Summing up international student work rights in 15 top study abroad destinations

Summing up international student work rights in 5 top study abroad destinations

Fri Sep 22 2023 Effa Iqbal

In international education, the attractiveness of studying abroad is inextricably linked to the chance of employment both during and after one’s academic journey.

Prospective foreign students who want to make educated decisions frequently investigate the labour rights rules of their chosen study locations.

Recognizing this critical facet of student decision-making, governments worldwide have been recalibrating their regulations to meet the changing demands of foreign students.

This article examines post-study employment rights in six popular study destinations and insights into part-time job options accessible while studying.

International students work rights


Australia has historically attracted international students, not just because of its famous educational institutions but also because of its favourable post-study work rights rules.

The following are the significant details as of 2022:

Visa Type:

Temporary Graduate Work visa (subclass 485) for overseas students who have finished a degree at an Australian university.


The duration of the visa ranges between 2 and 4 years, depending on the degree of qualification obtained.

New Developments in 2023:

Beginning on July 1, 2023, a game-changing move will allow students graduating with higher education degrees related to recognized labour needs to stay in Australia for job reasons.

Those with a bachelor’s degree will obtain four years of post-study employment privileges, while those with a master’s degree will receive five years. Surprisingly, regardless of their subject of study, all PhD holders will be entitled to a significant six years of post-graduation job privileges.

Working While Studying:

International students in Australia can work limitless hours in any sector of the Australian economy while their academic programmes are in session until June 30, 2023.


Canada is another popular study location, with an appealing panorama of post-study career options. The following are the essential details as of 2023:

Visa Type:

Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) visas are only available to overseas students who have successfully finished their education in Canada.


The duration of the PGWP might range from 8 to 36 months, depending on the degree of certification acquired.

Minimum Credential Required:

To be eligible for the PGWP, you must have a diploma or certificate.

Students must have completed at least 8 months of full-time study in Canada to be suitable for the PGWP.

New Developments in 2022:

In response to the global pandemic, Canada temporarily allowed international students from other countries to complete up to 100% of their academic programme at a Canadian institution while still qualifying for a PGWP.

This clause, however, is rapidly being phased away. Notably:

Students who begin their studies in Canada between September 1st, 2022 and September 31st, 2023, must finish at least 50% of their programme in Canada (online or in-person).

Time spent studying outside of Canada before August 31, 2023, will not be removed from the PGWP length if it is less than 50% of their programme of study.

Students who begin their Canadian studies after August 31, 2023, cannot count any abroad study time towards their PGWP eligibility.

Working While Studying:

International students in Canada have off-campus work authorization on their study visas.

They can work unlimited hours off-campus while their studies are in session, an extended benefit from November 15, 2022, to December 31, 2023.

UAE (United Arab Emirates)

International students have access to a one-of-a-kind long-term visa opportunity in the glistening environment of the United Arab Emirates. Here’s a closer look at the specifics:

Type of Visa:

5-Year Long-Term Visa

A Bachelor’s Degree is required as the minimum qualification.


This unique visa allows “outstanding” graduates to find work, get work permits, and potentially establish permanent residency in the UAE. To be eligible for this coveted visa, students must have a GPA of at least 3.75.

Working While Studying:

Students can work up to 15 hours per week, or 60 hours per month, during academic sessions. During the summer, however, their labor opportunities broaden, allowing them to work up to 40 hours each week.

United Kingdom

With its appealing UK Graduate Route, the United Kingdom entices overseas students. Here’s a more in-depth look at this opportunity:

Type of Visa:

UK Graduate Route


Twenty-four months for bachelor’s and master’s degree holders and three years for PhD grads.

A Bachelor’s Degree is required as the minimum qualification.

Minimum Study Time:

To be qualified for this path, you must complete a minimum of 12 months of study.

Working While Studying:

Students enrolled in full-time degree-level courses with a valid student visa can work part-time in the UK for up to 20 hours per week while classes are in session and full-time during holidays.

However, it is crucial to remember that part-time study programs do not confer permission to work in the UK.

International students work rights

United States

The United States provides overseas students with the Optional Practical Training (OPT) visa, which allows them to work once they finish their studies. Here are the specifics:

Optional Practical Training (OPT) Visa

term: A regular 12-month term that can be extended to 36 months for STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics) students.

Minimum Qualifications:

A Letter of Recognition

Minimum Study Time:

To be eligible for OPT, you must complete a minimum of 12 months of study.

New Developments in 2022:

In a significant change, F-1 students in 22 additional fields of study are now eligible for a three-year post-graduation OPT extension.

Furthermore, degree-seeking J-1 students and STEM graduates can now stay in the United States for three years, a significant increase from the previous 18-month work limit for J-1 students.

Working While Studying:

During their first year of education, F-1 students can work on-campus under specific restrictions, but off-campus work is usually forbidden (with few exceptions).

F-1 students can participate in off-campus employment beginning in their second year through either pre-completion Optional Practical Training (up to 20 hours per week) or Curricular Practical Training (CPT), which can be full-time but often isn’t due to the requirement to maintain a full academic course-load while undertaking CPT.

Both OPT and CPT employment must be related to the student’s topic of study to provide a meaningful and fulfilling work experience.

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international students work rights


International students are considering the possibility of their future professions in addition to academic success.

Understanding the specifics of the rules in each study location is essential since post-study job rights shape these objectives significantly.

Countries including Australia, Canada, the United Arab Emirates, the United Kingdom, and the United States provide appealing options for foreign grads, as we’ve covered in our thorough guide.

These countries have designed visa processes that enable students to begin rewarding academic journeys and provide them with the skills necessary to succeed in the global job market.

The ideal study location and its post-study work rights rules may put you on the road to success, regardless of your objectives, including discovering new cultures, achieving academic accomplishments, or starting a worldwide career.


Can foreign students studying in the UK also have a full-time job there?

No, foreign students in the UK are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week during the academic year and full-time during breaks.

What GPA is necessary to qualify for a 5-year long-term visa to the UAE?

To qualify for a visa to the UAE, students must graduate with a minimum GPA of 3.75.

Which nations will provide STEM graduates in 2022 with prolonged post-study work rights?

The term of extended work privileges for STEM graduates varies depending on individual credentials and is available in the United States and Canada.



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