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Post-study work rights: Things you should know

Wondering about your post-study work rights abroad? This article explores the work visa rules in different countries and the possibility of landing a job abroad.

Ashwin Sriram

A lot of top Unis offer dedicated career support services to help international students find employment on graduation. They may even help with resume writing and interviewing skills.

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You are all packed and ready to go. Having cleared various hurdles, you’re now one step closer to the finish line. You’ve got your funding sorted for your study abroad plans. You know what to pack and what not to. You are clear on your accommodation options. How to apply for jobs post graduation is the only question lingering on your mind right now. You know you have to take up a job to pay off those student loans, but are not sure how to go about it. We know it’s not easy landing a job abroad; that’s why we’ve put together a list of top tips to help you with your job hunt.


It’s a lot easier to land a job abroad when your academic credentials speak for themselves. If you are a straight-A student in a top university, you are likely to attract the attention of prospective employers during on-campus job-fairs and recruitment drives.

Most employers look for skills that go beyond academic performance. They want to know if you have what it takes to survive in a foreign environment and professionally manage the demands of the job.

You should plan ahead and look to expand your skill set. Create a good resume and cover letter and apply across various job portals.

A lot of top unis have a separate career placement cell catering to the needs of students looking for jobs after graduation. They can help you craft a professional cover letter and CV. Using their contacts with prospective employers, they list out various job vacancies to graduate students. Top unis usually have a large alumni network full of former students working in different places. You can connect with the alumni network to find out about job openings.

Value of an Internship

Consider taking an internship during your study break; it’s a great way to gain experience. An internship also adds value to your resume and gives you an inside peek into the workings of a company. If you perform well, it’s possible (in the event of a vacancy) to convince the employer to hire you. Recent studies suggest that completing three internships before you graduate could seriously boost your CV.

During your internship, you can ask your employer for a basic stipend, but also consider taking internships without pay. Taking up a voluntary role in a top company could really enhance your CV.

A survey conducted by estimates that nearly 70 per cent of large companies in the US made full-time offers to interns in 2012. A whopping 85 per cent of employers said they were happy recruiting interns. The survey also found out that more than 60 per cent of graduate students had completed atleast one internship before applying for jobs. On the job front, more than 80 per cent of employers said they would consider recruiting recent graduates based on their interview performance and academic credentials.

Right Skills

According to another survey conducted by the National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) in the US, you must work on your decision-making and problem solving skills to attract a recruiter. The survey also suggests that your analytical and organisational skills are the other top qualities most sought by an employer when recruiting graduates.


In a world where web connectivity is ever expanding, don’t fall behind on your online presence. Create a profile on LinkedIn, Facebook and Twitter and expand your social circle. Make new friends and keep an active track of the job circuit, so that you don’t miss out on an opening somewhere. Follow up on the jobs you have already applied for and wait for an interview call.

Talk to your uni professors, alumni circle, friends, and family members and inquire about jobs. Attend job fairs and actively participate in various school activities and community gatherings. Early in your work life, you may have to settle for jobs that are less interesting, but consider taking one anyway if it translates to valuable work experience in your CV.

Getting a Work Visa

In the USA, an F-1 visa allows students to seek a job after their first academic year, while an M-1 visa requires that vocational students complete their studies before seeking employment.

In Australia, graduates who have completed a Bachelor’s degree or Masters can apply for a two year post-study work visa. Other students can apply for the Temporary Skilled Graduate [subclass 485] visa. The subclass 485 visa is a temporary visa that allows you to work for a period of 18 months.

In Canada, if your course duration is less than 2 years but more than 8 months, you can apply for a work permit, which allows you to work for a period no longer than the length of your uni course. If your course duration is 2 years or more, you can apply for a work permit, which allows you to work for up to 3 years.

In the UK, visa-extension rules have become stricter and unless students already have a job-offer before finishing their studies; they will have to return to their home country.  


Getting hired immediately after graduation can be a lofty goal. You need to have a persevering spirit to crack the job market. Be prepared to spend a lot of time sending e-mails to various employers. You may even have to attend various job interviews. Don’t lose heart when you don’t receive responses to e-mails or don’t get a call back after an interview. Keep at it.

Having patience is the key to landing your dream job abroad. Work on the structure and content of your CV and cover letter. Any experience you get in your line of work is valuable and doing internships can open a window into a full-time job.

Follow these suggestions and you should hopefully find yourself knocking on the door to your first job abroad.

We’d like to wish you luck in your quest, and if you have anything to add to our suggestions, please feel free to drop us a comment below. We’d love to hear from you.

Want to know about post-study work opportunities?

Khushboo Gera Khushboo Gera,
Study abroad expert.
We can offer you advice on your post-study work options abroad. Call us now on 1800 103 2581 / 1800 103 9634 (toll-free) for guidance