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Post-study work permits in top student destination countries

Students who complete their education in a foreign country look forward to an option that allows them to gain work experience in that country. This gives them an opportunity to work in a new culture with professionals from diverse backgrounds, gain new skills and thus enhance their career prospects. Post-study work visa options are a major attraction for international students, and an important factor when students decide their preferred study destination. We explore the process and eligibility in various countries that offer international students a post-study work visa.

International students who have successfully completed a degree in the UK will be able to benefit from work experience in the UK upon graduation, through the new Graduate Route. The Graduate Route will be available to international students who have a valid student visa at the time of application and have successfully completed a degree at undergraduate, or higher level at a Higher Education Provider with a track record of compliance. Successful applicants on this route will be able to stay and work, or look for work, in the UK at any skill level for a maximum period of two years if they have successfully completed an undergraduate or master’s degree. PhD graduates will be able to stay for three years.

Graduates will be able to switch into skilled work once they have found a suitable job. Any eligible student who graduates after 1 July 2021 will be able to apply for this route. This includes students who have already started their courses. The Graduate Route will require a new visa application, which will only be possible from inside the UK. Students will also need to know the Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies (CAS) they used for their most recent Student (Tier 4) application in order to apply.

After students graduate from their program of studies they have pursued in Canada, they can avail post graduate work permit (PGWP) to work temporarily in Canada.

If the study program is less than 8 months, student is eligible for zero months of post graduate work permit (PGWP).

If the study program is between 8 and 24 months, the student is eligible for PGWP that is valid for up to the same length as the study program.

If the study program is of 2 years or more, the student is eligible for 3 years of PGWP.

If the student has completed more than one program, the student is eligible to get a PGWP that combines the length of each program. Each of the programs completed must be PGWP-eligible and at least 8 months in length. Student cannot get a PGWP if he/she has already had one after completing an earlier program of study.

The passport must be valid for the entire length of time the graduate has eligibility for. If the passport expires earlier, the student will likely be issued a PGWP that is valid until the passport expires.

Australia issues a Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485) that allows the graduate to stay in and work in Australia for upto 18 months. This has been temporarily increased to 24 months for visas granted from 1 December 2021. Hong Kong and British National Overseas passport holders may stay for 5 years. The visa has two streams, and for both the streams, the applicant must be under 50 years of age, hold an eligible visa, have held a student visa in the last 6 months, and should provide evidence of adequate health insurance, an AFP check and English language when you apply. Other requirements for each stream are listed below:

Graduate Work Stream Visa
This stream is for international students who have completed 2 years of education in Australia in the 6 months prior to applying for this visa, and who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications in demand in Australia as per the Skilled Occupations List. Visa under this stream lets student live, study and work in Australia for up to 18 months.

Post-Study Work Stream Visa This stream is for international students who have recently graduated with a degree or higher qualification from an Australian CRICOS approved institution. This stream lets student live, work and study in Australia temporarily for up 2 years for those who have earned an Australian Bachelor’s degree or Master’s degree, 3 years for those who have completed a research-based Master’s Degree, and 4 years for those who have been awarded a PhD or Doctorate. This visa does not require the occupation to be listed on the Skilled Occupations List.

Application for the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa cannot be made twice. It is important for the applicant to meet the 'Australian Study Requirement' of 2 years study in Australia to ensure eligibility, and the applicant must be in Australia at the time of making the application for the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa and also when the department grants the application.

After students graduate from their program of studies, they may be able to work temporarily in New Zealand. This is a two-tiered approach.

If education has been pursued and completed in Auckland and if the student visa was issued after 8 August 2018, the following are guidelines apply for Post-study work visa

* A Level 7 Bachelor's degree or higher can apply for a Post-study work visa for 3 years.
* A Level 7 Graduate Diploma, can apply for a Post-study work visa for 1 year. This can extend beyond for more than 1 year if student applicant is working towards occupational registration with a body included in a list of acceptable registration authorities. * Any other Level 7 qualification can apply for a Post-study work visa for 1 year.
* 1 or more acceptable qualifications at Levels 4, 5, 6, can apply for a Post-study work visa for 1 year.

If education has been pursued outside Auckland
* A Level 7 Bachelor's degree or higher, can apply for a Post-study work visa to work in New Zealand for 3 years.
* A Graduate Diploma or another Level 7 qualification; received on or before 31 December 2021, can apply for a Post-study work visa for 2 years, while those received after 31 December 2021, an apply for a Post-study work visa for 1 year.
* If 1 or more qualification is completed at Level 4, 5 or 6 and has been received on or before 31 December 2021, the graduate can apply for a work visa for 2 years, while those received after 31 December 2021, can apply for a visa to work for 1 year.
For qualification completed after 31 December 2021, the length of visa will be the same as for applicants who have studied in Auckland.

