Stay Back on a Post Study Work Visa - Best Countries to Study and Work


Samarpita Goswami
Updated on Nov 17, 2022 03:55 PM IST

Students who wish to study abroad prefer studying in countries that provide them with the maximum stay back. The greater the stay back the better the possibility of building a global employment career.

Stay Back on a Post Study Work Visa - Best Countries to Study and Work

Best Countries to Study and Work on Post Study Work Visa: Students who opt for studying abroad choose countries with maximum stay back and post study work period. Post study work visas allow graduates to work in the host country for a few years after graduation and gain experience before returning to their home country.

Working in a foreign country exposes graduates to global working scenarios. This, in turn, enhances their CV, expands their professional network and allows them to earn a higher salary. Countries like the US, the UK, Canada, Australia and New Zealand provide favourable stay-back options that have a remarkable impact on the career of international students.

It is, therefore, necessary that students should do thorough research on the post study work permits available at the study destination. We will now take you through the best countries with stay back and postgraduate work permits that will help you to make choices easily.

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What is Stay Back Period to Study Abroad?

International students studying abroad are given an extension of their student visa by means of post study work permit or post study work visa. A student visa does not allow them to stay in the host country after the completion of their studies. But, a post study work visa allows graduates to stay in the country for a few years and gain part-time and/or full-time work experience.

Getting a post study work permit also opens up the scope to get permanent residency in the country. Working abroad also helps students to recover a portion of their tuition fees, thereby, leading to a higher return on investment (ROI). They help aspirants and graduates gain transferable skills including analytical and effective communication, teamwork, leadership skills, decision-making abilities, organisation and planning skills.

What is Post Study Work Visaor Post Graduate Work Permit?

Post study work permit allows students who have completed undergraduate or above degrees to avail of full-time work opportunities in the study destination. A post study work visa(PSW visa) varies from country to country. However, mostly, an extension of two years is given as post study work opportunity. The duration of a post study work visa also depends on the course studied and the duration of the course.

A post graduatework permit opens many avenues for international students and get them the opportunity to transfer their classroom learning to real-life scenarios. They also get the chance to network with industry leaders who can not only provide them with a learning curve but also greater and better opportunities in the future. That said, once the duration of post study work permit ends, it is mandatory to return to the home country.

Countries that Give Work Permits after Study

Let us unveil some of the best countries to study and work on post study work visa for aspirants and graduates. These are the countries that provide the best work visa schemes to students after they complete their studies:


The US is one of the most favoured destinations for studying abroad and building a career post graduation. In fact, a growing number of students have been choosing the US for higher studies because they want to live the American dream. The stay back period in USA is better for STEM students than non-STEM students.

Optional Practical Training (OPT)

  • To get temporary employment in the USA, students have to apply for an F1 visa. They can work for one year after completion of their studies. The F1 visa holders can apply for Optional Practical Training(OPT) which will allow them to work for a year. For the same, students must study full-time at an institution certified by the US Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Student and Exchange Visitor Program (SEVP).

  • F1 visa holders must apply for OPT no later than 60 days remaining to complete their studies. They must also find a job within 90 days of the course completion. In addition, it is mandatory to get a job related to the field of study.

  • STEM graduates can extend their stay by two years, i.e. they can stay for a total of three years in the US after graduation.

H1-B Visa

Later, students can shift from an F1 visa to an H1-B visa which will allow additional three years of work and stay in the USA.The H-1B visa category permits employers to petition for highly educated foreign professionals to work in speciality occupations' that require at least a bachelor's degree or the equivalent. Jobs in mathematics, engineering, technology, and medical sciences frequently qualify. The initial period of an H-1B visa classification is typically three years, which can be extended for a total of six years.

United Kingdom

Earlier, the UK had a stringent post study work policy, wherein, graduates were not allowed to stay in the country for more than four to six months. However, in the present scenario, the government has launched its new stay back and post study visa in the UKor Graduate Route visa which allows staying in the UK for two years after the completion of their undergraduate or postgraduate degree. PhD students can stay up to three years.

