The new post-study visa rules come into effect on 26 November 2018 and many current holders of student and post-study visas are still wondering how it will affect them.
Here are some answers to frequently asked questions, as notified by Immigration New Zealand:
Who will be eligible for post-study work visas?
The eligibility for this visa is not changing. You may be eligible for a post-study work visa if you
have completed a programme of study that results in:
• A qualification at level 7 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework that you have
studied for at least 30 weeks in New Zealand; or
• One qualification at levels 4-6 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework that you
have studied for at 60 weeks in New Zealand; or
• Two qualifications at levels 4-6 on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework that you
have studied for at 30 weeks each in New Zealand (a total of 60 weeks), where the
second qualification is of a higher level than the first.
From 26 November, post-study work visa rules will change but will apply mainly to new students.
For people currently studying and on post-study visas, see below. This does not apply to everyone.
Current Student Visa Holders
I currently hold a student visa for tertiary study, what work rights will I be eligible for once I
If you successfully complete a qualification Levels 4-10 of the minimum study duration and you meet the standard post-study
work visa requirements, you will be eligible for a three year open post-study work visa.
Additionally, if your ‘eligible qualification’ is made up of two qualifications at levels 4 to 7 and you were still studying
towards your first qualification on 8 August 2018, the transitional policy will only apply to you if you meet certain requirements.
I’ve just finished my qualification and want to apply for a post-study work visa before
November, what will I be eligible for?
The changes to immigration settings come into effect on 26 November 2018 and do not apply
to applications received before then. You will have to apply under the current immigration
Provided you have completed an eligible qualification, you can apply for a one-year open poststudy
work visa. After the new settings come into effect you will be able to apply for a further
two-year open work visa (as part of the transitional policy).
Current post-study work visa holders
I hold an open post-study work visa, how will these changes affect me?
If your open work visa expires after these changes take effect on 26 November 2018, you will
be eligible to apply for a further two-year open work visa when your visa is nearing expiry.
If your open work visa is due to expire before the changes take effect on 26 November 2018,
you can apply for an employer assisted post-study work visa before 26 November 2018. You
will need a job offer relevant to your qualification to apply for this. If you want to, you will be
able to apply for a variation of conditions to have the employer conditions removed – see the
next answer if this applies to you.
I hold an employer assisted post-study work visa, how will the changes affect me?
From 26 November 2018, you will be able to apply for a variation of conditions to have the
employer conditions removed from your work visa. This means the job and employer
conditions stated on your work visa would be removed.
If you plan to stay in your existing job, you may choose to stay on your current employer
assisted post-study work visa. However, you will need to apply for a variation of conditions if
you plan to change your job, employer, or location of work.
To apply for a variation of conditions to have the employer conditions removed you must
complete an Application for a Variation of Conditions for holders of a Post-Study work visa. The application form will
only be available from 26 November 2018.
If you would like our (Immigration Centre) professional assistance with applying for a new post-study visa or variation conditions, please contact us. However, note that we will not be able to prepare your entire application before 26 November 2018, when forms become available.
What about my partner?
As a student, am I able to support my partner’s work visa?
From 26 November 2018:
- if you are studying or a Level 9 or 10 qualification, yes.
- If you are studying a Level 7 or 8 qualification , only if the qualification is on the Long Term Skill Shortage List
- if you are studying Level 4-10, no, you cannot support a partnership visa. They will have to apply for their own visa (Eg Essential Skills).
Can I support my partner’s work visa after I have finished my study?
Yes. Post-study work visa holders are able to support their partners for work visas, provided they
meet usual partnership requirements.
What about my children?
Whether or not your child/children are eligible for student visas as domestic students will depend on the same criteria above, if a partner is eligible.
Post-study work visa holders will be able to sponsor student visas as domestic students for the duration of their visa.
For student parents, it will depend on the course, as above for partner sponsorship.
Source: Immigration New Zealand
If you would like our (Immigration Centre) professional assistance with applying for a visa, please contact us.
If you would like to apply on your own and want further general information, please contact INZ on 0508 55 88 55 for free information or make an appointment with us for more detailed advice, where consultation fees may apply.