Wednesday, February 27, 2008


Modernizing the Immigration System

Advantage Canada recognized that in a modern global economy, Canada’s immigration policies need to be closely aligned with our labour market needs. Budget 2007 took action to make the immigration system more responsive to the new labour market realities in Canada. The Temporary Foreign Worker Program was streamlined to enable employers to bring in workers more quickly to address their immediate labour shortages. The Government also introduced the new Canadian Experience Class to expedite the process for skilled temporary foreign workers and foreign students with Canadian credentials and work experience to remain in Canada as permanent residents, under certain conditions.Canada must maintain the ability to compete globally for the best and the brightest by creating the optimal conditions to attract immigrants who can contribute fully to Canada’s prosperity. A well-managed and efficient immigration system is critical to achieving this objective. The Government will continue to modernize Canada’s immigration system.Budget 2008 builds on Advantage Canada priorities with additional measures to improve the immigration system’s capacity and flexibility to respond to Canada’s dynamic and evolving labour market needs. Concrete measures will be initiated to expedite the processing of permanent resident applications. Combined with the recent improvements to the Temporary Foreign Worker Program, the expansion of the Provincial Nominee Program and the new Canadian Experience Class announced in Budget 2007, these measures will ensure that the labour needs of employers in all provinces and territories are met in a more timely fashion.To complement these actions, changes will be made to the Immigration and Refugee Protection Act to improve the immigration process. It is not fair for prospective immigrants to wait for years before being considered, and it is not desirable to wait that long for the immigrants the country needs. The measures proposed in Budget 2008 will expedite the processing of permanent residents to ensure that skilled immigrants can get to Canada when their skills are in demand. The proposed legislative changes will provide flexibility for concrete measures, as required, to more effectively manage the future growth in the inventory, such as addressing the number of applications accepted and processed in a year. The end result will be reduced wait times and improved service. These changes will allow Canada to take the first steps towards establishing a "just-in-time" competitive immigration system which will quickly process skilled immigrants who can make an immediate contribution to the economy.Action will also be taken to help address the growing demand at Canadian missions abroad for temporary resident visas for students and skilled workers. In particular, the Government will focus on helping post-secondary educational institutions attract foreign students and on facilitating their arrival in Canada. For example, an online application system, as well as other measures to improve service and speed up processing, will be implemented for student visas. These initiatives, combined with new Canada Graduate Scholarships for Canadian and international students, will enhance Canada’s ability to compete with other countries to attract and retain the best foreign students.Taken together, these initiatives will ensure the ongoing integrity of the immigration program. They will enable Canada to respond to growing demand and to admit more highly-skilled immigrants and their families, including foreign students. At the same time, Canada’s social and humanitarian objectives will be preserved and continue to be balanced with Canada’s labour market needs.Budget 2008 provides $22 million over the next two years, rising to $37 million per year by 2012–13, to implement this next critical stage of modernizing the immigration system.Improving Canada’s Borders
Our two-way trade with the world is equivalent to approximately two-thirds of our gross domestic product, and one out of five jobs is directly linked to trade. On a typical day, 266,000 people, 18,200 trucks, 77,900 courier shipments and 5,000 marine containers enter into Canada. These numbers reflect the increased mobility of people and goods in today’s world. This openness brings important benefits to Canada’s economy and society, but it also presents a number of risks.Given the importance of trade to our continued prosperity, our borders have to facilitate trade, travel and commerce, while protecting us from external threats. This is why Budget 2008 is investing in initiatives to:Ensure that the Canada Border Services Agency (CBSA) has the resources it needs to deliver innovative border services given current economic realities and a new security environment.Provide Canadians with access to better and more secure travel documents to cross international borders, particularly our border with the United States.Ensure the integrity of Canada’s immigration program so that our borders are secure and our communities are safe.Enhance the security of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region.Address obstacles to cross-border trade through the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

Strengthened Front-Line Capacity

Better borders start with a stronger on-the-ground presence. The CBSA provides a critical front-line contribution to the prosperity and security of Canada by managing the access of people and goods to and from the country. Budget 2008 commits $75 million over the next two years to ensure that the CBSA has the resources it needs to deliver efficient and secure border services at more than 1,200 domestic and international locations. These funds will increase the number of on-site border services officers at key border installations in order to meet evolving operational demands resulting from increased trade and travel.

