Occupations in demand here and overseas


For most Filipinos, the desired result of completing a course – even just getting a high school diploma—is to get a job.

You do not need a diploma to be a politician, celebrity, boxer, actor, singer, and comedian, DAP architect or NGO dispatcher. But that is another story.

To increase the rate and level of employment, President Benigno Aquino 3rd approved Republic Act (RA) 10533, signing into law the K+12 program on May 15, 2013. Apparently, the law was passed without including the sector to be most affected—approximately 85,000 college professors who will be out of jobs when K to 12 kicks in by 2016 according to Mr. Rene Tadle, Internal VP of UST Faculty Union. That is also another story.

Ideally, the job must be directly related to the academic course completed. The general thinking is that, the higher the level of education, the better chance of getting employed. After the overseas job market was developed from the martial law years, parents and students picked courses with better chances of getting jobs abroad.

While the trend had zigged and zagged, there are courses (with overseas employment as the principal objective) that remain popular despite appearances of slowing down such as nursing/healthcare courses, IT and hospitality.

While the list of priority occupations needed by the governments of Australia, Canada, New Zealand, UK and the USA include jobs in healthcare, IT and hospitality, there are other occupations that offer permanent employment and residency.

Usually, passing a licensure exam or completing the registration process is required to qualify for migration. Canada has a different approach: it publishes a list of priority occupations and does not require an applicant in a nominated occupation to pass the licensure exam or registration process to become a permanent resident or immigrants.

In contrast, the US requires aspiring nurse-immigrants to pass the NCLEX and state board examinations to become immigrants. Australia requires nurses to take up and complete a bridging course; New Zealand imposes a Competency Assessment Programme for foreign nurses.

Canada on the other hand, simply wants an applicant to have his or her academic credentials assessed, provide evidence of practice in the profession for at least a year, and meet the age and English proficiency requirements.

The strategy is aimed at getting practicing professionals and those in qualified trades or craft to consider Canada first. Once admitted as immigrants, these new permanent residents would then take the steps necessary to practice the profession or occupation. By doing this, Canada gets the first shot for the best and brightest talent and skills of the world.

Canada’s newest list of 50 occupations includes nurses (registered as well as practical nurses, nursing coordinators and supervisors). To qualify an applicant must have at least one year experience in the occupation; obtain an acceptable English proficiency examination and assessment of qualification or credentials. For the complete list of occupations and eligibility requirements, you can log on to this link – https://www.visacenter.org/index.php/page/canada-reopens-residency-program-50-new-occupations-on-the-list.

Australia has two lists of occupations in demand and eligible for skilled migration: the Skilled Occupations List Schedule 1 (for those applying as Independent Skilled Migrants) and the Consolidated Skills List for applicants who are sponsored or nominated by Australian State, Territory or by qualified relatives. For lack of space, we are providing the link to this list of occupations for Australia – http://www.immi.gov.au/Work/Pages/skilled-occupations-lists/skilled-occupations-lists.aspx

New Zealand has two lists: the Long Term Skills Shortage List (for intending immigrants or permanent resident applicants) and the Short Term Skills Shortage List (for temporary workers). A separate list is provided for Christchurch to help the area recover from the earthquake devastation. This web link provides access to the specific occupations in each of the list—http://www.immi.gov.au/Work/Pages/skilled-occupations-lists/skilled-occupations-lists.aspx

The UK also has a list of Shortage Occupations in the Tier 2 Category. There are five Tiers in this points-based migration system (PBS) phased in between 2008 and 2010.

However, the list is only for those seeking temporary work. There is no direct pathway to migration, permanent residency or settlement to the UK. Generally, a qualified applicant must first be in lawful employment with a registered UK-employer for at least five (5) years before he or she becomes eligible for settlement or permanent residency.

The link to the most current Shortage Occupations List in the UK is https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/tier-2-shortage-occupation-list-from-6-april-2013

All of the five countries with permanent migration programs require English proficiency as an essential component of migration. There are several English or language proficiency accepted but the International English Language Testing System is the most popular and accepted in all five countries. Some tests such as the Test Of English as a Foreign Language (TOEFL) and Test of Spoken English (TSE) is accepted only in the United States for most occupations.

As a public service you may get a Free assessment of your eligibility for migration by sending your complete and updated resume to immigrants@visacenter.org


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  1. The adjustments in the number of years in high school correspond to the international school program. I believe it’s an improvement in our educational program such that our college graduates will be recognized by countries such as CanadA, UK, US and Australia.

    But I suggest the government should focus in creating more jobs in our country.

  2. You are doing good, Cris.

    I was associated with a Balderas at Land Bank.

    I am here in Houston since 1981.