The Government of Canada announced the changes on PGWP Program

Post Graduation Work Permit

Post Graduation Work Permit

Canada extends application period for Post-Graduation Work Permits (PGWP), drops valid study permit requirement

International graduates of eligible Canadian schools now have 180 days to apply for a PGWP

International students hoping to remain in Canada on a Post-Graduation Work Permit now have six months to apply once they obtain their notice of graduation and are no longer required to have a valid study permit.

The Government of Canada announced the changes on Thursday, February 14, along with other modifications to its popular Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program.

The extension doubles the amount of time recent graduates have to apply for a PGWP once their school issues their final marks, from 90 days to 180 days.

Another corresponding change was the removal of the requirement that international graduates have a valid study permit when applying for a PGWP.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship (IRCC) now says a study permit must only have been valid “at some point” during the 180 days that graduates now have to submit their PGWP application.

Study permits are generally issued for the duration of the student’s academic program. By effectively removing the valid study permit requirement, students will now have adequate time to obtain the documents they need to apply without the added stress of an expired permit.

“This is huge news for international graduates who are applying for a Post-Graduation Work Permit,” said David Cohen, senior partner at the Campbell Cohen Canadian immigration law firm in Montreal.

“Doubling the amount of time they have to apply and allowing them to do so beyond the expiration date on their study visa will make a world of a difference for students who want to stay and gain valuable Canadian work experience.”

About the Post-Graduation Work Permit

A Post-Graduation Work Permit is an open work permit that allows international graduates of eligible Canadian designated learning institutions to stay and work in Canada for a period of up to three years after their studies are completed.

In order to be eligible, the study program must be at least eight months long and meet other specified criteria.

One advantage of the PGWP is the fact international graduates are not required to have a Canadian job offer at the time of application.

As an open work permit, international graduates with a PGWP can work in any occupation anywhere in Canada, and change employers at any time.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) notes that skilled Canadian work experience in occupations rated skill level A or B or skill type 0 under Canada’s National Occupational Classification (NOC) can help international graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian Experience Class.

The Canadian Experience Class is one of the three Federal High Skilled program managed by Canada’s Express Entry system, which expedites applications for Canadian permanent residence for eligible skilled foreign workers.

Posted in Canada, Canada Open Work Permit, Canada PNP, Express Entry, Immigration, Study Abroad, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

How to apply for a state nomination for South Australia?

How to apply for a state nomination for South Australia?

South Australia

South Australia

To apply for an Australian PR under Subclass 190 Visa you need to obtain a state nomination. The Govt. of South Australia nominates candidates who are willing to live and work in the state.

To meet the eligibility criteria you need to meet the skills and experience requirement of South Australia. Plus, you will also need to meet the federal criteria.

How can a state nomination benefit you?

  1. State Nominated visas are processed on priority by the Dept. of Home Affairs
  2. You receive an additional 5 points under the Subclass 190-Skill Nominated Visa
  3. You receive an additional 10 points under the Subclass 489-Skilled Regional Provisional Visa
  4. The occupation list for a State Nomination Visa is much more extensive
  5. Receive information and services from the State Govt. to help you settle down and find jobs

What are the requirements of a state nomination for South Australia?

  1. You need a commitment to live and work in South Australia for at least 2 years. You should also be open to long-term settlement in South Australia.
  2. You should be under 45 years of age at the time of nomination
  3. Your occupation must be listed on the Skilled Nominated Occupation List of South Australia. To access the Supplementary Occupation List, you must meet the additional requirements.
  4. You should have obtained a positive Skill Assessment from the relevant authorities
  5. You should have at least 1 year of skilled work experience in the recent 3 years. Some occupations may require high work experience. South Australian graduates may receive work experience waiver.
  6. You need to meet the English requirement of South Australia
  7. You should have enough funds to support yourself and your family in South Australia
  8. Your EOI should meet the federal as well as the South Australia nomination requirements

How can you apply for a state nomination for South Australia?

  • You need to submit an EOI through Skill Select. You would also need to choose South Australia as your preferred state and select either Subclass 190 or Subclass 489.
  • Submit an application for State Nomination through South Australia’s immigration website
  • You may track your application online. The outcome of your application can be viewed on the website of South Australia.
  • Once your state nomination has been approved, you will receive an invite from the Dept. of Home Affairs asking you to submit a visa application
  • You will need to submit your Visa application with the Dept. of Home Affairs
Posted in Australia, Immigration, South Australia, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Changes to the Partner Visas for international students

Changes to the Partner Visas for international students

Changes to the Partner Visas for international students

Changes to the Partner Visas for international students

Changes to the Partner Visas and an Important Message for International Students

Changes to the Partner visas in the lead up to 10 June 2019, Student visas expiring soon and the common mistakes made in 485 visa applications show how important it is to seek expert advice and guidance. This article highlights those changes, the types of mistakes often made and our recommendations.

Partner Visas – Lead Up to 10 June 2019

In our article dated 11 December 2018, we advised there would be changes made that would impact partner visa applications, specifically, the how and when an applicant will be able to lodge with the Department of Home Affairs and possible ramifications.

