-- March 2014 ~ Travel and Immigration 101

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

New Spanish Law Offers Citizenship For Those With These Last Names

There's lately been palpable excitement on Latin American social media, and maybe even among latinos in the U.S., about some new "Spanish law" (as in, a law from Spain) that supposedly would grant citizenship to people with certain surnames, from Sanchez to Rosales, and Beltran, Morales, Fuentes, Jimenez, Rubio, Nathan, and almost 5,200 other Sephardic names.
But this doesn't mean that you could just stroll into the Spanish Embassy and ask for your Spanish citizenship. But you can, unless you can prove that I'm you are a Sephardic Jew or descendant from those who were banished from Spain by the Catholic rulers of the 15th and 16th centuries after the last of the Moors were expelled from Europe.

The Moors, or Muslim rulers of southern Spain during much of the Middle-Ages, didn't really bother with converting or oppressing much of the Iberian Peninsula's diverse followers of other religions. Christians, Jews and Muslims are generally regarded to have lived peacefully under Moorish rule for centuries. But after Fernando II and Isabela I, the Catholic monarchs of the united crowns of Aragon and Castile, began to retake much of Spain, they quickly forced Jews to either convert to Catholicism or flee the country.
This is were the new law comes in. After more than 500 years, Spain has decide to welcome back descendants and those Jews, now called Sephardi (from the Hebrew word for "Spain"), as redemption for what Alberto Ruiz-Gallardón, the Spanish justice minister and who drafted the new law, called "a historical error."

Ruiz-Gallardón added that " [we] have an opportunity to repair it, so I am sure that law will pass with an immense majority in parliament...[and when it does] citizenship will not be a discretional matter, it will not be subject to the good will of the government, because it is a right that anyone who meets the criteria is entitled to."

"Spain wants to offer an authentic historical reparation after five hundred years", assured Ruiz-Gallardón to the American Jewish Organization in February.

It won't be THAT easy though, despite what the justice minister has said. The Federación de Comunidades Judías de España, the Federation of Jewish Communities in Spain, will determine who qualifies as an actual Sephardic descendent, or "worthy" of the citizenship offer. Anyone granted the offer will be allowed to keep his original citizenship.

Backers of the bill in government, have said that even non Jews can apply, but none the less must have Sephardic ancestry or are part of the wider "ladino" community. Ladino is the language still used by the exiled Jews and is almost an exact preservation of Spanish in its Medieval form. Having one or two of this 5,200 listed last names can help, but all those who apply will have to try a harder than that, especially if they aren't practicing Jews.

Josh Nathan-Kazis is an American with almost ten generations of family in the New World, and who still looks like a Spaniard with Jewish ancestry, has the last names, and even an pages and pages from a genealogy book about his family, dating all the way back to 1660 with a man name Luis Gómez from Madrid. He began a quest to see if the Spanish Jewish Federation would recognized his right to Spanish citizenship or recognition, and yet was told that it wasn't enough. So, it isn't that easy.

And, as he points out, the current severe economic crisis in Spain would probably deter many from applying for citizenship in Spain, and suspects most who seek out the application would do so just to be able to enter the European Union, not so much stay in Iberia.

Sephardic Jews have two years to apply for citizenship after the bill becomes law (it still has to be approved by parliament).

What are some of the prerequisites when applying for a Spanish citizenship under the future law?

  • A certificate from a rabbinical and official authority, legally recognized in their country of residence. This might be difficult for U.S. Sephardic Jews, since the government doesn't get involved in directly determining which religions are valid or not.
  • The surnames from those interested in applying, or if if they speak "ladino", proficiency in it.
  • A certificate from the Federación de Comunidades Judías de España, certifying that applicants are Sephardi.
  • Proof of an applicant's direct descent from Sephardic families from Spain.
  • Applicants will have two years after the law is passed (it hasn't yet) to present documentation proving their heritage.
List of the surnames approved for Spanish citizenship;