World-Class Travel Documents

Better borders also require better travel documents that address concerns over document vulnerability. Budget 2008 takes the steps needed to introduce a higher-security electronic passport by 2011. The validity period of the new passport will be doubled to 10 years. Canada will join other countries that have taken steps to strengthen the security of their passports.Budget 2008 also invests $14 million over the next two years to expand the joint Canada/United States NEXUS program by adding dedicated infrastructure, increasing the number of users from 160,000 to 350,000 and better targeting frequent travellers. The NEXUS program has been successful in reducing border transit times. Expediting crossings for low-risk frequent travellers will also free up resources to improve the clearance of regular traffic, thereby improving border security and reducing border congestion.Finally, Budget 2008 provides $6 million over the next two years for federal activities to support provinces and territories planning to introduce enhanced driver’s licences. Enhanced driver’s licences are optional licences that denote citizenship and are expected to be recognized as a valid travel document for land entry into the United States under the Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative. The United States is the primary travel and business destination for many Canadians who do not hold a passport, and many Americans visit and tour Canada every year without carrying a passport. The development of enhanced driver’s licences by provinces, territories and U.S. states is intended to provide Canadians and Americans who do not hold a passport with an accessible and convenient alternative. British Columbia and the state of Washington are currently deploying and testing enhanced driver’s licences. Other provinces and U.S. states are also in the process of developing enhanced driver’s licences for their citizens.Taken together, these investments will facilitate the secure movement of Canadians across international borders by providing access to reliable and accessible travel documents, in line with evolving international standards. These investments will also ensure a smooth transition to the U.S. Western Hemisphere Travel Initiative.

More Secure Borders

Canada continues to be a destination of choice for millions of individuals seeking to stay temporarily to travel, work or study. While our economy and society are enriched by the movement of people across our borders, it also poses a number of risks.Border security remains a priority for Canadians. Criminals are increasingly more sophisticated and well funded, including those who engage in document fraud to illegally move people or goods across borders. Further to biometric field trials in Canada that were successfully completed in 2007, the Government will introduce the use of biometric data, such as fingerprints and live photographs, in its visa-issuing process to accurately verify identity and travel documents of foreign nationals who enter Canada. This initiative will enhance the integrity and efficiency of the border by preventing criminals from entering Canada, and facilitating the processing of legitimate applicants. Budget 2008 provides $26 million over two years for this initiative. Canada will join other countries such as Australia, the United States and the United Kingdom, which have recognized the value of using biometrics in their immigration and border processes.

Marine Security—Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway

The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region is a key economic region with several international bridges and tunnels. It is a high marine security priority for both Canada and the United States. This area is also heavily travelled by both small pleasure craft and large commercial vessels.In 2005, an interim Marine Security Operations Centre in the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region was established. Budget 2008 provides $15 million over two years to establish a permanent facility. The operations centre will help departments and agencies work collaboratively to collect, analyze and share information on marine and transborder traffic that is important to the security of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region. A permanent operations centre will also allow representatives from provincial/municipal and United States law enforcement agencies to participate.

