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Some Case Studies

Several of our clients have suggested that we should include on our web site examples of the types of situations international students currently in Australia present when they come to see us, so that people who visit the site can get some idea of what is and is not possible. We felt that suggestion was a good one, so we present on this page a number of "CASE STUDIES" which you should find interesting and, we hope, useful.

Many international students come to Australia with the intention to apply in due course for Permanent Residence and make Australia their home. The course you enrol in is often an essential component of making you eligible for permanent residence, but you have to be careful: not every program is suitable - as some of these case studies illustrate.

If you are already studying in Australia and you are not sure about the usefulness of the program you are enrolled in for the purpose of gaining permanent residence, the earlier you contact us to talk about it, the better: it's going to be easier to find a strategy to put things right when you are at the beginning of your studies in Australia than when you are about to finish. AMES is not only a migration agent but also an experienced education agent, which means that we are better placed than most migration agents to put you on the right track if it looks like the program you have enrolled for is not going to help you gain permanent residence eventually - assuming, of course, that that is your intention!

Looking good

Case Study 1: Looking good, but...

  I am under 29, single, and I am going to complete my Masters next December, after 2 years of full-time study in Adelaide. Am I eligible to apply for a Skilled Independent Overseas Student visa? 

Our solution:

Not necessarily. To be eligible you need to meet ALL basic requirements and score a minimum of 120 points in the Points Test. As a rule, you must nominate a skilled occupation which is listed as a 60-points occupation in the SOL, obtain a positive skills assessment for that occupation from the relevant assessing authority, and your studies must be relevant to your nominated occupation.

This is one of the reasons why we prefer to see our clients well ahead of the completion of their studies. As well as being a migration agent, we are also an Education Agent and as such we are able to advise you whether a cost-effective change in your program of studies would be an option.

Choose right!

Case Study 2: Make sure you're in the right program!

  I am 23 and next June I will have completed a 3-year Bachelor of Medical Science from the University of XXXXX. Medical Scientist is listed as a 60-points occupation in the SOL. I am fluent in Mandarin and have a NAATI certificate as a translator professional level 3 to prove it. I believe that my score in the Points Test will be 125 and as long as I lodge my application within 6 months of the date of completion there should not be a problem in getting Permanent Residence.  

Our solution:

Wrong. It is true that Medical Scientist is a 60-points occupation and that as long as you have a positive skills assessment for that occupation and lodge a valid visa application you will be granted a subclass 880. The problem is that only 9 Australian and 3 New Zealand programs have been accredited by the Australian Institution of Medical Scientists: the one your are currently enrolled in is not one of these. As a consequence you will not get a positive skills assessment.

Our recommendation is for you to apply for credit transfer to an accredited program offered by another institution.

Make a match

Case Study 3: Match your previous studies.

  I do not have an eligible relative living in Australia to sponsor me. I have a Bachelor of Arts (English) awarded by Madras University and I am currently enrolled in a 2-year Master of Social Work in one of Adelaide's universities. I chose Social Work because my friends told me that Social Work is an occupation listed as 60-points in the SOL and that after completion I would be eligible to apply for Permanent Residence. Have I done the right thing?  

Our advice:

I regret to say you have not. Unless you had previously completed a 4-year Bachelor degree in Social Work which is deemed as equivalent to an Australian accredited bachelor degree by the Australian Association of Social Workers, you would not get a positive skills assessment for the occupation of Social Worker. You would have been better off enrolling in and completing a Second Bachelor of Education (Graduate Entry) at the same university.


Case Study 4: Fast tracking could be an option.

  After I completed my 4-year Bachelor of Engineering (Electronic & Telecommunications) in Sri Lanka I found employment as an Engineer, and have worked for a total of 2? years in several companies in my country and overseas. I ceased my last employment on 25 February, just a week before starting my Master in Advanced Manufacturing Technology in Adelaide a few weeks ago. My family has been affected by the Tsunami and is unlikely that they are going to be able to support me financially for much longer. I would really like to complete my Masters and then apply for Permanent Residence, but the situation has changed dramatically and it appears that my dreams will go down the drain. Do I have any chance to fast-track my application for Permanent Residence?  

