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.