Friday, 24 March 2017

Where In The World Can You Earn The Most?

The total value of the world’s income is closing in on an eye-watering $70 trillion per year - that’s £43.9tn for us Brits. Wouldn’t it be great to know where on our planet you could get your hands on the most cash? Have you ever thought you’re not being paid what you’re worth? Ecard Shack have created The Global Payscale to show us just that.

The Top 5:

1) Luxembourg
If money makes your world go round, then packing up and relocating to Luxembourg seems like the way to go. They are the top country in regards to earning the most money, with an average wage that pays $29.02 an hour. Sounds too good to be true right?

The economy in Luxembourg is largely based on banking and investment. Many big internet-based companies have chosen Luxembourg as their country of residence; Amazon have their EU headquarters here and it is also the home to Skype’s headquarters.

2) USA

Second on the list of paying out the big bucks is the United States. Home to the world’s biggest stock exchange, the largest producer of oil and the second largest manufacturer in the world the land of the free has an average wage of $28.22.

The United States is the world's largest national economy in nominal terms and second largest according to purchasing power parity (PPP). They are also one of the world’s biggest traders.

3) Switzerland
Third on the list of where in the world you can earn the most is Switzerland.

Praised for their innovative attitude towards their national economy Switzerland have a really high per capita income rates and low instances of unemployment. Moving here you can take a trip to the Alps, or a mini break to the famous ski slopes all whilst enjoying an average wage of $28.07, although it does come at a price. The general cost of living is high and so are the taxes on wages.

4) Norway
One of the wealthiest nations in terms of natural resources including oil, hydropower, fishing and mining concerns Norway boasts an average earning of $24.47 per hour.

Similar to Switzerland, the generous wage promise from Norway comes with a price, Norwegians give up nearly 38% of their income for universal healthcare and higher education - BUT, their average work week is under 35 hours!

Norway can also offer you the chance to see the Northern Lights: the natural phenomenon that takes place across the Arctic sky, and they’re one of the few places on Earth that can,

5) Netherlands
Maybe a quick voyage across the North Sea to the culturally dense Netherlands where an average wage of $24.36 welcomes you is better suited?

Amsterdam, the nation’s capital, is home to Rijksmuseum, Van Gogh Museum and the famous house where Jewish diarist Anne Frank hid during WWII. The Netherlands is also home to the largest port in Europe which helps support their successful economy, where they celebrate universal healthcare and higher education.

Wednesday, 1 February 2017

How can J1-Internship help you expand your hospitality knowledge

Either during the course of a program or upon its completion, most awarding bodies enforce rules that make it mandatory for students to do an Internship. These Internships are a crucial element of a student successfully completing his/her degree or diploma.

So what’s a “J-1” Internship?

J-1 Internship is the Internship program that aims to give foreign students and recent graduates the chance to develop their skills, whilst building up their insight into the US business practice & culture. These interns are expected to then share the cross-cultural and professional experience they’ve gained in the U.S. upon returning to their own countries.

How can a J-1 Internship help expand my hospitality knowledge?

Practical Experience
Many people learn the best by actually engaging in an activity, and everyone benefits through witnessing the many methods & theories learned in the class being put to work.

Whether it’s learning a few new recipes as a Chef or even discovering the many ways of dealing with customers. Practice in your actual field of interest will no-doubt increase your expertise & knowledge of the sector.

Greater Sense of Clarity
Interning effectively gives you the opportunity to “test-drive” a job, career path or company before deciding to commit to any form of full-time employment. They also allow you to decipher which aspects you do or don’t like about a specific role or work environment, and can help shape your future path.

Prepare for life after graduation
Internships put you on the front-line to dealing with real-world issues & situations, meaning that you’ll have the chance to solve them by applying skills and knowledge that you gained in the classroom.

