Post study work visa options: an international comparative review

This report presents the main findings of a literature review examining how the UK’s post-study work offer compares with those of its key competitor countries.


Australian Government. Department of Home Affairs (2018a). Australia’s Migration Trends 2016–17 Highlights.

Australian Government. Department of Home Affairs (2018b). Student visa and Temporary Graduate visa program report ending at 30 June 2018.

Australian Government. Department of Home Affairs (2019) [dataset] [DOA: 29/04/2019]

Bauer, T.K., Lofstrom, M. and K.F. Zimmermann (2000). Immigration Policy, Assimilation of Immigrants and Natives' Sentiments towards Immigrants: Evidence from 12 OECD-Countries. IZA Discussion Paper No. 187, August 2000.

Bedford, R. & P. Spoonley (2014). Competing for Talent: Diffusion of An Innovation in New Zealand’s Immigration Policy. IMR Volume 48 Number 3 (Fall 2014): 891–911.

BIS (2012). Tracking International Graduate Outcomes 2011. Research Paper number 62, January 2012 []

Borjas, G. J. (2009). ‘Immigration in high-skill labor markets: The impact of foreign students on the earnings of doctorates’, in: R. B. Freeman and D. L. Goroff (eds), Science and Engineering Careers in the United States: An Analysis of Markets and Employment. Chicago: University of Chicago Press.

Bouma, K. 2018. “Buitenlandse student heerst bij 210 studies.” De Volkskrant, March 8 2018.

Business Roundtable (2018). The Economic Impact of Curbing the Optional Practical Training Program. December 2018.

Cerna, L. (2018). European High-Skilled Migration Policy. Trends and Challenges, in: Czaika, M. (ed). High-Skilled Migration: Drivers and Policies. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2018. 

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de Coning, M.V. and D. Huberts (2016). Stayrate van Internationale Afgestudeerden in Nederland, NUFFIC 2016.

Clarke, M., Hui Yang, L., and D. Harmon (2018). The Internationalisation of Irish Higher Education. HEA, 2018. 

CIC (Citizenship and Immigration Canada) (2010). Evaluation of the International Student Program. Evaluation Division, July 2010.

Czaika, M. & Parsons, C.R. (2017). The Gravity of High-Skilled Migration Policies. Demography, Springer.

Czaika, M. (2018). High-Skilled Migration. Introduction and Synopsis, in: Czaika, M. (ed). High-Skilled Migration: Drivers and Policies. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2018.

Government of Ireland, Department of Business, Enterprise and Innovation (2018). Review of Economic Migration Policy Report of the Inter-Departmental Group.

European Commission (2011). European Migration Network specifications for Annual Policy Report 2011. 

European Commission (2012). Immigration of International Students to the EU. European Migration Network Study 2012.

European Commission (2013). Communication from the Commission to the European Parliament, the Council, the European Economic and Social Committee and the Committee of the Regions: European Higher Education in the World []

European Commission (2015). European Migration Network Synthesis Report for the EMN Focussed Study 2015 Changes in immigration status and purpose of stay: an overview of EU Member States’ approaches. 

European Commission (2017). EMN Inform – Retaining third-country national students in the European Union.

European Commission (2018). Attracting and retaining international students in the EU. Common Template for EMN Study 2018. 

Federal Government of Germany website, accessed 18th April 2019 []

Faggian A, Corcoran J, Rowe F (2016). Evaluating the effects of Australian policy changes on human capital: the role of a graduate visa scheme. Environment and Planning C Government and Policy 34(1):151–170.

Findlay, A. (2011). An Assessment of Supply and Demand-Side Theorizations of International Student Mobility. International Migration 49 (2): 162–190.

Finn, M and Darmody, M. (2017). What predicts international higher education students’ satisfaction with their study in Ireland? Journal of Further and Higher Education. 41(4): 545-555.

Gothe-Snape, J. (2018). ‘Record number of international students sticking around on visas with full work rights.’ ABC News, 26 July 2018.

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Hawthorne, L. (2014). A Comparison of Skilled Migration Policy: Australia, Canada and New Zealand (October 16, 2014). Available at SSRN: 

Hawthorne, L. & To, A. (2014). Australian Employer Response to the Study‐Migration Pathway: The Quantitative Evidence 2007‐2011. International Migration Vol. 52 (3) 2014. 