Abad, Abadía, Abarca, Abastos, Abaunza,
Abbot, Abdallá, Abdalah, Abdallah, Abdelnour,
Abdo, Abea, Abel, Abela, Abelado, Abella,
Abellán, Abendaño, Abou, Abraham, Abrahams,
Abrahán, Abrego, Abreu, Abrigo, Abril, Abufelo,
Abugadba, Aburto, Acabal, Acebal, Acedo,
Acevedo, Acosta, Acuña, Adames, Adamis, Adanaque, Adanis, Adis, Aedo,
Agababa, Agámez, Agayón, Agrazal, Agreda, Aguayo, Agudelo, Agüero,
Aguiar, Aguilar, Aguilera, Aguiluz, Aguilve, Aguinaga, Aguirre, Agurto,
Agustín, Ahuja, Ahumada, Aiello, Aiza, Aizprúa, Aizpurúa, Alache, Alama,
Alan, Alani, Alanis, Alanís, Alaniz, Alarcón, Alas, Alavez, Alayón, Alba,
Albarello, Albarracín, Albelo, Albenda, Alburola, Alcaíno, Alcanzar, Alcázar,
Alcazar, Alcibar, Alcócer, Alcóser, Alcóver, Alcózer, Aldana, Aldaña, Aldapa,
Aldecoba, Alderrama, Alegría, Alejos, Alemán, Alexander, Alexandre, Alfaro,
Alfonso, Algaba, Alguera, Aliaga, Alicama, Alier, Alizaga, Allan, Allon,
Alluín, Almanza, Almanzar, Almanzo, Almaraz, Almazan, Almeida,
Almendares, Almendárez, Almendáriz, Almengor, Almonte, Aloisio, Aloma,
Alomar, Alonso, Alonzo, Alpírez, Alpízar, Altamirano, Altenor, Alterno,
Altino, Altonor, Alva, Alvarado, Alvarenga, Alvares, Álvarez, Alvaro, Alvear,
Alverde, Alvergue, Alvir, Alzate, Amado, Amador, Amalla, Amaris, Amaya,
Amor, Amora, Amores, Amoros, Ampie, Ampié, Ampiée, Ampiee, Anaya,
Anchetta, Anchez, Anchía, Anchieta, Andia, Andino, Andrade, André, Andrés,
Andujar, Andújar, Andujo, Angele, Angelini, Anglada, Angulo, Anice, Anjos,
52 Umaña Rojas, Conrado R., Dr. Heredia, Costa Rica.
Ansorena, Antelo, Antero, Antezana, Antich, Antillón, Antón, Antúnez,
Anzora, Aparicio, Apolinar, Apollonio, Aponte, Aquiles, Aquino, Aragón,
Aragones, Aragonés, Araica, Arana, Arancibia, Aranda, Arando, Arango,
Aranjo, Araque, Arata, Araujo, Araus, Arauz, Araya, Arbaiza, Arballo, Arbelo,
Arbizu, Arbizú, Arboleda, Arburola, Arca, Arcarate, Arce, Arceyudh, Arceyut,
Arceyuth, Arcia, Arcía, Arciniegas, Ardila, Ardín, Ardón, Ardonnix, Areas,
Arellano, Arena, Arenas, Arévalo, Argudo, Arguedas, Argüelles, Argüello,
Argueta, Arguijo, Arias, Ariasdes, Arica, Arie, Ariño, Arispe, Arista, Ariza,
Arjona, Armada, Armas, Armenta, Armento, Armeras, Armesto, Armijo,
Arnáez, Arnau, Arnesto, Anuelo, Arnuero, Arone, Arosemena, Arquín,
Arrazola, Arrea, Arredondo, Arreola, Arriaga, Arriagada, Arrieta, Arriola,
Arrocha, Arroliga, Arrollo, Arrone, Arrones, Arronés, Arronez, Arronis,
Arroniz, Arroyave, Arroyo, Arrubla, Artavia, Arteaga, Artecona, Artiaga,
Artiga, Artiles, Artiñano, Artola, Artolozaga, Aruj, Aruizu, Arze, Arzola,
Ascante, Ascencio, Asch, Asencio, Asero, Así, Asís, Aspirita, Astacio, Astete,
Astorga, Astorquiza, Astúa, Asturias, Asunción, Asusema, Atehortúa, Atein,
Atencio, Atensio, Atiensa, Atienza, Augusto, Ávalos, Avelar, Avellán,
Avendaño, Ávila, Avilés, Avilez, Ayala, Ayales, Ayara, Ayarza, Aybar,
Aycinena, Ayerdis, Aymerich, Azar, Azaria, Asofeifa, Azqueta, Azua, Azúa,
Azuar, Azucena, Azul, Azuola, Azurdia.
Babb, Babar, Baca, Bacca, Bacigalupo,
Badilla, Bado, Báez, Baeza, Baidal, Bairnales,
Baizan, Bajarano, Balarezo, Baldares, Balday,
Baldelomar, Balderas, Balderrama, Balderramos,
Baldí, Baldi, Baldioceda, Baldivia, Baldizón,
Balladares, Ballar, Ballard, Ballester, Ballestero,
Ballesteros, Ballón, Balma, Balmaceda, Balmacera,
Balon, Balser, Baltodano, Banegas, Banet, Banilla, Baños, Bañuelos,
Baquedano, Baquero, Baradín, Baraen, Barahoma, Barahona, Barajas,
Baraquiso, Barat, Barba, Barbagallo, Barbagebra, Bárbara, Barbena, Barben,
Barberena, Barbosa, Barboza, Barcelas, Barcelata, Barcenas, Barcia, Bardayan,
Barguil, Barillas, Barletta, Baro, Barón, Barquedano, Barquero, Barquette,
Barra, Barracosa, Barrante, Barrantes, Barraza, Barreda, Barrenechea, Barrera,
Barrero, Barreto, Barrias, Barrientos, Barriga, Barrio, Barrionuevo, Barrios,
Barroso, Barrot, Barrott, Barrundia, Barsallo, Bart, Bartal, Barteles, Bartels,
Barth, Barvas, Baruch, Basadre, Basán, Basilio, Basti, Bastida, Bastos, Bastti,
Batalla, Batán, Batista, Batres, Bautista, Bauzid, Baviera, Bayo, Bazán, Bazo,
Beatriz, Becancur, Becerra, Becerril, Bedolla, Bedoya, Beeche, Beeché,
Beingolea, Beita, Bejarano, Bejos, Bel, Belette, Belgrave, Bellanero, Bellido,
Bello, Belloso, Belmonte, Beltrán, Beltre, Benach, Benambourg, Benambugr,
Benambur, Benavente, Benavides, Benavídez, Benda, Bendaña, Bendig,
Bendij, Benedictis, Beneditt, Benevides, Bengoechea, Benites, Benítez, Benito,
Benzón, Berasaluce, Berciano, Berdasco, Berdugo, Berenzón, Bermejo,
Bermeo, Bermudes, Bermúdez, Bernadas, Bernal, Bernardo, Bernat, Berrios,
Berríos, Berrocal, Berrón, Bertel, Bertrán, Betancort, Bentancourt,
Betancourth, Betancur, Betancurt, Beter, Beteta, Bethancourt, Betrano, Better,
Biamonte, Binda, Blanco, Blandino, Blando, Blandón, Blau, Blum, Bobadilla,
Bodán, Bogán, Bogantes, Bogarín, Bohorguez, Bohorquez, Bojorge, Bolaños,
Bolívar, Bonice, Boniche, Bonichi, Bonilla, Borbas, Borbón, Borda, Bordallo,
Borge, Borges, Borja, Borjas, Borjes, Borloz, Borras, Borrasé, Borredo,
Borrero, Bosque, Botero, Boza, Bran, Bravia, Bravo, Brenes, Breve, Briceño,
Brilla, Briones, Brito, Brizeño, Brizuela, Buencamino, Buendía, Bueno, Bueso,
Buezo, Buga, Bugarín, Bugat, Bugria, Burgos, Burguera, Burgues, Burillo,
Busano, Bustamante, Bustillo, Bustillos, Busto, Bustos, Buzano, Buzeta, Buzo.
Caamano, Caamaño, Cabada, Cabadianes,
Cabal, Cabalceta, Caballero, Cabana, Cabaña,
Cabeza, Cabezas, Cabistán, Cabral, Cabrera,
Cabrerizo, Cáceres, Cadenas, Cadet, Cageao,
Caicedo, Cairol, Cajas, Cajiao, Cajina, Cala,
Calatayud, Calazán, Calcáneo, Caldas, Caldera,
Calderón, Calero, Caliva, Calix, Calle, Calleja, Callejas, Callejo, Calles, Calvo,
Calzada, Camacho, Camaño, Camarena, Camareno, Camarillo, Cambronero,
Camona, Campabadal, Campabadall, Campodónico, Campos, Canales,
Canalias, Canas, Candamo, Candelaria, Candelario, Canejo, Canessa, Canet,
Canetta, Canizales, Canizález, Canizares, Canno, Cano, Canossa, Cantarero,
Cantero, Cantillano, Canto, Cantón, Cañas, Cañizales, Cañizález, Capón,
Carabaguias, Carabaguiaz, Caranza, Caravaca, Carazo, Carbalda, Carballo,
Carbonell, Carbonero, Carcache, Carcachi, Cárcamo, Carcedo, Carcía,
Cárdenas, Cárdenes, Cardona, Cardos, Cardoso, Cardoza, Cardoze, Cares,
Carias, Caridad, Carit, Carlos, Carmiol, Carmona, Carnero, Caro, Carpio,
Carranza, Carrasco, Carrasquilla, Carreño, Carrera, Carreras, Carrillo, Carrión,
Carrizo, Carro, Cartagena, Cartago, Cartín, Carvajal, Carvalho, Carvallo, Casa,
Casaca, Casafont, Casal, Casanova, Casañas, Cásares, Casas, Casasnovas,
Casasola, Cascante, Casco, Casorla, Cassasola, Cásseres, Castaneda,
Castañeda, Castañedas, Castaño, Castañón, Castaños, Castelán, Castellano,
Castellanos, Castellón, Casteñeda, Castiblanco, Castilla, Castillo, Castro,
Catania, Cateres, Catón, Cavalceta, Cavaller, Cavallo, Cavanillas, Cavazos,
