All about Post Study Work Permit in New Zealand: Visa Rules, Qualifications, Eligibility

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Aishwarya
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Apr 12, 2022 10:21 IST
visanewzealand

All international students who have graduated from New Zealand with a valid qualification can apply for the post-study work visa (PSW). It is a visa of varying lengths that lets international students work for any employer in New Zealand. If you manage to find a job that is relevant to your stream of course then you can have your work visa extended for two years. Read on to know more about the number of years you qualify for. Check: How to get PR in New Zealand after study?

New Zealand has over the years become one of the preferred study abroad destinations for Indians and International students alike. The country has registered positive student footfall into the country especially for top ranking universities in New Zealand. Today the student-friendly policies such as the post-study work permit, part-time work options, easy admissions, and a friendly environment have made students to seriously consider New Zealand as their study abroad destination. 

Latest News:

April 12, 2022: New Zealand is set to open its borders for temporary work and student visa holders. In this third phase of border opening, New Zealand is set to welcome its international students studying in semester 2, which are over 5000. The Australian citizens and permanent citizens can also return back in this phase. Those who are travelling to New Zealand in this phase must ensure the following:

  1. Evidence of a valid job offer if travelling on a work visa.
  2. Evidence of student visa which was initially granted for the same level of study, course and institution.
  3. Evidence of relevant funds required for staying or studying in New Zealand.

In case of any changes in the circumstances of granted visa conditions, visa holders may not be allowed entry into New Zealand. For travelling back to New Zealand they must apply for a fresh visa or renew their visas.

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Who can apply for visa in New Zealand?

You must apply for the PSW visa within three months of the end date of the student visa. Ph.D. students are allowed to apply up to six months after the end date of the student visa. To apply for the PSW visa, you must have successfully completed a degree qualification that would gain points under the ‘New Zealand Immigration Skilled Migrant Category’. Also your qualifications must be either Level 4 or higher than that based on New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF).

Post-Study Work Visa Rules for New Zealand

With effect from 2018, the Government of New Zealand following a public consultation has ushered in changes to immigration policies that impact post-study work rights for international students. Read on to understand what they are and how they are going to affect you. Here for the benefit of our readers, we have provided the earlier version of the rule and how it has been changed for the students currently pursuing their course. 

Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications:

  • Earlier: Prior to the changes, students who studied for 24 months were entitled to a one-year open work visa and then a two-year employer-assisted work visa.
  • After Change: Now, a two-year employer-assisted work visa has been removed and a one-year open work visa is retained. However, those who pursue their education outside Auckland can get a two-year open work visa.

Bachelor level qualifications:

  • Earlier:  After 12 months of study students were entitled to a one-year open work visa and a two-year employer-assisted work visa.
  • After Change: One-year open and two-year employer-assisted visa is replaced with a three-year open work visa.

Post-graduate level qualifications:

  • Earlier: After pursuing 12 months study, students were entitled to a one-year open work visa and after that, a two-year employer-assisted work visa.
  • After Change: One-year open and two-year employer-assisted visa is replaced with a three-year open work visa.

These visa rules are applicable for those who hold the student visa or whose student visa application has been accepted by the Immigration New Zealand:

Level of study

Duration of course

Eligibility of visa

Level 7 Bachelor’s degree or

above

At least 30 weeks in New Zealand

Three-year open work visa

Non-degree Level 7

qualification

At least 30 weeks in New Zealand

Three-year open work visa

One qualification at Level 4-6

At least 60 weeks in New Zealand

Three-year open work visa

Two qualifications at Levels 4-6

Study 60 weeks in total, 30 weeks for each qualification.

The second qualification is higher than the first level.

Three-year open work visa

Temporary work visa in New Zealand stands suspended since 2020 when COVID-19 hit the globe. New Zealand is only allowing those people to come and work who come from a quarantine free zone and also from a safe zone but a mandatory negative report before departure to New Zealand is required upon arrival.

To know more go to, Changes in Post Study Work Rights for International Students in New Zealand

How to apply for a post study work visa in New Zealand?

