More Filipinos pick student visa pathway

HOMEGROWN visa consultancy firm PinoyCare Visa Center Inc. will be holding a free orientation this month for those who wish to study and immigrate to Canada, Australia and New Zealand.

The three-hour orientation slated on Nov. 23, 2019, at the SM Cebu City Trade Hall coincides with the 20th year anniversary of the company. It expects around 3,000 participants to join the half-day talk that will start at 1 p.m.

“We will be giving orientation on the different pathways to these countries, as well as educate the participants on the various benefits that these countries offer should they opt to enter these countries via student or immigrant pathway,” said PinoyCare Visa founder Prisca Niña Mabatid.

She specifically encouraged graduating students and fresh graduates to join the orientation as the talk will help them explore opportunities of working or living abroad.

Student pathway

Of the three countries, Canada had the most number of student visa applications, despite its processing time of at least three months, which is way longer than New Zealand’s processing period of at least two weeks and Australia, which only takes at least two hours.

Canada now ranks as the fourth-leading host country for international students, behind the United States, United Kingdom and Australia, according to ICEF.

According to Mabatid, they saw an increase in student visa applications chosen by Filipinos because of its less stringent requirements and shorter waiting time. It is also one of the easiest pathways.

“When you are granted by a student visa. You don’t only get to earn post-graduate degree and learn a new skill, you are also given the opportunity to work there,” Mabatid said. “This pathway gives you an edge should you want to apply for an immigrant visa. It helps pull up your points.”

Student visas are granted to those aged 18 to 55 years old, while the age requirement for immigrant visa applicants is 21 to 45 years old.

Mabatid said PinoyCare can help assist those seeking for greener pastures abroad. Processing of immigrant visas though may take a while.

“Compared to a student visa, applying for an immigrant visa will really test your patience. But it’s worth the wait too,” she said.

PinoyCare Visa Center, according to Mabatid, has achieved a good track record of successful applicants with 100 approved applications on the average per month.

For those thinking of studying or living permanently abroad, Mabatid advised now is the best time to apply as immigration guidelines are still not that difficult to comply with.

“Immigration guidelines can change anytime. These countries are still open and the policies are quite lenient. Now is the perfect time to consider,” she said.

A report said Canada plans to add more than one million new permanent residents through 2021. To achieve this, the country would need to welcome approximately 350,000 in each of 2019, 2020 and 2021. KOC