Cavero, Cazanga, Ceba, Ceballos, Ceciliano, Cedeño, Cejudo, Celada,
Celedón, Celís, Centella, Centeno, Cepeda, Cerceño, Cerda, Cerdas, Cerna,
Cernas, Cerón, Cerpas, Cerros, Cervantes, Cervilla, Céspedes, Cevallos,
Cevedo, Cevilla, Chabrol, Chacón, Chamarro, Chamorro, Chanquín, Chanta,
Chanto, Chavarría, Chavera, Chaverri, Chaves, Chávez, Chavira, Cheves,
Chévez, Chica, Chicaiza, Chicas, Chilquillo, Chinchilla, Chinchillo, Chirino,
Chirinos, Chocano, Choza, Cid, Cifuentes, Cintrón, Cisar, Cisne, Cisnero,
Cisneros, Cisternas, Claro, Cleves, Cobaleda, Coe, Coello, Coen, Cohen,
Coles, Colina, Colindres, Collado, Collina, Colom, Coloma, Colombo,
Colomer, Concepción, Concha, Conde, Condega, Condes, Conedo, Conejo,
Congosto, Conte, Contreras, Corales, Corao, Cordeiro, Cordero, Cordido,
Córdoba, Cordón, Cordonero, Córdova, Cordoze, Corea, Corella, Cornavaca,
Cornejo, Corona, Coronado, Coronas, Coronel, Corrales, Correa, Corredera,
Corro, Corta, Cortaberría, Cortés, Cortez, Cortinez, Cortissoz, Corvera, Cosio,
Cosiol, Cosme, Cossio, Costa, Cotera, Coto, Crespo, Crispín, Crispino, Cruces,
Cruz, Cuadra, Cuadrado, Cuan, Cuaresma, Cuarezma, Cuarta, Cubas, Cubenas,
Cubero, Cubías, Cubias, Cubilla, Cubillo, Cubillos, Cubria, Cuebas, Cuellar,
Cuéllar, Cuello, Cuenca, Cuendis, Cuernavaca, Cuervo, Cuesta, Cueva,
Cuevas, Cuevillas, Cunill, Cunillera, Curbelo, Curco, Curdelo.
Da Costa, Da Silva, Dacosta, D’Acosta,
Dalorso, Dalorzo, Dalsaso, Damaceno, Damito,
Daniel, Daniels, Dapuerto, Dapueto, Darce, Darche,
Darcia, Darío, Dasadre, Dasilva, Dávalos, David,
Dávila, Davis, D’Avola, De Abate, De Aguilar, De
Alba, De Alvarado, De Benedictis, De Briones, De
Camino, De Castro, De Céspedes, De Espeleta, De Ezpeleta, De Falco, De
Faria, De Franco, De Jesús, De Jorge, De Juana, De La Cruz, De La Cuesta,
De La Espriella, De La Fuente, De La Garza, De La Guardia, De La Herran,
De La Hormaza, De La Jara, De La Mata, De La Nuez, De La O, De La Osa,
De La Ossa, De La Paz, De La Peña, De La Rocha, De La Rosa, De La Selva,
De La Teja, De La Torre, De La Trava, De La Vega, De Largaespada, De Las
Casas, De Las Cuevas, De Las Heras, De Lemos, De León, De Lev, De Lima,
De López, De Luz, De Miguel, De Miranda, De Moya, De Odio, De Óleo, De
Ona, De Oña, De Paco, De Paredes, De Pass, De Paz, De Pazos, De Pedro, De
Pinedo, De Prado, De Rayo, De Sárraga, De Sá, De Trinidad, De Ureña, De
Vega, De Yglesias, Del Barco, Del Barrio, Del Bello, Del Busto, Del Carmen,
Del Castillo, Del Cid, Del Pilar, Del Pimo, Del Río, Del Risco, Del Socorro,
Del Solar, Del Valle, Delatolla, Delgadillo, Delgado, Deliyore, Dellale,
Dellanoce, Delso, Delvo, Dengo, Denis, Dennis, Detrinidad, Devanda,
Devandas, Devoto, Dias, Díaz, Díez, Díjeres, Díjerez, Dimas, Dinares, Dinarte,
Discua, Doblado, Dobles, Dodero, Dalmus, Dalmuz, Domingo, Domínguez,
Donado, Donaire, Donato, Doña, Doñas, Donzón, Dorado, Dormos, Dormuz,
Doryan, Duar, Duares, Duarte, Duartes, Duenas, Dueñas, Duque, Duque
Estrada, Durall, Durán, Durante, Duval, Duvall, Duverrán.
Echandi, Echavarría, Echeverri, Echeverría,
Eduarte, Egea, Elías, Eligia, Elizalde, Elizonda,
Elizondo, Elmaleh, Emanuel, Enrique, Enriques,
Enríquez, Eras, Erazo, Escabar, Escalante,
Escamilla, Escarré, Escobar, Escobedo, Escocia,
Escorriola, Escosia, Escoto, Escovar, Escribano,
Escude, Escudero, España, Esparragó, Espelerta, Espeleta, Espinach, Espinal,
Espinales, Espinar, Espino, Espinosa, Espinoza, Espitia, Esquivel, Esteban,
Esteves, Estévez, Estrada, Estrella.
Faba, Fabara, Fabián, Fábrega, Fabregat,
Fabres, Facio, Faerrón, Faeth, Faiges, Fait, Faith,
Fajardo, Falco, Falcón, Falla, Fallas, Farach, Farah,
Fargas, Farias, Farías, Faries, Fariña, Fariñas,
Farrach, Farrer, Farrera, Farrier, Fatjo, Fatjó,
Faundez, Faune, Fava, Fazio, Fermández, Fermán,
Fernandes, Fernández, Fernando, Ferrada, Ferrán, Ferrando, Ferraro, Ferreira,
Ferreiro, Ferrer, Ferrero, Ferris, Ferro, Ferros, Fiallos, Fictoria, Fidalgo,
Fierro, Figueiredo, Figuer, Figueras, Figueres, Figueroa, Filomena, Fletes,
Fletis, Flores, Fonseca, Font, Forero, Formoso, Fornaguera, Fraga, Fraguela,
Francés, Frances, Francesa, Francia, Francis, Franco, Fray, Frayle, Freer,
Freira, Fresno, Freyre, Frías, Frutos, Fuentes, Fumero, Funes, Funez, Fúnez,
Fuscaldo, Fusco.
Gabriel, Gadea, Gaete, Gago, Gainza, Gaitán,
Galacia, Galagarza, Galán, Galarza, Galaviz, Galba,
Galcerán, Galeano, Galeas, Galeno, Galera,
Galiana, Galiano, Galindo, Galino, Galiñanes,
Gallardo, Gallegas, Gallegos, Gallo, Galo, Galtés,
Galván, Gálvez, Galvis, Gamarra, Gamazo, Gambo,
Gamboa, Gámez, Garay, Garayar, Garbanzo, Garcés, García, Gardela,
Gargollo, Garino, Garita, Garmendia, Garner, Garnier, Garreta, Garrido, Garro,
Garrón, Garza, Garzel, Garzón, Garzona, Gaspar, Gateno, Gateño, Gavarrete,
Gavilán, Gaviria, Gavosto, Gayoso, Gaytán, Gazel, Gazo, Geoyenaga, Gil,
Gillén, Gilles, Giral, Giraldo, Giraldt, Giralt, Giro, Girón, Gladis, Goches,
Góchez, Godines, Godínez, Godoy, Goic, Goicoechea, Goicuria, Goldenberg,
Golfín, Gomar, Gómez, Gomis, Gondres, Góndrez, Góngora, Gonzaga,
Gonzales, González, Gonzalo, Goñi, Gordon, Górgona, Goyenaga, Gracía,
Gracias, Gradis, Grajal, Grajales, Grajeda, Grana, Granada, Granados, Granda,
Grandoso, Granera, Granizo, Granja, Graña, Gras, Grau, Greco, Greñas,
Gridalva, Grigoyen, Grijalba, Grijalda, Grijalva, Grillo, Guadamuz, Guadrón,
Guajardo, Guardado, Guardano, Guardia, Guardián, Guardiola, Guarín,
Guasch, Gudino, Gudiño, Güel, Güell, Güendel, Güendell, Guerra, Guerrero,
Guevara, Guido, Guie, Guier, Guifarro, Guilá, Guillarte, Guillén, Guillermet,
Guillermo, Guilles, Güillies, Guillies, Guillis, Guilloch, Guiménez, Guindos,
Guitiérrez, Guitta, Guix, Gulubay, Gunera, Guntanis, Gurdián, Gurrero,
Gurrola, Gustavino, Gutiérrez, Guzmán.
Haba, Habibe, Haenz, Harrah, Hénchoz,
Henríquez, Henrriquez, Herdocia, Heredia,
Herencia, Heríquez, Hermann, Hermosilla,
Hernández, Hernando, Hernánez, Herra, Herradora,
Herrán, Herrera, Herrero, Hevia, Hidalgo, Hierro,
Hincapié, Hinostroza, Horna, Hornedo, Huerta,
Huertas, Huete, Huezo, Hurtado, Hurtecho.
Ibáñez, Ibarra, Ibarras, Icaza, Iglesias, Ilama,
Incapié, Incer, Incera, Inceras, Inces, Infante,
Iracheta, Iraheta, Irastorza, Irias, Iribar, Irigaray,
Irola, Isaac, Isaacs, Israel, Ivañez, Izaba, Izaguirre,
Izandra, Iznardo, Izquierdo, Izrael, Izurieta.
Jácamo, Jacobo, Jácome, Jácomo, Jaen,
Jáenz, Jara, Jaramillo, Jarquín, Jarrín, Jerano, Jerez,
Jiménez, Jimera, Jinesta, Jirón, Joseph, Jovel,
Juárez, Junco, Juncos, Jurado.
Kaminsky, Klein, Kuadra.
La Barca, Labra, Lacarez, Lacayo, Lafuente,
Lago, Lagos, Laguardia, Laguna, Lain, Laine,
Lainez, Laitano, Lamas, Lamela, Lamicq,
Lamugue, Lamuza, Lancho, Lanco, Landazuri,
Lández, Lanuza, Lanza, Lanzas, Lapeira, Laporte,
Laprade, Lara, Lares, Largaespada, Largo, Larios,
