Many international students study abroad because of the multiple opportunities that it brings their way. We all want a better life; we want to be part of a system that works. One such opportunity that studying abroad brings is the prospect of post-study work visas. These visas allow graduates to stay back in a foreign country after graduating and gain work experience.
Most of these countries have better working systems, and of course, better quality of life, and international students want to be part of these systems, some students go on to become permanent residents and subsequently, citizens.
If you are looking to study abroad and you admire the idea of staying back after your studies (everyone does), we will show you the top countries that offer post-study work visas here. You can go through the countries, check the one with the best conditions for a post-study work visa, and pick your study destination.
Countries that offer post-study work visas to international students
Canada consistently ranks high in global education standards – they have some of the best standards of education in the world but that’s not the juicy part, want to know? They have one of the friendliest immigration policies in the world.
They offer a Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) and this permit allows international graduates who have completed a program of at least eight months to work for up to three years.
- Conditions: For you to be eligible for this program, you must apply within 180 days of receiving your final transcripts and have a good record at a designated learning institution in Canada. With the PGWP, you can gain valuable Canadian work experience.
With time, this experience can lead to permanent residency through various immigration pathways. They have an immigration pathway for every kind of person.
In Australia, the case is not different, the country offers the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485), with this visa, you to stay and work for a period between 18 months to four years, depending on your qualifications.
For you to get this visa, you have to meet the following conditions.
- You must have completed a degree, diploma, or trade qualification from an Australian institution.
- The duration of the visa depends on the level of your qualifications:
- Bachelor’s degree: 2 years
- Master’s degree (by coursework): 2 to 3 years
- Master’s degree (by research): 3 to 4 years
- Doctoral degree: 4 years
- You need to apply for this visa within 6 months of receiving your final results.
The United Kingdom has revamped its post-study work visa program, they reintroduced the Post-Study Work Visa, but it’s now called the Graduate Route. As a graduate, you can stay in the UK for up to two years (or three if you’ve completed a doctoral degree) to work, seek employment, or start your business.
This revamped policy has made the UK even more attractive to international students, you can see there are more students heading to the UK now.
Duration: 2 years (or 3 years for doctoral graduates)
- You must have completed a recognized degree at the undergraduate level or above in the UK.
- You can work or look for work in any field, and there is no requirement for a job offer.
- You must apply for this visa within 2 years of completing your studies in the UK.
New Zealand isn’t left out of the league, the country’s post-study work visa system is equally appealing, and you will love it.
Once you graduate, you can apply for a Post-Study Work Visa, if you get the post-study work visa, you will be allowed to work for up to three years.
Duration: 1 to 3 years, depending on your qualifications and where you studied
- You must have completed a qualification at or above level 4 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework.
- The duration of the visa depends on where you studied in New Zealand:
- Auckland: 1 year
- Rest of New Zealand: 2 or 3 years
- You can apply for this visa within 3 months of receiving your final results.
Germany is renowned for its strong education system and technological prowess. You can stay in Germany for up to 18 months with a job search visa after completing your studies.
If you find a job related to your qualifications, you can transition to a work visa.
- After completing your studies, you can apply for an 18-month job search visa. If you find a job related to your field during this time, you can transition to a work visa, such as the EU Blue Card, which is a pathway to permanent residency.
Sweden’s innovation-driven economy and quality of life make it a desirable destination for many international l students.
The country offers a post-study work visa that allows graduates to stay for six months and search for a job.
After graduation, you can apply for a six-month job search permit. Once you secure employment, you can apply for a work permit to extend your stay and build your career.
The United States has Optional Practical Training (OPT) which allows you to stay up to 12 months, with the possibility of a 24-month extension for STEM graduates
- You must have completed a degree at a U.S. institution, and your program must be SEVP-certified.
- OPT allows you to work in your field of study for up to 12 months. STEM graduates can apply for a 24-month extension.
- You must apply for OPT before your program completion date and can start working after receiving the Employment Authorization Document (EAD).
Norway’s post-study work visa permits you to stay for one year to seek employment after completing your studies.
If you find a job related to your degree during this time, you can apply for a residence permit to work and live in Norway Norway is an amazing country and its strong emphasis on education and work-life balance attracts many international students.
South Korea has the D-2-7 Visa (Job-Seeking Visa) which allows international students to stay and work for 6 months to 1 year after graduation.
- You must have completed a degree from a Korean university.
- The D-2-7 visa allows you to stay in South Korea for 6 months to 1 year to search for employment related to your field of study.
- You must have proof of financial means to support yourself during your job search.
With Demark, you have the Job Search Visa which gives you 6 months’ grace to search for a job.
To get the job search visa
- You must have completed a degree from a Danish educational institution.
- You must have enough funds to support yourself during your job search.
The Job Search visa allows you to stay in Denmark for 6 months to search for employment related to your field of study. Each of the countries we listed here has its unique charm, education system, and job market and their post-study work visa condition differs. They are not the same across countries.
To choose the best option for yourself, you need to consider your career goals, personal preferences, and the visa requirements of each country before making your decision.
Some countries have excessive visa requirements that can take a long time to meet. You can pick the one with a post-study work visa condition that suits you most, each option here will help you gain valuable work experience and potentially transition to long-term employment or residency.
Before making your choice, remember that visa requirements and conditions can change over time, so always check with the respective immigration authorities.
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