Our solution:

Yes, your occupation - Electronics Engineer - is currently listed in the skills shortage list specific to South Australia. We may be able to lodge a valid offshore application for a Skilled State/Territory Nominated Independent visa and get your visa granted even before you complete your second semester of studies.

Check the Facts

Case Study 5: Check the advertised facts.

  I am a 34-year old Hospitality professional from Spain ,without previous post-secondary qualifications and over 16 years work experience, the last 9 in operational level positions in different propertiesof a large international hotel chain. I am single. I am currently in Adelaide doing the first semester of the 2-year Master of International Hospitality Management, offered by Le Cordon Bleu Australia and awarded by the University of South Australia. I gained admission to de program in recognition of my work experience. The program is not cheap, but I decided to invest my life time savings in it for 3 main reasons:
  1. to update my knowledge and skills whilst giving a boost to my career prospects through international postgraduate qualifications,
  2. the 18 month studies in international hospitality business management are followed by 6 months paid industry placement, and
  3. LCB states in their promotional material that one of the benefits of this program is that after completion of the 2-year program, graduates will qualify for the migration benefits that the Australian Department of Immigration offers students who study for at least two years in South Australia - including the new SIR visa.
One of my classmates recently went to seek migration advice and came back with alarming news: after 2 years of study and a $ 36,000 investment just in tuition fees, we may not be able to qualify! Is this true????

Our solution:

In your circumstances - unless, of course, you had relatives eligible to sponsor you under the Skilled Designated Area Sponsored Overseas Student (Class DE, subclass 882) visa, which is not points tested, your class mate is right. You won't qualify for the SIR visa, nor for the subclass 880 visa which requires a 60 points occupation.

You may be eligible to apply to VETASSESS for a skills assessment as Hotel / Motel Manager (degree level), which is listed as a 50- points occupation. However, you wont score enough points in the Points Test to even achieve the minimum pass mark (110) set for the SIR visa:

Occupation: Hotel/Motel Manager (degree level)50
Age: 35-39 years *)20
Australian Qualification **)  5
2 years studying and living in South Australia  5
Bonus points **)  5

*)   at the time of lodging your application
**) awarded in relation to the work placement (as long as requirements are met); or you could sit for a NAATI Test (Spanish)

Because of a change in policy that came into effect on 1 November 2005, 10 additional points can be awarded if you get the State Sponsorship. Therefore the score will be now 115, enough to qualify for the SIR Visa. But it is still a good example of how important it is to do a proper research and planning prior to commit to a program of studies if your final goal is to apply for Permanent Residence on completion of your studies.

Don't give up hope, though! Your experience is an asset and your work placement may help you find an employer who is willing to sponsor you: this may still lead to you gaining permanent residence!

Apply in time

Case Study 6: Apply in good time.

  I am from Germany and have completed a BSc (Marine Biology) at Flinders University in Adelaide after just 1? years of study. In June this year I will complete a Master of Science (Zoology) at James Cook University after 2 more years of study. I am 25 years old, single and have no relatives in Australia. I am fluent in German and have a NAATI certificate as a translator professional level 3.

I have estimated that my score in the Points Test will be 120 points but I have found out that my nominated occupation will be a 50-points one (Marine Biologist) and that that prevents me from applying for a Skilled Independent Overseas Student (Class DD, subclass 880) visa. Of course, I am aware that I would be eligible to apply for a SIR (provisional) subclass 495 visa, the problem is that that is not a Permanent Resident visa outright and I do not want to commit myself to live and work for a minimum of 4 years in South Australia or in Tropical North Queensland, definitively not in Queensland, for it is the least likely place to find a job as Marine Biologist: there are more of them there than Jelly Box fish in the sea!!! Do I have an option to apply for PR under a type of visa that allows me choice of settlement? Am I right with my 120 points estimate?