A Stronger North American Partnership

The North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA) has helped make North America one of the most dynamic and prosperous economic regions in the world. Advantage Canada, the Government’s long-term economic plan, recognizes that Canadian companies must continue to profit from the commercial benefits of NAFTA, particularly as they strive to compete in North American and world markets.In August 2007, the Prime Minister met with the Presidents of the United States and Mexico in Montebello, Quebec, to discuss priorities under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America. The Government is addressing these priorities by allocating $29 million over the next two years towards:Greater efficiency at the Canada-U.S. border through better cross-border communication systems and improved wait-time information.The future elimination of duplicate baggage screening on connecting flights in North America.Increased regulatory cooperation on projects in the chemical, automotive and transportation sectors.Greater protection of the North American food supply through vulnerability assessments.Improved trilateral cooperation on energy research and achieving compatibility of energy efficiency standards for key consumer products.These investments will address consumer needs, increase business competitiveness and enhance North American security. They will be sourced from the Security and Prosperity Partnership allocation made in Budget 2006.Our borders have to facilitate trade, travel and commerce while protecting us from external threats. This is why Budget 2008 is investing in borders by:Committing $75 million over two years to ensure the Canada Border Services Agency has the resources it needs to effectively manage the border.Introducing a higher-security electronic passport by 2011.Doubling the validity period of Canadian passports to 10 years when this electronic passport is launched.Providing $14 million over two years to expand the jointCanada-United States NEXUS program for low-risk frequent travellers across the border.Providing $6 million over two years for federal activities to support provinces and territories planning to introduce enhanced driver’s licences.Allocating $26 million over two years to introduce the use of biometric data into visas issued to foreign nationals entering Canada.Providing $15 million over two years to establish a permanent facility to enhance the security of the Great Lakes/St. Lawrence Seaway region.Allocating $29 million over two years to meet priorities under the Security and Prosperity Partnership of North America.

Tuesday, February 26, 2008


Caterina Naegeli
Buergi Naegeli Rechtsanwaelte

The abolition of the so called “Lex Koller” law would mean that foreign nationals will be able to purchase residential property in Switzerland without being subject to a complicated authorization procedure. But although the federal council of Switzerland thinks that the Lex Koller is not needed any more, the abolition is not yet ripe for decision.

The “Swiss Federal Law on Acquisition of Real Estate by Persons Resident Abroad” - to give the Lex Koller its full title - was originally designed to protect Switzerland against an “inundation” of foreign nationals since property purchases were restricted by many prerequisites. Another intended effect was to prevent the country side from becoming overdeveloped. But the demands for vacation homes only remain high in a number of tourist regions and to prevent the country side in those areas from environmental damages Spatial Planning Law gives the better opportunities and is a more appropriate solution than the Lex Koller regulations, because it will be largely immaterial whether vacation homes are in the hands of foreign or Swiss National. So the Federal Office of Justice has decided that with the exception of a few communities the law no longer serves any purpose and should therefore be abolished. The federal council of Switzerland agreed and adopted the message for the abolition on the 04. July 2007.

But still the abolition is not ripe for decision. The parliament has to agree and there lays the problem. The committee for land planning of the parliament rebuffed the federal council and applied in November 2007 for the rejection of the abolition decision and the flanked arrangements with regard to the land planning to the federal council of Switzerland. On principle they do agree that the Lex Koller is not needed any more to restrict the foreign ownership, but they want more gripping measures against real estate speculation and the prevalence of building up second homes (the so called “cold beds”). Especially the introduction of a minimum residence duration must be considered and other possibilities to solve the second home problem in tourist regions.

The list of tourist areas with the highest percentage of second and vacation homes is topped by St. Moritz, Flims/Laax, Verbier and Goms. Some areas have focused so heavily on tourism that four out of five homes stand empty for a large part of the year. While the very high density of vacation homes does generate income, it also has its drawbacks for the local population and the countryside. The infrastructure is often geared toward the peak season and at other times fails to meet the needs of the local population.

The draft now must be overworked and the new one is to be checked together with the tandem-initiatives of environmentalist Franz Weber “Save the Swiss ground”. So the good news for anyone who is not Swiss and interested in buying property in Switzerland is that that Swiss government still wants to abolish the limitation on acquisition of real estate. The bad news is that this abolition will not take place in the next years and in principle not until three years after the revised Spatial Planning Law takes effect. As far as timing is concerned, the Lex Koller is unlikely to be abolished before 2011.