International students can apply for the Graduate Route visa once they have completed their degree from a recognised university in the UK. However, they must have a valid student visa. After the completion of the stay duration with a Graduate Route visa, they can apply for a skilled work visa or Tier 2 general work visa. In order to get a Tier 2 visa, the applicant must earn GBP 30,000 per year.


Australia attracts lakhs of international students every year with its affordable education and alluring post study work visa. Broadly, there are three types of post study work permits in Australia that students must know of.

  • Post Study Work Stream Visa: This is the most popular visa type for which students can immediately apply after graduation. This falls under visa subclass 485 and all bachelors, masters and doctorate degree holders can apply for post study work stream visa in Australia. Under this category, bachelor's students can work for two years, masters students can work for three years and doctoral students can work for four years.

  • Graduate Work Stream Visa: Graduates with certain skills and occupations can apply for this 18-month visa. The graduate work stream visa, which falls under visa subclass 485, can be extended up to 24 months.

  • Skilled-Recognised Graduate Visa: This visa is for subclass 470 and is mainly reserved for engineering students. With this visa, they can stay up to 18 months although they will later require sponsorship from the employer.


Canada is the easiest to get PR after graduation. The Canadian government is introducing new schemes to boost the international student market by providing various attractive post study work visa benefits. The enormous vacancies in the job market of Canada and its robust economy lure students to study in the country. The Canada Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) helps students who have graduated from recognised universities to find work in Canada.

For a PGWP, students must graduate from a Designated Learning Institute (DLI) and apply within six months of graduation. Later, students can get permanent residency in Canada through Express Entry. The duration of the work permit depends on the course duration. The same can be found below:

  • If the course duration is less than eight months, a work permit is not given.

  • If the course is for more than eight months but less than two years, a work permit of the same duration is given.

  • For courses above two years, a work permit is available for three years or more. The course must lead to a certificate, diploma or degree.

New Zealand

New Zealand has followed in the footsteps of other countries and provides post study work visas for one to three years depending on the qualification and the place of study. They are allowed to practice any trade they wish. Moreover, New Zealand is one of the countries that provides the longest post-study work visa.

The guidelines pertaining to the stay back period and post study work in New Zealand are as follows:

  • Students must have studied in an institution in New Zealand and completed at least Level 4 of the education qualification framework.

  • Those within level 4 to level 6 are eligible for the visa.

  • They must have completed 60 weeks of study or two distinct courses of 30 hours from New Zealand.

  • Students can extend the visa by completing another course of 30 weeks.


Germany, with its low or no tuition fees in its public universities, is one of the most cost-effective study abroad destinations. It gives easyGerman work permits without any complicated terms and conditions. It is simple and quick in visa processing as compared to other countries. After the completion of their studies, students can apply for an 18-month visa which is also called a temporary residence permit.

A German student visa completes as soon as the course completes so the students should apply for it beforehand. To be eligible for this permit, one must be able to show proof of completion of their course, health insurance and financial sufficiency.

The jobseekers visa in Germany is a temporary visa of six months that allows students to search for jobs. On getting a job, they will have to apply for separate work or residence permits. Students must have academic or vocational qualifications and minimum knowledge of the German language to get this visa. When they are employed, they will get a German residence permit for the period of their employment contract.


Ireland is home to some of the world's most powerful corporations, including Google, Apple, Facebook, LinkedIn, and others. Many graduates and aspirants aspire to work in Ireland after completing their programme. Graduates who are studying in Ireland and want to work there after finishing their studies must apply for an Irelandpost study work visa through the Irish Third Level Graduate Scheme. They can stay in Ireland for 6 to 24 months under this programme, depending on their coursework. If they want to stay longer, they can apply for a Critical Skills Employment Permit or a General Employment Permit. Ireland plans to use the Critical Skills Employment Permit to attract skilled foreign nationals to work in areas where there is a severe scarcity of skilled employees. The General Employment Permit, on the other hand, will allow applicants to work in Ireland for a greater range of occupations.


Singapore is yet another one of the best countries to study and work on a post-study work visa for study abroad aspirants. International students, particularly graduates, must get a Pass (Visit Pass) to stay in Singapore and look for work for a maximum of 12 months. Aspirants must apply for the Employment Pass once they have a job. Several colleges and institutions in Singapore include internships as part of their curricula. They can obtain hands-on experience if they are admitted to a top institute, which has great tie-ups and contacts with the industry. Visas for Indian IT workers have been denied in Singapore. As a result, employment scenarios are hazy. However, opportunities exist in ICT, Finance, and Hospitality.


France is another European country on the list of the best countries for study abroad students to study and work on a post-study work visa. The country is also becoming increasingly popular as a study-abroad destination. However, if they are looking to do a Bachelor's degree in France, it may not be among the top options. Bachelor degree holders can only stay if they have a valid work permit (or at last hold an offer of paid employment). Foreign students with Master's degrees, on the other hand, can apply for and be granted a temporary residency permit (APS) for a duration of 24 months. In 2015, France introduced a special two-year residence visa for Indian graduates.


A world-class education, a good standard of living, and free student healthcare. Who wouldn't want to live and study in the world's happiest country, Finland, which is also on the list of the top countries to study and work on a post-study work visa for students looking to study abroad? Non-EU students can apply for an extended residence permit for up to a year after graduation after completing their studies. This is aimed to assist graduates in their job hunt. They can apply for a new residence permit based on their new work placement once they have secured a job as a graduate.

International students must make their decision wisely when picking the right country to study abroad. Given that post study work has become one of the major factors when deciding on the country to study in, having a clear idea of the stay back options can only enhance the study abroad experience. After all, studying in a country with rigid stay back and post study work opportunities can make ones study abroad experience less constructive, particularly in the long run.

If you have any queries related to studying abroad or post study stay back and work rights, then you can mail us at and seek help from our experts and counsellors!

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Apart from the above-listed European countries, where else can aspiring graduates choose to work on a post-study work visa?

Apart from the UK, Ireland, France, Germany and Finland, the other countries where aspiring graduates can choose to work on a post-study work visa are Switzerland, Sweden, Belgium and Italy too. Most of these countries offer 12 months of post-study work visas to postgraduates to find jobs.

What is a post-study work visa?

The post-study work visa is a unique stay-back permit for graduates that permit them to return to their host nation after completing their higher education to live and work. This has undoubtedly increased the number of opportunities available to students interested in studying abroad. They can begin their professional careers in a foreign nation, gain a global perspective, learn about diverse cultures, and so on.

How long can I live and work in Australia?

Post-Study Work Rights (PSWR) is a temporary visa option that permits international students to Live, Study, and Work after they graduate. And, when it comes to post-study employment privileges, Australia is one of the greatest countries among all of the top study-abroad locations. Depending on your qualifications, you can stay for up to four (4) years after finishing your studies.

Can I get a work permit in the UK after finishing my degree?

The UK government just changed its post-study work visa route. Previously, overseas students could only stay for four months, whereas PhD students may stay for a year after finishing their studies. International students can now apply to stay and work for two years after finishing their degree programme.

Which countries offer the most years in the post-study work visa permit?

The countries that provide the most years in the post-study work visa permit are New Zealand with 1, 2 or 3 years depending on qualifications, where you studied, and if you're going for occupational registration; Canada with up to three years, with the length of the permit, often coinciding with the length of the qualifying programme; and Australia with up to 5 years for Hong Kong passport holders; up to 18 months for the Graduate Work visa, 2-4 years depending on qualifications, where you studied, etc. 

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