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Study Abroad VISAs | Post Study Work Abroad (2022Guide)

Chapter 1

Student VISA and Post Study Work in USA

F1 Visa & STEM OPT

The F1 Visa is the student visa required for graduate study in the US. In order to be eligible for the F1 visa students must be able show their ability to finance their full time education and stay in the US.  All F1 visa students can work for 1 full year  this is called the Optional Practical Training (OPT) period. Students who are pursuing graduate programs in the STEM field get an added advantage here. Since 2016, STEM F1 Visa students can extend their OPT period by 24 months. This implies STEM students can stay and work in the US for a period of 3 years after their graduate study. This is a great boon for fresh STEM master’s graduates looking for employers who would sponsor them and get valuable work experience abroad.

OPT Cap Gap & H1B Visa

After your 24 months STEM OPT period expires you will be granted 60 days to prepare for departure, this is grace time for leaving the country. Also, you cannot pursue employment in these 60 days. If you are able to find a willing H1B sponsor/ employer during your OPT period or immediately after graduation you may very well apply for the H1B Visa. Timely application is required in filing for the H1B visa, since there are caps on the number of visas issued every year by the USCIS (United States Immigration & Citizenship Services). 

You can also apply for the OPT Cap Gap extension while you are at the end of your OPT tenure and waiting for the H1B period to start. Bear in mind, you must have filed for a pending/approved H1B petition requesting for a status change with USCIS. This H1B petition must have been filed before loss of OPT tenure or 60 day grace period. This OPT Cap Gap is a valuable mechanism for promising international students in the US, please make sure you and your employer file the paperwork well before the stipulated deadlines. Kindly go through the USCIS page on Cap Gap provisions thoroughly.  

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Chapter 2

Student VISA and Post Study Work in Canada

Study Permit

In order for international students to study master’s in a Canadian university they need to apply for a ‘Study Permit’. Students will need the study permit plus a ‘Visitor Visa/ Electronic Travel Authorization (eTA)’ for entering Canada. 

You will be able to apply for the permit only after you have got an offer from a university. Additionally, you will need to show that you are of sound health and have no incriminating legal proceedings against you. Once you get the study permit, you will get a visitor visa/eTA along with it. Please bear in mind the study permit alone will not allow you to enter Canada.

The study permit is valid for the length of your academic degree and an additional 90 days. You can choose to leave Canada or decide to stay back and work during the 90 days. 

Post Graduation Work Permit (PGWP)

A student will have 180 days after receiving your final marks to apply for the post-graduation work permit (PGWP). Your study permit must be valid during those 180 days. In case your study permit is not valid before you get proof of clearing your master’s, you can either apply for a ‘Visitor Record’ and extend your stay or return to your home country and then apply for PGWP. 

Please note, the duration of your study must be a minimum of 8 months at a designated learning institute (DLI), only then you will qualify for a PGWP. If the program length is between 8 months and but less than 2 years, the PGWP will be offered for the duration/full length of your program. So, if you have studied a 1 year course you are eligible for a 1 year PGWP. If your program is for more than 2 years, you may be granted a PGWP for 3 years. Based on your graduate study and work experience in Canada you can apply for permanent residency. Canada offers multiple programs and pathways for settlement.

Chapter 3

Student VISA and Post Study Work in Germany

Student Visa & Prospective Student Visa

If you are yet to receive admission into a German University or you are waiting to complete some exams, give an in-person interview and are in-line to receive an offer of acceptance, you can apply for the ‘Prospective Student Visa’. This visa is valid for 3 months and can be extended to upto 6 additional months. This visa is basically for students who have set their mind on pursuing graduate study in Germany and are in the process of getting the required documents. If you receive a university offer letter while on this visa, you apply for the ‘Student Residence Permit’ in Germany. 

If you have already received an acceptance letter from a recognized university in Germany, you can go ahead and apply for the ‘Student Visa’. Again this visa is valid only for 3 months. You will need to show proof of health, finances, and previous educational qualifications, language proficiency, along with your letter of acceptance to apply for the student visa. As with all visa procedures, it would be prudent to apply early so as to allow room for the processing and issue of visa, well before the start of university study. 