Friday, February 22, 2008


Ottawa to drop demand of visas for Polish visitors

From Friday's Globe and Mail
February 22, 2008 at 3:50 AM EST

OTTAWA — Polish citizens will soon no longer need visas to visit Canada, a source in Ottawa said.
According to the source, Citizenship and Immigration Minister Diane Finley will announce next week that Canada is lifting the visa requirement for Polish citizens - something that Polish Canadian groups have spent years advocating.
"They're saying, 'We're a Western liberal democracy, we're with you in Afghanistan ... why are we not being treated like other countries?' " the source said.
A spokesperson with Citizenship and Immigration Canada did not confirm that an announcement is imminent.
The lifting of visa requirements for Polish citizens would be the latest in a series of such changes in Canadian visa policies for Eastern European countries. In late October of last year, Ms. Finley announced that citizens of the Czech Republic and the Republic of Latvia no longer require a temporary resident visa to visit Canada. (On the other hand, citizens of such countries as Hungary, Romania and Bulgaria do require visas.)
In all, about 50 countries are exempt from Canadian visa requirements.
The relationship between Canada and Poland came into the public spotlight late last year, after the death of Polish national Robert Dziekanski in Vancouver. Mr. Dziekanski died within minutes of being tasered at Vancouver International Airport last October. His death sparked myriad inquiries in Canada, and prompted Canada's ambassador to Poland, David Preston, to express his "deep sympathy" to Polish officials.
Poland is Canada's largest economic partner in Central and Eastern Europe, with more than $1.2-billion in annual trade.
As a member of the North Atlantic Treaty Organization, the country has also dispatched more than 1,000 troops to Afghanistan.

Sunday, February 17, 2008


Nazi war criminal extradited to Italy to face life sentence

Linda Nguyen
Canwest News Service
Friday, February 15, 2008

Michael Seifert, 83, leaves court after attending his extradition hearing in 2003. Seifert, convicted in absentia in 2000 in Italy for war crimes ranging from murder to torture and rape when he was an SS prison guard, has been ordered extradited to Italy.
A Canadian man who was convicted of brutally torturing and killing nine people at a Nazi prison camp more than 60 years ago has been extradited to Italy.
Michael Seifert, 83, boarded a commercial plane bound for Italy at Pearson International Airport in Toronto at 3 p.m. ET, confirmed Alain Cherette, a spokesman for Canada's Department of Justice.
"Mr. Seifert was flown to Toronto and from there, he was handed over to Italian authorities,"he said Friday.
Seifert is set to face a life sentence in Italy where, seven years ago in an Italian military court, he was convicted in absentia of war crimes committed during his time as an SS guard in the Second World War.
The crimes took place in a Nazi prison camp in Bolzano, Italy, from 1944 to 1945.
Nicknamed the "Beast of Bolzano," Seifert was found guilty of being involved with nine killings and abuses at the police transit camp that imprisoned Jews, Italian resistance fighters and others, some of whom ended up being taken to Nazi concentration camps.
While working as a guard, Seifert was responsible for supervising prisoner work and performing prisoner rollcalls. He also took prisoners to trains destined for Nazi death camps. He got the job after he left Ukraine at the start of the war.
In his defence, Seifert has said he was only at the camp because he was serving a sentence there for a sexual assault involving another Ukrainian guard. He's always denied involvement in the atrocities and killings.
Nonetheless, Italy issued an extradition order for the former Ukrainian national in May 2002.
Seifert had been living in British Columbia since arriving in Canada in 1951.
He had been fighting his extradition through B.C. Supreme Court for the past six years.
Last year, the court ruled that since Seifert lied about his birthplace and his former occupation when he was applying for Canadian citizenship, it can be revoked.
Seifert argued he only lied to Canadian immigration authorities because he would be killed if his former native Ukraine found out he was emigrating.
Last month, the Supreme Court of Canada denied his last appeal.
"He was at the end of his options," Cherette said. "That cleared the way for his extradition. It's the end of due process. He's used every legal tool that was at his disposal and that was it."
Seifert had been held in custody in a Vancouver-area prison until he was removed Thursday by RCMPofficers who escorted him to Toronto, Cherette said.
Seifert was handed over to two Italian officers fromInterpol at the Toronto airport Friday prior to boarding his afternoon flight.
Cherette adds that it is now up to Italian authorities to decide what they are going to do with him.
Italian news agency Agenzia Giornalistica Italia reported Friday that Seifert will be transferred to a military hospital in Verona, where his war crimes took place.
Bernie Farber, head of the Canadian Jewish Congress, said Seifert's extradition sends a clear message the Canadian government is taking a hard stance on Nazi-era defendants.
"This is excellent news. It's been a long time coming," he said "Sadly, other governments had turned a blind eye to the murderers around us. Hopefully this signals a change in attitude in Canada."
Farber said Holocaust survivors living in Canada can finally feel some kind of justice.
"It brings great solace and great comfort to Holocaust survivors who came here and discovered sadly that they were sharing their new-found land with their victimizers. It's been a terrible time for them,"Farber said. "Justice is finally being done."

Wednesday, February 13, 2008


Bloomberg, one of the world's major news services, has launched its U.S. health care law publication and included a feature article by Greg Siskind.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


Gary Eisenberg
Eisenberg & Associates

South Africa’s immigration system is under attack. Its political environment is beginning to swirl into uncertainty as the leader elect of the African National Congress, South Africa’s controlling political party, Jacob Zuma may see his chances to succeed Thabo Mbeki as President of the country destroyed by a conviction on charges of corruption. Past charges of corruption and rape have dissipated after unsuccessful repeated efforts of the State to prosecute him.

The Minister of Home Affairs herself, N. Mapisa-Nqakula, is a captain standing with her hands behind her back whistling a silent song behind the wheel of a sinking ship. She looks into the distance understanding that she will be displaced in April 2009 elections. The Minister’s Immigration Amendment Bill which had as its principal purpose the refinement and correction of the current Immigration Act has been wallowing in dust and neglect at Parliament for the past two years without more. Current immigration legislation currently hobbles along waiting for a cure.

No matter the substance of South Africa’s immigration law, delivery systems within the Department of Home Affairs are dying or have collapsed. Mavuso Msimang, installed as Director-General of the Department of Home Affairs one year ago, has thus far achieved nothing to stem the tide. While Msimang is a man of exceptional bearing and ability in the parastatal world, his ability to take charge of the Department’s 70,000 personnel scattered throughout South Africa and the world, has simply dissipated into smoke. Msimang simply does not have a management team capable and large enough to make any difference. The level of ineptness and corruption within the Department remain at an all-time high, historically unprecedented.

Despite this malaise, Eisenberg & Associates is busier attending to the immigration requirements of foreigners than ever before in its history. It appears that South Africa continues to draw foreigners, for pleasure and business alike. The World Cup scheduled to take place in 2010 is the horizon for investors, and those foreigners in the construction and engineering fields encouraged to participate in the development schemes in support of World Cup developments (transportation infrastructure, stadiums and housing). The Natal, Eastern Cape and Western Cape Provinces continue to attract foreigners into its coastal areas like never before. There seems to be a palpable heartbeat emerging from all of this, like an African drum, beckoning the return of South African émigrés and the inflow of foreigners, as well as refugee seekers, swelling South Africa’s population beyond the limits of any governmental vision adopted a decade ago.

Friday, February 8, 2008


*The following post is presented in Spanish for the benefit of our many Spanish speaking blog visitors.

Marla Bojorge
Bojorge & Associates

¿Es ud. Español de origen de 65 años o más y que por motivos económicos, laborales o de cualquier otra naturaleza estableció su residencia en el extranjero?
Tiene derecho a solicitar en España una prestación por razón de necesidad si cumple una serie de requisitos

El Real Decreto 8/2008, de 11 de enero, por el que se regula la prestación de necesidad a favor de los españoles residentes en el exterior y retornados y la Ley 40/ 2006, de 14 de diciembre, del Estatuto de la ciudadanía en el exterior se configuran como el marco básico para establecer , en cumplimiento de lo dispuesto en el artículo 42 de la Constitución, una política integral de emigración y de retorno que salvaguarde los derechos económicos y sociales de los ciudadanos españoles que residen en el exterior y para facilitar la integración social y laboral de los retornados.

Como novedad se equipara en la misma condición de derechos a los cónyuges o parejas de hecho , de esta manera se corrige la situación de desigualdad existente hasta ahora.

El presente reglamento tiene como fin proteger el derecho a percibir una prestación a los españoles residentes en el exterior que habiéndose trasladado al exterior por razones económicas, laborales o cualquier otras y habiendo cumplido 65 años o estando incapacitado para el trabajo, se encuentran en situación de necesidad por carecer de recursos suficientes para cubrir sus necesidades. El importe de la prestación vendrá determinado por cada uno de los países de forma objetiva, tomando como referencia la realidad socioeconómica del pais de residencia.

¿Cuáles son las novedades?

La inclusión de la incapacidad dentro de la prestación por necesidad otorga a esta prestación la consideración de derecho subjetivo superando el concepto de ayuda existencial que tenía hasta el momento.

Se establecen los mismos requisitos para acceder a la ayuda existencial en sus dos modalidades.

Recoge de forma expresa los criterios a tener en cuenta para el cómputo de las rentas o ingresos imputables al solicitante.

Amplía el concepto de unidad familiar.

Delimita los conceptos de extinción del derecho

Delimita los requisitos para evitar o limitar las posibilidades de fraude

Se define la situación de incapacidad absoluta para todo trabajo, y se regula el procedimiento para su valoración y revisión

Se articula el procedimiento para garantizar la cobertura de la asistencia sanitaria de los residentes en el exterior.

Se recoge la pensión asistencial por ancianidad para los españoles de origen que retornen a España.

Se reconoce su derecho a la asistencia sanitaria siempre que no lo tuvieran por otros títulos, derecho que se extiende a los pensionistas españoles residentes en el exterior en sus desplazamientos temporales a nuestro país.

Se incluye la asistencia sanitaria para los trabajadores por cuenta ajena españoles de origen residentes en el exterior que se desplacen temporalmente a España y a los familiares a su cargo

¿Quiénes son los beneficiarios de la prestación por razón de necesidad?

-Los españoles de origen que por razón nacidos en territorio nacional , que por motivos económicos, laborales o de cualquier otra naturaleza, salieron del país y establecieron su residencia en el extranjero.

-Los españoles de origen no nacidos en España que acrediten un período de residencia en nuestro país de 10 años previo a la solicitud de la prestación, siempre que ostentaran durante todo ese período la nacionalidad española

¿Cuáles son los requisitos de la prestación por razón de necesidad?

a) Haber cumplido sesenta y cinco años de edad en la fecha de la solicitud de la prestación económica por ancianidad o para la prestación económica de incapacidad,
ser mayor de dieciséis y menor de sesenta y cinco años y estar en situación de incapacidad permanente absoluta para todo tipo de trabajo en la fecha de
la solicitud.
b) Residir legal y efectivamente en aquellos países donde la precariedad del sistema de protección social justifique la necesidad de esta prestación, debidamente acreditada mediante informe de la Consejería de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales, de acuerdo con los parámetros de evaluación establecidos por la Dirección General de Emigración.
El requisito de residencia legal en el extranjero, para el reconocimiento y conservación del derecho a la prestación económica, se acreditará mediante la documentación
prevista en los apartados a) y b) del punto 2 del artículo 8 de este real decreto.
c) No pertenecer a institutos, comunidades, órdenes y organizaciones que, por sus reglas o estatutos estén obligados a prestarles asistencia.
d) Carecer de rentas o ingresos suficientes en los términos establecidos en el artículo 5 de este real decreto.
e) No poseer bienes muebles o inmuebles con un
valor patrimonial superior a la cuantía anual de la base
cálculo correspondiente al país de residencia.
f) No haber donado bienes en los cinco años anteriores a la solicitud de la prestación económica, por un valor patrimonial superior a la cuantía establecida en la base
cálculo de la prestación económica correspondiente al país de residencia, valorándose dichos bienes según las normas establecidas para el impuesto que lo grave.

2. Se exceptúa de lo establecido en el apartado e) de este artículo la vivienda habitualmente ocupada por el solicitante de la prestación, y del apartado f) la vivienda
habitualmente ocupada por el solicitante de la prestación que haya sido donada con reserva de usufructo total y vitalicio afavor del mismo siempre que sea el único bien inmueble que se posea.

¿Cuál es la naturaleza de la prestación económica?

