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Biggest ever university strikes set to hit UK campuses

Over 70,000 university staff at 150 universities will strike for three days 

The full strike dates in November are:

  • Thursday 24 November
  • Friday 25 November
  • Wednesday 30 November.

Staff will also begin industrial action short of strike action from Wednesday 23 November, which includes working to rule, refusing to make up work lost as a result of strike action, and refusing to cover for absent colleagues.

In the pay and working conditions dispute, the union’s demands include a meaningful pay rise to deal with the cost-of-living crisis and action to end the use of insecure contracts. Employers imposed a pay rise worth just 3% this year following over a decade of below-inflation pay awards. A third of academic staff are on some form of the temporary contract.

Nurses can now take PTE to work in the United States 

Pearson, the world’s leading learning company, has announced that its Pearson Test of English (PTE) Academic can now be taken by people around the globe looking to practice nursing and other healthcare-related roles in the United States. 

PTE can now be taken by workers who want to come to the US to work in one of the identified seven non-physician health professions, which include registered nurses, licensed practical or vocation nurses, and clinical and medical technicians. 

Giovanni Giovannelli, President, English Language Learning, Pearson, said: “We know there is a huge demand for nurses worldwide, with an estimated near-three million overseas healthcare workers in the US alone in 2021. 

“We also know the US is a highly sought-after destination for foreign health workers worldwide, including from the Philippines, India, Nigeria, Jamaica and Mexico. 

“With this in mind, we are delighted that PTE Academic has been added as a recognized English Language test by HRSA, helping us boost this vital profession by offering a new testing option for nurses who want to further their career in the USA.” 

Following this approval, PTE Academic has been added to CGFNS International’s system for verification. CGFNS International is an immigration neutral, nonprofit, mission-driven organization that helps foreign educated healthcare professionals live and work in their country of choice by assessing and validating their academic and professional credentials. They are the only organization approved by the United States Department of Homeland Security to validate the credentials of seven foreign healthcare professions for occupational visas. 

The minimum CRS Score For Canada Express Entry Dropped Below 500

For the first time since December 2020, the minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score has dropped below 500 in Canada’s latest Express Entry draw.

Canada held its most recent all-program Express Entry draw on October 26. According to CIC news, invitations were issued this time to 4,750 candidates with a minimum Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS) score of 496.

Candidates from the Canadian Experience Class (CEC), Federal Skilled Worker Program (FSWP), and Federal Skilled Trades Program (FSTP) were all eligible to receive invitations, according to the report.

Canada Express Entry Score Dropped

Since December 2020, Canada has suspended all-program draws for Express Entry. This year, the draw resumed on July 6.

The CRS has fallen below 500 for the first time since the draws resumed. The score was 468 on December 23, 2020, the last time it was this low.

Immigration, Refugees, and Citizenship Canada (IRCC) will be able to increase the number of ITAs for permanent residence in Canada by lowering the CRS score.

Between January and August 31, Canada admitted slightly more than 28,000 new permanent residents via Express Entry programs. This year, a new Immigration Levels Plan is expected to be announced by November 1.

Canada Express Entry

Express Entry is a system used by the Canadian government to manage Canadian permanent residence applications for filling labor gaps through certain economic immigration programs.

How Express Entry works

Express Entry is an online system that we use to manage skilled worker immigration applications. Express Entry administers three immigration programs:

Canadian Experience Class

  • for skilled workers who have Canadian work experience
  • work experience must have been gained in the 3 years before you apply

Federal Skilled Worker Program

  • for skilled workers with foreign work experience
  • must meet criteria for education and other factors

Federal Skilled Trades Program

  • for skilled workers who are qualified in a skilled trade
  • must have a valid job offer or a certificate of qualification

If you are eligible for one of the programs listed above, you can also apply for the Provincial Nominee Program through Express Entry. If you are nominated, you will receive bonus points and will be invited to apply as soon as possible.

Express Entry ranks candidates’ profiles using a point-based system known as the Comprehensive Ranking System (CRS). Candidates with the highest scores are given the Invitation to Apply (ITA) and can then apply for permanent residency.

