Thursday, December 6, 2012
MANILA, Philippines - The Bureau of Immigration (BI) on Thursday said its directive refusing to stamp Chinese passports applies to both old and new passports of the People’s Republic of China.
"My memorandum to our immigration officers is clear. We will not stamp All Chinese Passports. It does not matter if the passport is old and new,” BI Commissioner Ricardo David Jr. said in a statement.
David issued the clarification following reports that the new visa policy applies only to Chinese e-passports bearing the map of the disputed islands in the South China Sea.
The BI chief said the government decided to uniformly implement the new policy to avoid confusion in the country’s foreign service and immigration offices.
In the case of China ’s new e-passport, the immigration officer shall instead place the BI stamp on the backpage of the visa application form provided by the Philippine consulate in China and which bears the DFA-issued visa.
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However, if a Chinese passenger presents an old PROC passport, the immigration officer shall have the passport page bearing the DFA-issued visa photocopied and on it shall the BI stamp be placed.
The BI started implementing the new policy Monday after the DFA issued a foreign service circular on the new visa procedure for Chinese nationals wishing to visit the Philippines.
David’s memorandum to BI offices instructs them to “refrain from placing any immigration stamps on PROC passports.”
The directive applies to all BI stamps, including arrival, departure, conversion, downgrading, and extension stamps, the BI chief said.
The DFA has objected to China ’s move to include the disputed islands’ map on its new passport, saying it is a violation of international law.
Manila and Beijing are locked in a dispute over a number territories in the resource-rich South China Sea.
Thursday, September 20, 2012
Two persons were arrested from near the passport office here for trying to get a fake passport, a police officer said.
Acting on a tip-off, the police nabbed Shabul and Nurul Hassan while they were applying for passport, SP (city) Jayantkant said.
Shabul, a native of Siwan district was trying to get a passport issued in the name of Hassan by discribing him as a son, he said.
Monday, September 17, 2012
Scottish government blocks free education for Irish passport holders from Northern Ireland
Northern Ireland students with an Irish passport will no longer be able to avoid paying fees at Scottish universities.
The Scottish government is to introduce legislation from 2013/14 to close the loophole that allowed people from Northern Ireland, England and Wales with Irish passports to study for free.
Scottish students do not have to pay tuition fees of up to £9,000 a year if they study in Scotland.
Under European law, European Union students from outside the UK must be treated the same way as local students, meaning they are exempt from fees.
Until now that has meant that students from the rest of the UK with Irish passports were able to be classed as EU students when they applied for a place at one of Scotland’s 18 universities.
This loophole has led to speculation that thousands of applicants from Northern Ireland could use their rights to Irish citizenship to avoid paying fees, as everyone born in Northern Ireland is eligible for an Irish passport.
However, under the new legislation, dual nationality university applicants from the rest of the UK will be required to prove that they have lived in another EU member state for at least three months before qualifying to have their tuition fees paid.
The Scottish Government said the move was designed to ensure a consistent approach across all universities and insisted there was little evidence to suggest the loophole was being exploited.
Education Secretary Michael Russell said: “Since the recent changes to the tuition fees system there is little or no evidence of changes in the make-up of applicants. This legislation will require dual nationality students to provide evidence that they have previously exercised their right of residence elsewhere and will prevent the use of dual nationality solely to benefit from free tuition.”
However, Basil McCrea MLA criticised the legality of the Scottish Government’s decision.
Mr McCrea said: “It is discriminatory and unjust that Scottish universities offer different fees to other parts of the UK and Europe. Whether it is lawful or not is another matter.
“It is not up to the Scottish Parliament to decide on what nationality an individual is, it is up to that individual, protected in EU law. It is also a condition of the Good Friday Agreement that someone from Northern Ireland can class themselves as Irish if they desire. I expect this part of decision to be challenged also.”
Professor Pete Downes, convener of Universities Scotland, said: “Universities very much welcome this action from the Scottish Government. It's important that students have access to consistent information on fees and financial support. Despite much speculation, Scotland's universities have not seen a large influx of applicants from Northern Ireland looking to exploit the loophole.”
Story so far
Figures from the Universities and Colleges Admissions Service (UCAS) for the 2012/13 academic year show that of the 19,148 people from Northern Ireland who applied for a university place by the end of June, 5,251 applied to a Scottish university — more than one in four. It was estimated 25% of them, around 1,300, had Irish passports. If they were all accepted to Scottish universities that would cost the Scottish Government £40m per year.
Read more: http://www.belfasttelegraph.co.uk/news/education/scottish-government-blocks-free-education-for-irish-passport-holders-from-northern-ireland-16211854.html#ixzz26i2HhRvD
Doctor's passport confirms he went to Iran
BANGALORE: Investigation into the two recently busted terror modules confirmed that two of the 14 arrested suspects had indeed taken beyond the country's shores their search for logistics support for their plans.
Sources privy to the investigation said the passport of Hubli-based Dr Zafar Iqbal Sholapur, 26, one of the 14 suspects, proves he landed in Iran in Dec. 2011. This document was recently recovered from his Hubli residence.
Another arrested suspect, Abdul Hakim Jamadar, 25, had in his voluntary statement admitted that he and Dr Sholapur had taken an Al Arabia flight from Bangalore to Tehran on Dec. 11, 2011. The duo later crossed the Iran-Pakistan border in a truck and landed in Godhwar town.
"Dr Sholapur's passport clearly shows that the doctor stayed for over a month in Iran. According to Jamadar's voluntary statement, he and the doctor stayed for eight days in Iran before moving to Pakistan. We're trying to gather further evidence of their stay in Iran and later movement to Pakistan," investigating police officers said.
Families of both Jamadar and Dr Sholapur claim they didn't have any knowledge of the Iran visit. Jamadar's father, Abdul Sattar, told TOI his son had gone to Kuwait in search of a job. "He returned home due to his deteriorating health," he said.
However, the doctor's father, assistant conservator of forests Sheikh Rahmat Sholapur said he had no knowledge of his son's foreign tour. At an earlier press meet, Sholapur Sr had strongly refuted allegations his son had gone to Iran and Pakistan.
Sheik Rahmat told TOI on Friday, "I never knew my son even had a passport. But the minute I found it in his wardrobe at home, I handed it over to the police," he said.
Accused to be taken to Maharashtra, AP
Police sources said some of the 14 terror suspects will be taken to Hyderabad and Maharashtra for interrogation. "We have to gather more evidence and take a few more suspects to custody," they added.