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Student Residence Permit

Once you have arrived in Germany through your student visa/prospective student visa, you can apply for a ‘Residence Permit’ for your duration of study in the concerned German University. Do this within 1-2 weeks of arrival in the country, otherwise you might need to pay an administrative fine. You are supposed to register your residence with the local residents registration office, once you get a letter authenticating your address – the registration confirmation document, you will use that to apply for the ‘Residence Permit’ with the ‘Foregn Registration Office’. You must complete the required formalities and get the residence permit within the first 3 months of your study in Germany. 

The ‘Residence Permit’ is a card with a chip holding all the required data. The residence permit is valid for 1 year, and is generally issued for no more than a period of 2 years. Make sure you apply for an extension of residence permit before the first year expires. The duration of this permit will depend on your program of study.

Job Seeker Visa & German Employment Resident Permit

During your graduate study in Germany you can work part-time for 240 days or full-time for 120 days. However you cannot enter into full time long term contracts while at university.

After the completion of your graduate program you can extend your residence permit for upto 18 months and look for a job. If you are successful in that pursuit you must apply for the German Employment Residence Permit. Once you get a job offer you can apply for this permit. You will need to submit necessary documentation along with proof of job offer, financial records, educational qualifications, health insurance, clean record, etc, for the permit. The duration of the employment residence permit depends on the terms of your employment contract/status and the tenure of your employment, the permit can be extended if the employment extends.  

You will need the German Employment Visa if you have received a job offer from a German company but you are not in Germany. To enter Germany you will need to apply for  the german employment visa and then apply for residence permit once you enter the country.

Through the Job Seeker Visa, you can stay upto 6 months in Germany and look for a job. You cannot extend the duration of the job seeker visa. You cannot work while on the job seeker visa. All applicants for this visa must have a bachelors/masters from a German university or an equivalent foreign university. Most importantly, you must have a minimum of 5 years work experience before you can apply for this

Chapter 4

Student VISA and Work Permit in Australia

Student Visa Subclass 500

The Student Visa Subclass 500 will allow you to enter the country for participating in a course of study in Australia. You must have an offer of acceptance/university letter showing proof of admission to apply for this visa. You must apply a minimum of 6 weeks before the commencement of your graduate study or preferably as early as possible. This is a temporary study visa. The student visa will be granted as per the length of the program the student intends to pursue. 

Program Length

Visa Duration

10 months or lesser

Length of course + 1 month

10 months plus - ending Nov/Dec

Length of course + till March 15th of subsequent year

10 months plus - ending January to October 

Length of course + 2 months 

Postgraduate research students will get an additional 6 months after including  the duration of their course. The student visa cannot be extended beyond 5 years.

Working while Studying

As a student you are eligible to work for 40 hours in a 2 week period. You can begin work only after your university program starts. But out of term time you can work any number of hours. Postgraduate research students can work at their own time and get paid for the same. Unpaid/Voluntary work does not have any time restrictions, students can pursue them at their discretion. 

Temporary Graduate Visa Subclass 485

If you have held the student visa subclass 500 in the past 6 months, and have done a CRICOS (Commonwealth Register of Institutions & Courses for Overseas Students) registered program recently, you can opt for any one of the below mentioned visa streams

Graduate Work Stream

If your program’s duration is at least 16 months and qualifies in the Skilled Occupation list, you are eligible for the temporary graduate visa subclass 485. You are eligible for this visa, if you have recently graduated from a CRICOS registered course, and held a student visa in the last 6 months prior to Graduate Work Visa application. You can stay in Australia for upto 18 months only. Indian students cannot extend this visa. The Skilled Occupation List provides a list of eligible qualifications and possible visa pathways available for professionals as per their nationality and eligibility.  

