The much-anticipated changes to the post-study work visas that the government has announced earlier on August 8, whereby doing away the employer assisted post-study work visas at all level of courses, will be coming to effect from today, November 26.

It is important to note that the Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway has announced earlier on August 8 that it will be repealing the employer-assisted work visa, in order to take away the disproportionate level of power, currently in the hands of employers, and used asymmetrically by some unscrupulous employers, so as to bring relief for the international students.

Any new applicants coming to New Zealand for study would not be getting this visa.

The page on employer-assisted work visa on the website of Immigration New Zealand (INZ) also states that this visa is no longer offered.

The international students who were already in New Zealand on a post-study work visa (employer-assisted) will now be eligible to apply to INZ for an open work visa.

There will be a fee for the change of label and would be valid for the same amount of time remaining on the original employer-assisted work visa.

It’ another matter that it is not clear how this change of requirement will impact the already overburdened INZ service delivery.

It’s important to note that INZ is already facing an unprecedented burden on its ability to deliver quality service in a timely manner.

Recently a story in Radionz reported that INZ admits that customers have endured unnecessarily long wait times on the phone and service delivery.

This was after INZ has culled about 400 jobs by shutting down offshore visa processing centres.

The then restructure within INZ was stated to bring major changes in Auckland offices with some significant relocation of staffs.

It would be interesting to see how the deadline of November 26 for cut-off dates for the change of visa would augur on INZ’s ability to deliver timely service.

However, delay or no delay, a lot of international students currently on employer-assisted post-study work visa would breathe temporary relief with the abrogation of employer-assisted work visa.

The relief is temporary as it is still not clear how it will impact on the ability of those students who are keen to pursue their chances of getting permanent residency in the country.

Those on essential skill work visa have not anything to do with the November 26 cut-off date.