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Mastering Post-Study Work Visas Around the World

Jan 19, 2024

A journey beyond academics is a compelling prospect for international graduates, with post-study work visas as the gateway to this global journey. These visas carry paramount significance in sculpting the trajectory of one’s career, presenting unparalleled opportunities for both professional advancement and cultural enrichment.

In the subsequent sections of this blog, we will meticulously examine the pivotal role of post-study work visas in the lives of international graduates. Keep reading as we intricately explore the nuanced aspects of these visas, shedding light on how they facilitate a journey beyond academia and provide distinctive opportunities.


What is a Post Study Work Visa?

A post-study work visa is more than a travel document; it is a gateway to the practical application of knowledge gained during academic pursuits. These visas, designed to facilitate the transition from student life to the professional arena, allow individuals to stay in their host countries for a designated period, contributing their acquired skills to the local workforce

Benefits of Post-Study Work Visa

Imagine completing a Master’s program in Data Science at the University of Edinburgh and seamlessly transitioning to a role in cutting-edge artificial intelligence research. Post-study work visas empower individuals to gain practical experience, build professional networks, and enhance employability, laying the foundation for a successful career.

  • Gain Specialized Work Experience: Post-study work visas offer international students hands-on experience in their chosen field, enhancing their resume for a competitive job market.
  • Expand Professional Network: These visas provide opportunities to connect with industry experts, facilitating valuable relationships that can lead to job opportunities and mentorship.
  • Cultural Immersion: Working abroad allows for a unique cultural experience, providing insights into traditions and a different way of life.
  • Path to Permanent Residency: Duration of work under these visas can increase the chances of qualifying for permanent residency, paving the way for a new life in a foreign country.

Post-Study Work Visa: UK

The United Kingdom’s Graduate Route is a prime example of a post-study work visa program that opens doors to opportunities. Graduates, having completed their studies at recognised institutions like Imperial College London, can stay for up to two years (or three for PhD holders) to work or seek employment. It fosters career development and adds vibrancy to the UK’s diverse professional landscape.

Cost of Post-Study Work Visa in the UK£715 and an annual health surcharge of £624
Duration of PSW in the UKUp to 2 Year
Processing TimeEight weeks

Types of Post-Study Work Visas in the UK

  • Short-Term Student Visa
  • Tier 4 (General) UK Student Visa

Post-Study Work Visa: Australia

Australia, renowned for its quality education, extends post-study work visas tailored to the duration of the completed degree program. For instance, a graduate in Environmental Science from the University of Melbourne might opt for a Temporary Graduate visa, allowing a stay of up to four years. This strategic approach nurtures a skilled workforce while providing graduates a platform to explore their field.

Cost of Post-Study Work Visa in AustraliaThe Graduate Work Stream Temporary Visa is priced at AU$1650, the Post-Study Job Stream Graduate Visa also costs AU$1650 and the Skilled Workers Graduate Visa is priced at AU$405.
Duration of PSW in AustraliaMaximum of 4 years
Processing TimeBetween 3 to 4 months

Types of Post-Study Work Visa in Australia

International students must meet specific criteria to qualify for an Australia PSW (Post-Study Work) visa. For instance, applicants must have stayed in Australia for at least 16 months and completed 92 weeks of study at a Commonwealth Register of Institutions and Courses for Overseas Students (CRICOS), a registered institution.

The two primary types of Post-Study Work Visas in Australia are:

  • Graduate Work Stream Visa
  • Post-Study Work Stream Visa

Post-Study Work Visa: USA

Optional Practical Training (OPT) offers a unique post-study work visa experience in the United States. Completing a Master’s in Computer Science at Stanford University, for example, could lead to a 12-month OPT, with an additional 24 months for STEM graduates. This hands-on experience in the U.S. job market catalyses professional growth, laying the groundwork for a potential long-term career.

Cost of Post-Study Work Visa in the USA$160 additional SEVIS fee of $350
Duration of Post-Study Work  in the USATwenty-four months following graduation under a U.S. student visa, with an additional twelve months for Optional Practical Training (OPT).
Processing Time90 Days

Types of Post-Study Work Visa in the USA

There are three most common post-study work visas in the USA, and they are as follows:

  • F1 Visa
  • J1 Visa
  • M1 Visa

Post-Study Work Visa: Canada

Canada’s Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) program is a game-changer for graduates seeking to solidify their careers on Canadian soil. A graduate in Business Administration from the University of Toronto might leverage the post-study work visa to gain valuable work experience. The duration of the permit is determined by the length of the study program, creating a seamless transition to the Canadian workforce.

