In a previous post, I talked things to consider when choosing a country for your foreign education. You can read it here.
I want to assume that you want to choose a country that allows foreign students to stay back and work after studies. That is, you want a country that gives what is know as post-study visa.
In this post, I am going to list the top English-speaking countries that give post-study visas to foreign students.
United States of America
The USA is a popular study destination for Nigerians. Research has shown that about 13,000 Nigerians go to study in the USA every year.
The US also gives a post-study visa after any student has completed a degree. This visa is called the F-1 Visa (Optional Practical Training).
F1 Visa with Optical Practical Training extension
Now, after you must have completed your full-time degree programme at an institution recognised my the US Citizenship and Immigration Service, you are eligible to apply for the Optional Practical Training (OPT). The OPT extends your F-1 visa by about 1 year.
If you have a degree from the government’s designated list of STEM subjects you may be eligible to extend your OPT by another 17 months.
Please note that you must work in your field of study to be eligible for OPT.
Another type of visa is called the H1-B Visa. It is initially granted for three years but can be extended to six years. The H1-B visa is for US companies to employ foreign experts in specialty occupations, which require a degree in that field. It is designed for jobs in fields such as architecture, engineering, mathematics, science, and medicine.
Please, note that you cannot apply for the H1-B. Rather, a company wishing to employ you would apply on your behalf.
Canada is an increasing study-abroad destination for Nigerians. This should be most likely due to it’s favourable post-study visas it gives foreign students.
The Canada Post-Graduation Work Permit Program (PGWPP) allows students who have graduated from a participating university or college to gain valuable Canadian work experience.
Skilled Canadian work experience gained through the PGWPP helps graduates qualify for permanent residence in Canada through the Canadian experience class.
The requirements for a post-study work visa are: you must have attained 18 years of age and must have studied for at least 8 months in Canada. Also, the post-study visa will not exceed more than 3 years.
Australia is also becoming increasingly popular among students from Nigeria, especially at the postgraduate level.
Upon completion of your degree, Australia gives a post-study via depening on the type of degree you have gained.
- If you graduated with a bachelor’s degree or masters by coursework degree, you will be eligible for a two-year post-study work visa.
- If you graduated with a master’s by research degree, you will be eligible for a three-year post-study work visa.
- And if you graduated with a doctoral degree, you will be eligible for a four-year post-study work visa.
For years, the UK has been one of the most sought after study abroad destinations for Nigerians. Prior to 2020/2021, the UK had strict post-study visa rules which made it not very easy for a student to stay back after studies.
However, from 2020/2021, this is expected to change via what is being called a Graduate Route.
The new Graduate Route will be available to you if you complete a postgraduate degree in the UK, that is masters or doctorate, by the end of 2021. Upon completion, you can apply to stay in the UK for 2 years.
Other countires such as New Zealnad, Ireland and Hong Kong have post-study visa opportunites you may be interested in. Please check them up.
Last but not least, you may want to check up countries like Barbados, Dominica, Grenada, Belize, and Trinidad and Tobago. They are English-speaking and have post-study visa arrangements.
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