final point is all the obvious things that don’t need any explaining. Don’t be late to your interview; don’t swear; don’t answer your mobile phone or start texting (yes, people have done this!) and don’t moan about previous employment because it doesn’t come across well at all.

So, those are a few handy hints that should hopefully help to improve your interview technique. Another point I must add is not to get disheartened if you think the interview didn’t go as well as you would have liked. It’s sometimes the interviews you feel didn’t go to plan that are actually the successful ones, as I found out.

How to succeed at job interviewsEmily Rooke is a graduate from Nottingham Trent University.

Featured Immigration News Work Abroad

Will NZ migration to UK grow?

London is keen to have more Kiwis come and stay longer. But probably the view is not shared by the rest of the UK.

During the New Zealand Prime Minister’s recent visit to the UK, the mayor of London supported a possible bilateral trade that may allow skilled Kiwis to stay longer in the UK. However, the UK prime minister hasn’t shown any such inclination.

Highly enthusiastic Ben Johnson, London’s mayor, wants a “bilateral labour-mobility zone” between New Zealand and Britain.

Currently, skilled New Zealand citizens can obtain Youth Mobility visa and work in the UK for up to two years. They are required to return to New Zealand when their two-year visa expires.

“It is quite difficult sometimes for New Zealanders who want to work here to stay on and contribute in the way that they might,” Boris told media.

“By contrast, you can come from France or Croatia or wherever it happens to be – Slovenia or any one of the 28 EU [European Union] countries now – without any hindrance whatever.”

Boris’ comments  have raised an intriguing possibility of Kiwis regaining greater access to extended residence in the UK, a University of Canterbury (UC) management researcher says.

The 20th century saw a gradual parting of ways between New Zealand and the United Kingdom in defence, trade and, more recently, migration.

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Researcher Dr Rosemary Baird

UC researcher Dr Rosemary Baird says unless New Zealanders have an ancestry passport or a European spouse it is difficult to stay in the UK for any longer than the two years the tourist visa allows.

“But the two-year tourist visa still attracts large numbers of Kiwis on their OE. London, in particular, contains vast numbers of New Zealanders, living with their Australian cousins, in large expat-rich areas in Earl’s Court, Shepherd’s Bush and, more recently, Wandsworth.

“Although some Kiwis do make the transition from visitor to permanent resident many Kiwis work to travel – determined to milk the last ounce of European adventure out of their two years sojourn.

“As a result their focus is usually on personal experiences rather than on becoming part of English society. If longer stays become more accessible, Kiwis might be inclined to migrate in a more intentional and long term manner.

“Perhaps Mayor Johnson’s proposal anticipates that longer term stays could encourage Kiwis to contribute to London communities at a grass roots community level.”

However, the British Prime Minister David Cameron has tightened immigration policy since coming to power.

Young New Zealanders keen to live in the UK after the initial two-year youth mobility visa expires need to go back to New Zealand and migrate to the UK if they meet the strict criteria led out.

While the British prime minister did not give any hints of possibly relaxing the immigration policies for Kiwis, his New Zealand counter-part seemed to  understand Britain’s priorities.

“He (the British PM) is just trying to deal with a broader migration issue which is challenging for the UK,” New Zealand prime minister John Key said after his meeting with David Cameron.

“With their position with Europe they have enormous numbers of people that can actually freely, and as of right, come here to the UK and that is putting stress on their system, so we need to acknowledge that,” John told media.

Immigration Study Abroad Work Abroad

Immigration scam exposed in New Zealand

An immigration fraudster in New Zealand faces a possible jail term after an investigation by the Immigration Advisers Authority uncovered a $100,000 immigration scam.

Tengyu (Nick) Yuan, a New Zealand citizen from Albany, admitted providing immigration advice illegally to six migrants at Auckland District Court. The court heard Tengyu, director of Auckland City-based Noahark Consultant Limited, took large sums from migrants promising to secure them visas, only to carry out little or no work.

The 36-year-old pleaded guilty to six charges of providing immigration advice without being licensed or exempt. Each charge carries a maximum sentence of seven years in prison and a fine of $100,000 under the Immigration Advisers Licensing Act.

Under the Act anyone providing New Zealand immigration advice must be licensed by the Authority unless exempt. Exempt persons include lawyers.

The Immigration Advisers Authority was set up to protect people receiving New Zealand immigration advice.

Anyone seeking help from an immigration adviser, consultant or agent is urged to check the Authority’s register of licensed immigration advisers.

The register contains an international list of licensed immigration advisers and can be checked either online or by contacting the Immigration Advisers Authority directly on freephone (from New Zealand) 0508 422 422.

Art Lifestyle News Work Abroad

Live-work apartments launched in Sydney


Six affordable live-work apartments are on offer for artists and other creative Sydneysiders as part of the City’s support for the creative community.

