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Immigration Rebalance & Its Impact on International Students

Immigration Rebalance & Its Impact on International Students

After being almost completely shut to the outside world since the start of the Covid 19 pandemic over two years ago, New Zealand is now ready to completely reopen its borders to everyone from midnight of 31 July 2022 (technically 1 August 2022). This means that the opening date for the Student Visa category has been brought forward by 3 months, from October.

What is Immigration Rebalance

Immigration Rebalance is a plan for New Zealand’s economic recovery from the Covid-19 pandemic. It aims to boost working conditions, improve career pathways for New Zealanders and encourage businesses to focus on increasing productivity & resilience.

Changes for International Students

Along with the border opening, the NZ Government has made some immigration changes that affect international students who want to study in New Zealand.

The changes that affect international students are:

Post-Study Work Rights

Changes have been made to post-study work visa rights. They will apply to all student visa applications lodged on or after 11 May 2022 not covered by transitional agreements, including applications from people already in New Zealand.

  • Students enrolled in non-degree programmes (Level 7 & below excluding Bachelor’s degree) will not get post-study work rights except in shortage and skilled occupations.
  • Work privileges for degree-level and other eligible international students (bachelor’s degree, bachelor honours degree and postgraduate diploma) will now be equivalent to the duration of their study. (See the table below)
  • Masters and doctoral students will be permitted to work in New Zealand for up to three years following graduation as long as they have spent 30 weeks of full-time study in New Zealand.
  • Additionally, students will not be able to apply for a second post-study visa in New Zealand.
  • Students who have already commenced studying an eligible qualification under current settings and who have applied for a visa or hold a visa for that specific study will be considered under the ‘old’ post-study rules. This includes students who enter New Zealand under the most recent border exception for 5,000 students, provided they meet the current educational requirements.
  • In-study work rights for international students have not been changed.
Qualification Minimum time spent studying full time in NZ Duration of PSWV under new changes
Level 7 non-degree or lower qualification that is linked to an occupation on the Green List 30 weeks 1 year
Bachelor’s Degree Level 7 30 weeks 1 year
60 weeks 2 years
90 weeks 3 years
PG Dip – Level 8 30 weeks 1 year
Master’s Degree – Level 9 (coursework and research) 30 weeks 3 years
PhD – Level 10 30 weeks 3 years

It is important to note that 20 occupations on the Green List have direct pathways from Level 7 and below level qualifications.  These include:  Construction Project Manager; Project Builder; 12 specific engineering roles; Civil Engineering Technician; Electrical Engineering Technician; Secondary School teacher; Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher; Automotive Electrician; Diesel Motor Mechanic

International students studying at non-degree levels can work while studying. Also, they can apply for another visa after their student visa, such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa, if they are eligible.

Change in cost of living for international students

From 31 July 2022, fund requirements f will increase:

  • From NZ $15,000 to NZ $20,000 per annum for prospective tertiary student visa applicants
  • From NZ $15,000 to NZD$17,000 for prospective international primary & secondary school students
  • Both these amounts will be adjusted for shorter study periods.
  • Except for some aviation students, students will need to pay tuition fees for the first year or first programme of study (whichever is shorter), and they will have to provide evidence of funds for the same period.
  • As of 11 May 2022, students transferring to post-study work visas must show NZ $5,000 in funds.

International students make significant contributions to New Zealand education providers & its economy & add to the country’s skill-base.

Get in touch with Immigration Advisors New Zealand Ltd, which provides up-to-date immigration information so you can consider opportunities and prepare yourself for the future. To know all the required procedures, contact us at [email protected] or call on +64 09 3790219.

Reference: Link 1   Link 2

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Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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