Work permit issue for wife of PR applicant

| 23/03/2017

Can you help with a work permit question please? My last position was made redundant after a company restructuring and I lost my job just before my term limit was up. I wasn’t able to find a new job right away and was added to my husband’s work permit as a dependant. Now I’m finding it hard to get a job because I am over my term limit of eight years. Prospective employers are saying that they cannot employ me because I cannot get a work permit now. My husband is on the rolling six-monthly permission to continue working while we are in the queue for our permanent residency application to be heard.

I’ve asked at Immigration but have had conflicting answers, or am advised to just send in an application and see if it is approved or not. This isn’t helping my job seeking. Can you get it from someone who knows for certain? Can I be issued a new work permit after reaching my term limit?

Auntie’s answer: I understand your frustration at not being able to get a definitive answer. And the whole “try it and see what happens” approach does not sit well either. But do not despair. Your situation is actually covered in the Immigration Law (2015 Revision), which was helpfully pointed out to me by a department representative.

Section 52(10) covers a person who is married to a worker (defined as a work permit holder) and whose right to work will expire before his or her spouse. If the marriage is intact and the couple is not living apart, which I am assuming in your case to be true, then you may apply for the grant or renewal of a work permit while your husband has been granted Permission to Continue to Work (PCW). If granted, however, your work permit can only cover a period of time that does not exceed that of your husband’s PCW.

I realise that final point may dissuade some potential employers from hiring you, but that is what the law allows.

The law mentioned in this column can be found on the CNS Library

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Category: Ask Auntie, Immigration Questions

Comments (5)

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  1. Diogenes says:

    Perhaps you should threaten to sue the Department for the damage to your ability to secure a job caused by their failure to either promptly process your husbands PR, unless they now do so within the 30 day period promised, or alternatively confirm in writing (that you can show to employers) that they will not limit any work permit granted to the duration of your husbands residency, but in effect treat you as an individual.

    It seems litigation is the only thing Immigration responds to, and avoiding yet another law suit might be sufficient to extract a letter confirming that you will be in no worse position than any other expat in seeking a WP simply because of their failure to do their job. A letter would not give them a precedent problem, cause public embarrassment or raise the risks of a class action by other dependents – all the things that really motivate Immigration.

  2. Anonymous says:

    Since you have already been living here for a while, why would you expect the immigration department to be helpful or give consistent answers?

    • Anonymous says:

      Bring them donuts. They talk more sense with their mouth full of donuts.

  3. Anonymous says:

    What is your address I woulds like to offer you 25 cents on the dollar for your goods because I pay more before the fire sale

    • Anonymous says:

      What is wrong with you? How can you be so callous? This woman is obviously in a very stressful situation through no fault of her own and is seeking to find out where she stands in order to do the right thing. Your response is not called for. The phrase “If you cant say something nice say nothing at all” comes to mind.