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London, United KingdomFri Oct 20 01:26am
Frequently Asked Questions

1.
General
Just what is it you do? Isn't it a matter of just filling in a form?
If I pay for a visa assessment service from Migration Matters, how do I know that I am getting value for money?
Can Migration Matters guarantee that I will obtain a visa?
How long does it take to get a visa?
2.
Australia
Can I apply for a new visa whilst I am in Australia, and my existing visa is about to run out?
What is the business skills category?
How can State/Territory sponsorship assist me?
What are the requirements for the Skilled Independent visa?
What is the points test?
3.
Canada
What is permanent residence in Canada?
What benefits do I have if I am a permanent resident of Canada?
How long does the Application process take in Canada?
How can I become a citizen of Canada?
Will I be required to attend an interview?
4.
New Zealand
Which Family Members Can I Include?
How Should I Lodge My Application?
How Is My Application Assessed?
Do I Need A Medical Certificate?
Do I Need A Police Certificate?
Do I Need To Meet English Language Requirements?
Do I Need To Pay a Migrant Levy?
Do I Need Sufficient Resources To Support Myself in New Zealand?
5.
United Kingdom
How can I obtain a U.K. work permit?
How do I qualify as a highly skilled migrant?
What evidence do I need to show to enter the UK as a business person?
What is the scheme for innovators?
How is the innovator scheme different from other business categories?
6.
United States of America
What is a U.S. visa and how can I obtain one?
What is USCIS?
What is an H-1B Visa?
What are the steps required to file an H-1B petition?
I have been offered a part time job. Do I still qualify for H-1B status?
What is the E-1 and E-2 visa?
What is the L visa?


General



Just what is it you do? Isn't it a matter of just filling in a form?


To fill in a form we generally charge around £5.00 + VAT. What we really do is represent you, the new migrant, to the Government of the country you wish to relocate to.

We are qualified Lawyers and or Registered Migration Agents in our respective countries with many years of experience. This means we can assist you in every aspect of, Australian immigration, Canadian immigration New Zealand immigration, UK immigration and US immigration. If you require a visa to work or travel in Australia, Canada New Zealand the United Kingdom or America then contact us today.

We persuade the Government that you meet all the requirements they have set out in law. We do this by the gathering and collating of evidence on your behalf to prove the criteria as set out by that Government. We present this evidence in such a way that it maximises your chances of success in your visa application. We have many years of experience of doing this and have all the necessary licenses, registrations and insurances as required by the Governments of the countries we deal with.

Immigration law is time sensitive and constantly changing. If done carelessly, things could go wrong easily and delay your departure for up to 18 months, could cause you to "break cover" with your current employer earlier than you want to or perhaps put back the sale of a house in a volatile market. We save you time and money by getting it right first time




If I pay for a visa assessment service from Migration Matters, how do I know
that I am getting value for money?



As Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents, we cannot accept payment for services we do not deliver. Furthermore, the system of requiring Australian Migration Agents to be registered is to protect you, you can verify our registration numbers at the following link:

http://www.themara.com.au/Online/ARSearch.asp?DeptID=140

The Migration Agent's Code of Conduct also outlines the type of work and how this work must be conducted in order for migration agents to be remunerated for their work.




Can Migration Matters guarantee that I will obtain a visa?


Neither Migration Matters nor any Immigration Lawyer or Registered Migration Agent can guarantee that you will receive a visa. By law, Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents are not permitted to guarantee you will be successful in gaining a visa. The decision to grant visas rests with the relevant countries Government Immigration Department. As Immigration Lawyers and Registered Migration Agents, we must provide professional and ethical advice. We are not permitted to make vexatious applications, that is, make an application for a visa on behalf of a client that has no chance of success.




How long does it take to get a visa?


Migration Matters cannot speculate on the length of time it may take to gain a visa. The processing time depends on variety of issues including, the visa type, the country you are a citizen of and how complicated your particular matter may be.

Migration Matters can give you an indication of approximate times for visa processing if the relevant countries Government Immigration Department extend this information to clients. Migration Matters consultants will ensure throughout the entire visa application process that you are kept up to date with regular reports explaining what stage your visa application is at.



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Australia



Can I apply for a new visa whilst I am in Australia, and my existing visa is
about to run out?



