Post-Study Work Visa changes
Updated: Sep 9
New requirements for New Zealand’s Post Study Work Visa come into effect from today (7 September).
The changes apply to anyone who has applied for a student visa after 11 May 2022.
Previously, people holding a Post Study Work Visa were able to work in any role, for any employer, anywhere in New Zealand. Under the new settings, their visa conditions depend on the qualification they have gained in New Zealand.
An applicant may be granted only one Post Study Work Visa, and they will need to show they have NZD $5,000 of available funds.
The Post Study Work Visa will continue to be valid for up to three years.
For most people, the length of the Post Study Work Visa will match the time they have spent studying fulltime in New Zealand. To be eligible, degree level 7 and above students must have spent at least 30 weeks studying fulltime here. Non-degree level 7 and below students must have completed their full qualification here.
Immigration New Zealand will determine the length of a Post Study Work Visa by the offer of place or a letter from the education provider. Any additional time a student takes to finish a course will not count.
Master’s and doctoral degree level
Master’s and doctoral degree students will still be eligible for three-year Post Study Work Visas.
Doctoral degree students will now be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa once they have submitted their thesis for examination. The applicant will need to provide confirmation from their education provider.
Degree level 7 and 8
The length of Post Study Work Visas will match the time spent completing qualifications at degree level 7 and 8. Qualifications can be completed consecutively for a longer work visa.
Non-degree level 7 and below
The length of Post Study Work Visas will match the time spent completing a qualification at non-degree level 7 and below. No extra time will be gained by completing qualifications at this level consecutively.
Degree level 7 and above
People with qualifications at degree level 7 and above, who are granted Post Study Work Visas, will be able to work in any occupation, for any employer, in New Zealand.
Non-degree level 7 and below
Non-degree level 7 or below students granted a Post Study Work Visa must work in a role directly relating to their completed qualification.
Their qualification must be on the list of Qualifications Eligible for a Post Study Work Visa:
Partners of students will receive an open work visa if their partner is studying:
for any master’s or doctoral degree; or
a level 7 or 8 qualification on the Green List or the Qualifications Eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa list
Partners of students who started their study before 7 September 2022 remain eligible for open work rights while their partner completes their course. These transitional arrangements will be in place for three years.