Government Eyes Post-Study Work Changes

June 12, 2018 New Zealand Finance

international studentsA government move to help international students will help post-grad students, but may hurt those who study at below bachelor level.

Last week the New Zealand government announced that it is launching a public consultation on the post-study work rights of international students in New Zealand.

Currently, international students who graduate from a qualifying course in New Zealand can apply for a one-year work visa which is not tied to any employer. The visa can be followed up by a two-year work visa tied to an employer if the job on offer is relevant to the student’s degree. the system employers to take on students without having to prove to immigration officials that there are no local workers who can do the job.

Under the proposed system, students who complete a degree-level qualification will have access to a three-year work visa which is not tied to an employer. Students who complete qualifying courses which are not of the required level will only have access to a one-year work visa.

Upon the completion of any of the visas, students will be able to apply for a new work visa under the standard procedure open to all other migrants.

The proposed system is intended to reduce instances of migrant exploitation, as workers will have the opportunity to leave abusive employers, without loosing their visas.

Commenting on the proposal, Kirill Kruger, a Wellington immigration adviser, has suggested that the new system will greatly benefit post-graduate students. However, the new system may negatively impact lower-level students.