The question is

Is it possible to study in a European country for more than 5 years for graduate studies, and then apply for citizenship ?

This country can also be Japan, Singapore, Australia, New Zeeland, or any other country if there is any addition to the European countries.

Is there any one who has done such a thing ?

  • There is generally no route to citizenship (or residency) based on studies, AFAIK. Typically, you’d need a visa to study, the terms of which would require you to leave within a specific period after the end of the course for which it was granted. Secondly, to apply for citizenship you’d have to meet all the other eligibility criteria of the country concerned.
    – Traveller
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 8:43
  • Certainly not in the UK (and I think this is EU-wide). Time spent studying doesn't count for any sort of residency requirement. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 11:02
  • 1
    @MartinBonner see expatriates.stackexchange.com/questions/7457/…
    – Our
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 15:23
  • 1
    So not EU-wide - just my country being its typical xenophobic self. Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 15:26
  • @MartinBonner It does count for the 10-year long residence route. Though I appreciate this comment is just putting the records right, and has not much to do with OP's original question.
    – B.Liu
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 20:25

1 Answer 1


Yes for Australia, although it may take more than 5 years.

Student visa holders can apply for permanent residency (e.g. using the Skilled Independent (subclass 189) visa) once they graduate, if they satisfy the points test.

Student visa holders can also apply for temporary work visas after graduation, such as the Temporary Graduate (subclass 485) visa or the Temporary Skill Shortage (subclass 482) visa (if you have a job offer and the employer is willing to sponsor you). After they worked for a few years, their employer may sponsor them for permanent residency using the Employer Nomination Scheme (subclass 186) visa.

Once a former student has obtained permanent residency, they can apply for Australian citizenship in the usual way.

This page contains extensive statistics on Australia's student visa program, including their destination once they graduate.

However, in order to be granted a student visa, you must demonstrate that you are a "genuine temporary entrant", i.e. your intention is to leave Australia after you have finished studying. Nevertheless, as that page states:

The Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) requirement is not intended to exclude students who, after studying in Australia, develop skills Australia needs and who then go on to apply for permanent residence.

  • Well that is a contradictory law; to be able to get a student visa, you need to promise that after graduating, you are going to leave, but at the same time, you are allowed apply for citizenship after graduation, if you studied that enough time.
    – Our
    Commented Feb 15, 2019 at 14:53

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