You can choose to apply through the INZ online application portal, Immigration Online, or through the print form INZ1015. You will need the following documents and bank balance before applying:

  • Work Visa application form INZ1015
  • Evidence that you have completed your qualification
  • Bank statement showing a balance of minimum NZ$4,200
  • Three months' bank statement
  • Passport
  • Two recent passport size photographs

Read: New Zealand Student Visa Processing Time

Post-study Work Visa Duration in New Zealand

The duration of post-study work visa in New Zealand depends upon the applicant's area and level of study. Area wise there are three major distinctions which are beneficial factors in deciding the post-study work visa duration in New Zealand:

Applicant Studied in Auckland

Students who have completed their higher studies from Auckland can work for the following years:

  • Applicants with a 3 years bachelors degree and those who have achieved the Level of 7, then he/she is eligible to apply for a post-study work visa for 3 years.
  • The Level 7 Graduate Diploma holders can apply for 1 year post study work visa.
  • Levels 4-6 qualified applicants can also apply for 1 year post study work visa.
  • Applicants are eligible to apply for 1 year extra for post study work visa only if they are into occupational registration who are authorised.

Applicants Studied Outside Auckland

Those applicants who have completed their studies before December 31, 2021 are eligible for a 2-3 year duration post study work visa in New Zealand. While those who complete their qualifications after December 31, 2021 they may be eligible for a 1 year post study work visa. The following conditions are proposes by New Zealand Immigration Department:

Level 7 Qualification or Higher

Level 7 bachelors degree holders can apply for a post study work visa for 3 years duration. While graduate diploma holders who fulfil either of the following conditions are eligible for getting a psots tudy work visa:

  • A 2 year work visa can be availed by those who complete their degree on or before December 31, 2021. Or
  • Those completing their degrees after December 31, 2021 can apply for a 1 year work visa only.

Level 4-6 Qualification Holders

Applicants who hold either of the Level 4 or 5 or 6 qualification can aply if:

  • A 2 year work visa if the degree completes on or before December 31, 2021. Or
  • Applicant will be eligible for a 1 year work visa if they complete their degree after December 31, 2021.

Applicants Studied Off-Campus

Students who complete their degree in the distance mode or off-campus are eligible for a work visa in New Zealand which is the same as for those who studied in Auckland. The duration of the visa would also be the same depending upon the applicant's qualification level.

Related Articles:

Part-time work options in New Zealand for international students

New Zealand Student Visa Guide

Scholarships to Study in New Zealand

Job prospects for Indians who have studied in New Zealand

Post Study Work Permit in New Zealand FAQ's

What is the minimum duration of any post study work visa in New Zealand?

Full time international students who are above 18 years can apply for a student visa which can be useful for working for a minimum of 4 years. The minimum duration varies between 6 months to 4 years.

What is variation of condition in New Zealand?

Variation of condition in New Zealand if a person wishes to study for 3 years or more in part time.

How are visa applications for employer assisted accepted in New Zealand?

An employer assisted post study work visa is accepted before 26 November and the concerned applicant can only then choose to either take the job or leave it.

How is employer changed on post study work visa in New Zealand?

Any applicant who wishes to change his/her employer can only do so if he/she holds an Essentials Work Visa in New Zealand. Holding this visa can help the applicant in changing his/her employer or job only if they don't fall in the list of skill shortage.

What all documents are required in the application to modify job or employer in New Zealand?

In New Zealand, work visa holders can modify their job or employer by submitting an application with documents like - employment offer, employer agreement, INZ 1113 completed by the new employer and a covering letter if notice period needs to be served.

Why are visa conditions followed strictly in New Zealand?

Visa conditions in New Zealand for post study work visa holders is nothing but a legal document which states the details of the work visa the applicant holds like date of entry and exit in New Zealand, type of work visa held, etc.

Is it mandatory to be fully vaccinated before travelling to NZ for work?

Yes, international students who come to New Zealand for post study work have to be fully vaccinated only then can their visa be approved.
About the Author
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

An experienced and passionate writer, with a love for literature, Aishwarya Bhatnagar has 3 years of experience - working in and around study abroad. With a postgraduate degree in Linguistics from Delhi University, ... Read Full Bio

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