Larrabure, Larrad, Larragan, Larragán, Larraguivel, Lasa, Lasantas, Láscares,
Láscarez, Láscaris, Lasso, Lastra, Lastreto, Latiff, Latino, Latorraca, Laurito,
Laverde, Lázaro, Lázarus, Lázcares, Lazo, Lazzo, L’Calleja, Leal, Leandra,
Leandro, Ledezma, Ledo, Leitón, Leiva, Lejarza, Lemmes, Lemos, Lemus,
Lemuz, Leñero, León, Lépiz, Levi, Leytón, Leyva, Lezama, Lezana, Lezcano,
Lhamas, Lieberman, Lima, Linares, Linarte, Lindo, Lines, Líos, Lira, Lizama,
Lizana, Lizano, Lizarme, Llabona, Llach, Llado, Llamazares, Llamosas, Llano,
Lanos, Llanten, Llaurado, Llerena, Llibre, Llinas, Llobet, Llobeth, Llorca,
Llorella, Llorens, Llorente, Llosent, Lloser, Llovera, Llubere, Loáciga,
Loáiciga, Loáisiga, Loaissa, Loaiza, Lobo, Loeb, Loew, Loinaz, Lombardo,
Londoño, Lope,Lopes, Lopera, López, Lopezlage, Loprete, Lora, Loredo, Lorente,
Lorenz, Lorenzana, Lorenzen, Lorenzo, Loría, Lorío, Lorio, Lorz, Losada,
Losilla, Louk, Louzao, Loynaz, Loza, Lozano, Luarca, Lucas, Lucena, Lucero,
Lucke, Lugo, Luis, Luján, Luna, Lunaza, Luque, Luquez.
Macaya, Macedo, Maceo, Machado, Machín,
Machuca, Macia, Macias, Macías, Macís, Macre,
Macrea, Madariaga, Maderos, Madinagoitia,
Madrano, Madrid, Madriga, Madrigal, Madril,
Madriz, Maduro, Magalhaes, Magallón, Magaña,
Magdalena, Maguiña, Mahomar, Maikut, Maingot,
Mairena, Maisonave, Maita, Majano, Majarres, Malaga, Maldonado, Malé,
Malespín, Malestín, Maltés, Maltez, Malvarez, Manavella, Mancheno, Mancia,
Mancía, Mandas, Mangaña, Mangas, Mangel, Manjarres, Mans, Mansalvo,
Mansilla, Manso, Mantanero, Mantica, Mantilla, Manuel, Manzanal,
Manzanares, Manzano, Manzur, Marabiaga, Maradiaga, Marbes, Marbis,
Marcenaro, March, Marchena, Marcia, Marcías, Marcillo, Marcos, Mardones,
Marenco, Margules, María, Marichal, Marín, Marinero, Marino, Mariñas,
Mariño, Marot, Maroto, Marqués, Marquez, Marreco, Marrero, Marroquín,
Marsell, Marte, Martell, Martén, Martens, Martí, Martin, Martínez, Martins,
Marvez, Mas, Masía, Masís, Maso, Mason, Massuh, Mastache, Mata,
Matamoros, Matarrita, Mate, Mateo, Matera, Mateus, Matías, Matos, Mattus,
Mattuz, Matul, Matus, Matute, Maurel, Maurer, Mauricio, Mauro, Maynard,
Maynaro, Maynart, Mayo, Mayor, Mayorga, Mayorquín, Mayre, Mayrena,
Maza, Mazariegos, Mazas, Mazín, Mazón, Mazuque, Mazure, Medal,
Mederano, Mederas, Medeiros, Medina, Medinilla, Medoza, Medrano, Meira,
Mejía, Mejías, Melara, Meléndez, Melgar, Melgarrejo, Mellado, Melo,
Membreño, Mena, Menayo, Menchaca, Mendea, Méndez, Mendiantuba,
Mendieta, Mendiola, Mendives, Mendivil, Mendoza, Mendreño, Menéndez,
Meneses, Menjibar, Menjivar, Menocal, Meono, Meoño, Merayo, Meraz,
Merazo, Merazzo, Mercado, Mercelina, Mercer, Mergarejo, Mérida, Merino,
Merizalde, Merlo, Mesa, Mesales, Mesalles, Meseguer, Mesén, Messeguer,
Mestayer, Meszaros, Meza, Michelena, Michelino, Micillo, Miguez, Mijangos,
Mijares, Milanés, Milano, Millet, Mina, Minas, Minero,Miño, Miqueo,
Miraba, Miralles, Mirambell, Miramontes, Miranda, Miro, Mirquez, Mitja,
Mitjavila, Mizrachi, Mojarro, Mojica, Molestina, Molian, Molín, Molina,
Molinero, Molleda, Mollinedo, Mollo, Moncada, Mondol, Mondragón,
Moneda, Moneiro, Monestel, Monga, Mongalo, Móngalo, Monge, Mongillo,
Monguillo, Monjarres, Monjarrez, Monjica, Monserrat, Montagné, Montalbán,
Montalbert, Montalto, Montalván, Montalvo, Montana, Montanaro,
Montandón, Montano, Montealegre, Montealto, Montecino, Montecinos,
Monteil, Montejo, Montenaro, Montenegro, Montero, Monterosa, Monteroza,
Monterrey, Monterrosa, Monterroso, Montes, Monterinos, Monteverde,
Montiel, Montier, Montoya, Monturiol, Mora, Moraes, Moraga, Morales,
Morán, Morazán, Moreira, Morejón, Morena, Moreno, Morera, Moriano,
Morice, Morillo, Morín, Moris, Morise, Moro, Morote, Moroto, Morraz,
Morúa, Morún, Morux, Morvillo, Moscarella, Moscoa, Moscoso, Mosquera,
Motta, Moxi, Moya, Mozquera, Mugica, Muiña, Muir, Mulato, Munera,
Mungía, Munguía, Munive, Munizaga, Muñante, Muñiz, Muñoz, Murcia,
Murgado, Murgas, Murias, Murillo, Murilo, Muro, Mussap, Mussapp, Mussio,
Mustelier, Muxo.
Naim, Naira, Nájar,Nájares, Najarro, Nájera,
Nájeres, Naranjo, Narvaes, Narváez, Nasralah,
Nasso, Navaro, Navarrete, Navarrette, Navarro,
Navas, Nayap, Nazario, Nema, Nemar, Neyra,
Nieto, Nino, Niño, Noble, Noboa, Noel, Nogebro,
Noguera, Nomberto, Nora, Noriega, Norza, Nova,
Novales, Novo, Novoa, Nuevo, Nuez, Nunga, Núñez.
Obaldía, Obanbo, Obando, Obares, Obellón,
Obon, Obrego, Obregón, Ocampo, Ocampos,
Ocaña, Ocaño, Ocario, Ochoa, Ocón, Oconitrillo,
Ode, Odio, Odir, Odóñez, Odor, Oduber, Oguilve,
Ojeda, Okarlo, Okendo, Olarte, Olaso, Olaverri,
Olazaba, Olguín, Oliva, Olivar, Olivares, Olivárez,
Olivas, Oliver, Olivera, Oliverio, Olivier, Oliviera, Olivo, Oller, Olmeda,
Olmedo, Olmo, Olmos, Omacell, Omodeo, Ondoy, Onetto, Oñate, Oñoro,
Oporta, Oporto, Oquendo, Ora, Orama, Oramas, Orantes, Ordeñana, Ordoñes,
Ordóñez, Orduz, Oreamuno, Oreas, Oreiro, Orella, Orellana, Orfila, Orias,
Orios, Orjas, Orjuela, Orlich, Ormasis, Ormeño, Orna, Ornes, Orochena,
Orocu, Orosco, Orozco, Ortega, Ortegón, Ortiz, Ortuño, Orve, Osante, Oseda,
Osegueda, Osejo, Osequeda, Oses, Osorio, Osorno, Ospina, Ospino, Ossa,
Otalvaro, Otárola, Otero, Oto, Otoya, Ovares, Ovarez, Oviedo, Ozerio, Ozores,
Pabón, Pacheco, Paco, Padilla, Páez,
Paguaga, País, Países, Paiz, Pajuelo, Palacino,
Palacio, Palacios, Palaco, Paladino, Palazuelos,
Palencia, Palma, Palomar, Palomino, Palomo,
Pamares, Pampillo, Pana, Pandolfo, Paniagua,
Pantigoso, Pantoja, Paña, Papez, Parada, Parado,
Parajeles, Parajón, Páramo, Pardo, Paredes, Pareja, Pares, París, Parra,
Parrales, Parreaguirre, Parriles, Parrilla, Pasamontes, Pasapera, Pasos,
Passapera, Pastor, Pastora, Pastrán, Pastrana, Pastrano, Patiño, Patricio, Paut,
Pauth, Pavez, Pavón, Paz, Pazmiño, Pazos, Pedraza, Pedreira, Pedreiro,
Pedroza, Peinador, Peinano, Peláez, Pellas, Pellecer, Pena, Penabad, Penado,
Pendones, Penón, Penso, Peña, Peñaloza, Peñaranda, Peñas, Peñate, Penzo,
Peñón, Peraldo, Perales, Peralta, Peraza, Perdomo, Perea, Perearnau, Pereira,
Pereiras, Perera, Pereyra, Pérez, Perezache, Pergo, Pericón, Perla, Perlaza,
Pessoa, Peynado, Peytrequín, Pezo, Picado, Picasso, Picavea, Pichardo, Pico,
Picón, Piedra, Piedrafita, Pila, Pilarte, Pimente, Pina, Pinada, Pinagel, Pinagen,
Pinar, Pincai, Pincay, Pinchinat, Pineda, Pinel, Pinell, Piney, Pinillos, Pinkay,
Pino, Pintado, Pinto, Pinzas, Piña, Piñar, Piñate, Piñeiro, Piñeres, Pinzón, Pío,
Pion, Piovano, Piovet, Pitalva, Piza, Pizarro, Pla, Plá, Placeres, Pláceres,
Plácido, Placidón, Plaja, Platero, Poblador, Poblete, Pocasangre, Pochet,
Podoy, Pokoy, Pol, Polamo, Polo, Polonio, Poma, Pomar, Pomareda, Pomares,
Ponares, Ponce, Pontigo, Pool, Porat, Porquet, Porras, Porta, Portela,
Porter,Portero, Portilla, Portillo, Portobanco, Portocarrera, Portugués,
