Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Changes in New Zealand post-study visa policy enhances work rights for higher level courses

Analysis by Medway Digital


Chandigarh: International students opting for Bachelor's degree, Post Graduate or Masters courses in New Zealand institutions will now get an open work visa for three years after successfully completing their course.

The changes to the work visa rights for international students were announced by New Zealand minister for immigration Ian Lees-Galloway at a press conference in New Zealand on Wednesday.

As per the gradation of various courses, the Bachelor's degree and above courses  are ranked as Level 7 (Degree courses) and above with Level 10 being the highest.

The changes to work visa policy for international students are as follows: 
  1. To remove the employer-assisted post-study work visas at all levels; 
  2. To 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; 
  3. To 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, at which point 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; 
  4. To provide a three-year post-study open work visa for degree Level 7 or above qualifications; and 
  5. To require international students studying Level 8 qualifications to be in an area specified on the Long Term Skills Shortage list in order for their partner to be eligible for an open work visa, and in turn the partners’ dependent children to be eligible for fee-free domestic schooling
Medway MD Jagjit Singh Chans has welcomed these changes from the New Zealand government. "These are positive changes ushered by the New Zealand government. These will prove beneficial for all stake holders," he said. 

The changes are essentially aimed at achieving  three objectives:
  • To encourage international students to go for higher level courses or for specialization in areas where the country faces a skill shortage. 
  • To eliminate dependence of international students on employers for work visa after completing their course.
  • To encourage international students to seek admission in institutions outside Auckland area so as to spread the economic gains of international education.
The government has not made any changes to the eligibility of students for post study work visa. However, it has increased the duration of study for lower level courses (Level 4 to 6)  from the present 30 weeks in a year to 60 weeks in two years to be eligible for a post-study open work visa. 

Under the new policy, students completing their Level 7 Bachelor's degree and above courses (study duration of 30 weeks) will now get three-year open work visa.

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Students taking Level 7 Graduate diploma courses will be eligible for one year post-study work visa if studying in Auckland and one additional year if the individual is working towards registration with a trade body. Student taking the same course outside Auckland will be eligible for a two year open work visa. 

Students opting for other non-degree level 7 qualification (duration 30 weeks) from an institution in Auckland will be eligible for an open work visa of one year. Students from institutions outside Auckland will be eligible for a two-year work visa.

Students opting for courses placed at Level 4 to Level 6 (duration 60 weeks over two years) in Auckland will get a one-year open work visa and a two years visa if opting to study outside Auckland. Students in these courses will also have the option of doing two different 30 week courses over a period of two years.


International students will not be dependent on their employers, as was the case under the old policy, for securing a work visa beyond one year. This was the main reason for exploitation of students by their employers in one form or the other under the old rules.

Point to Note: The stipulated requirement of finances for various courses remains the same as earlier.

The new rules will come into effect from November 26, 2018. Students getting their visas before November 26, 2018 will continue to be covered by old policy which entails a one-year open work visa and a two-year employer assisted work visa.

Students whose qualifications fall under the New Zealand skill shortage list will also be entitled for open work visas for their dependents and free education for children. This change will be applicable from November 26. 

Students presently doing their courses in New Zealand will continue to be governed by the old policy. Existing post-study work visa holders will be eligible for the changes under the new policy.

The New Zealand government had earlier initiated a consultation process before coming up with the new policy.

About Medway:

Medway Educational Consultant, an ENZ recognized agency was established in 2005 and is today regarded as one of the most trusted and awarded brand names in overseas education consulting. Medway is among the top three New Zealand education consultants in India in terms of student visa success rate and the number of successful admissions in New Zealand institutions.










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Changes in New Zealand post-study visa policy enhances work rights for higher level courses

Analysis by Medway Digital Chandigarh: International students opting for Bachelor's degree, Post Graduate or Masters courses in N...