New Zealand Work Visa

The following is a new guiding statement for immigration student policy. Immigration student policy contributes to New Zealand’s sustainable economic development by:

facilitating the entry of genuine students, with a focus on attracting and developing students who have the skills and talent New Zealand needs
increasing global connectedness
supporting the sustainable growth of export education capability
earning foreign exchange, and strengthening New Zealand education, while managing risk to New Zealand and maintaining social cohesion.
Expanded Work Opportunities for Students (and Some Partners)

Term-time work rights
Term-time work rights of 20 hours per week will be available to the following students:

all students enrolled in a full-time course of at least two years
all students enrolled in a course that would result in points under the Skilled Migrant Category (see section SM14 of our Operational Manual) (regardless of length of course or type of institution)
secondary students engaged in full-time, full-year course of study in Year 12 or Year 13 with written permission from their school and parental consent
English language students with an IELTS overall band score of 5.0 or above at the time of application for a visa or permit to study a full time course of at least six months duration.

Christmas holiday work rights
The right to work full-time in the Christmas holiday period will be available to any student enrolled in a course of 12 months or more duration.

Partner’s work rights
Open work permits will be available to the partners of the following students:

students enrolled in courses of study towards qualifications in areas of absolute skill shortage as specified in the Long Term Skill Shortage List students enrolled in postgraduate qualifications i.e. levels 8, 9, or 10 on the qualifications table.

Facilitating the Pathway from Study to Work to Residence

New work permit for some graduates
Any student regardless of institution type who successfully completes a course in New Zealand resulting in a qualification that would get points under the Skilled Migrant Category will be eligible to apply for a six -month open work permit.
Once they have secured relevant employment they can then apply for either a post-study two-year work permit (currently specified in our Operational Manual at U7.20.15) or proceed directly to the Skilled Migrant Category.

Special Conditions for NZAID Students

Work rights for some NZAID students
NZAID students to be granted term-time work rights if:

the student has written approval from NZAID and the education provider, and
the work is a compulsory course requirement or is related to their postgraduate course of study.
Work rights for some partners of NZAID students

Partners of NZAID students will be eligible for a work permit which will not need a labour market test if:

they have a job offer, and
written approval of NZAID.

Further permits restricted
NZAID students, their partners and dependants may only be issued with further visas or permits for New Zealand in the two-year period following completion of their scholarship with NZAID approval (with the exception of a work permit to complete course requirements, or a short-term visitor’s visa).

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