Portuguez, Posada, Posla, Poveda, Povedano, Pozo, Pozos, Pozuelo, Prada,
Pradella, Pradilla, Prado, Prat, Pratt, Pravia, Prendas, Prendis, Pretiz, Prettel,
Prieto, Prietto, Primante, Prior, Prioto, Privatt, Procupez, Puente, Puentes,
Puertas, Puga, Puig, Pujo, Pujol, Pulido, Pulis, Pull, Pulles, Pupo, Purcallas.
Quedo, Queralt, Queredo, Querra, Quesada,
Quevedo, Quezada, Quiel, Quijada, Quijano,
Quinaz, Quinde, Quino, Quintana, Quintanilla,
Quinter, Quintero, Quinto, Quiñones, Quiñónez,
Quirce, Quiroga, Quirós, Quiroz.
Raa, Raabe, Raba, Rabetta, Raga, Raigada,
Raigosa, Ramírez, Ramón, Ramos, Randel,
Randuro, Rangel, Raphael, Rauda, Raudes, Raudez,
Raventos, Raventós, Raygada, Rayo, Rayos, Real,
Reales, Reazco, Recinos, Recio, Redondo, Regaño,
Regidor, Regueira, Regueyra, Reich, Reina,
Renderos, Rendón, Reñazco, Repeto, Repetto, Requene, Requeno, Requeño,
Rescia, Resenterra, Restrepo, Retana, Reuben, Revelo, Revilla, Revollar,
Revollo, Rey, Reyes, Reyna, Riba, Ribas, Ribera, Ribero, Ricardo, Ricaurte,
Riera, Rileva, Rincón, Río, Ríos, Riotte, Rivalta, Rivardo, Rivas, Rivel,
Rivera, Rivero, Riverón, Riveros, Rizo, Roa, Roba, Robelo, Roble, Robles,
Robleto, Roboz, Roca, Rocabado, Rocca, Roch, Rocha, Roda, Rodas,
Rodesma, Rodesno, Rodezno, Rodó, Rodo, Rodrigo, Rodríguez, Roe, Roig,
Rois, Rojas, Rojo, Roldán, Romagosa, Román, Romano, Romero, Roque,
Rosa, Rosabal, Rosales, Rosas, Rouillón, Rovillón, Rovira, Roviralta, Roy,
Royo, Roys, Rozados, Rozo, Ruano, Rubí, Rubia, Rubín, Rubino, Rubio,
Rucavado, Rudín, Rueda, Rugama, Rugeles, Ruh, Ruilova, Ruin, Ruiz,
Romoroso, Russo.
Saavedra, Saba, Sabah, Saballo, Saballos,
Sabat, Sabate, Sabba, Sabín, Sabogal, Saborío,
Saboz, Sacasa, Sacida, Sada, Sadaña, Sáenz, Saer,
Saerron, Sáez, Safiano, Sage, Sagel, Sagot,
Sagreda, Saguero, Sala, Salablanca, Salamanca,
Salas, Salazar, Salbavarro, Salcedo, Salcino,
Saldaña, Saldivar, Salgada, Salgado, Salguera, Salguero, Saliba, Salinas,
Salmerón, Salmón, Salom, Salomón, Salumé, Salume, Salustro, Salvado,
Salvatierra, Salvo, Samaniego, Sambrana, Samper, Samudio, Samuel, San Gil,
San José, San Juan, San Martín, San Román, San Silvestre, Sanabria,
Sanahuja, Saname, Sanamucia, Sanarrusia, Sánchez, Sancho, Sandí, Sandigo,
Sandino, Sandoval, Sandria, Sandy, Sanga, Sangil, Sanjines, Sanjuan,
Sansebastián, Sansilvestre, Sanson, Sansores, Santa Ana, Santa Cruz, Santa
María, Santacruz, Santamaría, Santana, Santander, Santiago, Santibanes,
Santiesteban, Santillán, Santín, Santisteban, Santoanastacio, Santos,
Sanvicente, Sanz, Saraiva, Saravanja, Saravia, Sardinas, Sardiñas, Sariego,
Sarmiento, Sárraga, Sarratea, Sarraulte, Sarria, Sas, Sasso, Satjo, Sauceda,
Saucedo, Sauza, Savala, Savallos, Savedra, Savinón, Saxón, Sayaguez, Scriba,
Seas, Seballos, Secades, Secaida, Seco, Sedano, Sedo, Segares, Segovia,
Segreda, Segura, Sehezar, Selaya, Selles, Selva, Selvas, Semerawno,
Semeraro, Sepúlveda, Sequeira, Sermeño, Serra, Serracín, Serrano, Serrato,
Serraulte, Serru, Serrut, Servellón, Sevilla, Sevillano, Sibaja, Sierra, Sieza,
Sigüenza, Siguenza, Siles, Siliezar, Silva, Silvera, Silvia, Simana, Simón,
Sinchico, Sio, Sion, Siri, Sirias, Siverio, , Siz, Sobalvarro, Sobrado, Sojo, Sol,
Solana, Solano, Solar, Solares, Solarte, Soldevilla, Solé, Solemne, Soler,
Solera, Soley, Solís, Soliz, Solno, Solo, Solórzano, Soltero, Somarriba,
Somarribas, Somoza, Soria, Sorio, Soro, Sorto, Sosa, Sossa, Sosto, Sotela,
Sotelo, Sotillo, Soto, Sotomayor, Sotres, Souto, Soutullo, Sovalbarro, Soza,
Suárez, Suazao, Suazo, Subia, Subiros, Subirós, Subisos, Succar, Sueiras,
Suñer, Suñol, Surroca, Suyapa, Suzarte.
Tabah, Tabares, Tablada, Tabor, Tabora,
Taborda, Taco, Tagarita, Tagarró, Tal, Talavera,
Taleno, Tamara, Tamargo, Tamayo, Tames,
Tanchez, Tanco, Tapia, Tapias, Taracena,
Tardencilla, Tarjan, Tarrillo, Tasara, Tate, Tato,
Tavares, Tedesco, Teherán, Teijeiro, Teixido,
Tejada, Tejeda, Tejos, Tellería, Telles, Téllez, Tello, Tellos, Tencio, Tenorio,
Terán, Tercero, Terrade, Terrientes, Terrin, Terrín, Thames, Theran, Thiel,
Thiele, Thuel, Tíjeres, Tijerino, Tinoco, Toala, Tobal, Tobar, Tobe, Tobella,
Tobín, Tobón, Toledo, Toletino, Tomas, Tomás, Tomeu, Toribio, Torijano,
Tormo, Toro, Torralba, Torre, Torrealba, Torregresa, Torregroza, Torrente,
Torrentes, Torres, Tórrez, Tortós, Tortosa, Toruño, Tosso, Touma, Toval,
Tovar, Trala, Traña, Traures, Travierzo, Travieso, Trediño, Treguear, Trejos,
Treminio, Treviño, Triana, Trigo, Triguel, Triguero, Trigueros, Trilite,
Trimarco, Trimiño, Triquell, Tristán, Triunfo, Troche, Trocanis, Troncoso,
Troya, Troyo, Troz, Trueba, Truffat, Trujillo, Trullas, Trullás, Truque, Tula,
Turcio, Turcios.
Ubach, Ubao, Ubeda, Ubico, Ubilla, Ubisco,
Ubizco, Ucanan, Ucañan, Ugalde, Ugarte, Ujueta,
Ulacia, Ulate, Ulcigrai, Ulcigral, Ulecia, Uley,
Ulibarri, Ulloa, Umaña, Umanzor, Ungar, Urain,
Uralde, Urbano, Urbina, Urcuyo, Urdangarin, Urea,
Urela, Ureña, Urgellés, Uriarte, Uribe, Uriel,
Urieta, Uriza, Uroz, Urquiaga, Urra, Urraca, Urrea, Urroz, Urruela, Urrutia,
Urtecho, Urunuela, Urzola, Usaga, Useda, Uva, Uveda, Uzaga, Uzcategui.
Vadivia, Vado, Valdelomar, Valderama,
Valderrama, Valderramo, Valderramos, Valdés,
Valdescastillo, Valdez, Valdiva, Valdivia,
Valdivieso, Valencia, Valenciano, Valentín,
Valenzuela, Valera, Valerín, Valerio, Vales,
Valiente, Valladares, Vallarino, Vallcaneras,
Valldeperas, Valle, Vallecillo, Vallecillos, Vallejo, Vallejos, Valles, Vallez,
Valls, Vals, Valverde, Vanegas, Vaquerano, Vardesia, Varela, Varga, Vargas,
Vargo, Varsi, Varsot, Vartanian, Varth, Vasco, Vasconcelos, Vasílica,
Vásquez, Vassell, Vaz, Veas, Vedoba, Vedova, Vedoya, Vega, Vegas, Vela,
Velarde, Velasco, Velásquez, Velazco, Velázquez, Vélez, Veliz, Venegas,
Ventura, Vera, Verardo, Verastagui, Verdesia, Verdesoto, Vergara, Verguizas,
Vertiz, Verzola, Vesco, Viales, Viana, Viatela, Vicario, Vicente, Vico, Víctor,
Victores, Victoria, Vidaechea, Vidal, Vidales, Vidalón, Vidaorreta, Vidaurre,
Videche, Vieira, Vieto, Vigil, Vigot, Vila, Vilaboa, Vilallobos, Vilanova,
Vilaplana, Villar, Villareal, Villarebia, Villareiva, Villarreal, Villarroel, Villas,
Villaseñor, Villasuso,Villatoro, Villaverde, Villavicencio, Villeda, Villegas,
Villejas, Villena, Viloria, Vindas, Vindel, Vinueza, Viñas, Víquez, Viscaino,
Viso, Vivallo, Vivas, Vivero, Vives, Vívez, Vivies, Vivó, Vizcaíno, Vizcayno.
Wainberg, Wolf.
Xatruch, Xirinachs, Xiques.
Yaacobi, Yanarella, Yanayaco, Yanes,
Yepez, Yglesias, Yllanes, Yurica, Yzaguirre.
Zabala, Zabaleta, Zabate, Zablah, Zacarías,
Zacasa, Zalazar, Zaldivar, Zallas, Zambrana,
Zambrano, Zamora, Zamorano, Zamudio, Zamuria,
Zapata, Zaragoza, Zárate, Zarco, Zaror, Zarzosa,
Zavala, Zavaleta, Zayas, Zayat, Zecca, Zedan,
Zegarra, Zelada, Zelaya, Zeledón, Zepeda, Zetina,
Zonta, Zoratte, Zuleta, Zumba, Zumbado, Zúñiga, Zunzunegui.

