Demand for priority visas by Indians to increase in future

Demand for priority visas by Indians to increase in future

Demand for priority visas by Indians to increase in future

Demand for priority visas by Indians to increase in future

The high-spending Indian traveler is in great demand globally. The VFS Group has said priority visas, currently being offered in India by UK only, may be taken up by other countries too.

Among these places looking at this option are the Schengen states, said VFS. Presently, UK offers this service where it charges — in addition to its high visa fees — almost Rs 90,000 for “super priority” category where visa decision comes in a day and Rs 20,000 for “priority” where it takes less than a week. However, UK visa fees are among the highest for all countries in India and priority service charges of others could be much lower.

Zubin Karkaria, CEO of VFS Global Group, told TOI: “UK started the super priority service about a year back. A lot of Indian businessmen, investment bankers have to travel at very short notice to the UK. They recognised this and started the service. Some others are also looking at the same,” he added.

VFS Group, which collects visa documents for 60 client governments in 139 countries with 2675 application centres globally, is witnessing a high double digit growth in India where it serves 45 countries through visa application centres in 17 cities. In 2016, it received 43 lakh applications in India, and the figure jumped to 50 lakh last year. Foreign consulates want to reach out to more and more Indians by having application centres across the country. “They are wooing not just tourists but other categories also. Students from India are a big category, second only to Chinese for places like UK and Australia,” he said.

“Our overall growth in number of visa applications in India is 10-15% but the growth in Tier II and III cities is almost double, between 20-30%. The growth is such that in peak (travel) times we have had to keep our application centers in Delhi and Mumbai open on the weekend; 24 hours a day; after office hours. We have tried everything in Delhi and Mumbai.”

“The final decision of keeping the center open is on the client government as we can collect the documents and they need to then process the same (at the same pace). We are offering visa at doorstep also,” Karkaria said. Visa at doorstep means sending application units to homes and offices also along with accredited biometric kits.

Karkaria joined travel major Kuoni in 1991 and a decade later conceptualized and set up VFS. Over the years, he says the concept of holiday has changed in India. “Earlier holiday used to be a luxury. Today it is a necessity. Because of the pressure of the job, people need time with family. What used to be a 15-20 day annual vacation is now three to four short breaks with two domestic and as many international. Instead of the usual destinations, Indians are now going to places that are not run of the mill like Czech Republic, Cyprus and Croatia. They are looking at destinations far and beyond,” Karkaria, the first Asian CEO of Kuoni Group, said.

Technology is changing the way people travel. “We offer visas on mobiles via apps for some countries that yet do not require biometrics like the UAE and Brazil e-visa. But countries are increasingly opting for biometrics for security and to ensure that the person travelling is the one who got the visa and also to ensure that the person leaving is the same one who entered by matching biometrics,” he said.

“Technology is taking a leap and we will remain the innovator and first mover. Countries like UAE offer visas on a mobile phone. Today we are in 17 cities in India, we may go to 30 or 100, who knows. The focus will always be on efficiency, comfort and security,” he added.

Posted in Business / Investor Visa, Schengen Visa, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

What is the Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program

The Entrepreneur Start-Up Visa Program

What is the Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program

What is the Entrepreneur Start-up Visa Program

The Start-Up Visa program grants permanent residence to immigrant entrepreneurs while assisting them to become established in Canada.

The program encourages immigrant entrepreneurs to grow their companies in Canada. Successful applicants link with private sector organizations in Canada, where they can receive funding, guidance and expertise in opening and operating their enterprise in Canada.

Eligibility Requirements

The purpose of this program is to recruit innovative foreign national entrepreneurs who will create new jobs and drive economic growth.

In order to be eligible, applicants for a Start-Up Visa must meet the following requirements:

  1. Meet minimum language requirements in English or French (CLB 5 in all abilities);
  2. Have sufficient funds to settle in Canada;
  3. Plan to settle in a province other than the Province of Quebec;
  4. Pass Canadian security and medical clearances;
  5. Prove your business is supported through a designated organization; and
  6. Show your business meets ownership requirements.

No more than five foreign nationals may apply for permanent residence as part of the same business venture under the Start-Up Visa Program.

Investment Details

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) has designated a number of venture capital funds, angel investor groups, and business incubator organizations to participate in the Start-Up Visa program.

Successful applicants are required to secure a minimum investment for their Canadian start-up. If coming from a designated Canadian venture capital fund, the investment must be at least $200,000. If coming from an angel investor group, it should be at least $75,000.

Applicants do not need to secure any investment from a business incubator. However, applicants must be accepted into a Canadian business incubator program.

Applicants are not required to invest any of their own money. If their Canadian start-up is unsuccessful, individuals granted permanent residence through this program will retain their permanent resident status.

Evidence of Commitment

In order to demonstrate that the applicant has obtained support from either a venture capital fund, angel investor group, or business incubator, the investor organization must submit a completed Commitment Certificate directly to IRCC. This document includes information regarding the agreement between the applicant and the investment organization. Its purpose is to summarize the relevant details of the commitment between the investment organization and the applicant.

