The purpose of this blog is to help give international students an insight into opportunities, support networks and more.

Please note the content provided in this blog is not continent or country specific and is a general global overview.

As recruiters, graduate program and talent managers, we understand that the majority of international students who are on temporary or student visas struggle to secure full time or permanent graduate positions upon graduation due to the visas they are on at time of application.

When hiring for graduates, most countries are looking for a candidate to hold either citizenship, permanent residency or relevant permanent work visas, therefore as international students you will miss out on an offer if you don’t have the relevant working rights, no matter how accomplished or smart you are.

Some companies do sponsor students with working visas, however given you are a graduate, the majority of companies will hold back from offering graduates this option as often it’s reserved for skilled workers they are looking to hire.

UCGR appreciates this must be an emotional challenge for thousands of graduates every year, so we wanted to address the topic with some alternative suggestion to help you.

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  1. Be cognisant and aware of your visa regulations and when you can apply for a permanent work visa in the lead up to job applications. Between us at UCGR, we have spoken to hundreds, if not thousands of students who don’t know exactly which visa they are on, what their work allowances are or even when they have the ability to apply for a permanent residency or a full time work visa. You should know your facts.
  2. Typically, there is a one year gap between graduation and when you receive working rights, so rather than applying for programs which you aren’t eligible for- apply for an entry level or temporary job at that company as a foot in the door. You must ensure you are working in some capacity to keep yourself engaged and building on your skills. Customer service roles are highly regarded training grounds for graduates as they allow you to develop your communication, engagement and interpersonal skills.
  3. There are a number of companies in every country that do accept international students, you just need to do your research and ask who they are. A great place to start is by attending careers fairs, engaging with your campus careers services (read this blog for more on how Careers Servicescan help you), going directly to a company website, reviewing forums such as WhirlpoolThe student room or The Grad Cafe.
  4. Join community groups that help provide support and information to international students such as Intl Student Organizationor Meld Magazine. These are just 2 examples from the USA and Australia. Branch out through your community and university/ college to find those in your city. The value of these groups is that they support you with helpful information, allow you to network, make new contacts and friends as well as tell you which companies may accept international students.
  5. Ensure you develop your interpersonal and communication skills through activities such as volunteer work, charities and NGO’s. This is an excellent way to develop your soft skills and functional traits plus allowing employers to see you are a well rounded student. This way once you get valid working rights, you have some great experiences to draw upon.
  6. Waiting for your working rights can sometimes take between 6-12 months so volunteering your time is a great way to build your technical skills. UCGR suggests targeting small- medium sized companies (SME’s) who usually have small work forces and welcome an extra pair of hands over large corporates as they don’t usually employ people for free and neither do they need an extra pair of hands. Yes; you may be technically working for free, but you are also building your technical skills at the same time. Working in an SME is a fabulous opportunity as often you could work on multiple different tasks at once and gain really broad exposure. Therefore once you get your working rights, you will be better equipped to apply for a graduate role and more likely to be successful by drawing upon the new technical skills you have developed.
  7. Don’t give up hope or beg employers for an opportunity. Unfortunately, employers do want to help and give everyone a fair go, however they are governed by regulations they must adhere to and don’t want to put their company at risk. Never give up hope! You will get your opportunity J


Undercover Grad Recruiter is really keen to keep helping international students, so if you have a question, please reach out to us at:

Best of luck and stay positive as every student has unbelievable potential and raw talent just waiting to be unleashed.

UC Grad Recruiter