-La prestación económica tiene el carácter de personal e intransferible y no podrá otorgarse como garantía de ninguna obligación, salvo lo establecido en los apartados
- Cuando el beneficiario se encuentre acogido en un Centro asistencial cuyo mantenimiento esté subvencionado con cargo a los Presupuestos Generales del Estado, la Dirección General de Emigración podrá abonar una parte de la prestación a un representante autorizado del Centro para participar en el coste de la financiación de
los gastos de estancia del interesado, entregando el resto directamente al mismo.
En ningún caso la cantidad abonada en concepto de gastos de estancia al centro de acogida podrá ser superior al coste real de los mismos. En todo caso no superará el
75 por 100 del importe de la prestación que perciba el beneficiario.

¿Cómo solicitar esta prestación?

El procedimiento para el reconocimiento del derecho a la prestación por razón de necesidad se iniciará por el interesado o su representante legal y se ajustará a lo dispuesto en este real decreto y a lo previsto con carácter general en la normativa vigente sobre procedimiento administrativo.

La solicitud se presentará en las Consejerías de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales de las Embajadas, en las Secciones de Trabajo y Asuntos Sociales o, en su defecto, en los
Consulados o Secciones consulares de las Embajadas.

Asimismo, podrá presentarse en los registros y oficinas a que se refiere el artículo 38.4 de la Ley 30/1992, de 26 de noviembre de Régimen Jurídico de las Administraciones
Públicas y del Procedimiento Administrativo Común.

El presente Real Decreto entró en vigor al día siguiente de su publicación en el Boletín Oficial del Estado (B.O.E. 24 de enero 2008).

Wednesday, February 6, 2008


Graeme Kirk
Gross & Co.

Details of the UK’s new Australian-style Points Based immigration system (PBS) were announced on 6th February 2008 by the British Government, when the Rules for Highly Skilled foreign workers applying to come to the UK were published.

The regulations will start coming into effect on 29th February when any Highly Skilled foreign nationals currently working in the UK who wish to extend their stay will need to apply under the new system. In April, it is intended that the new system will begin to be rolled out overseas when anyone from India who wants to work in the UK as a Highly Skilled Migrant will need to apply under PBS. It is intended by the summer that the new Highly Skilled system will operate worldwide.

The above announcements do constitute something of a delay on the part of the British Government, as it is clear that other aspects of the new Tier 1, namely the entrepreneur and investor visas will not come into effect until later in the year.


Corrado Scivoletto
Studio Legale Monaco e Associati

The Decree of the Prime Minister of October the 30th, 2007, sets forth (amending a previous decree) the maximum number of Italian work permits that can be granted in 2007 to individuals who are not citizens of EU Member States for purposes of subordinated employment (not seasonal) and self-employment activities.

This Decree contains two important innovations aimed at simplifying and speeding-up the pertinent immigration formalities:

1) each prospective employer can download a software which is linked to the Immigration Office database and can thus file on-line the applications to obtain the authorisation to work (this being the first step of the immigration process, followed by the release of a visa and, thereafter, by the release of a permit of stay);

2) the Decree establishes three “click-days” on which said applications shall be filed on-line, in order to avoid potential telecom overloading caused by the forwarding of the applications. The first employees that can benefit from this new procedure are those who belong to States that have signed cooperation-agreement, for immigration purposes, with Italy.

Monday, February 4, 2008


Canadian officials in Beijing turned blind eye to reports of immigration fraud, clerk says