In addition, the applicant will receive a letter of support from the investment organization, which the applicant will need to submit with their application for permanent residence. If there are two or more applicants as part of the same business venture, the commitment by the investment organization can be conditional upon one or more “essential persons” receiving their permanent residence. An essential person is someone who has been specifically identified as essential to the business by the investment organization. If for any reason the application of an essential person is refused, the applications of all others included in the Commitment Certificate will also be refused.

If there are two or more applicants as part of the same business venture, the commitment by the investment organization can be conditional upon one or more “essential person(s)” receiving their permanent residence. An essential person is someone who has been specifically identified as essential to the business by the investment organization. If for any reason the application of an essential person is refused, the applications of all others included in the Commitment Certificate will also be refused.

Support from Multiple Organizations

Applicants may receive support from multiple designated organizations, known as syndication. In this instance, all entities involved must be identified. Together, the designated organizations will provide IRCC with a single Commitment Certificate and one Letter of Support will be provided to the applicant(s).

As soon as a designated venture capital firm invests in a business, the minimum total investment amount that must be invested in that business is $200,000, even if a designated angel group also invests in the same business.

If the business receives support from at least one designated angel group, but not designated venture capital groups, then the minimum total investment amount that must be invested in that business is $75,000.

Peer Review Process

In order to protect this pilot program against fraud, a peer review process has been included. It is designed to make sure that the deals made between the investment organizations and foreign national entrepreneurs are legitimate. An immigration officer may ask for a commitment to be independently assessed by a peer review panel. These panels have been established by an industry association that represents the type of investment organization making the commitment. For example, in the case of an angel investor group, the National Angel Capital Organization would be responsible for establishing the peer review panel.

Alternatively, if the group making the commitment is a venture capital fund, Canada’s Venture Capital and Private Equity Association would be responsible. While the peer review can be requested if the immigration officer believes that it would assist them in making a decision, they can also be initiated on a random basis. The assessment made by the peer review panel is not considered binding on the immigration officer. It will only confirm that the investment organization has carried out the proper checks and investigations according to industry standards. It will not provide an opinion on the wisdom or feasibility of the proposal in question.

The Peer review examines the level of due diligence that was performed by the designated organization and:

  1. ensures that the company has been or will be incorporated in Canada;
  2. ensures that business ownership has been verified and satisfies program requirements;
  3. ensures that the designated organization has considered the viability of the proposed business model, assessed the business venture’s management team and verified the ownership of the intellectual property;
  4. makes sure the focus of the business is on a high-growth potential product and/or service; and
  5. validates, for business incubator applicants, acceptance into an incubator program.

As this is a pilot program, it will only process a maximum of 2,750 applications per year. Moreover, the duration of the program is limited to five years. If this pilot program proves successful, the Canadian Government may choose to establish the Start-Up Visa Program permanently before the end of the five-year period.

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Skilled independent visa program allows to live and work in Australia

Skilled independent visa program allows to live and work in Australia

Skilled independent visa program allows to live and work in Australia

Skilled independent visa program allows to live and work in Australia

Skill Select – Australia’s skilled independent visa program allows you to live and work in Australia as a permanent resident.

Skilled visas can be one of the quickest ways to obtain permanent residency in Australia.

The Australian Skilled Visa program operates through the Department of Home Affair’s online ‘Skill Select‘ Service. Skill Select is a points-based immigration system designed to choose the best and brightest for migration to Australia.

Skill Select covers three separate visa subclasses:

  • Skilled Independent Subclass 189 visa
  • Skilled State or Territory Sponsored Subclass 190 visa
  • Skilled Regional (Provisional) Subclass 489 visa

The Skill Select program is a complex multi-stage process requiring a detailed understanding of the requirements and processes involved. Hammond Taylor offer the full range of services, from assessing your eligibility for a skilled visa to ensuring each stage of the process runs as smoothly and within as short a time as possible.

Our services include assessing your eligibility for and assisting with:

  • the Skills Assessment process (including applications to Trades Recognition Australia, VETASSESS, Engineers Australia, the Australian Computer Society, or other relevant skills assessing body);
  • Applications for State Nominations;
  • The Expression of Interest process;
  • The visa application process;
  • Liaising with the Department should any issues arise.

If you are not eligible for the Skill Select program, we will recommend other visa pathways, such as Employer Sponsored, Family, or Student visas, which may be suitable depending on your circumstances.

Distinguished Talent visas

Distinguished Talent visas are available to individuals with an outstanding record of global achievement. A very limited number of visas is granted each year for those with a global reputation in their field of expertise.

If you are world renowned expert in your field and you wish to live and reside in Australia on a permanent basis then the Distinguished Talent pathway may be the most suitable option.

Posted in Australia, Australian Spouse visa, Business / Investor Visa, Dependent Visa, Immigration, Study Abroad, Tourist Visa, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment