Best Countries with Stay-Back & Post-Study Work Opportunities for International Students

With immigration, work permits, and visa rules getting tightened everywhere, you should remain updated about the stay-back & post-study work opportunities in foreign countries. This article will give you updated information about the stay-back & post-study work opportunities for international students in Australia, the US, UK, Canada, Germany, New Zealand, Ireland, Singapore, France, SwedenSwitzerland, and other EU countries.

post study work visa abroad

Best Countries with Post-Study Work Opportunities for Indian Students

The international (and Indian) students are already in a state of high tension after the US Government made significant changes in the immigration and visa rules. The recent scrapping of the 457 visa category by the Australian Government made the case worse. The UK has stopped the post-study work visa long back in 2011-12. Things are no different in Singapore and New Zealand.

Students and parents are getting apprehensive about studying abroad; and why shouldn’t they? After all, everyone would like to work in the destination country to gain international work experience and to recover a significant part of the studying costs. However, bright and deserving Indian (and international) students are highly unlikely to get affected due to all these turmoil. It’s true that all the countries are making their visa and immigration rules more stringent than ever. But, qualified and skilled students and professionals will continue to enjoy the post-study work opportunities in foreign countries.

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Post-Study Work Visa in Australia, Canada, USA, UK, and Europe: Grass is Not Greener Anywhere

Post-Study Work Opportunities in Australia

The Australian Prime Minister, Malcolm Turnbull, announced the scrapping of the 457 visa category in 2017. But, the 457 category hasn’t got too much to do with the post-study work opportunities in Australia for international students. The 457 visa category is for skilled workers who apply for residency and work permit from outside Australia, and don’t necessarily hold an Australian qualification.

International students can stay and work in Australia after finishing studies under the Temporary Graduate Visa (subclass 485). The visa has got two streams.

  • Graduate Work Stream: international students with certain qualifications and skills can stay in Australia for 18 months.
  • Post Study Work Stream: under this category, international students with advanced qualifications (MRes and Ph.D.) and skills set can stay in Australia up to 4 years, regardless of the field of study in Australia.

Both routes will require work experience. So, if you are thinking of doing a Masters without having significant job experience, be careful with Australia!

Few job categories and occupations have been scrapped from the list. So, if you are going to study Bachelor or Masters (MSc), you need to be careful with the field of study. For example, if you are studying Biotechnology, Biochemistry,  Food Technology,  Business Studies in Australia – things would be tough. However, prospects are bright if you are looking at to study Actuarial Science,  Agricultural Science,  Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Systems & Networking, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, Telecommunications etc.

So, the key would be choosing the right subject field and the right university. It’s time to seek advice from study abroad experts and admission consultants rather than the agents and dodgy education consultants. India is full of scrupulous agents and education consultants. Besides, the marketing agents advertise themselves as education consultants. Things are getting tight, so you need to careful with your decisions. Read about the best courses to study in Australia for getting jobs and immigration/PR.

2017 and 2018 saw a sharp increase in the number of international and Indian students choosing Australia. So, it’s definitely a hot favorite right now.

Post-Study Work Opportunities in USA

The US is by far the most popular study abroad destination for the international, as well as Indian students. The policies by Donald Trump and a few hate crimes (in 2017) have made the parents and students worried.

Hate crimes are absolutely unfortunate. But, they do not reflect the whole situation in the US. These kinds of events happened in other countries as well. So, these are merely one-off events. The US has cultivated its reputation as the global beacon for education, research, and innovation over the decades.

Now coming to the working opportunities in the US after studies, international students are unlikely to get affected significantly due to the revised immigration policies. International students can stay and work in the US, for a total of 12 months (29 months for STEM graduates) after completing their degree.

The OPT start date should be within 60 days of finishing your degree. Additionally, you need to be employed within 90 days of the OPT start date. In case you fail to secure a job within that time-frame, your OPT would be canceled.

It is highly unlikely that changes in the immigration laws will impact the development, and the education policy surrounding it. Once your OPT expires, you ultimately will have to apply for H1B visa, which as per President Trump is a route to take entry-level IT jobs from Americans, and in favor of the relatively cheap workforce from overseas.

More importantly, the H-1B visa used to work on a lottery system. This is actually bad for deserving candidates. Read the unfortunate story of How the Old H-1B Rule Made the Life of Sudhanshu Shekhar Difficult to Get Jobs in the US.

The US is still an excellent destination with great post-study work opportunities for international students who want to study science, engineering, liberal arts, business studies.  Read more on the New H1-B Regulations to be Effective from April 2019.

post study work USA

Recommended Reading:

Why US is still the Best Study Abroad Destination for Indian Students Despite the H-1B Visa Debacle

MS in Computer Science in USA

Top Universities for MS in Data Science in USA

Post-Study Work Visa in UK

Non-EU students can stay in the UK for two years to search for a job.

Readforeign graduates will be eligible for a 2-year post-study work visa in the UK from 2020-2021 (next year).

Below is the snapshot of the post-study work opportunities for international students in the UK enrolled in 2019 or before (but after 2011).

Stay back and post study work permit in UK

The UK is the second most popular study abroad destination for international students after the US. International undergraduate students, including those from India, rate the UK number one for student satisfaction, ahead of the US, Australia, Canada, Singapore, and New Zealand. Job opportunities for the international students in the UK are good in Business & Admin Studies,  Engineering,  Social Studies,  Biological Sciences,  Law,  Creative Arts & Design,  Medicine & Dentistry,  Subjects Allied to Medicine,  Computer Sciences,  Physical Sciences. Know more about In-Demand Subjects & Job Opportunities for International Students in the UK.

In case you are planning to study in the UK, read how to get a job in the UK as an international (non-EU) student and list of Masters Programs with Internships & Placements in the UK.

Post-Study Work Permit in Canada

There has been no significant change in immigration policies in Canada. The post-study work scheme in Canada allows you to stay in the country for a maximum period of 3 years. The stay of the post-study work will be of the same duration as your program, but not more than 3 years. The Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows international students (graduated from a recognized Canadian Institute) to seek employment in Canada. Later on, the work experience gained through the PGWPP can help graduates to qualify for permanent residency in Canada through Express Entry.

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Stay back in Canada

Post-Study Work Opportunities in Germany

Germany is another destination with excellent post-study work opportunities for international students. You can stay in the country for 18 months after finishing your course. You need to apply for an 18-month Residence permit from your local foreign nationals’ registration office to look for a suitable job (relevant to your qualifications). During these 18 months, you may take up any kind of employment to support yourself and fund your job search. Once you get a job relevant to the course you studied in Germany, you can apply for the German Residence permit or a EU Blue Card. Please be advised that the post-study work opportunities are for international students who do their postgraduate studies from Germany. Know more about studying Masters in Germany.

Related Post: Masters Application Deadlines for the 2019 Winter Intake in Germany

post study work visa and stay back in Germany

Source: Times Higher Education

The fact that Germany does not charge any tuition fees for international students, makes Germany a lucrative study abroad destination for international students. Know why Germany educates international students for free. The quality of education, research, and training in Germany is one of the best in the world. Several German universities feature among the Top 200 Universities in the World (QS & Times Higher Education). The post-study work permit rules are excellent. Once you have the EU Blue Card, you can also take up employment in the other EU countries like the Netherlands, France, Sweden, Italy, France etc. So, a Masters degree from Germany is always an excellent option for international students.

Related Post: Overview on Undergraduate Studies in Germany (Eligibility Criteria, Free Education, Admission Process and Job Prospects)

Post-Study Work Opportunities in Ireland

Ireland offers 12 months of stay back for all international students finishing a Bachelor degree in Ireland. Postgraduate students are allowed to stay for 24 months. Irish degrees are very aligned to the industry needs, hence making Irish graduates very employable. The IT, telecommunication, pharmaceutical, applied sciences, and finance sectors are very strong; and they provide excellent career opportunities for international students. Ireland hosts EU, EMEA headquarters and operating hubs of leading companies like Accenture, IBM, Dell, Motorola, HP, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Google, Microsoft, Pfizer, PayPal, Genzyme, DCC, Oracle, Covidien, Smurfit Kappa, CRH, and many others. Know more about the Employment Opportunities for International Students in Ireland.

Work Opportunities are excellent for Data Scientists, Media Professionals and Digital Marketers in Ireland

Post-Study Work Opportunities in Singapore

International students need to obtain a Pass (Visit Pass) to stay in Singapore and search for jobs for a period of a maximum of 12 months. Once you get a job, you need to apply for the Employment Pass. During studies, several colleges and universities in Singapore offer internships as a part of their curriculum. If you get admitted to a top institute you can gain hands-on experience as the institutes have got excellent tie-ups and links with the industry. Singapore has been blocking visas to Indian IT professionals. So, employment scenarios are not too clear. But, opportunities are there in ICT, Finance, and Hospitality. Know more about the post-study work opportunities in Singapore for foreigners.

Related Post: FinTech Ecosystem and Banking Jobs in Singapore

Post-Study Work Opportunities in New Zealand

New Zealand also offers a stay-back opportunity of 12 months to search for a job. Once you get a job, you will be eligible for a 2-year work permit. Read more about studying in New Zealand.

However, being a small country, the availability of jobs is tricky. If you are studying for a degree in the fields of hospitality & tourism, animation, food science & agriculture, then your chances of finding a job are very high. New Zealand has been tightening its student visa rules of late. However, it is unlikely to affect genuine and talented students. Know more about post-study work in New Zealand.

Post-Study Work Opportunities in France

France is another European country that is gaining good popularity as a study abroad destination. However, if you are looking to do Bachelors’s from France, then it might not be among the top choices. Bachelor degree holders can stay on only if they have a work permit (or at last hold an offer of paid employment). But, foreign students with Master’s degrees can apply for and get a temporary residence permit (APS), for a period of 24 months. France introduced a special two-year residence permit for Indian graduates in 2015.

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Post-Study Work Opportunities in Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium, and Italy

Switzerland, Sweden, and Italy are excellent options to study abroad. Additionally, both Switzerland and Sweden offer 6 – 12 months stay-back options.


Switzerland is one of the best countries when it comes to living standards, innovation, and studies in banking & finance, engineering, life sciences, pharmaceuticals, and hospitality management.

However, please be advised unlike STEM fields and business studies (MBA, Finance), foreign students attending private hospitality schools like EHL or BHMS, are not eligible for post-study work in Switzerland. However, those institutes do offer paid internships during studies.


Sweden doesn’t get as much media attention as other popular study-abroad destinations. But, it’s a small country that definitely punches above its weight. Sweden offers 12 months of post-study work visa (to find jobs). Know more about Education and Jobs in Sweden for international students.


Non-EU graduates in Belgium will be able to remain for one year to look for work (or start a company) from 2021.


Italy is another great place to study and much budget-friendly for international students. Read more about Masters in Italy.


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