The apartments, which feature space to live and work, will be part of the city’s new creative hub on William Street in Darlinghurst.

Sydney Lord Mayor Clover Moore said the affordable live-work space initiative – one of the first of its kind in Australia – showed how seriously the council took local creative workers struggling with Sydney’s rental crisis.


“We know how tough it is finding affordable spaces to live and work in the inner city,” the Lord Mayor said.

“Our creative spaces initiatives have housed more than 50 organisations and entrepreneurs in Council-owned buildings, allowing them to showcase their ideas and host hundreds of exhibitions and performances.

“We’re now increasing that support with these unique new spaces.”

The six apartments, on levels one and two of 113-115 William Street, vary in size from 35 to 53 square metres. Each includes a bedroom, bathroom and kitchen, along with a separate space suitable for creative work. Tenants will also have access to a common roof area and shared laundry facilities.

James Winter is the director of Queen Street Studio, a Darlinghurst-based organisation which offers non-profit rehearsal facilities and creative development spaces to artists.

“Artists in Sydney struggle with rising rents, pushing them further out into the suburbs and away from other creative communities,” James said.

“Offering subsidised rent will bring these artists back into the city, which will have a flow-on effect to local culture, business and general liveability for local residents.

“Assisting with their living overheads will mean more creative work gets produced in the city. More contemporary, riskier artists will be encouraged to stay, and Sydney will once again be a city of creative thinkers, makers and doers.”

The City also plans to open up another 14 artist live-work spaces on Oxford Street late next year as part of its long-term creative spaces program.

Immigration Work Abroad

Oz restuarant charged over illegal workers

Work in Australia

A Nando’s restaurant owner in Australia is facing 22 charges for illegally employing foreign students.

The students had worked illegally in Anni Kartawidjaja’s Melbourne stores over a two-and-a-half-year period. Five of Anni’s employees have also been charged over their involvement in the scam, according to Australia’s Department of Immigration and Citizenship.

“More than 90 charges are expected to be laid as a result of an Immigration-led investigation,” a Department spokesman said.

Work in Australia

Anni allegedly organised Indonesian nationals to travel to Australia on student visas to work in breach of their visa conditions at her Nando’s restaurants and other grocery stores. Most of the illegal workers allegedly lived at her properties while paying rent, internet, telephone and heating bills to Anni, often as salary deductions.

“It is imperative that employers understand they may be penalised for compromising the integrity of visa programs,” the spokesman said. “The department’s focus is to address the actions of businesses that willfully take part in illegal work – not to penalize businesses which act in good faith.”

Evidence obtained during the investigation indicates that key management staff were told to turn a blind eye to the illegal workers.  If convicted under the Migration Act, Anni and her associates could face up to 12 months’ imprisonment for each charge. Where the department becomes aware of fraud, these matters are fully investigated and can result in both criminal and administrative penalties, a media statement from the Department said.

“It has been a criminal offence to hire illegal workers since 2007 – an offence that carries substantial penalties including prison terms,” the spokesman said.

More information about the revised laws is available online.

Editor recommends Immigration News Work Abroad

Old Sikh man beaten in US

An iron bar was used to viciously attack a fragile Sikh man in his 80s, outside a Gurdwara in the US, in what is suspected to be a hate crime.

According to local media reports, Piara Singh, an 82 year-old Sikh man, was severely beaten on 5 May with an iron bar outside Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib in Fresno, California.

Piara sustained significant injuries, including head injuries, broken bones and ribs, and a collapsed lung, say reports. The suspect was arrested at the scene and the police are investigating the incident as a potential hate crime, a US-based community group (the Sikh Coalition) said in a statement.

Piara remains in the hospital in serious condition. The local Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Fresno Police Department convened a community meeting at Gurdwara Nanaksar Sahib, where the police chief identified the suspect as Gilbert Garcia.

Piara is still unconscious, with 20 stitches and broken bones and ribs, according to media reports.

“This is a hate crime,” Gurdev Singh Muhar, a priest of the Fresno Gurdwara told local media.

The incident has shocked ethnic community groups who are speaking out and expressing solidarity.

“We stand with the Sikh community in rejecting the religious and ethnic hatred that leads to such brutal and cowardly attacks,” said Basim Elkarra, executive director of the Sacramento Valley chapter of the Council on American-Islamic Relations.

A Sikh community group has appealed to show courage. “As always, we urge all Sikhs to practice their faith fearlessly,” said The Sikh Coalition. “If you or someone you know ever experiences violence or even a threat of violence, please report the incident to your local police department immediately by dialing 9-1-1.”

With a little less than 500,000 population, Fresno is multi-ethnic Californian town with 1.7% Indian population, and 50% white people.