NZ propose changes to international student post-study work rights

Proposals to change international student post-study work rights in New Zealand will aim to help eliminate migrant exploitation and make sure that migrants granted residency contribute the skills that the country needs.

“Too many students are being sold a false dream in New Zealand that the current post-study work rights can put students on a fast track to residency here,” said NZ Immigration Minister Iain Lees-Galloway. “This has led to a decline in the general skill level of migrants granted permanent residency, and fraudulent and frankly unethical behaviour from some agents, employers and education providers has led to students being exploited,” he added.

The proposed changes international student post-study work rights include:

– Removing the requirement for post-study work visas to be sponsored by a particular employer;

– Providing a one-year post-study work visa for non-degree level 7 or below qualifications;

– Providing a three-year post-study work visa for degree level 7 or above qualifications;

– Requiring students completing non-degree level 7 or below qualifications to undertake at least two years of study in order to gain eligibility for post-study work rights; and

– Requiring international students studying level 8 or 9 qualifications to be in an area specified in the Long-Term Skills Shortage List in order for their partner to be eligible for an open work visa, and in turn the partner’s dependent children to be eligible for fee-free compulsory schooling.

“International education is a significant service export industry and the Government remains committed to ensuring it remains an attractive and credible offering,” Lees-Galloway continued. “Immigration settings are a crucial component to achieve this aim.

“These proposed changes, if adopted, will not affect current student visas or post-study visas. We must protect our reputation by ensuring that the students who are coming here are motivated by a great education and a positive experience”.

Article published 4th June 2018