Ok. You have decided that you want to leave your home country and study abroad. Some of the common destinations around the globe are Canada, Australia, UK, USA and Germany. They have high-quality education systems with strong local economies and legal systems. Some of you will be doing it just for the experience, some are passionate about their field of work and want to learn more, some want to just get away from their parents. People study abroad for a variety of reasons. One of the reasons for studying abroad is to settle down in a foreign country permanently after graduation.
My recommendation for settling abroad is to look at working in a multi-national company, and then transferring to your country of choice. However, if you still wish to go the student route; here’s a summary of the different countries and their immigration systems.
The USA has the largest economy and the best university education system; but its immigration system can be devastating for some. Getting a job is simple for those in Computer Science majors; a little more difficult for engineering majors. However, once you get a job, your application is entered into a visa lottery; and your work visa may or may not get drawn. In seasons with high demand, your chance of getting a visa is 1 in 3. However, your student visa gives you 36 months of work; so you can keep trying the lottery till your student visa expires.
The biggest problem with the US immigration system is the permanent residence (prior to citizenship) process. It is cumbersome, painful and involves a lot of paperwork. Your job is advertised online, to ensure that no US citizen has the skills for that job. It can also take a long time to process for citizens of certain countries. For instance, the wait time for Indian nationals with Masters’ degrees is currently 10+ years.
The UK is the least immigrant friendly country. There is no time allotted to a student once his visa expires. If he cannot get a job by the end of his university, then he has to leave. The permanent residence system is, however, better than the USA. It takes less than 5 years to convert from a work visa to permanent residence.
Germany has a good system where workers have a visa to look for a job. They have 6 months to find a job. Germany also has a student visa which allows a significant period of time for students to look for a job. The permanent residence process is similar to the UK, and it takes 3-4 years to get a job.
Both Canada and Australia have similar processes for immigration. They both use a points system immigration calculator, where applicants can qualify based on age, work experience and educational qualification. Higher points are given for those with local experience and/or local educational qualifications. The immigration departments then process the applications within a year.
Besides the immigration systems, also take into account the state of the local economy and industry in making your decision.
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