Many international students have found themselves in an awkward situation when they travel abroad for studies. Often, this has to do with their work permit. Some students who erroneously believed that they can work in their chosen countries as students end up in big trouble when they realize work permit was extremely limited.

Before you fill in that school, make sure it has a flexible work permit if you want to work as a student. The best countries are the ones that offer work permits during and after graduation.

What is a work permit? A work permit is a document that makes you eligible to work as a student. The reason why most students work while studying is to make ends meet. Most international students, especially those from developing country need the work to survive.

Some almost leave their families bankrupt to make the trip abroad. Families expect these students to send down money for their survival.

Here is a list of the top countries offering international students work permits.

The United States of America

The United States of America is a generous country when it comes to granting work permits to international students.  However, the country has restrictions. If you come with F-1 and M-1, the country allows you to work in specific programs or on campus. During your first academic year, you are not entitled to work off-campus. You can work in the student center, cafeteria, or school library.

After year one, you have the opportunity of working off-campus through some programs.  These programs include Optional Practical Training (OPT), Curricular Practical Training (CPT), and Science, Technology, Engineering, and Mathematics (STEM).

Most universities in the country can help you with your job on campus and off-campus. If you want to work in the United States, you should do the following:

Prepare your resume:


When you settle in school, you should start your job-hunting.  Customize your resume and cover letter to suit every job you want to apply for as a student.  A resume would help you get jobs easier.

Use school resources

You can take advantage of your school resources if you want a hitch-free work search in the US. You should set up a meeting with the school career coaches for a better understanding of the work environment.  You can attend career events to develop a working relationship with recruiters.

Follow guidelines

You should be up-to-date with the rules of working in the country. The rules may vary from school to school. Make sure that you read the rules before applying for jobs. Off-campus employment may have different guidelines.

Take advantage of the opportunities offers

As an international student, getting a job may not be easy.  This means that you should take advantage of any job offer that suits your knowledge and interest.  Many companies may not employ international students because it cost more to employ them.

United Kingdom (UK)

The United Kingdom offers work permits to international students. Students can work as long as their schools allow them to study and work. Students studying full-time programs may have to work a maximum of 20 working hours per week.  During vacation, they can work full time, which is when students make more money.

However, students’ eligibility in the UK depends on the restrictions set by state-run official institutions and restrictions set by the university. You should ensure that your school has no reason to prohibit you from work before dealing with the state. You can work inside the campus in some schools.

You should be eligible for a part-time job before you apply for it. Consider your age. If you are not 6 and no Tier 4 (General 4), the country may not allow you to work.   To understand what is expected of you as a student, read the Tier 4 sticker that would help you work in the United Kingdom. The sticker has the duration of hours you must work per week and during your vacation.

The UK only permits international students to part-time jobs.  If you want to work in the United Kingdom as a student, you can consider the following jobs:


o   Admission officer

o   Student support officer

o   Blogging Graphic designer

o   Receptionist

o   Sales assistant

o   Customer assistant

o   Photographer

o   Personal tutor

o   Security guard.

o   Cashier

o   Tour guide

o   Bookseller Fitness instructor

o   Baby sitter

o   Social media assistant

o   Customer assistant

o   Veterinary care assistant

o   Bartender

o   Restaurant host

o   Research assistant

o   Waitress

o   Physiotherapist assistant


The list of work to do as a student is endless. You should research and pick the right job.


Australia offers international students work permits. If you complete your studies, you can apply for a post-study work permit or a temporary graduate visa (485). People with the 485 visa can stay in the country for 18 months to gain work experience. However, the person must have completed at least two years as a student in the country.

The post-work-study visa allows international students the permission to stay, work or look for work even after graduation. The duration of stay is 18months to six years, depending on your region of study, qualifications, or stay durations.

The country offers an additional post-work arrangement for international students studying outside Sydney, Melbourne, and Brisbane who will have either one or two years extension on the current two years a post-work stream of the temporary graduate visa (subclass 485).

Australia wants international students to stay and study in its regional areas to boost prosperity and diversity. As an international student, you work up to 20 hours a week during school sessions. However, during vacation, you can work as a full-time worker.


Canada is a popular country among international students. The country is generous in offering students opportunities to study and work as international students.  Students may work both on-campus and off-campus if they meet the relevant requirements.  Students can only work when their study program resumes.

Canada has the following work permits:

On-campus Work Permit Exemption

International students with valid Canada study permits who want to work on campus do not require a Canadian work permit.

Off-campus work permit

International students studying full-time on a valid Canada Study permit may be eligible to work off-campus. This only works if the university allows international students to work off-campus via Citizenship and Immigration Canada (CIC).

Co-op programs and internship work permit

Students who study programs that need work experience can make use of this work permit.

Postgraduate work permit

Students who graduated from an academic program that lasted for a period of a minimum of eight months enjoy this work permit. The work permits are valid for the same duration the study permit was.

Work permit for a spouse of a foreign student

A spouse of an international student with a valid Canada study permit is officially entitled to a Canadian study permit or an open work permit.



Germany grants work permits to international students. However, the country restricts students to the number of days they can work. In a year, international students can work up to 240-half days or 120 full days a year. However, international students cannot work as freelancers or become self-employed. You require permission from Federal Employment Agency and the Foreigners’ office if you want to work.

Work permit procedure for international students

  • International passport
  • University degree certificate or official document from the university confirming student completed studies successfully.
  • Health insurance
  • Proof of financial capacity.


The five countries we mentioned offer you opportunities to study and work. However, each of these countries has its varying procedures.