Ireland offers Post Study Pathways for international students. Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme allows graduated students to remain in Ireland to look for employment or apply for a green card/work permit to work full-time (40 hours a week). The permission under Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme is non-renewable. The scheme allows non-EU/EEA students who have graduated from Irish higher education institutions to remain in Ireland for 24 months to seek employment. Graduates with an award at Level 8 on the National Framework of Qualifications will be granted a 12 months to 7 years permission.

To qualify for the scheme, graduates:
* Must have been notified in writing by the relevant awarding body or institution on or after 1 January 2017 that they have achieved the award for which they had enrolled as a student. They must apply within six months of the degree/award notification.
* Must hold a current Stamp 2 student immigration permission and an updated immigration registration card
* Must not have exceeded the 7 year limit on their permission as a non-EEA national student in the State.
* If the applicant has previously benefitted from this scheme at a level 8 award or above, and has achieved a level 9 or above award, may re-enter the Third Level Graduate Programme, subject to the overall limit of eight years.
* A graduate will not be permitted to access the Programme on more than two separate occasions
* The award should be granted by a recognised Irish awarding body. i.e Trinity College, UCD, DCU, Maynooth University, UCC, NUI Galway, the University of Limerick; Dublin Institute of Technology; Royal College of Surgeons Ireland; Institutes of Technology; Quality and Qualifications Ireland (QQI)

Students who have graduated from a German educational institution and are from non-EU/EEA countries, can work in Germany after they finish their studies by extending their residence permit for upto 18 months after graduation. The student visa expires upon completion of education, and the 18 months begin as soon as final exams are completed. During these 18 months, the job does not necessarily have to be related to field of study. Graduate student can work whatever job to support self until he finds skill-related full-time employment. To qualify for this temporary residence permit while looking for a job, student must have proof of a successfully completed course of studies (university degree), health insurance coverage and sufficient financial means to cover costs of living. Upon receiving a job offer that corresponds to qualifications, the graduate can choose to apply for a residence permit for the purpose of taking up employment or for an EU Blue Card.

German Residence Permit allows foreign nationals to work in Germany for the term in the employment contract. However, this can be extended as many times to maintain employment status. This is advantageous to those who plan to permanently stay in Germany.

The EU Blue Card allows foreign nationals of non-EU countries who are highly skilled in a profession and want to work in Germany and other 25 EU states. Graduates with a IT or STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) background are more likely to get the EU Blue Card. Following requirements should be fulfilled- proof of a successfully completed course of studies (university degree), health insurance coverage, sufficient financial means to cover living costs (German work contract) , minimum gross annual salary of EUR 55,200 or EUR 43,056 for MINT professions (year 2020)

Graduate students can apply for the D-10 visa, or the job-seekers visa, to find employment in South Korea. The D-10 Visa is available for students who have earned an associate or bachelor’s degree from a South Korean educational institution. The applicant can switch to an E-1 Visa after finding employment.

The E-visa has seven categories: Professor (E-1), Foreign Language Instructor (E-2), Researcher (E-3), Technical Instructor/Technician (E-4), Professional (E-5), Artist/Athlete (E-6) or Foreign National of Special Ability (E-7).

International students who have graduated from an educational institution in Singapore must apply for a work visa to work in Singapore after they graduate. Upon graduation, their Student Pass is cancelled/expired. Generally, graduates will be granted a Short-Term Visit Pass that allows them to stay in Singapore for up to 90 days. International students can use this extra time to live and look for a job in Singapore. However, they cannot take up any type of employment on this Pass.

If applicant is graduating from a university that features in the list of Institute of Higher Learning, and seeking employment in Singapore, the graduate may have an option to apply for a one-year (non-renewable) Long-term Social Visit Pass (LTVP). International students can use this period to work and stay in Singapore.

Other work visa options are available to all international students who work in Singapore after they graduated:
Employment Pass is one of the most common work visa for international students to remain and work in Singapore after their studies. This work visa caters to foreign professionals who work in a managerial, executive or specialised job. Therefore, applicants must meet a minimum salary of S$4,500 per month and with acceptable educational qualifications such as a good university degree, professional qualifications or specialist skills. Their employer must sponsor their work visa.

S Pass is also a common work visa for international students to remain and work in Singapore after their studies. This work visa caters to mid-skilled foreign employees who are technicians or specialists. Applicants must also meet a minimum salary of S$2,500 per month and with acceptable educational qualifications such as a degree or a diploma. Their employer must sponsor their work visa.

EntrePass is a visa option for international graduates who wish to develop ideas or entrepreneurial skills by setting up a new business in Singapore. The applicant must have started, or intend to start, a private limited company registered with Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority (ACRA) Singapore. At the same time, other criteria also have to be fulfilled.