Hawthorne, L. (2018). Attracting and Retaining International Students as Skilled Migrants, in: Czaika, M. (ed). High-Skilled Migration: Drivers and Policies. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2018.

HESA (2014). International students: Non-UK domiciled students studying in the UK 2012/13.

Hepburn, E. (2017). Options for Differentiating the UK’s Immigration System. Report prepared for the Culture, Tourism, Europe and External Relations Committee.

HM Government (2019). International Education Strategy: global potential, global growth. Department for Education and Department for International Trade, March 2019. []

Higher Education Authority (2016). Internationally oriented, globally competitive higher education institutions. HEA input into the International Education Strategy 2016–2020. Dublin: Higher Education Authority.

Higher Education Authority (2017). Higher Education Factsheet: Internationalisation. Irish Educated, Globally Connected.

Hobsons EMEA (2015). International Student Survey 2015: Value and the Modern International Student.

Hobsons EMEA (2017). International Student Survey. Welcoming the World. An International Future for European Higher Education.

Hoffmeyer-Zlotnik, P. & J. Grote (2019). Attracting and retaining international students in Germany. Study by the German National Contact Point for the European Migration Network (EMN). Federal Office for Migration and Refugees, 2019.

Hollifield, J. F. 2004. ‘The Emerging Migration State.’ International Migration Review 38 (3): 885–912.

Huberts, D. (2016). Analyse stayrate van internationale afgestudeerden: 2007-14. NUFFIC 2016.

Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship Canada (2018). 2018 Annual report to Parliament on Immigration.

Institute of International Education (2012). International Education: A Global Economic Engine. 2012 International Education Summit on the Occasion of the G8 . Washington DC: Institute of International Education.

Institute of International Education (2017). A World on the Move. Trends in Global Student Mobility. October 2017.

Institute of International Education (2018). A World on the Move. Trends in Global Student Mobility. Issue 2, March 2018.

Kabbanji, L., Jolivet-Guetta, M., Consterdine, E. and A. González-Ferrer (2016). Inventory of programs aimed at attracting international students and academics to the EU.  Temper Working Paper Series: Temporary versus Permanent Migration, WP 2 (2016).

Koleth, E. (2010). Overseas Students: Immigration Policy Changes 1997–May 2010 (Parliament of Australia, Department of Parliamentary Services, Canberra).

Koslowski, R. (2018). Shifts in Selective Migration Policy Models. A Comparison of Australia, Canada, and the US, in: Czaika, M. (ed). High-Skilled Migration: Drivers and Policies. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2018.

Lam, Q.K.H., Maiworm, F. (2014). English in the classroom and beyond, in: Wächter, B., Maiworm, F. (eds.). English-Taught Programmes in European Higher Education. The State of Play in 2014. Bonn: Lemmens Medien GmbH, 2014.

Levatino, A., Eremenko, T., Molinero Gerbeau, Y., Consterdine, E., Kabbanji, L., Gonzalez-Ferrer, A., Jolivet-Guetta, M. & C. Beauchemin (2018). Opening or closing borders to international students? Convergent and divergent dynamics in France, Spain and the UK. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 16:3, 366-380.

Migration Advisory Committee (2018). EEA migration in the UK: Final report, September 2018. 

Mellors-Bourne, R., Humfrey, C., Kemp, N. and Woodfield, S. (2013). The Wider Benefits of International Higher Education in the UK. BIS Research Paper number 128, September 2013.

Miano, J. (2017). A History of the 'Optional Practical Training' Guestworker Program. Centre for Immigration Studies, online report, September 2017. 

Migration Observatory (2018). Non-European Student Migration to the UK. Briefing, October 2018. []

Migrationsverket (Swedish Migration Agency) (2018) EMN Annual Report on Migration and Asylum 2017. Report from EMN Sweden. []

Migrationsverket (2019). EMN study 2018: Attracting and retaining international students in the EU - Country Report Sweden. 

Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment (MBIE) New Zealand (2018). Migration Trends and Outlook 2016/17.

Ministry of Education New Zealand (2011). New Zealand Universities. The International Student Barometer 2011. IGI Services 2011.

Ministry of Education New Zealand (2013a). International student enrolments in New Zealand 2006 – 2012. International Division, Ministry of Education, 1 May 2013.

Ministry of Education New Zealand (2013b). International Education Factsheet. Outcomes for international tertiary students. 