Post-Study Work Stream

After completion of your graduate program from an Australian University (CRICOS registered) you can apply for this visa under the graduate visa subclass 485.  In the Post-Study Stream you must find your own employment. As per the regulations you can stay and work in Australia for 2 to  4 years, depending on your qualification and job.

Masters Program of 2 year duration

2 year visa

Masters with Research - 3 year course

3 year visa

Doctoral Degree

4 year visa

At present there are no routes for extending the post study work visa for indian students. 

 Second Post-Study Work Stream

If you have already qualified and used the Post-Study Work Stream visa (subclass 485) the first time around and you have lived in Australia for 2 years under the concerned visa, you can apply for the Second Post-Study Work visa. The major consideration here will be on where you lived, and where you graduated from when you held the student visa, and your residential region under the first post-study work visa.

Cities other than major ones in Australia such as (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, etc) are called Designated Regional Areas for migration and visa purposes. If you live in regional area 2 you are eligible for a 1 year visa, and if you reside in regional area 3 you can get a 2 year visa.  

Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa Subclass 476

This visa focuses on engineering graduates. As long as you have completed your program of study in the last 2 years, you are under 31 years old, you have graduated from a recognized institution as stipulated by the Skilled Recognized Graduate Visa rules. The unique factor in this visa is the regulation that allows recent engineering graduates from anywhere in the world to apply. As long as the university you graduated from is in the specified list of educational institutions, you can apply for the visa. 

Any college/university that provides engineering qualification as accredited by the ‘Washington Accord’ is considered a specified institution. A list of universities/colleges from countries, whose engineering degrees will be accepted is also mentioned. Please go through the official page for the full list. An institution that is only affiliated to a Washington Accord specified institution will NOT be considered. 

You are not eligible for this visa if you have previously used any of the subclass 485 visa or a subclass 476 visa. You can stay in Australia for upto 18 months while on this visa. 

Chapter 5

Student VISA and Work Permit in UK

Student Visa

The UK student visa rules have had a recent overhaul in 2020. It has been changed to a point based route for acquiring a Student Visa. You will need a CAS (Confirmation of Acceptance for Studies) number. This implies you need to apply to your master’s program and get an offer from the university before you can apply for the visa. Your University of choice will provide the CAS number to you once you have been offered a place in the particular program. Such universities that sponsor students for student visa purposes are licensed student sponsors. Make sure your University falls under this category. 

You will need to have at least 70 points in order to qualify for the student visa.





Financial Preconditions


Language Proficiency


If you are applying for the student visa from outside the UK, at the earliest you can apply 6 months before the start of the program. If you are already in the UK while you are applying for a student visa, ensure you have sufficient time on your previous visa until you get the student visa. In this case you can apply at least 3 months before the course start date, not earlier than that. 

The Student Visa will allow you to stay in the UK for the duration of your course. You may be offered anywhere between 1 month to 6 months after your program completion until your visa expires. The length of the visa will depend on your program duration. You can use the extra months on the student visa after the program finishes for looking out for suitable jobs.

Working while Studying

Once the academic program commences you can work upto 20 hours per week. Full-time work can be sought during holidays, though you are not allowed to take part in the entertainment industry or in professional sports while studying at university. 

Graduate Immigration Route

This system is said to open from July 1, 2021. This visa will allow international students the opportunity to work and earn in the UK after completing studies. Students who have completed either their undergraduate or postgraduate study in the UK can avail this visa for a duration of 2 years. PhD holders can use this visa to look for employment, work and live in the UK for a period of 3 years after the program completion. 

The Graduate Immigration Route is a temporary stay visa only. This cannot be extended. After finding employment or while at the end of their 2 or 3 year time period, successful students can transfer to other visa pathways that offer UK settlement such as the Skilled Worker, Global Talent, or Innovator visas. 

📢 Important: Student and post-study visa regulations are bound to change in the above mentioned countries depending on the yearly economic and political policies. We urge students to get all their visa related doubts clarified with our expert Galvanize counselors and admissions personnel for relevant and up to date information. 

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