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

BBC Investigation Uncovers More Large Scale Student Visa Immigration Fraud

An investigation by the BBC’s flagship Panorama documentary programme has identified systemic immigration fraud related to the government’s Tier 4 Student Visa scheme
Over 200,000 student visas are approved annually, along with a further 100,000 extension to those already studying at British universities and colleges.Qualifications for Tier 4 visas are relatively stringent, and include a verbal and written English test, a 200-question multiple choice test, relevant academic qualifications, adequate support funds and sponsorship by a recognised UK academic institution. 

Panorama infiltrated a number of immigration consultancies by sending in bona-fide students posing as would-be clients. Consultants at the agencies were caught on camera and audio offering to substitute fluent English-speakers at the oral exam, giving out copies of answers to the multiple-choice exam and forging education certificates and bank statements. 

The fake clients told agencies they wanted to apply for Tier 4 student visas, but had come to the UK to work full-time. They also admitted they did not possess the correct paperwork or support funds for the application and were told that, on production of £2,500, everything would be provided as described. 

One consultant even boasted that he would hack into a bank’s site and choose a customer with a similar name and healthy bank balance to be used as proof of support funds. Following the showing of the programme, the government has suspended all English language testing by educational testing company ETS as well as suspending its sponsorship licensing of several English language colleges.

Monday, March 17, 2014

Taiwan Works on Simplified Visa Process for Cruise Travelers

Taiwan will take on the growing cruise market by launching a program to simplify the visa application process for travelers visiting the island's ports, an official from Taiwan International Ports Corporation said Friday.
The National Immigration Agency (NIA) and Ministry of Transportation and Communications have recently reached an agreement to outline measures to simplify the visa process for travelers arriving on cruise liners, said Wei Shuo-liang, a spokesman for the Port of Keelung, which is under the management of the company.

The measures will be similar to a visa free program and will not require advanced applications, Wei said, adding that visitors will receive a temporary travel pass onboard after their cruise operators notify NIA of travelers' information.

However, Chinese passengers will not be included in the program, Wei said.

Around 10,000 cruise travelers, mostly from Southeast Asian countries, will benefit from the program, he said.

The number of cruise travelers to Taiwan is expected to increase by 250,000 to 550,000 in 2014, partly as a result of the program, according to the ports corporation.

The company is hoping to turn Taiwan's Keelung and Kaohsiung ports into cruise hubs for Northeast Asia and Southeast Asia, Liu Shih-tsung, vice president of the ration announced earlier this month at Cruise Shipping Miami 2014 trade show. 

Friday, March 14, 2014

Thousands of Immigrants Become US Citizens to Mark Presidents’ Day

Almost 18,000 people became US citizens in ceremonies across the country to mark Presidents’ Day, according to figures released by the US Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS.)
‘I am very proud that nearly 18,000 immigrants have become US citizens. It is special for our newest citizens to take their Oaths of Allegiance as we celebrate Presidents’ Day,’ said USCIS Acting Director Lori Scialabba.

‘Our newest citizens will help shape our nation’s future. Through the contributions they make, and by choosing to naturalize, they reinforce America’s unique heritage as a nation of immigrants,’ Scialabba added.

The United States welcomes thousands of foreign workers in multiple occupations or employment categories every year. These include artists, researchers, cultural exchange participants, information technologyspecialists, religious workers, investors, scientists, athletes, nurses, agricultural workers and others.

All foreign workers must obtain permission to work legally in the United States. Each employment category for admission has different requirements, conditions and authorized periods of stay. It is important that you adhere to the terms of your application or petition for admission and visa. Any violation can result in removal or denial of re-entry into the country.

There are various visa options. A temporary worker can obtain a visa for entering the country for a specific purpose over a set period of time and is restricted to the activity or reason for which their visa was issued.

A permanent worker is an individual who is authorized to live and work permanently in the United States.

Students and exchange visitors may, under certain circumstances, be allowed to work in the United States. They must obtain permission from an authorized official at their college.

Employers must verify that an individual whom they plan to employ or continue to employ is authorized to work. Individuals, such as those who have been admitted as permanent residents, granted asylum or refugee status, or admitted in work related non-immigrant classifications, may have employment authorization as a direct result of their immigration status. Others may need to apply individually for employment authorization.

Temporary visas are also available for business, unless you qualify for admission without a visa under the Visa Waiver Programme.

Thursday, March 13, 2014

Paris: Still the World's No.1 Tourist Destination

Some 32.3 million tourists say France's city of light and romance can't be beat. Paris was once again last year the world's top tourist destination, the regional tourism body said on Monday, citing hotel occupancies.
Despite some tough global economic conditions, it said 2013 was a very good year for tourism in Paris and the surrounding Ile-de-France region, with foreign visitors at "the highest level in 10 years". The nearly 15.5 million foreign visitors to the French capital represented an 8.2 percent increase from 2012. The largest number (2.1 million) came across the Channel from Britain, followed by the Americans, Germans, Italians and Chinese.

It also marked the first time the Chinese topped the list of tourists from Asia with 881,000 flocking to Paris, surpassing the Japanese. There was also a nearly 21-percent increase in visitors from the Middle East, according to the Ile-de-France Regional Tourism Committee.

