Visa News

NZ pushing international students to regions with work visa bonus

International students face new post-study work rules from November 2018. The Government says the changes will: Match students with in-demand skills for NZ’s economic growth Incentive study in the regions (read outside Auckland).

25/09/20182 min read
NZ pushing international students to regions with work visa bonus


International students face new post-study work rules from November 2018.

The Government says the changes will:

  • Match students with in-demand skills for NZ’s economic growth
  • Incentive study in the regions (read outside Auckland)
  • Help reduce student exploitation

Employer-assisted post-study work visas will be removed.


Just what does it all mean?

Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway says it means the Government listened to more than 2000 submissions on post-study work visas. He says the changes will preserve a pathway to residence for people with the skills and qualifications New Zealand needs. They also provide time-limited incentives for students to study and work in the regions.

The changes to post-study work rights include:

  • 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;

  • 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. After December 2021 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;

  • provide a three-year post-study open work visa for degree Level 7 or above qualifications; and

  • require international students studying Level 8 qualifications to be in an area specified on the Long-Term Skills Shortage list before their partner is eligible for an open work visa, and in turn for the partners’ dependent children to be eligible for fee-free domestic schooling.

Clearly anyone studying at a New Zealand university will win under these new rules by being able to secure a 3 year open work visa at the end of studies allowing them to undertake any work for the validity of that visa.

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Update

The Green List

From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.

Read more here.

16 May 22
Update

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
10 Feb 22
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

16 Dec 21