Positive changes to post study work rights in New Zealand

The New Zealand Government has announced large-scale changes to immigration settings that impact post-study work rights for international students. The major changes are as follows:

  • Remove the employer-assisted post-study work visas at all levels;
  • Offer a three-year post-study open work visa for bachelors degree (Level 7) or higher qualifications;
  • Offer a one-year post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 - 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 (for example, Graduate Diploma in Teaching students);
  • International students studying Level 8 qualifications (postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma) must be studying in an area 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 

The changes will come into effect on 26 November 2018 and will make New Zealand’s post study work visa scheme one of the most generous of all the major English-speaking study destinations.

These changes won’t impact current post-study work visa holders. Current students who complete an eligible qualification and meet INZ’s standard post-study work visa requirements will be eligible for the new three year open post-study work visa.

For more on this story, please visit the INZ website.  

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