There are certain circumstances in which you may be able to apply for another type of visa to remain in Australia. In the interim period you may be able to apply for a Bridging visa, to ensure you remain lawfully in Australia. You should contact a Migration Matters consultant for professional advice if you find yourself in such circumstances.




What is the business skills category?


The Australian Migration Program provides for Business Skills entry for business owners, senior executives and investors. Since 1 March 2003, the majority of Business Skills entrants enter Australia initially on a Business Skills (Provisional) temporary visa for four years and, after satisfactory evidence of a specified level of business or investment activity, may apply for permanent residence.

The visa requires the establishment and management of genuine business activity in Australia.

There is also provision for high-calibre business migrants under the Business Talent visa to obtain direct permanent residence if they have high-level business attributes and are sponsored by a State or Territory government.




How can State/Territory sponsorship assist me?


The Australian Migration Program is actively encouraging Business Skills entrants to set up business in regional, rural or low growth areas of Australia. To assist this objective, State/Territory government-sponsorship is available for each visa category.

Lower level criteria apply to the sponsored categories at both the provisional and permanent residence stages.

State and Territory governments assist with regional economic development plans as well as a wide range of post arrival business-related services to assist Business Skills entrants in setting up their new business in Australia. Speak to a Migration Matters consultant for further information.




What are the requirements for the Skilled Independent visa?


The basic requirements for a Skilled-Independent category visa to migrate to Australia or obtain permanent residency in Australia you, or your spouse, must be able to satisfy basic requirements:
  • be under 45 years of age when you apply;
  • have sufficient English language ability for working in Australia;
  • have post-secondary (such as university or trade) qualifications;
  • have your skills assessed by the relevant assessing authority for your nominated occupation before you apply;
  • nominate an occupation which fits your skills and qualifications when you apply. Your nominated occupation must be on the Skilled Occupations List (SOL). If your nominated occupation is not on the list, you cannot apply;
    • If your nominated occupation is worth:
    • 60 points: you must have been in paid employment in any skilled occupation on the SOL for at least 12 of the 18 months before applying;
    • 40 or 50 points: you must have been in paid employment in any skilled occupation on the SOL for at least two of the three years before applying;
Please note, you may not need to meet the work experience requirement if you have completed an Australian post-secondary qualification less than 6 months before lodging your visa application. Please contact a Migration Matters consultant for further information.




What is the points test?


For some categories of visa, you must pass a points test. The pass mark changes from time to time, please contact a Migration Matters consultant as they will be able to assist you with any queries regarding the current points required. Points can be awarded for:
  • skill,
  • age,
  • English language ability,
  • specific work experience,
  • occupation in demand (and job offer),
  • Australian qualifications,
  • spouse skills,
  • foreign language skills or Australian work experience or capital to invest in Australia, and
  • relationship (for Skilled Australian sponsored only).
Points are awarded once the basic requirements have been satisfied. You must gain sufficient points to reach the pass mark applicable to your application at the time it is assessed (not when the form is lodged). Migration Matters can assist you in completing an assessment regarding whether you will qualify for enough points, to either reach the pass mark, or be placed in the pool for a General Skilled visa to Australia.



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Canada



What is permanent residence in Canada?


Obtaining "permanent residence" or "permanent resident status" in Canada is also known as "immigrating to Canada" or becoming a "landed immigrant". The successful end result of the Immigration process is the issuance of an immigrant visa. Persons to whom an immigrant visa has been issued must present themselves to an Immigration officer at one of Canada's official ports of entry in order to become landed immigrants.




What benefits do I have if I am a permanent resident of Canada?


Canadian permanent residents/landed immigrants and citizens enjoy all of the same rights and privileges (i.e. free health care, free elementary and secondary education, etc.) with three (3) exceptions: Permanent residents cannot vote; Permanent residents cannot hold a Canadian passport; Permanent residents can be deported for certain criminal convictions




How long does the Application process take in Canada?


Processing times depend on: the Canadian visa post through which you are applying; whether an Immigration interview is deemed necessary in your case; the complexity of your case; how well your case is presented; and the existing caseload in a Canadian visa post at a given time.

Nobody can promise you a specific processing timeframe and hence do not choose a law firm on the basis of how quickly they promise your case will be processed. Lawyers can give estimates, however, they CANNOT guarantee processing times as processing times are ALWAYS subject to change WITHOUT advance notice from the authorities.




