Changes in Post-Study Work Rights for International Students in New Zealand

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Piyush
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Feb 15, 2021 16:26 IST

Changes in Post-Study Work Rights for International Students in New Zealand

Following a public consultation, the Government of New Zealand has done changes to immigration settings that impact post-study work rights for international students.

The significant changes include (Source: www.immigration.govt.nz)

  • To remove the employer-assisted post-study work visas at all levels.
  • To provide a one-year post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications with an additional year for Graduate Diploma graduates who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body.
  • To provide a two-year post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications outside Auckland provided study is completed by December 2021, at which point the entitlement for post-study work rights reverts to a one-year post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications with an additional year for Graduate Diploma graduates who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body.
  • To provide a three-year post-study open work visa for degree Level 7 or above qualifications
  • To require international students studying Level 8 qualifications to be in an area specified on the Long Term Skills Shortage list in order for their partner to be eligible for an open work visa, and in turn the partners’ dependent children to be eligible for fee-free domestic schooling.

These changes will come into effect on 26 November 2018.

The current changes will not impact the existing post-study work visa holders or students who are undergoing a qualification that once completed will meet the requirements set out in current immigration.

Key takeaways from the changes:

  • The existing international students who are pursuing degree courses will benefit from the new rules as they will continue to work for three years and need not to fulfil the earlier requirement of engaging in ‘employer-assisted’ work for two years. The changes seek to remove the requirement of employer sponsorship at every level in order to make international students less vulnerable to exploitation.
  • Foreign students studying below degree level will only be able to work for a maximum of two years after completing their course. Also, those who will study in Auckland will be able to work only for a maximum of one year.

According to the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, these changes would increase the skills level required to proceed for permanent residency and at the same time, it allows international students to benefit from the New Zealand work experience after completing their studies.

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

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New Post-Study Work Right Rules

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, 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.

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About the Author
Piyush Kohli
Study Abroad Expert

With a plethora of knowledge of the education domain, Piyush Kohli has been involved with study abroad for over 5 years and counting. He comes with prior experience on the complexities of the study abroad applicatio... Read Full Bio

Comments

(3)

N

Nayab rasool

a year ago

Sir i want to do my master's in nz.
After availing psw of three years..
If i do phd in nz.. do i get psw again...

Reply to Nayab rasool

S

Shejin Joshy

2 years ago

I am planning to do a masters in New zealand for 2021 intake.And i would like to know , when my course finishes in 2022, what would be the possibility of getting PSW visa and for how many years I would be getting it?

Reply to Shejin Joshy

A

Anish Pandit

2 years ago

Dear Piyush,Its great that you are maintaining this website in A grade information and my heartiest thanks to you,could you please answer me,if a International student doing Graduate Diploma with Hospitality management in New-Zealand is eligible to bring his or her married partner.I am Anish.

Reply to Anish Pandit

P

Piyush KohliStudy Abroad Expert

a year ago

Hi Samir, you will be eligible for a three-year open work visa.

S

Samir Adhikari

a year ago

Bro if I study 1 years course than how many years I get open work permit and I will be agiable to apply for PR or not

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