Ironically, it was the French themselves who seemed less enthusiastic about visiting their world famous capital last year, with the number of French tourists in Parisian hotels dropping by 7.5 percent from 2012.

Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Puerto Galera Will do a Huge Task of Rebranding

As one of the Top 45 Must-Visit Beaches in the Philippines, Puerto Galera  has white sand beaches, clear blue waters, rich reefs for diving, a 10-minute drive to lush mountains, an alluring waterfall and various available accommodations should make this municipality among the country's top tourism spots, but it has not yet been so.
Local residents and businesses in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro are mainly sustained by the 200,000 foreign and domestic tourists every year--a mere fraction of Boracay's 1.2 million visitors.

Mayor Hubbert Dolor admits that the picturesque coastal town deserves more than to be known primarily for its rowdy, booming nightlife.

"We need... promotions," Dolor said in an interview with Philstar.com. "Ninety-five percent of our industry is anchored on tourism. We cannot afford to lose our tourists."

Tagged in 2005 as one of the most beautiful bays in the world by Paris-based Les Plus Belles Baies Du Monde club and its Verde Island Passage designated a biosphere reserve of UNESCO, Puerto Galera is not short of distinctions.

With those rare honors in mind, Dolor dreams that the ambitious tagline he attached to Galera would catch on.

"Puerto Galera, the heart of Asia ... I'm really dreaming and I would like Puerto Galera to be among the top destinations in the country. When I say top, I mean top, following global standards," he said.

Governor Alfonso Umali regrets that Boracay has surpassed the landlocked coves in terms of popularity and income when it is nearer to the capital. His government is likewise seated in Puerto Galera.

"Kami, proximity-wise, one hour [lang] from Batangas. Yung P10,000 mo, you spend it only for one day in Boracay. Dito, for one family na 'yon," Umali said in a separate interview with Philstar.com.

"For so long a time, nakalimutan 'ata yung Mindoro sa mapa ng turismo," he added.

Dolor and Umali, however, have reasons to hope. In recent years, Galera saw a new influx of tourists ushered in by the Malasimbo Arts and Music Festival held at the foothills of Mt. Malasimbo and overlooking the bay.
"Puerto Galera is again being put into the world map of tourism industry, that is why we are supporting this festival," Dolor said.

He explained how the five-day party featuring a unique lineup of local and international artists from the world of reggae, soul and world music has made Galera known not only for its beaches but for its natural features "above the waters."

Umali similarly hailed Frenchman Hubert d'Aboville (whom he called a "super man") and his family for having initiated the giant project of Malasimbo to help rebrand the island.

Besides Malasimbo, Dolor raves about another project to promote local tourism: Summerscape, a three-month series of events that centers around the bays and beaches.

"If you want to get relaxed, if you want to get away from the traffic or city life, then you go to Puerto Galera, you do some escaping," he said.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Trends In USCIS Processing Of L-1B Petitions

Analysis of new data obtained from U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ("USCIS") reveals a dramatic increase in the number of L-1B Non Immigrant visa petitions filed, approved and denied, as well as the number of Requests for Evidence ("RFEs") issued by the two Service Centers responsible for processing L-1 petitions, the California Service Center ("CSC") and the Vermont Service Center ("VSC"). This data was released in response to a Freedom of Information request filed by the American Immigration Law Association ("AILA").

As you can see from the chart below, the data reveals an increase in L-1B denial from 27% in FY2011 to 30% in FY2012 and 34% in FY2013.  These rates mark a distinct trend in steep increases from prior years:  7% in 2007, 22% in 2008, 26% in 2009, and 22% in 2010, despite the fact that there has been no change in the law or regulations related to L-1B visa.

The information indicates that USCIS has clearly changed its internal standard for adjudicating L-1B petitions and further, that there may be different internal standards at each of the Service Centers, given the higher number of RFEs and denials from the CSC.
The L-1B visa classification is available to key employees, with specialized knowledge, of multinational companies (called "intracompany transferees"). The L-1B visa requires that the employee has been employed abroad for one full year during the preceding three years by a foreign entity related to the U.S. company as a parent, branch, subsidiary or affiliate who has acquired specialized knowledge of the company's business, operations, services and/or products.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Top 45 Must-Visit Beaches in the Philippines - Part 5

Calaguas, Camarines Norte

Situated in the northernmost part of Bicol region, specifically Camarines Norte, are the islands of Calaguas which are famous for its long stretch of beaches endowed with mysterious beauty and charm. Mahabang Buhangan/Halabang BayBay, which means long beach, is deemed as the most sought-after beach in Calaguas owing to its picture-perfect haven. 


Boracay is by far regarded as the most famous fully-developed beach paradise in Caticlan, Panay Island due to its fine white sand, turquoise-clear waters, picturesque scenery and ideal place to party with a huge crowd of tourists. Boracay is also considered as an ideal vacation destination to experience diverse, breathtaking sports and tour activities such as parasailing, island hopping, luxury sailing, biking, trekking, paddle touring, atv and buggy car driving and the list simply goes on and on. Moreover, if you are in for a more laid-back and secluded view of its beaches then Puka Beach is definitely the place to be. 

El Nido, Palawan

Nacpan and Calitang Twin Beaches may appear to be unheard of to many foreign tourists but mind you, the moment you set foot to these beaches in the northern portion of El Nido, Palawan, you will be drawn to stay longer just to completely fathom the bliss it offers. It is remote yet awe-inspiringly beautiful. 

Alona Beach Resort in Panglao, Bohol

The moment you visit Bohol, Alona Beach Resort should be included in your must-see attractions. Alona Beach is to be found on Panglao Island in the first-rate island province of Bohol. Regarded as the topmost scenic beach of Panglao Island, Alona Beach has won the hearts of many travelers. 

Malacapuya Island, Coron, Palawan

Coron, Palawan is undoubtedly dubbed as one of the renowned tourist spots in the Philippines due to its pristine beaches and remarkable showcase of nature’s splendour. But among its featured destinations, Malcapuya Island has captured the limelight.

Dako Island, Siargao

Distinctly popular for its splendid clear blue waters and remote, relaxing atmosphere, travelers and visitors are entirely lured by the spellbinding beauty of Dako Island in Siargao which is ideal for swimming, snorkeling and kayaking. Some even say that its feel is unrivaled with the overly-developed Boracay Island.

Bantayan Island, Cebu

Bantayan Island is a treasure awaiting to be uncovered to the west of the farther northern tip of Cebu Island just across the Tañon Strait. Bantayan Island is recently recognized as Cebu’s partially-secret island oasis for those searching for a quiet place with unspoilt air, astounding blue waters and capture-worthy sunrise and sunsets.

Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte

If you happen to visit Ilocos which is on the northern part of Luzon, then Pagudpud should never be overlooked in your itinerary. Pagudpud exudes a perfect facet as to why Philippines became more popular as a beach destination. To give you a more detailed overview of Pagudpud you may visit this post Pagudpud, Ilocos Norte: Seascape Escape.

Talikud Island, IGACOS

The instance you take a glimpse of Davao City, island hopping in Samal Island is undeniably a must for tour-goers. With a bunch of beach destinations to choose from, a vacation getaway in Samal is indeed a must try. For those who are in for an thrilling and soothing location with crystal-clear blue waters then, Isla Reta Beach Resort in Talicud is the perfect choice to choose in Samal Island.

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Top 45 Must-Visit Beaches in the Philippines - Part 4

Dakak Beach in Dapitan Zamboanga del Norte

Dakak Park and Beach Resort is undeniably one of the closest regions in the southern end of Mindanao which offers a scenic vacation getaway with its natural splendor and seclusion. Renowned to keep away from the typhoon danger zones, Dakak is highly esteemed as one of the perfect all-season destination for travellers especially for those who long for the rich, untainted beauty of the underwater kingdom.

Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental

If you want a place where you can surf your heart out in a not so far flung portion of Davao then Dahican Beach in Mati, Davao Oriental is the ultimate destination to consider. Dahican shows off its heart-pumping surf breaks which are perfect for amateur and professional surfing enthusiasts.

Islas de Gigantes in Carles, Iloilo

Islas de Gigantes or Island of the Giants is composed of a cluster of islands nestled on the coastlines of Carles and Estancia towns in Iloilo’s North. Islas de Gigantes is proud of its luscious fresh seafood, awesome beaches and majestic rock formations.

Nakabuang Beach, Batanes

Indulge in one of the featured beaches in Batanes Island. Be stunned with the Nakabuang Beach and experience its unique ambiance which has been mostly showcased in several blogs . To find out more as to why this place is a must-explore you may check this out SABTANG ISLAND, JEWEL OF BATANES, PHILIPPINES.