From Monday's Globe and Mail

February 4, 2008 at 4:45 AM EST

BEIJING — Wang Xu, a young clerk at a Chinese government office, was working at his desk one day when his boss approached him with an odd assignment. He was ordered to report to a nearby medical clinic for an X-ray exam - even though he was perfectly healthy.
Puzzled by the order, he assumed it was some kind of routine check-up. But after he and a female colleague submitted to the chest X-rays, he soon discovered the real reason.
Mr. Wang says his boss admitted to him that the X-rays were for friends who had bribed doctors to provide fake documents for their Canadian immigration applications. He says his boss also told him that the fraudulent practice was widespread among Chinese citizens who want to conceal medical problems when they apply to emigrate to Canada.
The case appears to raise questions about corruption in Canada's immigration procedures in China, the biggest source of immigrants to Canada.
Mr. Wang was so outraged by what happened that he submitted a complaint to the Canadian embassy in Beijing in 2003.
He also obtained e-mails from two Chinese officials who confirmed the fraud.
He told the embassy that he was willing to meet Canadian officials and provide all of his evidence, including his own X-rays. But the embassy never asked to meet him or see his evidence. In an e-mail to Mr. Wang, the embassy said it could not do anything about the case because of "privacy" issues.
When he later discovered that his boss's friends had successfully emigrated to Canada, Mr. Wang approached The Globe and Mail with documents to support his complaint.
Mr. Wang, now a government employee in Beijing, said he was "very nervous" when he discovered that his own personal X-rays would be submitted to the Canadian embassy to support another person's emigration application. "To reassure me, my boss told me it was very common and many people do this," he said. "He was very calm about it, as if it was normal."
He said his boss told him that his friends needed the fake X-rays because they had marks from tuberculosis that would be exposed by a genuine X-ray, which could prevent them from emigrating to Canada.
Citizenship and Immigration Canada says it investigated the case and did not find any evidence to support the allegation. The department says it could not find an immigration file for the applicants mentioned by Mr. Wang.
But the documents provided by Mr. Wang suggest that his complaint was verified by two Chinese medical officials.
One of the e-mails was written by Ye Haiying, a medical officer at a clinic in Heilongjiang province in northern China, where the incident occurred. She was replying to e-mails and phone calls by Mr. Wang that had described the fraud.
"I have investigated and found out it was true," she wrote in the e-mail on May 6, 2003. "The relevant people in this issue were reported to the senior administration and will be seriously dealt with."
Her e-mail apologized for the problem and promised "further measures" to prevent such "switching" of medical documents by applicants.
In a phone interview, Dr. Ye confirmed that the e-mails were authentic, but declined to give any further details.
The second e-mail, written by a senior director at the Heilongjiang clinic on Aug. 14, 2003, repeated the confirmation and assurances of Dr. Ye's earlier e-mail.
After making repeated complaints to the Canadian embassy about the incident, Mr. Wang moved to Beijing for post-graduate university studies. He assumed that the embassy would take action in the case. But this year he says he discovered that his boss's friends - the wife and daughter of a well-known Chinese professor and businessman - had emigrated to Canada.
Mr. Wang says he could face retaliation from the professor and his former boss if his complaint is discovered, but he is still determined to expose the fraud. "I believe in honesty and fighting against wrongdoing," he said.
"I was used as a fool in a cheating operation. I feel that the Canadian embassy was trying to cover up the case and avoid an investigation. I'm very angry at the embassy's attitude."
He asked the embassy to return his X-rays to ensure that they could not be used for any further fraudulent purposes.
In an e-mail to Mr. Wang in December of 2003, the embassy said it could do nothing about the case, and it told him to go to the Chinese police instead.
"Due to the Canadian Privacy Act we cannot release information to persons who are not the applicant, or authorized by the applicant, on issues related to visa processing or medical evaluations," the embassy's immigration section told him in the e-mail. "Therefore we will be unable to communicate any further information to you on this issue."
Danielle Norris, a spokeswoman for Citizenship and Immigration Canada, said the department's Beijing office did a "thorough investigation" and could not find evidence to support Mr. Wang's allegation.
"We take every single case of possible fraud or misrepresentation seriously, and investigate each and every allegation to protect the integrity of our programs," she said.
She said Canadian medical officers give regular training to the Chinese clinics where X-rays are conducted for immigration purposes. "Medical officers also review immigration medical examinations, including chest X-rays, and investigate any discrepancies that are identified."
China has been the biggest source of immigrants to Canada in recent years. In 2005, for example, China was the source of more than 42,000 of the 262,000 immigrants who arrived in Canada, far more than the 33,000 who came from India. The number of applicants from China, however, has decreased in recent years, mostly because of the booming Chinese economy.