Changes to post-study work rights will help ensure international students coming to New Zealand gain in-demand skills for the country’s economic growth, incentivise study in the regions and help reduce the risk of student exploitation.
New Zealand’s Immigration Minister, Iain Lees-Galloway, explained that the new immigration settings will better match the skills that people study in New Zealand with the skills that employers need to grow their businesses.
“Our changes will support the attraction of international students studying at higher levels of study, and those who undertake high quality sub-degree courses that deliver the skills needed in our growing economy,” he said. “The changes preserve a pathway to residence for people with the skills and qualifications New Zealand needs.”
The final changes to post-study work rights include:
– Removing employer-assisted post-study work visas at all levels;
– Providing 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;
– Providing 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 this 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;
– Providing a three-year post-study open work visa for degree Level 7 or above qualifications; and
– Requiring 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 for the partners’ dependent children to be eligible for fee-free domestic schooling.
The changes are due to take effect in November 2018.
“The removal of employer-assisted post-study work rights at all levels will help reduce the risk of migrant exploitation, and better protect New Zealand’s international reputation,” Lees-Galloway continued.
“New Zealand is a nation that must compete on quality, not quantity. Our changes reinforce New Zealand’s attractiveness for international students and match up positively with our key comparator nations.
“The bums-on-seats approach championed by the previous Government is coming to an end,” he added.
Article published 8th August 2018