Post-Study Work Opportunities for Global Ed Students

Global Ed

A defining factor among international students for choosing a global ed destination is the availability and accessibility of Post Study employment opportunities in the destination country. For many, post-study work comes as a great opportunity to gain invaluable work experience in different work cultures. It also provides a viable means for them to pay back their student loans while helping build a global community and network of friends.

The upside of studying in some of the global ed destinations such as Australia, Canada, the USA and, the UK are the excellent post-study work opportunities that are on offer for international graduates.

Here’s a look at the Post-Graduation Work Permit (PWGP) in the countries mentioned, and the employment opportunities that are available for students post their graduation.

Australia (1-4 years)

Australia’s picturesque sceneries and vibrant multicultural cities are complemented by the country’s incredible educational institutions. Home to some of the best student cities in the world, Australia offers excellent post-study work opportunities through the country’s Temporary Graduate Visa. The Temporary Graduate Visa is divided into two streams. viz. Graduate Work Stream and Post-Study Work Stream.

Graduate Work Stream–International students who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications that are in demand across Australia can apply for this stream. However, to be eligible, one has to have a qualification relevant to an occupation on the Skilled Occupation List issued by the Country’s Department of Home Affairs. Students can usually live and work in Australia for up to 18 months with this visa.

Post-Study Work Stream–Students who have graduated with a degree in a CRICOS-registered course in any of the Australian Universities in the last six months can apply for the Post-Study workstream. The duration for which a student can live and work in the country varies from 2-4 years depending on the qualification of the student.

Second Post-Study Work Stream –This visa is for first-time holders of the Temporary Work Visa in the Post-Study workstream for students who graduated with a degree from an Australian University located in a regional area. Students can live and work in the country for 1-2 years depending on varying regional factors.

All three work streams allow students to bring their own families with them to the country and live there.


While many students aspire for the ‘American Dream’, America’s neighbour Canada is fast making its name as one of the most diverse and welcoming countries for international students. With the country’s Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship recently stating,“ We don’t just want you to study here, we want you to work here.”, Canada truly is building a rapport with international students.

Post-Graduation Work Permit Program –Students who have graduated from any one of Canada’s Designated Learning Institutions (DLIs) and fulfill all other requirements are eligible for the country’s Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program. Under the PGWP program, graduate students can live and work in the country for up to three years with the freedom to work full-time, part-time, or be self-employed. However, students who have previously been issued a PGWP or received funding from Global Affairs Canada (GAC) are ineligible for the work permit.

The recent onslaught of the pandemic has also led to a few temporary policy changes to the PGWP program. One such empathetic change is allowing international students unable to study in person in Canada due to Covid-19 travel restrictions to complete their entire program online from outside Canada and still be eligible for a PGWP.


Home to some of the oldest English-speaking Universities and regarded as a major player in global ed, the UK draws over half a million international students to its Universities annually. Students looking to live and work in bustling cities or the beautiful countryside towns of the UK can avail of their post-study work visa through the Graduate Immigration Route.

The UK Government’s latest Graduate route will come to effect from the 1st of July 2021. Some criteria students must meet to be eligible for the new Graduate route are as follows:

  • The student must graduate from a qualifying UK Higher Education provider in the summer of 2021 or later.
  • The applying student must have a track record of compliance with the government’s immigration requirements.
  • One must have a valid student visa at the time of application
  • Students whose visa expires before the introduction of the Graduate Immigration route will not be eligible.

Under the new immigration route, graduate students (undergraduate and postgraduate) and Ph.D. graduates (doctoral students) will be allowed to stay and work for up to two and three years respectively. With no restrictions on the skill level of jobs or minimum salary caps, students will have the freedom “to work flexibly, switch jobs and develop their career as required.”


While in recent years, the Indian student outbound mobility has shown a gradual decline in the numbers of Indians enrolling in the USA, the country remains one of the most popular destinations among Indian students. Chief among the factors for the high enrolment of international students in the country is the quality of education and lifestyle coupled with the opportunity to work during and post-study.

International students on the F-1 Student Visa can avail of temporary employment in their major area of study through Optional Practical Training (for not more than 12 months). Any student with an F-1 visa is eligible for Optional Practical Training participation in two different ways:

Pre-Completion OPT –Students can enroll for the Pre-Completion OPT while still studying and working part-time for 20 hours or less per week while school is in session. When school is not in session, students are allowed to work full-time under the Pre-Completion OPT.

Post-Completion OPT –Graduate students can enroll for the Post-Completion OPT. Under the Post-Completion OPT, graduate students can work part-time (20 hours or less per week) or full-time(up to 12 months.) in a job that falls under their major area of study.

The combined time authorised for both OPT is 12 months. For students who were previously enrolled in the Pre-Completion OPT, the number of months spent working is deducted from the Post-Completion OPT. For example, if a student participated in 7 months of pre-completion OPT, he/she/they would be eligible for only up to 5 months of post-completion OPT.

OPT Extension for STEM Graduates

Students with a degree in certain Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) fields can apply for a 24-month extension for the Post-Completion OPT providing the student has been granted OPT before and is currently in a valid period of post-completion OPT.

A great global education is an investment that you make for yourself and for your future. Working in another country will give you exposure and enrich your career experience. If you are looking to work in a great destination, we hope the above will be of use to you.

Also Read: 10 Best Post-Graduate Programs for the Future

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Global Ed


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