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The issue this week has been to do with Graduate Work Experience Visa applications. The Study To Work Instructions (WD) of the Immigration New Zealand policy exist in order to provide students who have studied a recognised course in New Zealand with a pathway to gain practical work experience after finishing their courses.

The objectives of this policy a stated by Immigration New Zealand in the Operational manual are as follows:

The Study to Work instructions contribute to the overall work instructions objective (see W1) by facilitating and retaining access of New Zealand employers and industry to global skills and knowledge. This is achieved by providing a pathway to skilled employment and residence in New Zealand for highly skilled graduates and matching these workers to the needs of the economy. However, more and more recently we are getting clients who have had their applications under this policy either declined or have received letters from INZ advising they may be declined (PPI letters). In most cases the reasons for the decline are based on the fact that the job offer of the applicant is considered by INZ as “not relevant” to the applicant’s qualification.

The Immigration Instructions do not clearly define what ‘relevant’ means in this context so it seems that some Immigration officers have taken it in their own hands to make up reasons for declining under this policy. We have seen very strict and literal interpretation of this policy over the past few months where previously case officers were interpreting it more liberally.

For example, applicants with diplomas in Hospitality Management are being told that a job in Retail Management is not relevant to their qualifications. The message here is twofold, firstly you should be working very hard to try to get a job offer which is closely related to your area of qualification; and secondly, if you think there is a chance your job offer is not highly relevant to your qualification please contact us as early as possible so we can assist you. We are working on this issue and will ensure that you have the best representation so that INZ can see that your work is giving you experience relevant to your qualification. If you are experiencing this problem or any other issue with INZ then don’t hesitate to get in touch with me and I will do everything we can to ensure that you get the service and the visa you deserve from INZ. To Your Immigration Success, Jig Patel Green Planet Immigration.