The following article taken from the “times of India” makes for informative reading:

With the revision of work rules in a number of foreign countries, the most recent being Australia, Indian students are now being presented with the option of staying back in the country where they receive their degree in order to gain that elusive international work experience. Educators in the United States regard these revisions as the latest in a series of attempts by other countries to chip away at the dominance of American higher education. The country also claims to be the first to offer international students the opportunity to gain work experience after completion of studies.

No matter what the reason, the fact remains that these work revisions are opening up lucrative and challenging professional avenues for Indian students studying across the globe.

For instance, Ireland has introduced a graduate work scheme that allows graduates to remain in the country for up to six months after the completion of their course, while the UK introduced immigration provisions that allow all UK-recognised master’s and PhD graduates to extend their stay by a year. Similarly, Canada, which allowed off-campus work permits for full-time international students last year, is becoming a favourite for Indian students.

Also, these revisions have brought about an increase in the skill-set required by students to work in these countries. For example, in Australia, international students will now require better English language skills when they apply to stay in the country.

Australia

As of September 1, 2007, the ‘Migration Regulations, 1994’ have been amended to respond to the suggestions of the Evaluation of General Skilled Migration (GSM) categories and introduce other changes as well.

These include, an improvement in the English language, a greater emphasis on skilled work experience, the introduction of a new temporary work visa for graduates and the simplification of the GSM visa structure. The standard of English language proficiency has been raised from an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) score of 5 (vocational) to 6 (competent). However, those applying for trade occupations only need to meet the existing threshold of 5. “Students securing a minimum of 7 in each component of the IELTS will be awarded 25 points,” informs Sumit Aggarwal, Representative, Central Queensland University in India.

Furthermore, applicants nominating a job on the ‘Migration Occupation in Demand List’ can score bonus points for their nominated occupation only if they have a year’s experience in the same job or one that is closely-related.

A new visa sub-class for students has also been introduced called the Skilled-Graduate (subclass 485) visa, valid for 18 months. International students unable to meet the new requirements for a permanent skilled visa can apply for this visa, which has unrestricted work rights, to build their skills and experience.

The changes also include a reduction in the number of skilled migration visa categories and sub-classes to simplify the system.

UK/Scotland

In May 2007, the British Department for Education and Skills launched the International Graduate Scheme (IGS) to allow international undergraduate and postgraduate students to extend their stay.

Unlike the earlier scheme, which applied only to science and engineering graduates, the IGS is open to all and facilitates placements.

Students looking for similar benefits in Scotland will find the ‘Fresh Talent: Working in Scotland Scheme’ useful. The country also has part-time vacancies for students, particularly in the service sector, which are financially rewarding.

“The IGS and the Fresh Talent Scheme allow eligible students to, upon graduation, pursue their careers in the UK and Scotland for 12 and 24 months respectively,” states an Official Spokesperson, British High Commission.

In order to qualify for the Fresh Talent Scheme, an applicant must have either a Higher National Diploma (HND), undergraduate/postgraduate degree or a PhD from a Scottish, publicly-funded institution of further or higher education or a bonafide, private education institution.

The scheme also covers entrepreneurs seeking to relocate an existing business to Scotland. Interestingly, while only students who express the desire to work specifically in Scotland will be given work visas, they cannot officially be prevented from relocating within the UK in search of employment.

Ireland

Coming into effect from April 10, 2007, the ‘Third Level Graduate Scheme’, allows legally resident non-EU third-level graduates to remain in Ireland for up to six months after the completion of their course, to seek employment in Ireland and apply for a green card/ work permit. “A student who has, on or after January 1, 2007, acquired a degree from an Irish higher education institution, listed on the government website, will be granted a non-renewable six-month extension,” explains Gabriel McCarrick, Commercial Counsellor, Embassy of Ireland.

Canada

Under a series of new federal-provincial agreements, many provinces now allow foreign students to find work off-campus. “After six months of their studies, students can begin looking for off-campus jobs. Besides, students can also seek a work permit upon completion of their bachelor’s or master’s degree. This enables them to work in the country for two years, with the exception of Montreal, Toronto and Vancouver, where permission is granted only for a year,” explains Hazel Siromoni, Director, Education Projects, Canadian Education Centre-India. Most institutes also offer co-op programmes where students can work for a term and thus, gain work experience while they study.

New Zealand

Elaborating on the country’s rules, Kerry Greig, Branch Manager, Immigration, New Zealand High Commission, says, “There have been no recent revisions since the last substantial change to New Zealand Student Immigration Policy in 2005. A student can work part-time up to 20 hours per week, if the qualification from the course qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant category. If the course duration is for one year or more, they are eligible to work full-time during the Christmas holidays as well.”

Students who successfully complete courses in New Zealand can also gain up to 85 additional points under the Skilled Migrant category, which helps their chances of securing residence in the country.

Singapore

“International students who are full-time matriculated or registered students of institutions approved by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) can work part-time during their term for up to 16 hours per week, as well as fulltime during the school’s vacation period,” says Kiran Bhandari, Area Director, Southern India, Sri Lanka and Maldives, Singapore Tourism Board.

The country also offers an Employment Pass Eligibility Certificate (EPEC) visa to international students from certain recognised institutes. The visa is an invitation to deserving students and allows them to come to Singapore and explore employment opportunities. This is valid for six months, which is ample time for them to secure a good job, following which the hiring company sponsors their employment visa.

Germany

“According to new German immigration regulations, students are entitled to remain in the country for up to one year, after completing their studies, for the purpose of seeking employment relevant to their field of study. After finding a job, a residence title may also be issued. Highly qualified persons are granted permanent residence from the beginning and may receive a settlement permit immediately. Family members who enter Germany with such candidates may subsequently apply for an employment permit,” explains Michael Hasper, spokesman, Head of Press and Information Section,German Embassy, New Delhi.

Source: The Times of India online

 

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