Changes to post-study work requirements will give certainty to international students studying advanced qualifications and better align with New Zealand’s skills and workforce needs, Immigration Minister Michael Wood said today.
The changes, which take effect from today, were signalled as part of the Immigration Rebalance announced in May.
“Post-study work rights settings for students who complete a non-degree level 7 or below course have now been confirmed. They will qualify if their qualification is on the Qualifications Eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa list, which is based on Green List occupations,” said Minister Wood.
“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.”
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, the Minister said.
The duration of post-study work visas will now directly align with the expected duration of a student’s qualification in New Zealand. Any additional time a student takes to complete the course will not be considered. This change applies to all qualifications eligible for a post-study work visa, with the exception of Master’s and Doctoral degrees.
International students who study a second degree will not be able to apply for a second 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 that is 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,” Mr Wood said.
“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 that are in global shortage.”
Full details of the changes including a list of eligible qualifications for Post-Study Work Visas is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.