How can I become a citizen of Canada?


Only after 3 years of being a permanent resident/landed immigrant of Canada, are you eligible to apply for Citizenship. Our Lawyers will attend to your application for Permanent Residence, the first step towards your new life in Canada




Will I be required to attend an interview?


When assessing an Application for Permanent Residence in Canada in the independent/skilled worker category, Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials must satisfy themselves of several factors, including but not limited to: your English or French language ability; your educational qualifications; your ability to perform the job duties and responsibilities of your occupation(s) as established by Citizenship and Immigration Canada through your work experience, to date; your adaptability, resourcefulness and motivation to successfully establish yourself in Canada; and your good character.

If, upon reviewing your Application package, Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials are satisfied that the documents filed address and satisfy each one of these factors, the recommendation can be made that your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada be approved without the need for a personal interview, thereby expediting the processing of your Application for Permanent Residence in Canada.

Please note that our Lawyers make every effort to have your Immigration interview waived, however, an Immigration interview may still be required because Citizenship and Immigration Canada officials randomly select very qualified applicants for "Quality Assurance Interviews" whereby the Department takes the opportunity to satisfy itself that it is making the right decisions as to which cases merit waivers of interview.



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New Zealand



Which Family Members Can I Include?


The following applicant's may be included in applications:
  • Principal Applicant
  • Partner
  • Dependent Children
  • Custody of Dependent Children Under 16
  • Adopted Children
  • Principal Applicant
The principal applicant is the person declared to be the principal applicant on the residence application form; and the person assessed against the New Zealand policy criteria.

Partner
Your partner may be included in your residence application if you are legally married or in an interdependent partnership akin to a marriage.

For the purposes of Partnership policy, you and your partner (whether heterosexual or same sex) must be in a genuine and stable relationship. For Residence to be granted, you must have been living together, in your genuine and stable relationship for a minimum of 12 months.

Note: If you are in a polygamous partnership, you may include only one partner in your application for residence.

Dependent Children
You and/or your partner's dependent children may be included in your residence application if they are totally or substantially reliant on you and/or your partner for financial support (whether living with you or not) and they are:
  • aged 17 to 24 with no child(ren) of their own and single;
  • or aged 16 or younger and single.
If you and your partner are divorced or separated, you may include your dependent child under 16 only if you have the right to remove your dependent child from its country of residence

Adopted Children
Children who have been legally adopted, or who have been adopted according to cultural custom are regarded as members of the family into which they have been adopted.




How Should I Lodge My Application?


Your application must include all required documentation to be accepted for processing. Therefore, it is important that you read and understand the information available, especially the relevant Application Guides and any application checklists prepared by the New Zealand Immigration Service Office processing your application. Migration Matters is able to assist you with all requirements including preparing the application and submitting it to the New Zealand Immigration Service Office for processing.

It is important that you supply information that demonstrates you meet the residence policy. There is an application fee for all categories of residence application. Outside New Zealand, fees are usually paid in local currency. These fees are not refundable and can change without notice.




How Is My Application Assessed?


The New Zealand Immigration Service assesses applications in accordance with the requirements of the Immigration Act 1987 (NZ), and the Government residence policy at the time the applications are made. If your application is declined, you may ask the independent Residence Review Board to review the decision.




Do I Need A Medical Certificate?


You and any accompanying family members must be of an acceptable standard of health to apply for residence in New Zealand. This is to ensure that you:
  • are not likely to be a danger to public health; and
  • are not likely to be a burden on the health services; and
  • are fit for the purpose of entry.
In order to prove that you and any accompanying family are of an acceptable standard of health, you and each member of your family are required to undergo medical examinations and tests in order to complete the New Zealand Immigration Service Medical and X-ray Certificate Form.

Your Medical and X-ray Certificate Forms must be less than 3 months old at the time you lodge your residence application. In some countries, the New Zealand Immigration Service selects medical panels of registered medical practitioners and/or radiologists. If you and any family are resident in one of these countries, a panel member must complete your Medical and X-ray Certificate Forms. You may either refer to the list of countries using panel doctors or consult the nearest branch of the New Zealand Immigration Service for details of the appropriate panel doctor for your area.




