The Government has decided to almost restructure the current post-study work visa regime in NZ by getting rid of employer-assisted work visas and restricting post study work rights of international students in lower level educational courses (Level 4-6 courses).

Wins for international students

  • Getting rid of employer-assisted post-study work visa is a good news to many international students who had found themselves or have seen others caught-up in exploitation by unscrupulous employers.
  • It means they November 26, 2018, they may be eligible to have the job and employer stated on their work visa removed (so they do not have to contact Immigration New Zealand if they change jobs or employers in the future.)
  • International students in level 4-6 courses, outside Auckland, will be eligible to get 2-year post-study work visas (unlike those in Auckland, who will be eligible to get only 1-year work visa).

Losses for international students

  • International students in Level 7 Graduate Diploma courses (non degree level) will only be getting 1-year post-study work visas under new rules (Earlier they were able to get 1 year open job search work visa, followed by 2-year employer-assisted work visa.)
  • International students in Level 4-6 courses, in Auckland, will only get 1 year post-study work open work visa (earlier they were able to get 1-year open job search visa, followed by 2-year employer-assisted work visa)
  • Open work visas for spouses/partners of international students are on notice. Now open work visas will be issued to only those spouses/partners of international students who are studying in Level 8 courses, and the area of their study is specified on the Long Term Skills Shortage list. (Currently, partners of student visa holders, who are in New Zealand studying towards a level 7 or higher qualification on Long Term Skill Shortage List)
  • No clarity on how level 7 and above students will progress towards Residency after their 3-year post study open work visa expires.