Monthly Archives: April 2013

EEA Countries

Over the last few decades, European countries have created many agreements to integrate their governments through trade, policy and cultural understanding. Perhaps the most widely-known of these endeavours is the European Union, a contract between 27 member states that includes a governing board on which sits representatives from each member. However, there is another, similar, agreement called the European Economic Area.The EEA is an agreement between 30 European countries — the 27 countries of the European Union (EU) and the three countries of the European Free Trade Association — Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway. The EEA was created in 1994 as a union between countries and extended many of the policies of the EU to encompass the EFTA. The EU four freedoms are included in the agreement — the free movement of goods, services, persons and capital. However other EU provisions, such as the Customs Union and the Common Trade Policy, are not included in the EEA.

The EEA was created by a desire of EFTA countries to integrate with the European Community (EC) without actually becoming a part of it. The European Union was not created until 2009, but all the EC countries are a part of it.
EFTA countries value their independence and some leaders believe the governing body of the EC and the EU is too invasive — their attempt to impose rules and regulations upon member countries is sometimes obtrusive and interferes with current policy.

European Economic Area

The European Economic Area is a union comprised of all the countries of the European Union as well as Iceland, Liechtenstein and Norway.

The countries in the EEA are:

  • Iceland
  • Finland
  • Denmark
  • Netherlands
  • Luxembourg
  • Portugal
  • France
  • Greece
  • Czech Republic
  • Cyprus
  • Lithuania
  • Malta
  • Slovenia
  • Bulgaria
  • Norway
  • Sweden
  • United Kingdom
  • Germany
  • Belgium
  • Austria
  • Spain
  • Italy
  • Liechtenstein
  • Estonia
  • Latvia
  • Hungary
  • Poland
  • Slovakia
  • Romania

Post Study Visa UK


The Tier 1,Post-Study Work visa is closed to new applicants as of 6 April 2012. That means if you have not already been issued this visa, you cannot apply for it until the category is reopened. There is no set date to reopen the category.
However, if you are a dependent relative of someone living in the UK on a valid Tier 1, Post-Study Work Visa, you may apply for a dependent visa and join them in the UK.

Apply for a Dependent Visa

According to the UK Border Agency, the following dependent relatives are eligible for a visa:
• Children under 18 years of age;
• Spouses;
• Civil partners;
• Unmarried partners; and
• Same-sex partners.
There are some conditions of stay if you are granted a dependant visa. You will not have recourse to public funds, which means you won’t be able to access many benefits paid by the state. You must register with the police if you have been granted a period of stay lasting more than six months.
To apply for this visa, use the form “Application for a Grant of Leave and Biometric Immigration Document as a Dependant of a Tier 1, 2 or 5 Worker — Main Applicant.” You will need to provide supporting evidence with your application, mainly things that prove your relationship to the visa holder. You will need a valid passport or travel document as well.

Biometric Residence Permit

If granted a dependant visa, you will be issued a Biometric Residence Permit. This document shows your biographic details (name, date and place of birth) and other biometric information such as your immigration status and any conditions on your stay.

Visit UK Parliament


The Palace of Westminster is the meeting place of British Parliament and one of the most famed and featured buildings in the world. Heard of the Big Ben clock tower? That’s at the Palace of Westminster. If you are visiting the UK, this is definitely a site to be seen.

The Palace of Westminster is located in the city of Westminster, in central London. It sits on the Thames River and used to be home to the royal family (the royal family now lives at Buckingham Palace which is also located in the city of Westminster). The Palace contains 1100 rooms, 100 staircases and 4.8 km of passageways.

Visit Westminster Palace

If you are planning visit the palace, why not book a tour? Attend a parliamentary debate? Visit the Portcullis House?

Guided tours of Westminster Palace are given Fridays and Saturdays most weeks of the year. During the summer, tours are available Tuesday through Saturday. The tours last about an hour and half and take you through Commons and Lords Chambers, the Queen’s Robing Room, the Royal Gallery and Westminster Hall.  The palace is rich with spectacular art and gorgeous architecture that’s rife with history. Your tour guide will be able to tell you the story behind the building.

You can attend a Parliamentary debate during your visit. The galleries of the House of Lords and the House of Commons are open to the public. Watch how real government works. Funny fact — some members of parliament wear powdered white wigs!

The Portcullis House is the most recent addition to Parliament. Its modern architectural style features a stunning glass domed atrium. It is home to the House of Commons.