Changes to post-study work rights have been made to ensure post-study immigration pathways for international students are fit-for-purpose and to reduce the likelihood of exploitation, while minimising losses of genuine students. The changes are as follows:
The Employer-Assisted Post-Study work visa has been removed.
A three-year post-study open work visa is available for bachelor’s degree or above
A one-year post-study open work visa is available for students studying New Zealand Qualification Framework level 4 to 6 and non-degree level 7 qualifications, with an additional year available for Graduate Diploma students whose qualification and work is needed for registration with a professional or trade body.
A time-bound, two-year post-study open work visa is available for students studying level 4 to 6 and non-degree level 7 qualifications outside Auckland (study must be completed by the end of 2021).
To ensure no current tertiary students and post-study work visa holders are disadvantaged by the changes, the following transitional provisions have also been introduced:
Students who held a student visa or were in the process of applying for a student visa to
study towards an eligible qualification as at 8 August 2018 will be able to apply for:
o a three-year post-study open work visa on completion of their qualification(s)
o a two-year post study open work visa if they have previously held a one year open
post study work visa, on completion of their qualification(s)
Holders of a one year post-study work visa will be eligible to apply for a further two-year
open post-study work visa.
Holders of a Post-Study Work Visa-Employer Assisted can apply to vary their visa
conditions to remove the occupation, employer and location.
Work visa eligibility for partners of students
People studying level 8 qualifications will need to study a qualification listed in an area on the Long
Term Skills Shortage List to be eligible to support their partner for an open work visa.