Increase Self-Confidence
Working in an environment surrounded by professionals can aid you in the process of feeling more comfortable, confident and at-ease in the workplace. You’ll also develop technical & soft skills which may come of use at some point in the future, developing your confidence in your abilities & knowledge on how to handle certain tasks.

Expand Professional Network
Through meeting professionals working in your industry of interest, you’ll have the opportunity to ask questions, connect with new people and simply find out things from them that you didn’t know before. The people you engage with can be a great resource as you grow, learn and practice skills within your field.

In summary, gaining practical experience, developing a greater sense of clarity, finding ways to deal with real-world issues & tasks, along with expanding your professional network, will all go towards expanding your hospitality knowledge whilst you undertake your J-1 Internship.

Thursday, 19 January 2017

If You Love to Work & Travel, You’ll Love the J-1 Internship!

What is a J1 visa?

The J1 visa is a non-immigrant visa which allows foreign nationals to enter the U.S. to participate in exchange programs which promote the sharing of knowledge and skills in education, arts and sciences. A J-1 visa holder is allowed to train with a Host Company approved by a Department of State designated Sponsor.

The main aim of J1 Visa is connecting young student and graduates with US businesses, to learn their practices and creating a cultural awareness of the US.

Advantages of a J1 Visa

 As an intern or trainee, you'll get a unique perspective on living and working in the USA.  A J-1 holder may work for institutions or companies within the individual’s specialized field, provided this work meets stipulated requirements and the J-1 program sponsor gives its written consent.

A J-1 Visa holder is able to experience the lifestyle and culture of the USA as he visits different places on their days off and holidays. The individual is able to strike up friendships and relationships with other International trainees as well as bond with Americans. This social interaction goes a long way in the individual’s personality development, improved social skills and diversity.

Another very important aspect of the J1 experience is the opportunity to be exposed to the newest techniques and trends in their industry. Best in class procedures and practises ensures the person is well versed in modern methods in use.

The overall experience equips a person to optimally leverage their professional talents and enhance their performance and competencies. Thus, the individual has a definite advantage over people with limited diverse geographical experience exposure.

Most people who have experienced the J1 program have a fast-tracked career trajectory on completion of the program. The fantastic chance to travel, learn, earn and network with people from all over the globe is a once in a lifetime opportunity, a chance no graduate who can avail of it should pass by.

Tuesday, 10 January 2017

5 Benefits of Going on a J-1 Internship to USA?

Who can be a J1 Visitor?

The J-1 visa exchange visitor program is a non-immigrant visa issued by the United States to visitors participating in programs that promote cultural exchange, to obtain medical or business training within the U.S. Visitors on J-1 visas include Hospitality interns as well as trainees, secondary school and college students, business trainees, trainees in flight aviation programs, teachers of primary and secondary school, college professors, research scholars, medical residents or interns receiving medical training in the U.S., certain specialists, international visitors, and government visitors.

A J-1 holder is specifically allowed to work for the J-1 program sponsor. A J-1 holder may not work for another employer without special authorization. A J-1 holder may work for companies or institutions within his/her specialization field, provided this occupation meets certain requirements and the J-1 program sponsor gives its written consent.

Benefits of an International Internship in the U.S.

Completing an internship program in the U.S. will expand your knowledge, adaptability, flexibility as well as interpersonal skills which will serve you well throughout your career. Enhancing your talents will make you a more sought after resource and help you achieve success in more ways than one. The experience of living and working abroad provides you with distinctive advantages:

Exposure to a Multicultural Environment: Individuals who choose to work abroad experience diverse working cultures. They enjoy the opportunity of being exposed to a cosmopolitan multi-cultural environment which enhances their knowledge, awareness and self-confidence. People with international experience have a definite competitive edge over their less experienced colleagues. Employers are always attracted to people who’ve worked abroad as they appreciate their diversity of outlook. Last but not least, working abroad gives professionals the opportunity to foster a global network of contacts.

