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Post-Study Work Rights explored for International Students after graduation

If you are interested in exploring the MOST important aspect - PSWR, which Indian international students sought, you will certainly want to read this in-depth post to know just not about advantages but also limitations, comparisons between such kind of rights being offered by popular study destinations - enabling you to make the right and fruitful choice!
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 You get lot of perks with an international degree.

The biggest one which resonates with most international students is Post-study work rights…which allows options like stay back, privileges’ to look for work in the country after you graduate and even, create your PR pathways!

And then, there’s more for you with Post study work rights…

The post-study work rights bring several benefits to international students such as:

  • Gaining easy access to the employment market in the study abroad destination
  • Bridge the future pathways to Permanent Residency (PR)
  • Boost career prospects through international job experience
  • Recoup financial expenses incurred in international education
  • Avail work rights also for dependents (spouse)

So, It is simply implausible (failing to convince) by now seeing the benefits above, as to why Post-study right is SO important…

I know that Post-study work rights are always eye-catchy for most student aspirants owing to several benefits you get…

But are you taking the right steps to reach the stage when you will get Post-study work rights Visa or still blindly following catchy headlines or visuals: such as “Study in Australia and get 4 years work visa.”?

Here’s why you need to know the “fine prints/details” i.e. appended rules and regulations tied to such Visa type so that you don’t struggle at a later stage. I will cover all this in this blog post.

So, let’s get started…


At the very outset – Australia has 2 types of post-study work rights options originating from a temporary graduate visa.

And with these 2 types, you get the dawned advantage to not portray: work experience, English language requirement, Financial requirement when applying, although conditions may vary from case to case!

Temporary Graduate visa (subclass 485)

This Visa type is one of the most popular visa options for international students after you graduate.  Now, here’s two different streams – Graduate Work Stream and Post-Study Work Stream.

Graduate Work Stream

  • Temporary visa up to 18 months
  • Primarily applies to vocational courses
  • But, With this Visa stream – alongwith the easy leverages, here comes the most crucial aspect : Work must be related to the course you studied.

In a nutshell, This visa is for international students who have recently graduated with skills and qualifications that are relevant to specific occupations i.e. which are in demand by Australian labour market.

Also, you would be required to assessed by a relevant assessing authority in regards to skills being suitable for the respective occupation.

Post-Study Work Stream

  • Goes for a duration of 2 to 4 years, depending upon your location and on the highest educational qualification they have obtained
  • Graduates from regional institutions get extra 1-2 years over the usual duration
  • Must have completed undergraduate or postgraduate level studies at a CRICOS-registered institution

Now, this Visa is mostly opted for by most Indian international students.

And then, Australia recently announced that it will extend post-study work visa rights to foreign students who have studied and lived in regional areas (outside Brisbane, Sydney and Melbourne) wef 2021.

Here is a snapshot glance of region-wise categories for more clarity:

Source – SBS Punjabi

Fine prints review

Although the Australian Government has kept the Post-study work rights policy intact and consistent over the past several years with no such withdrawals, there are certain limitations that could put you at a disadvantage if you don’t do your planning in a proper way…

Here’s the points to be taken care off :

  1. You are required to complete a minimum of two academic years of study which is defined as 92 weeks of study by the Department of home affairs, Australia
  2. Completion of a Bachelor’s degree or higher is solely considered for the Post-study work stream and not diploma or trade qualifications.
    Although, you always have the option of doing packaged/combined courses for completing a tenure of 92 weeks as mandated.
    Example: Starting with the diploma course which provides a pathway into undergraduate programs for students who would otherwise not meet the entry requirements of the undergraduate program.
  3. English language courses or foundation programs cannot be counted towards 92 weeks of academic study.

How the opportunity lies in Australia for your best graduate outcome?

One cannot escape the fact of wage factor which is the GREATEST OPPORTUNITY after you complete your study in Australia:

Australia has the highest minimum wage in the world which truly gives international graduates edge over others…

Yet, I know that a cohort of international student aspirants with some, relying on myths say that Australia is too tough with their PR policies.

But, I would suggest seeing it from another perspective: Australia’s Migration Program settings are designed to ensure that migration is beneficial for the current and future economic and social development of Australia.

Then, here’s key statistics from the abs website for the year ending 30 June 2020 also to put weight on my words:

You will see that the migration population has increased over the years in Australia.

This is all due to overseas skilled workers playing an important role in the economic growth of Australia.

So, Australia plans to take it big with increasing overseas migration population in the near future also!

Henceforth, you can always reach your PR goal through Post-study work rights until and unless you are well equipped with all information such as: which course type/location etc would be most appropriate etc?