Do I Need A Police Certificate?


You and any accompanying family members must be of good character to apply for residence in New Zealand. In order to prove that you and any accompanying family are of good character, you are required to provide, for everyone 17 years of age and over:
  • police certificates from your country of citizenship; and
  • police certificates from any country you have been in for 12 months or more (whether in one or more visits) in the 10 years prior to lodging your application.
These police certificates must be less than 6 months old at the time you lodge your residence application. You and your accompanying family members must be of good character, whichever category you apply under.

Unless a special direction under section 7 of the Immigration Act is given, a person will be refused residence in New Zealand on character grounds if:
  • They have ever been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for five years or more;
  • They have been convicted and sentenced to imprisonment for 12 months or more during the preceding 10 years;
  • They have ever been deported from New Zealand or any other country;
  • There is reason to believe they may be associated with criminal groups,or may constitute a danger to New Zealand.




Do I Need To Meet English Language Requirements?


Only applicants under the following categories are required to meet a minimum standard of English Language;

Skilled Migrant Category
Entrepreneur
Employees of Relocating Businesses (ERB)
Investor
Long term Business Visa (LTBV)
Samoan Quota Scheme
Pacific Access Category
Family Category Applicants
If you are the partner and/or dependent child of a successful principal applicant under the Skilled Migrant Category or the previous General Skills category, Business Immigration Policy or the previous Business Investor category, and you: would have been eligible for inclusion in that successful application; and later apply for residence under the Family category, you will be required to meet the English language requirement as if you are a non-principal applicant in a Skilled Migrant Category or Business Immigration Policy application.

If you would have been eligible for inclusion in an earlier Skilled Migrant Category or previous General Skills category application, you will be subject to the English language policy for a Skilled Migrant Category application applying at the time your application under the Family policy is made.

If you would have been eligible for inclusion in an earlier Business Investor category or Business Immigration Policy application, you will be subject to the English language policy for a Business Immigration Policy application applying at the time your application under the Family policy is made.




Do I Need To Pay a Migrant Levy?


All successful principal applicants and accompanying family members under the following categories are required to pay a migrant levy as follows:

Category Migrant levy per successful applicant (NZ$) Maximum payable for family members included in a single application (NZ$)

Family Category* 125 500
Family Quota* 125 500
Pacific Access Category 125 500
Skilled Migrant Category or previous General Skills category 235 940
Business Investor Category 235 940
Employees of Relocating Business Category 235 940
Residence from Work Category 235 940
*This applies to all categories of residence application, except the following:
  • Refugees, and
  • Citizens of Samoa.
Do I Need Sufficient Resources To Support Myself in New Zealand?


You are expected to have sufficient personal resources to maintain yourself and your dependants for the first 24 months as a resident in New Zealand.

When applying for residence in New Zealand, it is a requirement to declare in your residence application form (Section E) that you have these personal resources for the first 24 months of your stay in New Zealand.

The content of this declaration will be made available to Work and Income New Zealand (WINZ) should you apply for an emergency benefit.

The following link will give you further details regarding cost of living in New Zealand:

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/NR/rdonlyres/87051CDF-4D27-4A35-B122-
B43BE9F866FC/0/nzfactsweb.pdf


Source of information on this page:

http://www.immigration.govt.nz/Migrate/#Which+Category+Can+I+Apply+For



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United Kingdom



How can I obtain a U.K. work permit?


A work permit is the most common vehicle for taking up employment in the U.K. Again, an applicant must have a firm job offer from an employer and the employer must initiate the sponsorship process for the employee. We can manage the entire process for the employer once the offer of employment has been made and accepted. Generally, a work permit can be obtained for most positions; however, there is an advertisement requirement that the employer must comply with before applying to the Home Office.




How do I qualify as a highly skilled migrant?


There is a points-based immigration scheme. Points are scored in five main areas:
  • educational qualifications;
  • work experience;
  • past earnings;
  • your achievement in your chosen field; and
  • your husband's, wife's or unmarried partner's achievements.
You need to score 65 points or more to qualify as a highly skilled migrant. Self-employed General Practitioners qualified to practice in the UK may also apply under the Highly Skilled Migrant Programme.




What evidence do I need to show to enter the UK as a business person?


