Working abroad: Where can I go?
In theory, you can work anywhere in the world. In reality, you may find yourself restricted...
It depends on the state of the local employment market, work permit requirements and immigration procedures. Enquiries about all of these issues are best made to the appropriate embassy or high commission in the UK and Expertise in Labour Mobility
offers useful information on the job market and recruitment practices in various countries.
- European Union (EU) nationals have the right to work in any other EU member state, as well as Iceland, Lichtenstein and Norway, without the need for a work permit. However, unemployment tends to be higher in some of the newer member states, so it may be more difficult to find a job there.
- Immigration into Commonwealth countries is becoming more difficult, as they produce large numbers of their own graduates.
- Overseas organisations are often only interested in recruiting British graduates if they are unable to satisfy recruitment needs from their own nationals. This applies in reverse conditions, too, with it being difficult for non-EU nationals to get employment in the UK if there are British people who can do the job.
- Immigrant visas will usually only be issued to individuals applying from their home country. Graduates who get offered permanent employment whilst in their destination country will usually have to return home to obtain the proper visa. This can be a lengthy process, sometimes lasting up to 12 months, so you should not rely on finding a permanent job when you get to your new country.
- Some countries, such as the US, will only issue work visas to individuals with definite jobs to go to, and the visa application process has to be instigated by the employer. It may be possible to be transferred on a temporary basis if you already work for a company that has offices in the UK, as well as your destination country. However, such employment will not allow you to stay permanently, so you need to look into what visa you would require if you wish to stay longer.
- Other countries, such as Australia, New Zealand and Japan, offer working holiday visas that allow you to combine work and travel for up to a year. These schemes are particularly aimed at people who want to take on casual work while they travel to top up their funds.
- Apply for your visa in plenty of time as obtaining a visa can be a long and complicated process. Make allowances for this and ensure you are getting the correct visa.
- Get up-to-date information on your destination country to make sure it is safe to travel. Always remember to check the website of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO)
before you leave.
To find information about visa requirements, the job market, application procedures, work experience and postgraduate study abroad, see country profiles.
Sourced by Suzanne Agnew, University of Edinburgh