Enhanced People Skills: As we are away from home, we interact with people from various cultures, languages, ideas, beliefs, methods of working, life styles and personalities. You become a truly global citizen.

Improved Communication Skills: Socially interacting with people of numerous and varied backgrounds helps one understand accents, mannerisms and guest requirements. Good communication brings people of our planet closer together.

A J1 Exchange Visitor improves a host of their professional skills:

• Learn the latest industry innovations, technologies and methodologies.
• Superior inter-cultural communication
• Enhances Teamwork skills
• Increases proactive thinking
• Strategic thinking

Future Career Path Preparation: The J1 internship helps you prepare yourself for accelerated success in your chosen discipline thus enjoying a fast track career to the top.

Economic Benefit: Since theJ1 internship also involves compensation during your Training Plan period, the opportunity to improve your financial standing exists as well. You will be able to meet your own expenses whilst experiencing best in class training from world class organizations. The opportunity to enjoy the cultural aspects of the USA is the icing on the cake!

Accelerate your career! Enjoy the USA J1 Exchange Visitor program! If you wish to know more you can visit us at or mail us at

Thursday, 20 October 2016

How Can Online Marketing Fill Your Restaurant

Here at Vira International we have a special relationship with our clients and candidates. As a recruitment company in the hospitality sector we are unique in the way that we help our clients recruit great Chefs and in many cases bring them in from abroad on a sponsorship visa.

This results in a really close working relationship. So much so last week one of the restaurant owners asked me about online marketing. As a recruiter he knows that this is a skill we have to master.

So here are some suggestions I gave him that I see working for the many restaurants and hospitality businesses we work with

Have a plan

This might sound boring and yet all successful restaurants have a plan on how they will capture market share and how this will be achieved. This might include:

• Minimum daily covers; empty seats-lost revenue
• Seasonal promotions
• Special events e.g. Weddings, Birthdays, Family Parties

Once you know your plan it is now about attracting customers from the various online media channels.

Target your market

Who is your market? Everyone seems to be on social media and they are; we will come onto Facebook and the like later. As a first step let’s look at your website

Your website

The popularity of eating out is growing and many people decide on the last minute. Picture the scene your just about to leave work and can’t be bothered cooking. You decide to meet some friends at a local favourite Curry House. So you use your mobile to Google the restaurant and find the number; sound familiar it is. So what can you do?

Responsive websites


Make sure your website is responsive. That means it can be seen on any device. If not you could be losing out to those last minute bookings.

Make it enticing

Food is a visual experience. Make sure you have plenty of pictures of food and people enjoying themselves. Have your phone number easily found on every page. And if functionality allows have an online booking form for those times when you can’t get to the phone.



Facebook is popular for restaurants and is a great way of interacting with your audience. One restaurant we know has free WI-Fi and encourages people to share their photos on Facebook and at the end of each week offers a meal voucher; two for one to the best photograph.

Pinterest and Instagram


These particular social media platforms speak into any market where images play a huge part in marketing. Here you can set up accounts and post images of your food, happy customers etc. The benefit is your account will also appear on Google which gives you another way to get food.



We all love Twitter and potentially so do your customers. Make sure you are sending out regular Tweets and encourage dialogue. For instance post your dish of the day and ask for feedback

Collect emails


This is big! As customers leave ask for their email and then send them a special offer. These are the emails people love getting! It is so easy to do.

Wednesday, 5 October 2016

Indefinite Leave to Remain in UK

Indefinite Leave to Remain status (ILR) also known as Permanent Residency or (PR) is an immigration status granted to a person who does not hold the right to stay in the United Kingdom (UK), but who has been issued a temporary visa with a time limit to reside and have the permission to work or study with certain restrictions. Persons who have legally stayed in the UK can apply for PR, once they have completed the qualifying period. This status although termed Permanent Residency lapses if the holder has stayed outside the United Kingdom for a continuous period of more than two years.

