Monday, May 20, 2024

Visa aid

A pioneering partnership between Pearson and Talent Beyond Boundaries is helping skilled refugees settle in new countries, as Sasha Hampson explains

Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine and the Taliban takeover of Afghanistan last year have shown that more than ever, refugees need solutions to resume their lives and rebuild their careers in places where they can feel safe and secure.

In May, Pearson announced that it’s partnering with Talent Beyond Boundaries to offer the Pearson Test of English – PTE Academic – free to 300 refugees from around the world, and offering a further 300 tests with a 10% discount.

Talent Beyond Boundaries is the first organisation to focus on pioneering talent mobility for refugees as an additional solution to traditional humanitarian resettlement.

It will administer the tests, which can be taken in any PTE Academic test centre globally.

The tests will be allocated to those refugees whose skills match with employers and skilled migration programmes. So far, it has launched displaced-talent visa programmes with the governments of Australia, Canada and the UK.

A good example of someone who has benefited is Fadi Chalouhy, who went from being stateless in Lebanon to being a management consultant in Australia with the help of Talent Beyond Boundaries.

Fadi’s father, a Syrian soldier, left his Lebanese mother without registering Fadi for citizenship. To this day, women are not allowed to register their children in Lebanon or many other Middle Eastern countries. So, until very recently, Fadi was one of the estimated 10 million ‘stateless’ people around the world.

Fadi takes up the story: “2016 was a turning point for me. My mother died and her meagre assets went to my uncles. I had no chance of Lebanese citizenship. Grieving, but determined not to die stateless in Lebanon, I went on a letter-writing campaign.

“That’s when Talent Beyond Boundaries came to my aid. They saw my skills, not my statelessness. They saw me as an asset, not a liability. It took two years, but I finally became the first stateless person to secure a skills-shortage visa and migrated to Australia to work at Accenture.”

Pearson is naturally very pleased with this outcome and hopes to see many others achieve this sort of visa through its partnership with Talent Beyond Boundaries.

Anyone displaced by the crisis in Ukraine, or anywhere around the world, can register on the Talent Catalog to be considered for international employment and skilled visa opportunities. Visit

Sasha Hampson is Vice President of PTE Global Stakeholder Relations at Pearson.

Sasha Hampson
Sasha Hampson
Sasha Hampson is Vice President of PTE Global Stakeholder Relations at Pearson.
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