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Acquiring the work permit... What to do to get it after your abroad studies?

On what basis do students today choose a country for higher education? Is it solely based on the quality of education that is available there? The answer is NO. One of the important parameters been seen - and rightly so - is the chances of one getting the work permit - legal position for the student to work stay back in the country and work after graduation.

The years 2017 and 2018 has been challenging to most of you study abroad aspirants. 2019 might not be any different from those years too. So, what can make it better for you are the choices you make. By selecting the right country, a good university and suitable course, you can scale the mountains you chose easily. Always remember this importance of these three C's we've discussed in the earlier articles - the Country, the College, and the Course.

What exactly is a Work Permit?
Many countries, including the U.S. and our own country, have complex laws and rules that regulate the influx of foreigners. In some countries, a work permit is procured by the employer and entitles you to live there, whereas in others you need to apply for a separate residence permit once you have been approved for a work permit.

Traditional countries narrowing down the lane for immigrated candidates lead to new countries emerging as preferred choices for many students. For example, now Ireland has become the first choice for students in the sectors of IT, ECE and Pharma. Now let's look at the position in few of the leading countries.

AUSTRALIA: Australia has recently scrapped 457-visa category which states overseas employers to sponsor skilled overseas workers to work temporarily. However, this applies to those who seek employment directly through immigration. So, a student seeking education and then the work permit has nothing to worry about. The students need to fight for subclass 485 work permits. Under this subclass, students who seek graduate work stream can stay for 18 months post their studies, while those with advanced qualifications (MS, Ph.D.) and skills can stay for up to 4 years. This is regardless of the field of study in Australia. However, with the key phrase “and skills” being present, this is only good for those with work experience. So, if you are fresh, probably Australia is not a place for you, at least for now.

Australia is rigid when it comes to your ability in English. Hence, your IELTS score affects the chance of getting a work permit in Australia. Also, if you're not very keen on landing in a job streamlined with education, then this can be a good choice for you. But if you are passionate about working in the same field of your studies then Australia might not be the country for you.

Furthermore, remember each country is good only for specific sectors. Being a big country, Australia has a diverse set of sectoral opportunities, in the areas of Actuarial Science, Agricultural Science, Biomedical Engineering, Computer Science, Systems & Networking, Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Electrical Engineering, and Telecommunications. Certain sectors like Biotechnology, Biochemistry, Food Technology, and Business Studies are to be avoided in this country.

NEW ZEALAND: This small nation has also tightened its student visa rules of late. However, it still should be a preferred location for those interested in hospitality & tourism, food science & agriculture, and animation.

New Zealand offers a stay back opportunity of 12 months after you finish your education. But considering the small population, job opportunities are very limited.

USA: This has been a country of everyone’s dream for a very long time. However, recent changes have brought this to question. But if you're good at what you do, USA still continues to be the number one country of choice. As the current policy reads, you are allowed to stay and work there for 12 months (24 months for STEM students) after completing your degree. Post that you better get an H1B visa or your life goes on a spin. Having said that, the recent changes brought by the Trump administration have improved the chances for a good student, who has done higher education in the US to get a H1B visa. Students interested in areas of Engineering, Science, Liberal Arts, and business studies should continue focusing on this country. Yet, just to reiterate – go to the right college and pick the right course.

UK: Before I begin with the UK, I would like to burst a major myth about this country - that it does not give you work permit! Unlike other counties, considering the number of aspirants, UK has tightened its immigration rules. It does not give too many months post one's studies to stay back and look for a job. However, if you are good, and are able to take benefit of the massive opportunities that this country has to offer, you are in a way guaranteeing a work permit. The current rule requires you to get a job which pays you about £21,000 to get a work permit. However, considering that above average undergraduate students, you - a masters student - should be able to get above this minimum, if you focus on the same. Further, this Brexit is going to improve the level playing field between you and the EU citizens, and thus open more jobs for you!

CANADA: This is one such country which has benefited from the US tightening its immigration policy. The post-study work scheme allows you to stay there for the equivalent duration of your study (so if your program was for 2 years, you get 2 years of post-study work permit), limited to a maximum of 3 years. All this is under its Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) which allows you to seek employment there. Later on, the work experience gained through the PGWPP can help you qualify for the permanent residence through Express Entry.

IRELAND: Ireland offers 12-month of stay back for all students finishing graduation there, and 24 months for those finishing post-graduation. The best part of Ireland is its curriculum which is industry driven. Ireland is very good for areas like IT, telecommunication, pharmaceutical, applied sciences, and finance sectors. With Ireland hosting 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, job opportunities in the above said areas is excellent. In fact, many US citizens now prefer doing their higher education here for this reason.

GERMANY: Currently it allows you to stay for 18 months post the graduation. This is done by applying for an 18-month Residence permit, which allows you to look for a suitable job relevant to your qualifications. During these 18 months, you are however allowed to take up any kind of employment to support yourself. Once you get a job relevant to the course you studied there, you can apply for the German Residence permit or an EU Blue Card. This Blue Card allows you to then seek employment in quite a few other counties of Europe. Do note that this is an option given only for those who take up postgraduate studies there.

SINGAPORE: This tiny country which is now an economic giant has been rejecting visa for Indian IT professionals for some time now. This is one thing you need to keep in mind. However, if you are into Finance and Hospitality, you should still keep this country in your consideration set. One good feature of colleges here is that most of them offer internships as a part of their curriculum. Admits to top institutes will get you hands-on experience as these institutes have good tie-ups and links with the industry.

Today, increased unemployment and decreased economy have made it difficult for foreigners to acquire a work permit in any country. But increased global mobility, on the other hand, has forced governments to formulate mutual agreements regulating the exchange of workers. This whole process can be a tad bit confusing to most of us here. The magnitude of impact that this decision has on the course of your life cannot be ignored. To help you have a clearer picture and to understand what suits you better, don't hesitate to take the help from a study abroad consultant.

Mohamed Abdullah, CEO
Published date : 05 Jan 2019 03:02PM

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