Categories qualifying for UK PR, having stayed in the UK for a specific period of time, usually 5 years, may apply for an ILR which entitles them to live in UK as long as they wish and eventually even apply for naturalization. The processing time and requirements for the ILR vary depending on the visa class that an applicant has immiditly prior to their application.

Visa Class
Below is a table for the visa status/class with the corresponding required length of stay in the United Kingdom as one of the requirements to qualify for an ILR application.
Current Visa Status/ ClassRequired Years of Stay
Unmarried Partner5
EEA Family Permit5
Work Permit5
HSMP (closed)5
People establishing business5
Writers, Composers, Artists5
Legal stay on any basis10
Illegal stay on any basis14
Language and Awareness Requirements

Aside from the visa class, in order to be eligible ILR applicants require proficiency in the English language as well as have knowledge of living in the United Kingdom. Applicants who are under 18 years of age or above 65 are exempted from this requirement.

Cost of Indefinite Leave to Remain Application

Effective the 6th of April 2016, the application fees have been raised from £1500 to £1875 per person. Dependents also pay the same fees. The premium application fee (meaning there is an in-person appointment) has been raised from £1900 to £2375.

Advantages of having an Indefinite Leave to Remain status

Being an ILR status holder, an individual enjoys the following advantages:

  • Acquisition of British Citizenship not only for themselves but also for their children, if applicable under certain conditions and requirements.

  • The holder will also have the right to access public funds. Unlike those of the Limited to Remain (LTR) visa in the United Kingdom, the wording” no recourse to public funds” is not written in an ILR holders’ visa. As a result they are able to claim job seekers allowances and other benefits which are usually available only to British, EU and EEA citizens.

  • Have the advantage of paying the same tuition fees as those of British, EU and EEA citizens (also known as Home Student Status) whilst studying at institutions of higher education in the UK, as opposed to paying substantially higher tuition fees like International Students with a LTR.

  • ILR citizens are UK residents and enjoy the right to vote and stand for election to a public office.

Conditions of Indefinite Leave to Remain

An important reminder: Once an individual has been granted an ILR, ensure that you do not spend 2 years or more outside the United Kingdom, as this can lead to the ILR being revoked. In order to surmount this challenge, migrants are eligible to apply for British Citizenship after 1 year as a permanent resident or after 1 year of being granted an ILR status.

Vira International provides end to end immigration services for ILR application. Our service starts from the initial phone or email enquiry right until your visa approval. For further information please email or

Thursday, 14 July 2016

Brexit and its Impact on Recruitment Process for European Chefs?

As many of you are aware, on 23rd June 2016 a public referendum was held in order to determine whether or not the UK should remain in the EU. The majority decision to leave the UK marks a great landmark in history; of course leaving the UK is not something which can be achieved overnight.

There is currently consultations in process about how the UK will practically sever its ties with the EU, it has been announced that it will take approximately 2 years. A referendum was held where the majority voted in favour of Brexit. With Brexit winning the EU referendum, we feel that it’s our responsibility to let you all know how this will affect the Recruitment of Chefs from the EU are concerned.

Important Information by Vira International

We at Vira International would like to provide our clients, candidates and followers with clear information on the implications of the decision to leave the EU and how this will possibly affect them. With the recent turn of events and under no circumstances the EU chef recruitment procedure/policies will have any immediate change.  Our Recruitment of chefs will continue as before, in case of any events befalling in near future, we will keep you updated. We are still actively recruiting chefs for our clients from several European countries.

  • The recruitment process for clients who are hiring chefs from European countries will remain the same. No changes are applicable anytime soon.
  • The recruitment process for candidates/chefs who are from Europe and are looking to apply for chef jobs in the UK will remain the same. Please feel free to email your CV to

Please do not hesitate to give us a call if you have any queries on this matter. Our number is 0208 863 5811. Alternatively, you can also send an email with your questions and CVs to either or

You can also subscribe our newsletter for regular vacancy update or follow us in LinkedIn.