Hyderabad: The employment markets in Western countries, which are under pressure to meet local demand due to an inadequate workforce, besides other economic issues, favour hiring of Indian professionals, which is boosting migration opportunities for qualified youth in India.
Countries such as Canada, Australia, Germany and the USA have opened their doors for Indian professionals. For education abroad, Canada, Australia and the US are preferred because they allow students to work while they study and hold out the possibility of migration. Germany, the richest economy in Europe, too, is offering a range of opportunities to students apart from low tuition fees.
Founder and CEO of Y-Axis, Xavier Augustin, an experienced overseas education and visa consultant, gives an in-depth view of the current migration and foreign-education preferences. Y-Axis, which started off with 20 employees, has been chosen as the USA’s only overseas consultant.
On studying abroad, Mr Augustin said: “Until a few years ago the US and the UK had no competition. Of late, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and Germany have seen the potential in international student revenues and have begun targeting important markets like India. All of these countries saw a rise in Indian students because they offer decent education with perceivably lower fees, opportunities to work after graduation and even stay back in the country by applying for a permanent resident (PR) visa”.
He explained the kind of research one should do before applying for a student visa: “One must analyse whether this investment (funding for education) will benefit me; will it transform me? Will I have a global outlook by increasing my mobility and employability and, above all, will it help me repay my student loan.
“Check on companies around the campus where students can find an internship or work opportunities upon graduation. The UK is a good option for a student who is not particular about working or settling down there after graduating. Singapore is a great option to consider for its proximity to India,”
Mr Augustin said students should not confine themselves only to English-speaking economies, but should explore countries such as Japan, Korea or the Scandinavian countries.
This centre provides a good unbiased opinion for free. It has a good library and trained advisers.
“The reason for this collaboration is to educate students on their study and visa options for the USA. All advisers are trained by the US embassy. All services are absolutely free as this is under the Y-Axis CSR. I am a product of US education with my master’s degree and more recently, Harvard. I strongly believe in the fantastic value and benefits of a US education which is why I have opted to proceed with this as part of our CSR.”
There are lakhs of international universities and the criteria for admission differ from university to university. So students at this centre will be trained in their specification, besides independent research done themselves, adds Mr Augustin.
The advisory centre will help prepare students to face the screening test during the F1 visa interview.
Every year, over 30-40 per cent of students apply for F1 visas for the USA, but lose out because they don’t pass the test. The reason is poor communication skills, faulty counselling by education consultants, opting for an unaccredited school or the wrong courses. Y-Axis can help sharpen an applicant’s skills in these areas.
Many Indian students after graduation have to find an employer who will sponsor their work. Not all are lucky enough to find one. For the unfortunate ones, the alternative route can be Permanent Residency (PR).
“Work visas are temporary permits which allow foreign workers to be employed for a specific duration, but PR visas in Australia and Canada (similar to a US Green Card) offers a foreign worker a permanent visa for a lifetime. With this, all members of the family can migrate to that country and it also allows them to work with anyone of their choice. A few years down the line they can apply for citizenship.” Experts from Y-Axis, which has 1,200 employees and 40 offices located all over India and the UAE, believe PR is a good investment because companies are offering fat salary packages which can be as high as $80,000 a year. The individual can also hold a second passport.
Mr Augustin, who idealises a borderless world where Indians can move freely on the basis of their merit and not their passport, said, “Countries like Australia and Canada are the easiest to apply to. The USA has the Green Card visa but it’s a long way for H1B professionals. The US government has been leaning towards introducing professional migration based on points, like Canada and Australia do. Germany has a conditional visa called German Jobseeker Visa, which allows Indians to come to Germany and search for a job.”
Through its CSR initiative, the Y-Axis Foundation supports initiatives in education and healthcare. Know More School operates computer labs in schools, Heal aChild helps critically ill children, and now this free advice and service for students wanting to study in the US.