You need to provide a detailed business plan. This should include:
  • the object of the business
  • evidence that you have at your disposal in the UK at least £200,000 of your own money for investment in the business
  • evidence that you will create at least 2 full time jobs for people already settled in the UK and details of their employment conditions
  • the projected opening balance sheet following the start of the business.
If you are joining or taking over an established business, you must show audited accounts for at least 2 previous years.

You also need to show that you can live in the UK without help from public funds.




What is the scheme for innovators?


The scheme is aimed at entrepreneurs with new and creative ideas who want to set up a business in the United Kingdom, especially in the areas of science and technology, including e-commerce. We wish to attract and select entrepreneurs whose business proposals will lead to exceptional economic benefits for the United Kingdom.




How is the innovator scheme different from other business categories?


It is different for these reasons:
  • you do not need to invest a set amount of money;
  • someone else can give you money to set up your business; and
  • your proposals must bring exceptional economic benefits to the United Kingdom.



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United States of America



What is a U.S. visa and how can I obtain one?


A visa is a photo i.d. issued outside the U.S. which allows you to enter the U.S. on a temporary or permanent basis. The two main types of visas are immigrant visas (also known as green cards), which let you live and work indefinitely inside the U.S., and non-immigrant visas, which allow you to live and/or work in the U.S. on a temporary basis. There are a variety of ways to obtain a visa, but the most common are through a U.S.-based employer sponsor or a family member who is a U.S. citizen. Most work visas require you to have a firm job offer with a U.S. company before applying. If you are a highly-skilled professional, it may be easier for you to find work in the U.S. than if you are an unskilled worker




What is USCIS?


USCIS stands for U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services. It is the agency of the U.S. government principally dealing with foreign citizens in the United States. This includes giving it jurisdiction over many matters relevant to H-1B and H-4 aliens. Prior to March of 2003, the USCIS was called the Immigration and Naturalization Service (INS). For a brief period it went by the name Bureau of Citizenship and Immigration Services (BCIS). It is also sometimes referred to simply as CIS. For purposes of this web site, we use the current accepted name of U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services or USCIS.




What is an H-1B Visa?


An H-1B visa is a visa that allows entry into the U.S. in H-1B status. H-1B status is a non-immigrant status for alien professionals, which allows them to work in the U.S. for a temporary period of time.




What are the steps required to file an H-1B petition?


  1. Obtain a job offer from an employer located in the U.S.;
  2. Obtain the prevailing wage for your job from a State Employment Security Agency or a private survey;
  3. File a Labor Condition Application and obtain approval from the Department of Labor;
  4. Complete USCIS's H-1B forms, and include a petition letter provided by the employer;
  5. Submit a completed and signed H-1B petition to the USCIS.
I have been offered a part time job. Do I still qualify for H-1B status?


Yes. As long as your work hours are at least 50% of the normal full time hours in your industry and you satisfy all other requirements for an H-1B, you are eligible to receive a part time H-1B visa.




What is the E-1 and E-2 visa?


The E category is designed for use by business owners, business managers, and employees who are required to stay in the United States for prolonged periods of time to oversee or work for an enterprise that is engaged in trade between the U.S. and a foreign country (E-1) or that represents a substantial investment in the United States (E-2).

The E category exists to give effect to various treaties between the United States and foreign states which provide for reciprocal benefits to nationals of each country who conduct trade between the two countries or who invest in the other country.

An individual who obtains E-status is granted an initial period of two years to remain in the United States. However, this period can be extended almost indefinitely so long as the E status holder declares that he or she will depart the United States when the period of authorized stay, including any unlimited extensions, terminates.





What is the L visa?


When a multi-national company is developing a new market in another country, it may become necessary to have some employees with specialized knowledge to work in the newly established office. The availability of an experienced employee with specialized and proprietary knowledge is often the determinative factor for the success of the new office. Large multi-national companies would also like to have the flexibility to transfer their employees without being limited to any particular employee.

To facilitate the needs of intra-company transfers by multi-national companies, the L visa was specifically designed. However, smaller and even starting up companies can also take advantage of the L visa for its business needs as long as the requirements are met. USCIS will scrutinize L visa petitions filed by a less well-known company more closely. Professional consultation with an experienced immigration lawyer is strongly recommended for a small multi-national company.





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