Our solution:

Yes, you have that option and your points estimate is correct. You may be eligible to apply for an offshore (Class BN, subclass 136) visa as long as you lodge a valid application within 6 months of the date of completion of your Master.

Your estimate is correct:

Occupation: Marine Biologist50
Age: under 29 years *)30
Australian Qualification **)10
2 years in Regional/Low Growth Population Area   5
Bonus points (NAATI - German)  5

*)   at the time of lodging your application
**) Master after completion of a Bachelor degree, awarded after at least 1 year of study

Present your case

Case Study 7: It's a matter of how you present your case!

  I have a Bachelor of Arts (International Studies) with a Major in English, completed at Belgrano University in Argentina. I was half-way through completing my Master of Arts (International Relations) at Flinders University when I realised that I would not be eligible to apply for a Skilled Independent Overseas Student (Class DD, subclass 880) visa. So I decided to sit for a NAATI Test as a translator. I have a skills assessment from NAATI that states that I am an accredited translator at professional level 3 (Spanish - both ways). I thought that I had found a way through, but one of my classmates told me that the studies completed in Australia have to lead to, or be relevant to, my nominated occupation, and that that was not the case because I should have completed a Diploma or Degree in translation. Is she right?  

Our solution:

If we choose Translator - a 60-points occupation - as your nominated occupation and your Points Test score is at least 120, we shouldn't have a problem in establishing the relevance of your studies to the occupation of Translator, for in order to achieve a translating professional level and a good mastery of the language(s) you need to have a very good level of education (ie qualifications). Very often it is the case that translators specialise in providing their services to certain types of clients such as DEFAT, Tourism Boards or Chambers of Commerce where the knowledge acquired in your Master of Arts would be seen as an added value to your skills as a translator.

Trade is an asset

Case Study 8: Having a trade can be an asset.

  I am an ELICOS student from Poland. I have been studying English for the last 7 months and my student visa does not expire until after 6 months from now. My family - wife and a 10-year old child - have joined me just two months ago. We all fell in love with Adelaide and we would like to live here permanently. However, we do not have the financial means to pay for 2 more years of study and stay after I have completed my ELICOS course. I am 34 years old and was working as a Cabinet Maker in Poland. I have a 3 trade qualifications from a vocational and technical school and over 10 years related experience (I have evidence). My English is good, but I don't think that I am ready to sit an IELTS right now and get more than a 5.0 score. Do we have any options?  

Our solution:

Yes, in fact you have more than one:
  1. There are a number of furniture companies in Adelaide and most of them are having difficulties in filling their skilled vacancies. Even if your English is not that good you may be eligible to apply for a subclass 457 visa in relation to a job offer. If granted, you will have to keep working for your employer; your spouse will have work-rights without limitations and your child will be exempt from international student school fees. Once you are the holder of a 457 visa you may be eligible to apply for PR through the subclass 857 at any time, as long as you have a new contract of employment for a minimum of 2 years full time. Sounds good? There is more:
  2. Cabinet Maker is currently listed in the skills shortage list for South Australia. That means that if you have a an IELTS score of 5.0 (all bands) you may be eligible to apply for an Skilled State/Territory Nominated Independent (Class BN, subclass 137) visa, an offshore visa which is not points tested, and get your visa granted even before you complete your ELICOS course.

Everyone has a different story, and everyone needs an individual solution tailored to their particular background, expertise and experience. What is your story? What is the best solution for you (and your family)?

If you are thinking of making Australia your permanent home, we would like to hear your story and work out together with you which solution is best for you.

So send us your details through our Client Information Form and if you want to be sure of a reply, pay our Consultation Fee of just US$ 150. If you do, you are guaranteed a response and a telephone interview, as well as a comprehensive Assessment Report on your eligibility to gain Permanent Residence in Australia and our advice on how to achieve this.

If you live in Adelaide, contact us on 8410 6262 to make an appointment for a personal interview of up to 2 hours in which you can tell us your story and we can tell you what you need to do to gain permanent residence in Australia. If you are a student at an Adelaide education institution we will reduce our standard fee of $150 to $75.

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