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New Zealand: Changes Proposed in Post-Study Work Visas

July 2018, 16
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The government in New Zealand is aiming to revise and change the post-study work rights for global students who pay the full fee.

Current rule


 Presently the rules  say that the international students who qualify will get one year open work visa, to find an employment which is relevant to their status/qualification.

In case the students find a relevant employment, they are eligible for consideration for the employer sponsored visa. Additionally this has a validity of two years.

The drive for change


The concern of the government is that the present rules falsely lead to the dream of global students. This makes them think that they are on the fast track to get residence. This is leading to cases of fraud and unethical behavior by the agents, education providers and some employers also.

Furthermore the changes aim to ensure that the migrants who get residence have the necessary skills as per the requirement of New Zealand.

Major changes


1. Removal of the obligation for post-study work visas to get the sponsorship of employers;
2. Providing one-year post-study work visa for candidates having non-degree level qualification, and a three-year visa for candidates having a degree or higher qualifications.
3. Requiring candidates having non-degree qualification to undertake two years of study for obtaining rights to post-study work visa.
4. Requiring the international students who have study level 8 or 9 qualification to be in the area as specified in the Long Term Skills Shortage List. This will help to support their partner to get an open work visa and the children to get status of domestic students.

Who will feel the impact?


• Persons aiming to study in New Zealand as foreign students.
• Education providers who rely on foreign students to pay full fees.
• Employers who regularly recruit foreign workers on post-study work visas.

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