Age, education level, proficiency in French or English, work experience, spouse factors, and connections to Canada all contribute to the CRS score.

An IRCC officer reviews the candidate’s application and decides whether or not they are approved. If approved, the candidate will be a permanent resident of Canada and one step closer to becoming a Canadian citizen.

Is it possible to improve the CRS score?

Yes of course. There are ways to improve your CRS score: retake the IELTS English proficiency exam, gain more work experience, show a job offer from a Canadian employer, and obtain a provincial nomination.

Through Express Entry programs, Canada has so far accepted just over 28,000 new permanent residents between January and August 31. By November 1 of this year, a new Immigration Levels Plan is anticipated to be released.

In-Person Interview Waived Off for the US

Recent announcements have revealed that the US embassy has resumed B1/B2 visa appointments and given consular officers the authority to waive off the in-person interview requirements.

In a wave of recent announcements, the US embassy has announced the reintroduction of visa processing of the routine in-person B1/B2 visa appointments starting September 2022. The notice further announced that the appointments do not act as placeholder appointments.

Adding to this, the US embassy also announced that the consular officers now hold the authority to waive the in-person interview requirements for select visa categories through 31 December 2022.

The embassy revealed that the waiver will apply to travelers seeking F, H-1, H-3, H-4, non-blanket L, M, O, P, Q, and academic J visas, who have been issued any type of visa previously, and if they are applying for the visas in their respective countries.

Spain Visa Interview Questions and Answers

What Is The Purpose Of A Visa Interview? 

A Schengen interview is an in-person interview between the visa applicant and the consulate employee. The purpose of the interview is mainly to assess the application and determine if the applicant is deserving of the Schengen visa. 

During your interview, the embassy/consulate employee will determine the following: 

  • That you are traveling for reasons stipulated in your visa application 
  • That you can sustain yourself financially during your trip 
  • You have good character 
  • You have a clean criminal record and have no previous offenses, proving that you are a law-abiding citizen 
  • Check that you do not plan to overextend your visa period or permanently stay in one of the Schengen areas. 

These points mentioned above are only guidelines and are not the only aspects under evaluation for a Schengen visa. If you want to know more about the purpose of the Schengen interview, contact your nearest embassy of your Schengen country for more information. 

Pre-Study Background Questions: –  

  • Why Did You Choose Spain? Link
  • Why Have You Chosen This Course? Link
  • Why Did You Choose This Particular College/University? Link
  • What is the college’s fee? (in your offer letter)
  • Where is your college located? (Av. del Racó, 27, 46400, Cullera, València (SPAIN))
  • Why this gap? Your gap cover

While –studying Background Questions: – 

  • How long will you stay in Spain? 
  • What is the length of your visa? 
  • What type of visa will you be issued? 
  • Will you be visiting someone, and if so, who? 
  • Are you traveling with a companion? 
  • Are you planning to visit more than one country in the Schengen area? 
  • Have you traveled to the country before? 
  • Have you ever traveled to Europe before? 
  • Where will you stay in Spain? 

Personal Background Questions: – 

  • Are you a student? 
  • What is your educational background? 
  • Where did you study? 
  • Where do you work, and what does your job entail? 
  • Do you have any children? 
  • Where do you currently live? 
  • Are you married or in a relationship? 
  • Have you ever been arrested or convicted of a crime? 

Financial Background Questions:- 

  • How Are You Planning to Finance Your Studies? A bank statement for fee, annual income for living cost
  • Can you show me your bank statement? 
  • What is the annual income of your parents? 
  • How much did you earn during your work? 
  • Have you paid all the income tax? 

Health Background Questions:- 

  • Have you covered your health insurance? 
  • From which company and amount? 

Post-Study Background Questions:- 

  • When do you plan to return? After course completion
  • Do you plan to pursue master’s or doctoral studies in Spain after your diploma, bachelor’s, masters? -No immediate return
  • What are your future plans? Link
  • How does this course help in your future plan? Link 1, Link 2, or your own business
  • What is your long-term goal? Link 1, Link 2, or your own business