Source : Above extract from deloitte report

Also, if you are not paying attention to the above information/extract being cited above (just an example) and not even doing research on your own about future employability prospects related to the course you plan to pursue- you are aiming to get TOSSED from the very beginning.

I have pulled some important statistics from a popular report in the example above!

There are several example like the one above. All it takes is adequate guidance or advice from competent professional if you are unable to do it yourself.

Here’s how you should actually aim to seek opportunity :

You should always plan to graduate by going for a course being aligned for future professional prospects in which the current/future occupation trends or possibilities could be seen.

Instead, you should not be more FOCUSSED towards:

  1. Saving money in the initial phase itself, where most of the students attempt to bring down tuition fees by studying in any XYZ institutions.
  2. Relying on short-sighted half baked information with unreliable limited course options, where you are being shown easy pathways just for the sake of getting a student visa grant and not being shown viable graduate outcome out of a specific course/program!

Or, You could be VICTIMIZED by staying unemployed or not finding suitable employment, to recoup your financial implications made so far – ever since you blindly relied upon some random advice and did not even attempt to make efforts towards doing research at your end.

On the contrary, Aim for :

  1. Quality education/appropriate course mapping with work-integrated learning
  2. University/college offering further options to become job-ready with career development centres alike Bond University
  3. Double degree programs making you more versatile with dual skillsets to rely on and much more..
  4. Pursuing a course with the most appropriate education provider that offers its students to just help you find, not just a job, but a meaningful, rewarding and challenging career.
  5. Most important: Hiring a professional consultant/agent for an end to end services including course mapping etc who can actually provide results.
    He/she should be the one who can actually bring in more money than they cost.

Always remember : Getting a degree is only half the story: infact, you have to work appropriately and seamlessly keeping a progressive approach to transform your qualifications.

For transformation of qualifications into well-defined employment with PSWR and PR: you should answer few questions below and see if you actually get more realistic answers:

  • Did you opt for the right course/program which is future career-ready?
  • Does the course align with the demand forecast for a specifically skilled workforce or medium-term occupation list or any other occupation list being published from time to time?
  • Have you learned to navigate the labour/employment market?

Don’t move ahead with just your student visa application until and unless you get realistic answers.

This homework will go a long way in defining you to be the professional you want to become!

Although, question-related to navigation of labour/employment market can be taken at a later stage also when you start off with your studies in Australia.

Lastly, Australia is a thriving economy with education ranked#1 in the world. The country offers many opportunities for international student graduates to gain valuable work experience on completion of their studies.


Well – Canada has the most versatile and FLEXIBLE post-study work rights program, which goes on to be extended for even short courses like diploma or certificate programs and not just bachelors or masters

Even 8 months duration course from the undergraduate or postgraduate program can make you eligible to apply for 1-year PGWP (herewith referred to as Post study work rights)

Canada offers a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP) to its international students who have completed at least an 8-month duration graduate study program from a recognized Canadian institute. You have to apply for PGWP within 180 days after receiving the final marks. You can read more about the PGWP application process and criteria here.

Interestedly, Canada has the highest count for providing opportunities for eligible graduates to attain permanent residence.


As you have to know about Post-study work rights for both Australia and Canada, let me quickly enlighten you with the ACTUAL importance and tell you why it has always worked well to attract several international students:

Earlier in 2011, Most aspirants had been taken aback when favorite study destination like the UK removed post-study work duration at JUST four months in 2011 and this is where – the unforeseen occurred then :

As a result, the number of Indian students attending UK universities underwent a dramatic decline, from just under 30,000 in 2011-12 to just over 16,000 in 2016-17.

And then, now see what happened when UK restored this policy back?

The above facts and figures had clearly signified the adverse impact with degrowth which went on for several years with curbing down of such crucial rights, and thereafter, the current UK govt. had decided to restore the policy with introduction of Post study work visa for 2 years

And yes, International student applicants have literally skyrocketed after that for UK – even amidst Covid-19

The Office for National Statistics (ONS) found that Indian nationals accounted for 17 per cent of the total 299,023 sponsored study visas granted by the UK Home Office in the year ending March 2020, with the number more than doubling from 2019 to hit a total of 49,844 grants a continuous rise since 2016.
– Indian express

So – At BROADER level, All the major study destinations have an option to work after graduation in their country, and not just this, All such countries have introduced reforms for covering online study duration towards work visa now, still making it the core reason to study abroad!

Post study work rights is going to live on for another couple of years – as a result…

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Amandeep Singh

Amandeep Singh

Having worked for several years in information technology domain and handled key roles and responsibilities as global moderator and technical writer for renowned template clubs such as Rockettheme LLC and Joomlart - He is extending his experience now to immigration industry with the crucial ingredients of "online" and "legal" mix..

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