In the last decade, the number of studies opting to study abroad has considerably increased. More number of students are opting to leave their home and move to a far away country in pursuit of education. Better infrastructure, technological advancement and better job opportunities are few reasons behind this growing trend. According to UNESCO figures, the number of students going overseas has increased from 189,472 in 2012 to around 3 lakh in 2015. With so many students going abroad, the prospect of securing a job in these countries must increase. But due to strict immigration laws, some countries have seen a decrease in the number of international students.
UK holds the prestige of housing top universities of the world. And yet, their strict immigration policy has pushed the students to seek education elsewhere. Decrease in the work hours during study, abolishment of post-study-work-visa (PSW) for non-European students; have resulted in about 26% decrease in the number of international students.
The US has strict policies that define who can enter the country and who cannot. This applies to graduate students as well. Hence it witnessed a fall in the number of international students. But this year, there has been a slight increase in the number of students. This may be because the USA is a thriving hub of opportunities for job seekers. Many of the world’s top companies have originated in the US. The international students holding F1 visa have to apply for OPT (Optional Practical Training) which allows them to stay in the US for a year after the completion of their course, provided they work in the field of their study. For students of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics), OPT can be extended by another 17 months.
Australia once boosted of holding the top position for Indian Students. But the increase in racial violence which resulted in an assault of around 152 Indian students in 2009, made it into a least-favored place. Hence, the Australian government has changed its visa policies in order to attract international students. It has categorized the Temporary Graduate Visa (replacing the Skilled Graduate Visa) into two streams.
- Graduate Work Stream: International graduate students can extend their visa by 18 months is their qualification is related to any occupation mentioned in the SOL (Skills Occupation List).
- Post-study Work Stream: Australian graduates or those with higher qualification can apply for a visa extending up to four years.
In 2015, Canada has secured the top position as study destination for international students. In 2008, Canada introduced PGWPP (Post Graduation Work Permit Program) that grants students work visa of three years and also allows them to work in any profession irrespective of their field of study. Also, the students can apply for permanent residence in Canada through Canadian Experience Class (CEC) after gaining work experience.
Despite language barrier, Germany has emerged another favorite among students. Its legislation of 2012 allows students to reside in Germany for 18 months after their graduation while they search for job. Also, during these 18 months, the students can work in any field of their choice in order to support themselves. Another attraction for the students is the chance for German Residence if they can find a job before their final exams.