After finishing your degree as an international student, you may be considering staying in the country in which you earned your degree and taking your career down a path that may not be open to you at home.
Working abroad is generally a pretty good idea, particularly in countries that have the best ranking universities, like Canada, the UK, the USA or Australia. There tends to be better opportunity for graduates in these countries and though starting your career abroad might seem hard at first, you will gain invaluable experience and continue to learn new cultures.
One issue with aiming to work abroad after finishing your studies is that most countries are very strict with their immigration rules – the opportunity to secure well paid jobs makes competition for residency very high. As a result of this high demand, governments are quite keen to retain skilled workers who have acquired a good degree and are therefore more likely to contribute to their economy.
The first step in acquiring permanent residence after your degree is applying for a work-experience position/visa. The visa will be called a variety of different things depending on what country you’re in, but most of the time it’ll do more or less the same thing – allow you to work for a limited time in the country in an intern role. The type of job you are allowed to apply for will likely have to be directly related to your degree, and you will not be allowed to stay permanently with this visa – only long enough to prove that you can are able to work effectively and do well in the country post-graduation.
Before finishing your internship programme there will be an opportunity to apply for a more permanent visa that may allow you to gain some more work experience, or may grant you a place as a permanent resident. The basic rule is the more work experience you have, the easier it will be to secure a permanent residence visa. Additionally, if your degree is in a science/engineering/mathematics (STEM) subject, it may also be easier to secure a permanent residence visa.
You should make absolutely sure that all of your paperwork after graduation is completely up-to-date and in order. Your application for a further work visa should not contain any mistakes or inaccuracies, so as not to lead to any delays or issues during the processing your application.
After graduation it’s very easy to relax a little and not worry about anything for a month or so, but generally you’ll only have a narrow window of opportunity to apply for a visa. Start applying as soon as you graduate, and make sure that your paperwork is up-to-date and correct before you graduate so you can go through the process quicker. Often there is a quota for each visa that cannot be increased, so time is of the essence to guarantee work experience post-degree that will lead to permanent residence.
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