Which countries make it easy to get a work visa? Not currently the United States, after President Trump suspended the issuing of new H-1B work visas at least until the end of 2020.
You can still get a top-class education at a business school in the US on a F-1 student visa, but if you’re an international candidate wanting a to start a new career there too, you may be forced to reconsider depending on your intended start date.
While the process of getting a work visa is rarely stress-free—even for MBA and master’s graduates—there are a few countries that make it easier.
Here’s six of the easiest countries to get a work visa. Take a look and you might just consider a new destination for your business school degree.
6. New Zealand
New Zealand has always been a popular choice for those looking for stunning landscapes and a relatively stress-free visa system. Its post-study work visa is for those who have completed a relevant degree in the country, and is granted for a period of up to three years—perfect for searching for that first job after your MBA or business master’s.
At the end of your post-study work visa, there are plenty of options to stay in New Zealand if you have the right skills and experience. For example, the Skilled Migrant Visa grants permanent residence to the country on the basis of skills shortages in the country (note that currently New Zealand isn’t accepting any applications for the Skilled Migrant Visa due to COVID-19).
Are you a budding entrepreneur? Then the Entrepreneurship Work Visa offers you the chance to build your business in the country for a period of up to three years. You must have a detailed business plan, NZ$100k to invest (US$65k), and be able to meet a minimum of 120 points on their visa points scale.
Although Canada shares a lengthy border with the US, its flexible immigration system couldn’t be more at odds with that of its neighbor.
As the US restricts visas, Canada has extended its flexible rules for international students, meaning those who start programs in the fall are allowed to complete up to 50% of their programs online and retain their eligibility for a Post-Graduation Work Permit (PGWP).
Check out: 5 Reasons To Study Your MBA In Canada
The PGWP itself allows students who have graduated for a program of at least eight months to apply for a visa of at least nine months, while a two-year MBA program could grant you a PGWP of three years.
Or, you might apply for permanent residence (and thus the right to live and work in Canada) under the Federal Skilled Worker or Canadian Experience Class programs, both of which grant permits if you have work experience in managerial, professional, or technical jobs.
Top business schools in Canada include Ivey Business School of the University of Western Ontario, John Molson School of Business at Concordia University, Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, and UBC Sauder School of Business.
Singapore is already a popular choice for MBAs, thanks to top-ranked schools like NUS Business School and Singapore Management University and links to businesses across Asia.
Here, if you’ve graduated from a higher education program in the country, you’re eligible to apply for a Short-Term Visit Pass which allows you to stay in Singapore for an extra 30-90 days. After gaining this breathing room, an application for a Long-Term Visit Pass grants a stay of up to a year in Singapore.
Read about: 7 Amazing MBA Students From NUS Business School
Once you’ve found your dream job in the city-state, there are a couple of work visas available to you. The Employment Pass is designed for professionals, managers, and executives earning more than S$3,900 (US$ 2,800) a month and is sponsored by your employer for up to two years.
If you classify as a ‘mid-skilled’ worker, you will qualify for the S Pass which offers a stay of up to two years for graduates earning at least S$2,400 (US$1,700) a month.
Australia offers two types of post-study visas: the Graduate Work Stream and Post-Study Work Stream.
The Graduate Work Stream allows you to stay and work in Australia for up to 18 months if you hold a qualification in a sector where there is a skills shortage in the country. The Post-Study Work Stream has less requirements, allowing a stay between two and four years depending on the degree you studied. Both visas cost AU$1,650, around US$1200.
Read: How An MBA Will Get You Jobs In Australia
Alternatively, you might also apply for the Global Talent Independent Program (GTI), a specific work and residence visa for highly-skilled workers in AgTech, FinTech, MedTech, Cyber Security, Data Science, Space and Advanced Manufacturing, or Energy and Mining Technology.
Candidates must be able to reach a salary of AU$153,600 (US$110,000) and be endorsed by someone in the same field who is an Australian or New Zealand citizen.
Top Australian business schools include Melbourne Business School and the Australian Graduate School of Management (AGSM) at the University of New South Wales Business School in Sydney.
As part of the European Union, Germany offers a range of lucrative visa options for anyone with strong skills and a good educational background.
The EU Blue Card Scheme offers a residence and work permit to non-EU citizens who have professional experience and an employment contract in the country (with a minimum salary of €55,200 (US$65k) per year), granting you working rights equal to nationals and free movement with your card in the Schengen Area.
It is granted for up to four years at a cost of €110 (US$130), and you’re even allowed to stay in a non-EU country for up to 12 months without the residence permit expiring.
If you’re in the process of looking for a job after your graduate business degree in Germany, it’s possible to extend your residence permit for up to 18 months in order to find a job. If you’re successful, you’re permitted to stay in Germany while applying for a residence permit (such as the EU Blue Card).
If you’ve returned back to your home country after your degree but want to seek employment in Germany, another option is the Job Seeker Visa—a Long-Term Residence Permit that allows you to return to Germany for up to six months to look for a job. Another thing to keep in mind is that all visas in Germany come with a price tag of only €75 (US$88)—so your work permit won’t break the bank either.
1. The Netherlands
The Netherlands is famed for its relaxed work-life balance and this flexibility extends to its work visas.
The ‘Orientation visa’, a residence permit for non-EU citizens with next to no restrictions, allows you to stay in the Netherlands and work for one year after the end of your graduate degree.
The visa doesn’t require any proof of sufficient funds, and also covers working in temporary positions such as internships (paid or unpaid), freelancing, and even starting your own company.
As the Netherlands is also a member of the European Union, the same possibility to apply for an EU Blue Card exists for graduates from business degrees, as long as you meet the requirements for salary in the Netherlands (€5.4k (US$6.4) per month) and professional/educational experience.
Are you considering business school?
In our BusinessBecause MBA Application Guide 2020-21, we list the application deadlines for the world’s top business schools and guide you through each stage of the MBA application process with insider tips and insights from leading MBA admissions directors.
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