Studying in New Zealand now grants you the opportunity to gain useful work experience immediately after you graduate from studying.
For students who aspire for great career ambitions, New Zealand is an exceptional study destination. In 2018, The Economist Intelligence Unit considered it the best English-speaking country globally, known for how it prepares and trains students for the future.
More than that, New Zealand is also a place equally great for working. Here, students can start building the career that they long to pursue. Because of these things, many people consider the country as an ideal place where they could better strengthen their skill sets and make their dream careers come true.
The great thing is this is not only true for New Zealand residents but international students as well. So, if you’re an international student wanting to gain study and work experience in New Zealand — worry not. Recent changes in New Zealand post study work visas’ duration and conditions have made it relatively easier for international students to work in the country right after they graduate.
However, before anything else, it’s important that you first know what a New Zealand post study work visa is, the specific qualifications it requires, and the kinds of visa options you can explore to pursue work in the country after completing your studies.
Post Study Work Visa
The post study work visa enables you to work in New Zealand once you finish your studies. If you’ve gained an acceptable qualification throughout your stay, you’re now eligible to apply for a New Zealand post study visa. This grants you the opportunity to work up to three years in the country after you graduate, depending on your study preferences.
Furthermore, the New Zealand post study work visa can be allowed for either one, two, or three years depending on your qualification level. In addition, the recent change stipulates that all post study work visas are now granted with ‘open-work’ conditions, which means you won’t be needing a job offer to obtain work. In the same way, you also get the chance to work for any employer within New Zealand and apply for almost any kind of job.
This change in visa conditions allows international students to receive considerable post study work rights, especially those who have pursued higher-level qualifications in New Zealand. It also helps ensure that the country’s career paths help in benefitting both employers and international students by contributing certain skill sets that the country needs.
Even so, you can only apply for the New Zealand post study work visa once — that is, unless you complete a second higher qualification, either a bachelor’s degree or higher, with a duration of 30 weeks study period or more.
Who is qualified to apply for a New Zealand post study work visa?
An international student who has already finished their studies can choose to stay and pursue work in New Zealand for a three-year duration through their post study visa.
However, specific criteria need to be met before doing so.
The New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQA) requires a level 4 or higher qualification for students. Qualifications with levels 4-6 are acceptable given that students have completed it within 60 weeks or more. Otherwise, they can also either have two qualifications only that each involved 30 weeks of study and the last qualification’s level is higher compared to the first one. A level 7 qualification is also allowable if the course has persisted for 30 weeks or more. Your level of qualification helps determine the validity of the post study work visa. You can learn more about specific visa qualifications and eligibility here.
Post Study Work Visa Options
Current International Students
Transitional arrangements are available for students who already possess a student visa by August 8, 2018. However, it should be that the course you’re currently studying leads to a qualification that makes it possible for you to apply for a New Zealand post study visa.
Future International Students
Recent changes in visa policies and conditions will be in effect if you want to study in New Zealand or if you have applied for a student visa after August 8, 2018. If so, your post study work visa will be granted for up to three years depending on qualification and grants you open-work conditions as well.
International Stuents with Partners
Even while studying, you can now support your partner’s work visa, especially if you obtain level 9 or 10 qualifications or level 7 or 8 on the Long Term Skill Shortage List. If not, they can also apply for a Work Visa in their own right. On the other hand, if you have dependent children, they can also study as domestic students without paying additional international student fees. The post study work visa is also beneficial such that it enables you to acquire a skilled job and eventually clear a pathway for you to obtain resident status, which is excellent for those who are planning to settle in the country permanently.
If you applied for a post study visa before November 26, 2019
Suppose you currently possess an open post study work visa. In that case, you’re eligible to apply for an additional two-year open post study work visa, especially when it’s nearing the expiry date.
For those who have employer-assisted visas, you can apply to have the employer conditions removed from your visa. However, if you only plan to stay in the same job, there isn’t a need to change your visa.
Settling in New Zealand after post-study work visa
When your post study work visa has already reached its maximum years, you may still be able to apply for further work and may also be granted a residence visa.
How to apply for a New Zealand Post Study Work Visa
Before applying for a visa, you must first make sure that you’ve met all the requirements. Go carefully through the criteria, or consult help from Licensed Immigration Advisers who can assess if you’re a perfect fit for the visa. Moreover, they can also make recommendations and identify certain roadblocks, which can help escalate the chances of your visa being approved. Afterward, you can now go through the application process. You also get to receive your New Zealand Post Study Visa in the subsequent days, where it allows you to work for up to three years in New Zealand with any kind of job for any employer.