Post study work visa -One of the major factors behind the rising number of international students across the globe is the opportunities that are presented in the job sector abroad. While a degree from a university abroad covers wide aspects like experience of different cultures and exposure on a global platform, the actual impact of the education is reflected on the curriculum vitae of the student. Students, too, are increasingly opting for countries which offer easier access to their job market and the study abroad trends can be seen reflecting this reality. For eg, the United Kingdom’s strict immigration policy has dissuaded many international students from exploring the education opportunities in the country. In 2014 itself, the number of Indian students studying in the country dropped by almost 11.85% over 2013.
Keeping the numbers in mind, many other emerging study abroad destinations have either simplified or introduced new policies to facilitate easier post study work visa for international students.
Here we have the post study work visa pathways for six countries- USA, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, UK and Germany.
Post study work visa in USA:
International students studying in USA can opt to work after study in the country under two training programmes for post study work visa - Optional Practical Training and Curricular Practical Training which allow students to work in the USA for around 12 to 17 months after graduation.
Optional Practical Training (OPT): The Optional Practical Training allows students to work for 12 months after completing the course in the USA. International students can apply for OPT nine months after starting their courses while students can be authorised to 12-month full time OPT at different levels of study. For example, if an international student has completed under graduation, he can do a 12-month OPT and then join a graduate course after which he will be eligible for another 12 months OPT.
The good news for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering or Mathematics) students is that the US government allows qualified STEM degree holders to apply for 17 months extension for their post study training.
Curricular Practical Training (CPT): International F-1 students may also apply for the Curricular Practical Training, which is an off-campus employment option allowing students to engage in alternative work/study, internship, cooperative education, or any other type of internship offered by sponsoring employers. The CPT is offered through cooperative agreements with the school if practical training is an integral part of the course.
How to apply?
One thing to keep in mind before applying for the OPT is that the training should relate to the major subject studies during undergraduation or graduation. International students must first receive an Employment Authorization Document (EAD) from the United States Citizenship and Immigration Services (USCIS).
Post study work visa in Canada:
International students who wish to work in Canada after their graduation have to apply under the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) for post-study work visa in Canada. International students who have studied in Canada for more than eight months are eligible to work under this category. The basis work limit for international students is as follows:
Course length is more than 8 months but less than 2 years: International students who have completed a programme which is more than 8 months but less than 2 years in the country are eligible to work for a period equal to the length of their programme. For eg, if a student completes a 10-month long course, he/she may apply to work in Canada for only 10 months under the post-study work visa scheme.
Course length is 2 years or more: In case a student has completed a course which is more than 2 years in length, he/she is eligible to apply for a work permit of three years in Canada.
International students in Canada have to apply through the Post-Graduation Work Permit Program. You must have been a full time student to apply for the work permit.
Post study work visa in Australia:
The Australian government launched the Temporary Graduate visa scheme (subclass 485) in 2013, which replaced the existing Skilled Graduate visa plan. The country now offers temporary post-study work permits to international students under mainly two streams- the Graduate Work stream and the Post-Study Work stream. Students can have more than one qualification to be eligible for the post-study work visa scheme.
Graduate Work stream: The Graduate Work stream permit allows graduate international students to stay back and work in Australia for a period of 18 months.
Post-Study Work stream: ThePost-Study Work stream plan lets international applicants to work in Australia for two to four years after their graduation regardless of their programme.
How to apply?
All international students wishing to apply for the post-study work visa in Australia should meet the Australian study requirement within 6 months prior to applying. The study requirements demand that the student must have studied in Australia for a total of 2 years either in a single programme or in multiple programs leading to a total of 2 years. Also students have undertaken the study in no less than 16 months. The courses should also have been registered with Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Course for Overseas Students (CRICOS).
Post study work visa in New Zealand:
One of the most liberal countries for post-study work opportunities, the New Zealand Government allows international students to stay back and work in the country for up to 4 years after their graduation. There are two ways through which a student can apply for post-study work visa permit in New Zealand: Post-study work visa and Post-study work visa (employer assisted). The New Zealand government also allows foreign students to stay back after their post-study work permit is over under the Skilled Migrant Category.
Post-study work visa: The post-study work visa allows international students to search for a job in New Zealand for up to 12 months in their field of study.
Students are also allowed to work in other jobs while they are searching for a work related to their field. Students have to provide evidence of a minimum of NZ $4,200 available to maintain themselves during their 12-month stay in New Zealand
Post-study work visa (employer assisted): This visa can only be applied through the assistance of an employer. The visa allows a foreign student to stay back and gain work experience in New Zealand for a further two to three years.
Aspirants have to apply through immigration New Zealand for post-study work permit. Students should apply for the post-study work visa no later than 3 months in case of coursework and 6 months for doctoral candidates after the student visa has expired.
Post study work visa in UK:
While the UK has imposed some strict rules in the last few years, international students are still allowed to explore work opportunities in the country.
However, Sakthy Edamuruku , Media Officer at the British High Commission, refutes the idea that the British Government's policies are hostile toward international students.
Sakthy highlights the following routes through which international students can stay back and work in UK:
“Students can stay in the UK for a further 12 months if they secure an internship within the Tier 5 Government Authorised Exchange scheme route. Graduate students in UK are also allowed to switch into Tier 5 to undertake postgraduate professional training or work experience which is required to obtain a professional qualification in the same field. Also, Tier 4 students studying at degree level or above are given four months at the end of their visa to look for a job. Those who secure a graduate level job can work in the UK for up to six years after they finish their studies. To switch to a Tier 2 work visa, students need to secure a graduate level job paying at least Â£20,800 with a UK company willing to sponsor them.”
The Tier 1 (Graduate Entrepreneur) visa also allows graduates with a business idea to set up their businesses in the UK.
Post study work visa in Germany:
The German Parliament implemented the EU Blue Card scheme to grant extended work and residence permit to foreign graduates of German universities. The EU Blue Card is a residence permit which, when issued for the first time, is valid for a maximum of four years. After obtaining a degree from Germany, one can stay there for up to 1.5 years to look for suitable employment.
Graduates have to submit proof of annual salary of 48,400 Euro to be eligible for the Blue Card.
Stay tuned to www.studyabroad.careers360.com for more news and updates on work after study
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