New Zealand announces new Post Study Work Visa requirements

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New Zealand Government changes the Post Study Work Visa eligibility requirements and student visa conditions, taking effect as of the 7th of September.

As part of New Zealand’s Immigration Rebalance, there are new eligibility requirements for the Post Study Work Visa. These changes are now in effect as of 7 September and apply to students who apply for a Student Visa after the 11th May 2022. 

Changes for the Post Study Work Visa requirements include:

  • The duration of post-study work visas is the same as the duration of study in New Zealand for level 8 and below students. Master’s and doctoral students are eligible for three-year visas.
  • Conditions of post-study work visas depend on the qualification the applicant has gained in New Zealand. People who studied at non-degree levels 4-7 may only work in a field directly linked to their study area.
  • International students who complete a degree or post-graduate qualification will continue to have access to open post-study work rights at the end of their study 

Changes to post-study work requirements will give certainty to international students studying advanced qualifications and will better align with New Zealand’s skills and workforce needs, Immigration Minister Michael Wood has announced.

“These changes were signalled as part of the Immigration Rebalance announced in May and ensure migrants know early on the realistic pathways to further work and residence post-study in New Zealand,” says Immigration Minister Michael Wood.

“Post-study work rights settings for students who complete a non-degree level 7 or below course have been confirmed. They will qualify if their qualification is on the Qualifications Eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa list based on Green List occupations.

“Aligning post-study work rights for non-degree study with Green List occupations will help to fill New Zealand’s skills needs and address some unsustainable post-study working trends seen pre-COVID,” says Michael Wood.

Students who complete a degree or post-graduate qualification will continue to have access to open post-study work rights at the end of their study.

Post-study work visas will now directly align with the expected duration of a student’s qualification in New Zealand. A student’s additional time to complete the course will not be considered. This change applies to all qualifications eligible for a post-study work visa, except Masters and Doctoral degrees.

There are also arrangements for students who applied for their student visa on or before 11 May 2022 and for students who have been granted a Student Visa as part of the border exception for 5,000 students (cohort 4). In both cases, students must have studied an acceptable qualification.

International students who study for a second degree will not be able to apply for a double post-study visa. However, they may be eligible for a longer visa if they have completed two consecutive qualifications that are Bachelor’s degrees or higher.

Partners of students will be eligible for an open work visa where the student is studying a Master’s degree or Doctoral degree qualification or a level 7 or 8 qualification specified in either the Green List or the Qualifications Eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa list.

“New Zealand continues to welcome students who select New Zealand because of the quality of the education, lifestyle and overall international experience. Some of these students will go on to make New Zealand their home and contribute to our economy in the longer term,” says Immigration Minister Michael Wood.

“Overall, the changes ensure students who choose to stay in New Zealand after their studies bring value to New Zealand by filling skill shortages. It also supports the Government’s plans for a higher-productivity, higher-wage economy, while making it easier to attract and hire highly skilled migrants to fill genuine gaps in roles in global shortage,” says Immigration Minister Michael Wood.

Full details of the changes, including a list of eligible qualifications for a Post-Study Work Visa, are available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Source: New Zealand Government | Crown copyright

Source: New Zealand Immigration | Crown copyright

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