For many African students seeking to study abroad, having access to post-study work visa ranks most important. According to a research conducted by QS survey, 36% of international students listed post-study work visa as one of the determinants for choosing the country to go for either undergraduate or graduate studies. Countries across different continents have varying student immigration policies.
This article will be highlighting the post-study visa policies of some of the most popular destinations for international students;
- United States:
The United States ranks as one of the top destination for international students. The US offers three different visa options for international students namely F1 & J1 visas.
The F1 visa allows students to work while studying both on and off campus. Holders of this visa can apply for Optional practical training at the end of their studies, which offers students the opportunities to stay in the US for up to 12 months. Holders of the F1 visa are liable to stay in the US for 60 days after the completion of their studies.
The F1 visa is only applicable to those studying in a college or university, while the J1 visa is issued to those participating in an educational or cultural exchange program. Holders of this visa are given a 30-day grace period after the completion of their program. (1)
- United Kingdom:
The United Kingdom also ranks high on the popular destination list for international students. At the moment, the United Kingdom offers its international students only four months grace period to get a work, after which the student will go back to their home country. From 2020, all international students will qualify for a two-year period to work in the United Kingdom. (2)
International students in Germany are allowed to apply for normal residence permit extension, which can be extended for up to 18 months. If the candidate gets a job within this period, the individual can apply for the EU Blue Card. Holders of this card can stay and work in multiple European countries.
For international students interested in settling permanently in Germany, a settlement permit can be applied for as early as 2 years after receiving the EU card. (3)
Generous post-study work visa offers international students a chance at global employment opportunities, bearing this in mind, it goes a long way to determine whether or not, a student will apply to universities in certain countries.
N.B: This is not an exhaustive list for more information about the immigration policies of the these countries.