Are you looking to get a visa to Europe? We look at the different options for you, and how you can use them.
Cyprus Welcomes The Entrepreneur – Startup Visas Up For Grabs
The island of Cyprus seems to be the new destination for start-ups and entrepreneurs. If you are an entrepreneur or a team of up to 5 entrepreneurs and have access to 50,000 Euros worth of capital, then you are welcome. Cyprus is an island in the Mediterranean region with close proximity to the European Union. The weather is not extreme, and its time-zone is ideal for global business. It is already a member of the European Union bloc, and serves as a gateway between the Middle East and the EU. Russian speaking countries also lie nearby. These characteristics give it a unique advantage of being a strategic location. The Cyprus government recognizes this quality and intends to capitalize it to the maximum. In doing so, it is trying to make itself a hub for entrepreneurs in the technological field.
It just launched a new start-up visa scheme for non-EU nationals in February, which makes it the newest development in their plan to attract talent from all over the world. Existing businesses like Skype, Viber and Wargaming, combined with the best intellect from around the globe is certain to give its start-up ecosystem a much needed boost.
Requirements for the start-up visa
If you want to qualify for the start-up visa scheme, you need to be an entrepreneur. A team of up to 5 entrepreneurs will do as well. You should have access to 50,000 Euros and need to establish your headquarters in Cyprus. Apart from that, you also need to prove that your start-up is involved in a unique innovation. Your business plan will determine the success of your application.
If you already have a start-up, then you should demonstrate that a 10 percent minimum of your capital was dedicated to research and development in three years before you apply. As a result, Cyprus is an ideal location for non-EU nationals to get access to Europe. Furthermore, the low corporate tax rate and various exemptions should propel your business growth to unprecedented levels. It’s a good time to be an entrepreneur and a future businessman!
New System for Immigration Proposed in Germany
A new draft law was published in Germany recently that proposed introducing an Australian points based system for immigrants. It allows for people from outside the European Union to apply for residence based on their employment and education as well as any family members already living in Germany. Applicants will then be awarded a score out of 100, with university graduates needing at least 65 points to be awarded a German visa.
An example was given of an Indian engineer aged twenty five with a job offer, a Masters degree and fluency in English and German being given 75 points highlighting that points are awarded for different sectors. It would include language skills, job offers, age, family, job experience as well as education, this is very similar to the points based system in Australia. The party who proposed this system, the SPD hope that once this law came into effect there would be around 25,000 immigrants a year awarded residence with the German parliament, the Bundestag setting yearly limits.
People being given visas would be able to bring their immediate family with them but would only be able to access limited welfare benefits for the first five years living in Germany. It is predicted that this law will be challenged by conservative parties such as the Bavarian Christian Social Union (CSU), who want to offer priority to other Europeans as opposed to non EU members.. It has been predicted that without immigration Germany would suffer from a massive drop in the population and that in ten years, there would be 10 million job positions that would not be able to be filled. Germany like most of the developed world has an increasing ageing population and a low birth rate so immigration is vital to the future economy of Germany.
EU may be the next Stop for Indian Skilled Professionals
Posing a great hassle to the Indian IT sector, the ban on H1B visas can leave many Indians jobless and their families concerned about the future. The Indian government has kept quiet on the issues pertaining to the apprehension of jobs on the Indians working in the US. The Trump’s administration is not ready to give it a second thought, though the courts are putting a hold on his orders.
Equally affected by the visas ban. But to ease it out, The European Union said that it is ready to accommodate Indian IT professionals in their business firms. David McAllister, the head of the delegation said that Europe is open for allowing Indian professionals who are in high demand. He believes that the Indian people are highly skilled and their IT sector would not have been what it is today if they did not have the skilled force from India.
Following his statement, it is believed that this would resume the dialogue between the two countries on the long pending EU- India trade and investment pact. As a result, it would initiate a two-way deal between the two countries and in turn boost the economy. McAllister said that his visit would include talks with a number of Indian Union Ministers including national security adviser Ajit Doval, the vice- chairman of NITI Ayog Arvind Panagariya and Lok Sabha Speaker, Sumitra Mahajan including others. Both the countries have a major difference on critical issues which had earlier posed the hurdle for the EU -India Broad-based Trade and Investment Agreement (BTIA) back since June 2007.
The BTIA talks were thus put to a halt. Urmas Paet, the EU delegation member, said that EU would like to have a trade pact with India which would include investment protection and would lead to dispute settlement between the two nations. On the other hand, India is clear on its terms of not allowing investments and global relations to mix up to keep their investors safe and independent of the relations between the two nations. Both the countries are yet to clear the issues related to the tax reductions and movement of the professionals. This might come as a life savior for all the Indian techies hit back by the US H1B visa issues.
You Don’t Need An Agent To Get A Schengen Visa
The countries of the Schengen Area will surely be on your travel bucket list. The Schengen Area consists of 26 countries that have abolished passport and border control within each other. If a foreigner has to travel, he only needs one common visa to visit all these 26 countries. 22 countries belong to the European Union while remaining four belong to the European Free Trade Association.
The 26 Schengen countries are Iceland, Poland, Hungary, Austria, Belgium, Switzerland, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, Slovakia, Slovenia, Sweden, and Liechtenstein. Any of these Schengen countries is definitely a dream for Indians. They have grown up watching Bollywood movies shot in these beautiful countries. According to the Internal Migration and Affairs of the European Commission 70,000 Schengen visa applications were submitted by Indians in 2017.
Types of Schengen visas
There are three types of Schengen visas – Uniform Schengen Visa, National Visa, and Limited Territorial Validity Visas. Any of these three visas have a validity of three months. Any person can acquire the Schengen visa for travel, business, or for visiting relatives in any of the 26 countries. 19 other countries of Europe that aren’t a part of the European Union allow foreigners to enter if they have a valid Schengen visa.
Most Indians usually apply for a Schengen visa through an agent. It definitely costs a lot more as the agent also charges his fees. It isn’t that difficult. Book an appointment with any of the 26 countries’ Embassy or Consulate 15 days prior your departure. For being on the safer side, you can apply for a Schengen visa as early as 12 weeks. After making the appointment online, carefully collect all the needed documents. While filling out the form pay close attention to details as you never know what the interviewee might ask you.
Despite terrorist attacks and other factors which led to a year rocked by terror and uncertainty, the number of tourists to the European Union continued to increase attaining a spike of almost 4% in 2016 such that the total count was almost 500 million visitors. This number also accounts for 40% of the world’s overall percentage for international travels. 2016 was also Europe’s seventh consecutive year of sustained growth since the 2009 financial crisis.
A project called “Enhancing the Understanding of European Tourism”, which is planned to continue till February 2017 has formed the EU tourism trends report as a part of their goals of: -monitoring market trends -improving tourism data keeping -promoting tourism at the same time
The tourism industry has shown extraordinary resilience and capability of growth despite the challenges faced, which is a good sign. This growth rate recorded by the United Nations World Tourism Organization (UNWTO) is well above the world average growth rate for the same. This growth and tourism has contributed to economic growth, social well-being and has also helped in the creation of jobs.
Taleb Rifai, the UNWTO Secretary-General has stated that they were very pleased to work alongside the European Commission in the above project, and help advance sustainable tourism in Europe. Overall, this growth spike seems to be a good indication that European tourism is still at its peak.