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Work Stay Back Options for International Students

Let’s face it, the main reason you are looking to study abroad is to improve your employment opportunities, either at home or abroad. Employability is a big factor when international students are considering where to study abroad – and one major factor in that is the stay back options in a particular country.

Visa rules vary from country to country, so it’s important to do your research on the rules around working during your studies, and more importantly, after your studies.

So, here’s a little snapshot into what the stay back rules are for international students in the most popular study abroad destinations.

Map of Ireland in country colours

Stay Back Options in Ireland

Ireland: Undergraduate 1 year / Postgraduate 2 years

Ireland has very generous work stay back options for international students, which allows you to gain worthwhile international work experience after your undergraduate or postgraduate degrees. The Third Level Graduate Scheme allows international students to stay back in Ireland after completing their degree to work or seek employment.

So, once you have graduated from an accredited Irish university, you can stay for a period of:

  • Bachelor’s degree (level 7): 6 months
  • Honours degree (level 8): 12 months
  • Master’s degree (level 9 or 10): 24 months
Uk map in flag colours

Stay Back Options in the United Kingdom

UK: Undergraduate &  Masters 6 months

The UK has traditionally only allowed international students a very short period to work after graduation. However that has recently extended a little. From March 2019, international students can now stay up to 6 months for post-study work opportunities for both undergraduate and Masters students.

USA map in country colours

Stay Back Options in the USA

 USA: Various Visa Options

The options of extending your visa after study in the United States is a little more complicated than most, so you really need to do your research to make sure you understand the visa options, requirements and restrictions before applying. Added to that is the fact that the eligibility requirements and legal rulings are constantly changing, which makes the whole process a very stressful and confusing experience.

The options for international students range from 12 months right up to 6 years, even residency in some situations, but obviously there is a lot of restrictions, so it’s not one blanket rule for all, like other countries.

Options for visas include:

Map of Canada in country colours

Stay Back Options in Canada

Canada: Up to 3 years

Canada offers international students great options for post-study work options through its post-graduation work permit (PGWP) scheme. This scheme allows graduates from a designated learning institution (DLI) options to apply for the permit, depending on the length of your study programme.

Not all DLIs make your eligible for the PGWP, so it’s important to check which schools offer programmes that make you eligible.

If your program was:

  • less than 8 months, you aren’t eligible for a PGWP
  • more than 8 months but less than 2 years, your PGWP may be valid for up to the same length as your study program (for example, if you completed a 9-month program, a work permit may be issued for up to 9 months)
  • 2 years or more, a PGWP may be issued for 3 years
Australia map in country colours

Stay Back Options in Australia

Australia: 2-3 years

Australia offers international student graduates 2-3 year post-study work visas , depending on your qualification. For Bachelor degree and Masters by coursework graduates, a 2 year visa is granted. For Masters by research graduates, a 3 year visa is available.

The key requirements for the visa are:

  • under 50 years of age
  • your course was a CRICOS-registered course
  • you successfully completed all course requirements
  • your study was in English
  • you completed your course as a result of at least two academic years (92 weeks) study
  • you were physically in Australia for at least 16 calendar months to complete the study
  • you held an Australian study visa that allowed you to study

Through our Foundation and Pre-Masters courses at DIFC we provide pathways to our full network of over 40 universities offering over 4,000 undergraduate and post-graduate degree courses in Ireland, the UK, North America and Australia.

Check out our full list of partner Universities here!

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