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New Zealand Updates Post Study Work Visa

Published on : September 8, 2022


New Zealand’s new post study work visa requirements are a part of the Immigration Rebalance announced in May 2022.

On September 7, 2022, New Zealand announced certain changes to the post-study work requirements for international students that had studied in New Zealand and were exploring post study work options. 

According to Immigration Minister Michael Wood, the changes “ensure migrants know early on the realistic pathways to further work and residence post-study in New Zealand”.

The changes will grant certainty to international students studying advanced qualifications in the country and are in better alignment with New Zealand’s skills and workforce needs. 

Announced in May 2022 by the Government of New Zealand, Immigration Rebalance makes it easier to attract and retain highly-skilled migrants. Immigration Rebalance of New Zealand includes changes to the immigration settings for - 

  • Migrant workers, 
  • Partners of migrant workers, and 
  • International students. 

The changes also affect New Zealand skilled residence pathways. 

What are New Zealand’s new post study work visa requirements? 

Changes have been made to the eligibility requirements and visa conditions for New Zealand’s post study work visa. 

New Zealand’s New Post Study Work Visa requirements | Effective September 7, 2022

Applicable to new students that have applied for a New Zealand Student Visa after May 11, 2022.

The changes are as follows - 

  • The duration of the post study work visa will be as per the duration of study in New Zealand for Level 8 and below students. 
  • Master’s and doctoral students are eligible for 3-year post study work visas.
  • Conditions of the post study work visa will depend on the qualification that the international student has acquired in New Zealand. 
  • Those studying at non-degree - that is, Levels 4-7 - might only work in a field directly related to their own area of study in NZ. 
  • To be eligible for the post study work visa, those who studied Levels 4-7 must have a qualification listed on the “Qualifications Eligible for a Post Study Work Visa”.
  • Transitional arrangements are in place for students that had applied for a New Zealand study visa either on or before May 11, 2022, as well as for students granted study visas under the border exception for 5,000 students. In both the cases, students will be required to have studied an acceptable qualification.  
  • Changes have been made to the eligibility criteria of partners of student work visa holders to replace references to the Green List (from the previous references to the Long-Term Skills Shortage List). 
  • You can apply only once for this visa. 

How can I stay to work after study abroad in NZ?

You must apply for a visa before you can work in New Zealand following the completion of your study abroad in the country. The post study work visa requirements have been updated and will apply to those securing a New Zealand student visa after May 11, 2022. 

Benefits of a New Zealand post study work visa - 

  • Work for any employer in New Zealand, provided you have studied a degree Level 7 qualification or above
  • If you have studied a non-degree level 7 or below, you must have studied a qualification mentioned on the Qualifications Eligible for Post Study Work Visa list. The job that you take must be related to what you study in NZ. 
  • Your partner can apply for a New Zealand work visa. 
  • Your dependent children can study free in NZ as domestic students. 

How long you can remain in New Zealand on a post study work visa will be as per the qualification completed. For example, if you complete your Master’s in New Zealand, you can get a post study work visa for 3 years. 

Confirming the updated New Zealand Post Study Work Visa requirements in an official statement, Immigration Minister Michael 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.”

Topics: Study, Work, New Zealand




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