Looking back and moving forward: here is a list of the seven good news expected to happen in 2015 that will make it easier to move abroad for many. And if you have any questions about work, study and family visas to Europe, ask Migreat directly.
Immigration has become a growing centre of attention this year again, sadly not always for good news. Though no need to contribute to more negativity.
Instead, let’s cheer up with a fresh and positive look at what is on the immigration agenda for 2015 in Europe and the US – and get you excited about immigration for the new year.
1. Five million undocumented migrants come out of the shadow in the US!
Obama announced it last November, 2015 is the year undocumented migrants living in the US will be granted temporary visas.
The measure to be implemented as soon as January 2015 should lead to the regularisation of status of up to five million immigrants currently living in the US and that have been living for the last five years in the US.
It does not apply to criminals, recent and future undocumented immigrants. It is yet to be known if that can lead to the switch to a longer term visa also known as green card.
It is a major change in the life of millions of people that so far were probably forced to take up jobs they did not liked, could not claim rights in the US and be protected by civil laws, and most of the time could not access university education.
2. Easier immigration system for STEM students, Exceptional talents and Entrepreneurs to the US and the US.
US Entrepreneurs and STEM Students
The US is catching up with the UK to attract talented individuals in digital technology with more flexible and easier immigration rules applying to them.
Obama announced a streamlined process for foreign entrepreneurs to come and start businesses in the US. Details are yet to be confirmed and it is not yet possible to say if it will be similar to startup and entrepreneur visas existing in other countries worldwide. If it were to be, the US might win the heart of many migrant entrepreneurs facing difficulties in Europe with immigration rules.
Obama also announced that he will extend the period a student enrolled on STEM courses can stay after they graduated. The measure would allow such students to stay 29 months, that is 11 months more than other students so they can work at startups.
If you are interested in other Entrepreneur visa opportunities available worldwide outside the US, Migreat released a report of the best entrepreneur visas – that got the attention of Forbes magazine 🙂
UK Exceptional Talent Visa
The UK Government launched an exceptional talent visa for individuals gifted in digital and tech this year. It is yet to be proven that it can get traction and attract such talents. Numbers of applicants are below the 20 each year. Let’s see if the cap of 200 will be hit this time.
Overall the US and the UK will compete again next year to attract entrepreneurs and technologically savvy migrants in the aim to foster innovation, create jobs and adds wealth to their respective economies. Let’s hope these measures will give more space in the media for a bigger recognition of the positive contribution made by migrants to the economy, and how immigration is benefitting us all.
3. The year of Chinese and Indian Migrants?
Chinese and Indian nationals are sought after migrants in 2015 from major European countries. They will benefit from exclusive visa application system reforms and special work training schemes that were already started this year as pilots in the UK, France and Germany.
The number of Chinese migrants has grown dramatically over the years.
The UK implemented the 24 hours Super Priority Visa service to Beijing, Shanghai and Guangzhou, and aligned UK visa application form with the Schengen form. Also, it introduced a streamlined visa process for Chinese companies representatives to get their visa faster.
All of this in a coordinated effort to make it easier for Chinese visitors to come to the UK and attract Chinese business investments.
France – which celebrated this year the 50th anniversary of the establishment of diplomatic relations between France and China – has shorten the time of application process for Chinese visitor to 48H this year and simplified application document requirements.
Germany plans to do similarly a shortening of visa application processes from five days to 48H for Chinese visitors as well as open six more application centres in major Chinese cities.
Most of European countries are complementing these measures towards Chinese visitors with marketing and touristic campaigns. Lately, UK’s national tourism agency launched the Great Naming Campaign – Great Chinese Names for Great Britain – a campaign that invites Chinese nationals to think of Chinese names for the 101 suggested points of interest and submit them on their site.
Indian migrants and its young skilled workforce is very demanded too
The UK via its UK Business Secretary, Vince Cable, is putting £1.5m towards 400 scholarships for Indian engineering and IT students who want to study in the UK.
Along new and more opportunities for indian students to get scholarships to finance their UK studies, the UK announced an ambitious fund – the Newton-Bhabha Fund – to foster research and innovation between India and the UK. 100 million pounds have been put forward by the UK and India that will fund a joint PhD student mobility programme starting from March 2015.
A step further, German companies are actively recruiting skilled indian workers. Germany made changes to its immigration legal framework this year to allow people from developing countries join its workforce; and launched an online campaign to make work opportunities in Germany more accessible to Indian workers.
Finally, France fixed the ambitious objective of raising the number of Indian students in France by 50% in the coming five years. It has resulted in measures to facilitate the issuance of visas for Indian students and for them to stay two more years after graduation to find work, the creation of a “France-India network” made of french companies looking to recruit indian nationals in France, and more french scholarships offered to Indian nationals.
A quick conclusion would be that Chinese and Indians are the “coolest” migrants of 2015. And indeed, Chinese and Indian nationals are the two first nationalities selected that will benefit in 2015 from the new joint visa scheme signed between Ireland and the UK in October 2014 – meaning that Chinese and indians visitors will be able to travel to UK and Ireland on one same visa.
Cool or not, it is definitely a sign that the two emerging superpowers are being considered by European countries as essential economic partners to invest in today in order to prepare the future.
4. University is Free in Germany
Sprechen Sie Deutsch? Well, you might consider it for 2015 to save money while investing in education. In 2014, the German University system has officially become free of fees and this applies also for International Students.
The news comes at the same time as the German Government announces that it wants to attract more international students, from 280,000 in the year ending 2013 to 330,000 by 2020 .
Germany has created an immigration system for students that allows them to stay 18 months after graduating, and statistics are confirming this has supported international students employment: 68% of them find a full-time job in Germany after graduation.
In the year 2014 ending, one out of ten students in Germany is from abroad. It is maybe time for you to reconsider how much studying abroad can give you, more than cost you.
5. London and Germany open their doors to migrants to work in startups
Migreat is excited to say that it has partnered this year with leading European Startup accelerators and startup programs to support entrepreneurs and talented migrants move and work in Europe.
So far, so good: migreat offers its partners a simple assistance and further support for their students and applicants with immigration status and application. The feedback from migrants at our partner’s organisations has been excellent as one can judge from the following received a little before Christmas:
I received a job offer a few days before my student visa expired. With very little time to prepare my Tier 2 visa application, I was quite relieved to find out about Migreat’s services.
The people at migreat were very approachable and proactive in helping me to source information, getting my questions out to a lawyer, and even following up with me to make sure everything was alright. I would readily recommend Migreat to anyone else in a similar situation! – Ethel, Makers Academy Student, November 2014.
We are excited at Migreat, and quite looking forward to multiply partnerships with similar other institutions in 2015 to make immigration easier for individuals accepted at startup accelerators and training programs in Europe and the US.
And you, what are you excited about for 2015 and what do you have planned that contributes to make the world more open? What do you wish to see happening in immigration worldwide?