This pathway has a lot in common with professional immigration, which we discussed in this article. The main difference is that with professional immigration, it is possible to apply for residency immediately , even while still in your home country and without a job offer. It happens only rarely, but when a person has a high level of education, extensive experience in a speciality and good English, it is still possible. However, more often, having a job offer or actual employment in an English-speaking country significantly increases the chances of obtaining residency. That is why most immigrants choose the pathway of working for several years on a temporary work visa before becoming a resident of the country.
Even those professionals who are not on the lists of in-demand specialities can immigrate through work. The main thing here is to find a job and an employer who is ready to provide visa support.
Immigrating through work doesn’t always mean earning a certain number of points. In some visa categories, it is enough to work for the same employer for several years and fulfil the requirements for qualifications, wages and location, if it is a regional program.
Consider how immigration through work works in different countries.
Australia has a number of temporary and provisional work visas. Temporary visas are issued for 2 to 4 years and provide an opportunity to apply for residency after working for three years for the same employer. In this case, a residency application is made according to a point system, where an applicant needs to score 65 points.
Provisional visas are issued for up to 5 years and can be sponsored either by a state or territory or by an employer. These provisional visas also lead to residency after working for three years (in a specific region or for a particular employer).
Choosing which particular visa to apply for is determined by the List of Skilled Occupations and the candidate’s area of expertise.
New Zealand also has two main pathways of immigration through work:
Work to Residence – for those who have expertise on the Long Term Skill Shortage List. These people can obtain a Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa and apply for residency after two years working for the same employer. There is no need to collect points here, but this pathway is possible only if you have this particular type of work visa.
The Essential Skills Work Visa is a temporary visa for all other workers. When applying for this visa, the employer must prove that they have not found anyone in the local labour market. Those on the Essential Skills Work Visa can apply for residency under the Skilled Migrant Category. It is a point-based system, where you need to score 160 points. However, having a job already secures you 50 points.
In Canada, having a job and local experience also add points when applying for residency. When applying for a Work Permit, the employer must also research the local labour market and provide a Labor Market Impact Assessment (LMIA). This document must confirm a need to fill the vacancy with a foreign worker since there are not enough local candidates. Sometimes, an LMIA is not required for some highly skilled professions and managerial positions.
There is a Skilled Worker Visa for foreign workers in the UK: in this category the employer must also prove that there are no local candidates for the position. The Skilled Worker Visa is issued for up to 5 years after which there is the opportunity to apply for residency. When applying for this visa, you need to score 70 points and meet the requirements for the minimum wage and educational level.
There are two main types of work permits in Ireland:
- Critical Skills Employment Permit – for those who are on the list of in-demand specialities;
- General Employment Permit – for those who are not on the in-demand list.
If your speciality is not on the list, it is still possible to find a job, but it will be a long and difficult process. The employer will have to prove that they did not find anyone for this position among the citizens of the European Union.
Also in the case of Ireland, there is a list of professions for which a work permit cannot be obtained; mainly low-skilled labour.