White Island, Camiguin

Travel to White Island, Camiguin and be captivated by its enthralling views of what seems like a floating beach in heaven. Realize why White Island’s sandbar has caught the heart of many tourist travellers in Mindanao and delight in a truly unforgettable journey.

Laiya beach, Batangas

Definitely another must-see jewel in the Philippines is Laiya Beach in San Juan, Batangas. Laiya Beach is popular for its white sands, lucid waters and culture-rich fishing villages. It exudes an abundant seawater life due to its cool snorkelling sites.

Cagwait Beach

Deemed as another prized possession in Mindanao is Cagwait Beach in Surigao del Sur. It is known for its calming presence, picturesque sceneries and a beauty that is like no other.

Bohol Virgin Island

Be drawn by this famous attraction in Bohol. Bohol Virgin Island which is situated 15-20 minutes from the famous Panglao Island is well-adored for its secret paradise, extensive coastlines and cool waters that are conducive for swimming and sunbathing.

Pundaquit in San Antonio, Zambales

Visit San Antonio, Zambales and be mesmerized by its several featured beaches such as Anawanin Cove and Camara Island. The minute you’ve laid eyes on San Antonio, Zambales you’ll feel compelled to stay longer and just plunge into its waters and savour the perfect sun-kissed weather.

Sambawan Island in Biliran

Sambawan Island is one of the must-see tourist attractions that Biliran, Leyte takes pride of. Sambawan Island possesses tranquil waters, fine white sand and rich aquatic wildlife,  especially that of its Blue Sharks which are regarded as breathtakingly amazing the moment you take a glimpse of it.

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Top 45 Must-Visit Beaches in the Philippines - Part 3

Sumilon Island, Cebu

You fell in love with Oslob because of its friendly whale sharks then all the more will you love Sumilon Island. Sumilon Island is located in Southeastern Coast of Oslob, Cebu and is well-adored for its romantic beach, rich marine life, verdant forest and delicious food.

Anguib Beach Sta Ana, Cagayan

One of the best beaches to be found in the northeastern portion of the Philippines is Anguib Beach in Sta. Ana, Cagayan. Anguib has been considered as the Boracay of the North for several beach aficionados due to its pristine waters and powdery white sand.

Sta. Cruz Island Zamboanga City

If the white sand beaches no longer get your attention then, the Pink shores in Sta. Cruz Island, Zamboanga is the ultimate sweet escape for you. This  little island in Sta. Cruz Islands is purely captivating not just of its diving haven but also because of its incomparable pink fine sand which owes its beauty to the unique mixture of red corals with the natural white sand.

Malamawi Island, Basilan

Malamawi Island may not be as enticing in comparison to other famous beach resorts in Mindanao owing to some security issues, nonetheless, this shouldn’t hinder anyone from unleashing the beauty that this secluded island has to offer. Prepare for an out of the ordinary adventure in Basilan, Isabela and be surprised by its wonderful seascapes.

Panampangan Island, Tawi-tawi

Discover the famous crescent-shaped island in white sand dotted at the municipality of Sapa-Sapa of Tawi-Tawi. Panampangan Island is well known for beachgoers who take pleasure in island-hopping and exploring sights that are unspoilt thus also named Virgin Island.

San Vicente, Palawan

San Vicente is without a doubt another gem that you should look forward experiencing in Palawan. San Vicente offers a wide range of tourist destinations to choose from such as the Long Beach which measures 14km long, Alimanguan Beach, Pinagmangalokan Beach, Inarayan Beach, Irawan, Nagtulay and Ombo Beach.

Paliton Beach, Siquijor

Considered as a good-looking in Siquijor, Philippines, Paliton Beach continues to capture the interest of tourists. With a quite remote setting to offer, visitors are more likely ensured to have a good time to relax in this panoramic beach in Siquijor.   No wonder Sabrina of Just One Way Ticket really love this beach.

Caramoan, Camarines Sur

Delight in the featured tourist destinations of Caramoan, Camarines Sur such as Sabitang Laya Island, Gota Beach, Caramoan National Park,  and be forever drawn to fall in love with its glory. No wonder, Caramoan has been chosen several times as the location for the world-renowned Survivor series.

Patar Beach in Bolinao, Pangasinan

Another must-discover jewel in Bolinao, Pangasinan is Patar Beach which is just an hour ride from Alaminos. The sands of Patar Beach appear to be brownish when the sun is up but at sunset, that is when the enchantment begins. Patar showcases one of the most spectacular sunsets you will ever see with a beautiful blend of vibrant colours of red, orange and yellow. The moment you see it, it’s as if the world stops and you just want to fly away with its beauty forever.

Gumasa Beach, Sarangani

If you want to know the feel of what Boracay was like when it was still not overly commercialized then, Gumasa Beach in Sarangani province of Mindanao will suit your taste. Gumasa offers a slow-paced atmosphere, white shores and waters which are perfect for various kinds of water sports.

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Top 45 Must-Visit Beaches in the Philippines - Part 2

Sibuyan Island, Romblon

Sibuyan Island is a moon-shaped island in Romblon which is admired for its unspoilt white sand beaches and Mt. Guiting-Guiting which is a favorite spot for trekking enthusiasts. So if you want to have the time of your life in an island that is isolated from the hustle and bustle of the city life then Sibuyan Island is the perfect escapade for you.

Hundred Islands in Alaminos, Pangasinan

If you feel you can’t get enough of the famous beach destinations in Luzon then all the more should you explore Hundred Islands. If you think you don’t have all the time in the world to visit the entire 7,107 islands of the Philippines, I suggest delving into a hundred Islands in one trip is a big achievement when you visit Alaminos, Pangasinan.  Hundred Islands offer lush green rain-forests, rich coral sanctuaries and deep blue waters which may truly tickle your fancies.

Sabang Beach in Puerto Princesa, Palawan

Sabang Puerto Princesa displays a unique fusion of peace and entertainment in the vibrant metropolitan of Palawan. With a great deal of tourist spots to explore, Sabang will surprise you in more ways than one. You will undeniably be captivated by its colossal limestone cliffs and beautiful background the instance you see it.

Canyon Cove in Nasugbu, Batangas

Dotted in the Far East Road of Piloto Wawa Nasugbu, Batangas is Canyon Cove Residential Beach Resort. Canyon Cove seeks to fulfill the dream getaway of any tourist traveler who wants to shy away from the worries and busyness of the city life.

Bas Daku in Moalboal, Cebu

Bas Daku in Moalboal is a certified first-class diving destination lying 3 hours away from Cebu City. Aside from Bas Daku, Moalboal is also renowned as a jump-start point for Pescador Island which is a leading spot for SCUBA diving.

Tingko Beach in Alcoy, Cebu

Nestled in Daan Lungsod, Alcoy Cebu is Tingko Beach which is a favorite travel destination for tourists owing to its long stretch of coastline. It exhibits natural turquoise waters and white sands which you can enjoy without any expense. What’s more to look forward is you can prepare and bring your own cooked food in the area and have more fun while swimming and catching fish.

Babas Cove, Dinagat Island 

Babas Cove is situated in Dinagat Island which is to be found on the northeast portion of Mindanao. It is an out of the ordinary body of water which primarily contains seawater and a small layer of rainwater. The name of the lake was derived from the words baba sa buwaya which means mouth of the crocodile since its inlet leads to a small beach where the path of the lake starts.

Ampere Beach, Dipaculao, Aurora

Amepere Beach is to be found in Dipaculao, Aurora just an hour travel time from the famous Baler Beach in Northern Luzon. Amepere is encompassed with even rock formations of different shapes and dark colors and is well loved as Bunga or Ampere Point due to its strong wave blasts upon hitting the coastline cave.

Puerto Galera, Mindoro

Puerto Galera or port of galleons is a little town situated on the northeast shores of Mindoro. It is highly regarded as a peaceful small town which is famous for its perfect summer spot. It is well adored for its remarkable beaches and heart-pumping water activities. Other tourists also visit Puerto Galera for its lush forests, waterfalls, and diving sanctuaries.

Thunderbird Poro Point, San Fernando, La Union

Thunderbird Resort in La Union has long captivated the interest of a huge number of tourists because of its delightful sceneries of the seascapes. Thunderbird is well known not just for its ambience but also because for its wide array of activities and amenities to offer its clients which makes it more enjoyable for the family and travel bugs.

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