Ministry of Education New Zealand (2014). Exchange rates and international student enrolments in New Zealand, 2003 – 2013. International Division, Ministry of Education, 25 June 2014.

Ministry of Education New Zealand (2017). Young, international graduates – employment outcomes. November, 2017. 

Neufeld, J. L. (2019). Optional Practical Training (OPT) and International Students After Graduation. Human Capital, Innovation, and the Labor Market. Niskanen Center, March 2019. 

O’Connor, S. (2018) Problematising strategic internationalisation: tensions and conflicts between international student recruitment and integration policy in Ireland. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 16:3, 339-352.

OECD (2008). International Migration Outlook. OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2016), ‘How attractive is the European Union to skilled migrants?’ in Recruiting Immigrant Workers: Europe 2016, OECD Publishing, Paris.

OECD (2018), Education at a Glance 2018: OECD Indicators, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Pierce, S. and Gelatt, J. (2018). Evolution of the H1-B. Latest Trends in a Program on the Brink of Reform. Migration Policy Institute Brief, March 2018. 

Riaño, Y. & Piguet, E. (2016). International Student Migration, in: Barney, W. (ed). Oxford Bibliographies in Geography.  New York: Oxford University Press, pp. 1-24. 

Riaño, Y., van Mol, C. and Parvati, R. (2018). New directions in studying policies of international student mobility and migration. Globalisation, Societies and Education, 16:3, p. 283-294.  

Ruiz, N.G and Budiman, A (2018). ‘Number of foreign college graduates staying in the US to work climbed again in 2017, but growth has slowed,’ Pew Research Centre, online article [DOA: 18/05/2019]

Ruiz, N.G and Budiman, A (2018). ‘Number of Foreign College Students Staying and Working in U.S. After Graduation Surges,’ Pew Research Centre, online article [DOA: 18/05/2019]

Scottish Parliament (2016). Devolution (Further Powers) Committee. Welcome to Scotland? A Report on Post-Study Work Visas, 2nd Report, 2016 (Session 4).

Smith, E. and A. Smith (2011). Has Australia turned its back on international students? Paper presented at the 41st Annual SCUTREA Conference, 5-7 July 2011, University of Lancaster. 

Spinks, H. (2010). Australia’s Migration Program. Parliament of Australia, Parliamentary Library, 29 October 2010.

Statistics Canada (2017). Study: International Students, Immigration and Earnings Growth [DOA: 20/04/2019]:

Stringer, C. (2016). Worker Exploitation in New Zealand: A Troubling Landscape. Report prepared for: The Human Trafficking Research Coalition. 

Tani, M. (2017). Skilled Migration Policy and the Labour Market Performance of Immigrants. IZA DP No. 11241, December 2017.

Teitelbaum, M.S. (2018). High-Skilled Migration Policy Challenges from a US Perspective, in: Czaika, M. (ed). High-Skilled Migration: Drivers and Policies. Oxford Scholarship Online, 2018.

The Expert Council of German Foundations on Integration and Migration (2015). Train and Retain Career Support for International Students in Canada, Germany, the Netherlands and Sweden.

Trlin, A., Spoonley, P. and Bedford, R. (eds.) (2010). New Zealand and International Migration. A Digest and Bibliography, Number 5. Massey University Printery, Palmerston North.

United States Government Accountability Office (2014). Report to the Ranking Member, Committee on the Judiciary, U.S. Senate. Student and Exchange Visitor Program. DHS Needs to Assess Risks and Strengthen Oversight of Foreign Students with Employment Authorization, February 2014. 

Universities UK (2011). Universities UK response to ‘The student immigration system – a consultation,’ February 2011. 

Universities UK (2017). The Economic Impact of International Students. London: Universities UK.

Universities UK (2018). Parliamentary Briefing: An improved post-study work system. September 2018.

Wächter, B. Maiworm, F. (eds.) (2014) English-Taught Programmes in European Higher Education The State of Play in 2014

Weisser, R. (2016), “Internationally mobile students and their post-graduation migratory: An analysis of determinants of student mobility and retention rates in the EU”, OECD Social, Employment and Migration Working Papers, No. 186, OECD Publishing, Paris.

Yates, L & Wahid, R. (2013). Challenges to Brand Australia: international students and the problem with speaking, Higher Education Research & Development 32:6, pp. 1037-1050.



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