Beyond the Visa: Vishal’s Journey
It took 6 years and 4 visas for Vishal to gain permanent residency
Vishal walks through our doors with a huge smile on his face. He’s just been granted his permanent residency. It’s taken Vishal over 6 years and 4 visas to get here. It’s Diwali, a celebratory day for him, but he’s taken time out to visit us, to thank us and share a gift with us. What an outstanding man. We’ve been part of his journey since 2012 and so are pleased as punch that we have played a role in getting that smile on his face.
Armed with a Bachelor of Engineering and some work experience, he had come in 2011 to further his studies and unlock opportunities. Vishal completed his Masters of Engineering Studies (Majoring in Telecommunications Engineering) at the University of Technology Sydney. Because the course spans only a year, Vishal was unable to apply for the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), which has a minimum requirement of two academic years of study in Australia.
This is when he and Australian Immigration Law Services started work on his future here. We applied for the Skilled Recognised Graduate visa (subclass 476) for Vishal, a visa that is much like the Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485), but is specifically for engineering graduates of Australia who have completed an eligible qualification at a recognised institution in the two years preceding their application.
Vishal has a wife and son, and they had left everything to to join him as dependents on his 476 visa. The plan? To work in his profession and to find himself a sponsor, but the reality that many temporary visa holders face is that the general lack of understanding of visas makes it quite tricky to find employment in more than a casual job. It feels unfair; Vishal has the qualifications as well as work experience. His wife, Vaidehiben, has a Masters in Accounting and similarly could not find a job in her field.
So Vishal and his wife worked multiple jobs and at all sorts of long and unkind hours. Because of their visa status, school fees for their son were hefty. They were further taxed by having also been required to meet a health insurance condition. Not at all easy, but in the face of all that stress, they remained positive, hardworking and committed to their goals.
Finally, a silver lining. Only unbearably close to the expiry of the 476 visa did Vishal finally chance into a position for a Technologist (ANZSCO occupation: 342314 Electronic Trades Worker – General) where the company was willing to be his sponsor. Even better, his sponsor was willing to nominate him for the direct entry Employer Nomination Scheme (ENS) 186 visa, which would take Vishal directly to permanent residency.
The relief was short lived; Vishal, unfortunately, was not eligible for the direct entry stream. Gratefully, he still had a pathway, a longer route; attain a Temporary Work (Skilled) 457 visa, work for two years and then apply for the temporary residence transition (TRT) stream ENS 186 visa. But don’t forget to factor in the long processing time for both visas. Does the wait matter, as long as there is a way? Being on a temporary visa, everything in Vishal’s life was on hold. It’s hard to make definite plans when you cannot be sure where you might be in a year or two.
We talk about the struggles of being a temporary visa holder; you kind of have to live in a minimal way with everything. How you live, the work you can get, and people just don’t see you as a permanent fixture, or worse, they see you as no more than a foreigner. Even friends. It’s not an easy thing to live with, the waiting and the uncertainty. As we know from the recent upheaval in visa regulations, rules can sometimes change and the changes can be abrupt and cruel. Being on a temporary visa is being in a constant state of unsettlement.
Thankfully the close knit community at the temple that Vishal attends have lent understanding and support. Many in the community have been through or are on their own visa journeys. Vishal had heard of us through this community.
Vishal is very complimentary it makes us feel proud of us. He says that Karl is famous in the Indian community here, that if Australian Immigration Law Services takes on a client, that client is almost guaranteed a visa. That if it’s not going to work out, that news is delivered honestly upfront. He says that the thing that makes a difference with us, is that there is trust. We are thrilled to hear it, because our client’s trust is deeply important to all of us here.
It’s been 6 years and 4 visas. I tell him what an accomplishment it is, how he he kept on fighting. He responds saying that the human has no limits as long as they keep a positive perspective. He is the embodiment of that.
Congratulations again, Vishal, you took the leap and you made it. We are so happy that to have been here these last 5 years.
Emma N. Ho
Writer for Australian Immigration Law Services