Cost of PSW in CanadaCA$ 255
Duration of PSW in CanadaIt depends upon the program
Processing Time141 days

Types of Post-Study Work Visa in Canada 

  • The Campus Of Work Permit
  • Partner Program and Internship Work Permit
  • Postgraduate Work Permit

Post-Study Work Visa: Germany

In Germany, the post-study work visa permit, extending up to 18 months, offers a window for graduates to explore career opportunities. Completing a Master’s in Mechanical Engineering at Technische Universität München could lead to a prosperous professional journey in the heart of Europe. The permit allows individuals to engage in employment aligned with their studies, fostering career growth.

Cost of PSW in Germany€80
Duration of PSW in Germany18-month
Processing Time1-3 Month

Types of Post-Study Work Visa in Germany 

  • German Student Visa
  • German Student Visa Applicant
  • German Language Course Visa

Eligibility Requirements for Post-Study Work Visa

To qualify for a post-study work visa, students must accumulate credits/points through a points-based immigration system, which is awarded based on the successful completion of a qualifying course of study in a specific country.

  • Hold a valid student visa: Applicants should possess a valid student visa from a particular country and have studied at a higher education provider listed as a registered sponsor with a track record of compliance.
  • Complete a degree: Individuals must have completed their degree at the undergraduate level or above.
  • Stay in the country during the study: Applicants should have stayed there for their studies except for cases of studying abroad as part of a ‘study abroad’ program or being forced to study from home due to COVID-19 reasons.
  • No prior PSW visa: Applicants should have been granted a different visa.
  • Pass security, identity, and criminality checks: Meeting the security and background check requirements is crucial.
  • Pay application fees and Immigration Health Surcharge: Applicants must pay the application fee and Immigration Health Surcharge as part of the process.

Application Process for Post-Study Work Visa

When filling out the application form for a post-study work visa, consider the following instructions:

  • Check Eligibility: Before applying, ensure that one meets the eligibility criteria, such as completing a full-time degree at a designated university in a specific country. Additionally, meet language requirements and have the minimum funds to support oneself during the post-study work tenure.
  • Essential Documents: Ensure one has completed all required post-study work visa application documents.
  • Application Method: Apply online or at a visa application centre. Carefully read and follow all instructions, and submit all necessary documents.
  • Application Fee: Submit the application fee. The post-study work visa fee can vary depending on the visa type and country.
  • Await Decision: After applying for a post-study work visa, wait for a decision from the immigration authority. Be patient during this waiting period.

Documents Required for Post-Study Work Visa Application

When applying for a post-study work visa, ensure one has the following documents ready for submission:

  • Two filled and printed application forms.
  • Two current passport-size photographs of the student.
  • Academic Certificates.
  • Valid Passport and address proof.
  • Employment Agreement.
  • Proof of Education.
  • CV/Resume.
  • Cover Letter.
  • Clean Criminal Record.
  • Visa Fee Payment Receipt.


In conclusion, mastering post-study work visas worldwide is not just a bureaucratic process but a transformative experience. The ability to leverage one’s academic achievements for professional growth on a global scale is a testament to the interconnected nature of education and career. As one embarks on this journey, seize every opportunity, build lasting connections, and let the world be one’s workplace. The post-study landscape is vast, and one’s potential is boundless. 

Frequently Asked Questions

Can international graduates pursue part-time work while holding a post-study work visa?

Many countries allow international graduates with post-study work visas to work part-time to gain additional experience.

Is switching from a post-study work visa to permanent residency possible?

In some countries, post-study work visas serve as a stepping stone to permanent residency, offering a seamless transition for those looking to settle long-term.

What role do language proficiency tests play in post-study work visa applications?

Depending on the country, language proficiency tests like IELTS may be a requirement, showcasing the graduate’s ability to integrate into the local professional environment.

Can post-study work visa holders start their businesses?

Many countries encourage entrepreneurial endeavours, allowing post-study work visa holders to explore opportunities to start their businesses.

Do post-study work visas consider work experience gained during part-time jobs while studying?

Some countries consider work experience gained during studies when assessing eligibility for post-study work visas, recognising the value of practical skills acquired.

Post Study Work Visa


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