Following recent developments, these changes will take effect before 10 June 2019 although the exact date is still unknown. This means, the change can be implemented at any time before 10 June 2019.

Current Process for a Partner Application

Part of the criteria for Partner visa permanent residence requires the visa applicant to be sponsored by an Australian permanent resident, Australian citizen or eligible New Zealand citizen. Together, the visa applicant and their partner submit their applications to the Department of Home Affairs.

Current Entitlements Post Lodgement

Lodging a valid partner visa whilst in Australia allows the visa applicant to obtain a Bridging Visa A (BVA) which will take effect when their current visa expires. The BVA holder will then be able to remain in Australia until a decision is made on the partner application. During this processing time the BVA holder will also be entitled to Medicare and have full work rights.

What Will Change?

The new change will require the Australian partner to lodge their application and have this approved before the partner visa application can be lodged.

It is unclear how long the decision process of the sponsorship application will take. Current process times are approximately 12 to 18 months.

What is the Impact?

The Australian sponsorship application is not a visa application.

Some of the impacts we have already identified indicate that:

  • Partner visa applicants with limited time remaining on their current visa will be required to either lodge a valid visa application that will allow them to stay in the country, or depart Australia and remain overseas until the partner visa is granted
  • Until a valid visa application is lodged whilst in Australia, the applicant will not be entitled to:
    • BVA
    • Medicare
    • Full work rights in some instances

When Does the Change Take Effect?

The changes are to effect before 10 June 2019 but, no further details have been released concerning the exact date. Our recommendation is that eligible applicants looking to lodge whilst in Australia do so as soon as possible.

Student Visas Due to Expire and the 485 Visa

Many international students have just completed their studies which mean their student visas will expire soon. So, what’s the next step?

For most, the best way forward will be with a Temporary Graduate subclass 485 visa. This visa is useful in offering full work rights for up to 4 years, or providing additional time for students to complete steps that will help gain relevant work experience or increase their points score when pursuing permanent residence.

However, the 485 visa is more complex than it initially appears and many students find themselves in situations, post-lodgement, that are difficult to rectify. This article highlights where common mistakes are made in lodging a 485 application:

Timing is Critical

The 485 visa application must be lodged within 6 months of course completion. Many students confuse this with the graduation date which can occur many months after course completion date.

Most students will need to apply between the date of completion and the date their student visa expires. Depending on when this is completed, students may have minimal time in which to lodge the application. It’s critical that a complete application is lodged with the Department of Home Affairs as it could otherwise be refused.

Select the Correct Stream

There are two streams within the 485 visa subclass and the correct stream must be selected at the time of lodgement, it cannot be changed afterwards:

  • 485 Graduate Work: If you studied in Australia before 5 November 2011, or you studied at a level below a Bachelor degree and have an occupation on the relevant occupation list, then you may be eligible to apply for the Graduate Work stream. This visa is granted for a period of 18 months.
  • 485 Post Study Work: If you studied at degree level or higher then you may qualify for the Post Study Work stream. This visa is granted for 2-4 years depending on the level of study

If an application is made in the wrong stream, the 485 visa can be refused. If it is granted, it is likely to have the shorter validity period of 18 months instead of 2 to 4 years, which typically cannot be reversed.

Time of Application Criteria

There are a number of requirements that need to be meet at the time you submit the 485 visa application including the provision of specific supporting evidence.

If you do not provide these documents when the visa is lodged the application will be refused. That decision may be challenged at the Administrative Appeals Tribunal (AAT), however, in this instance the appeal is unlikely to be successful and you may need to leave Australia.

Australian Study Requirement

Many students understand they must meet following as part of the Australian Study Requirement:

  • Complete at least one CRICOS registered course over a minimum period of 2 academic years or 92 weeks, and
  • ensure the total period of study took no less than 16 months to complete from course commencement to completion date

However, if there has been time spent outside Australian, for any reason such as returning home to complete an internship at a university outside Australia, or to go on holiday etc.., then students may be at risk of not meeting the 16 month study requirement and the application can result in immediate refusal.

Furthermore, the 5 points awarded for meeting the Australian Study Requirement can be lost when applying for a visa in the general skilled migration program

Where to Be at the Time of Lodgement

It is an exciting time when students complete their studies and many will use this time to visit their families overseas.

It is important to understand that when the course has been completed the university or education provider is required to notify the Department of Home Affairs that this has occurred.

The Department of Home Affairs may cancel the student visa without notice if the student has left Australia at the end of their course. If the visa is cancelled the student will have no right to re-enter Australia unless they obtain another type of Australian visa.

Where possible, we recommend lodging the 485 visa application before leaving Australia as it will show there is an intention to return.

Common Eligibility Criteria

Unlike the general skilled migration program the 485 visa is not points-tested.

The following criteria is common to both the Post Study Work and Graduate Work streams. It is important to ensure that at the time of lodgement:

  • under 50 years of age
  • meet the English language requirement
  • meet the 2 year study requirement
  • no more than 6 months have passed between course completion and 485 lodgement
  • a substantive visa is held. If this is not a student visa, no more than 6 months can pass following the expiration of the last student visa held
Posted in Australia, Dependent Visa, family visa, Study Abroad, Visa and Immigration, Work Abroad | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment