Changes to post-study work rights for international students: information release

Proactive release of papers related to the education sector impacts of changes to post-study work rights for international students.

The advice on education sector impacts of changes to post-study has been proactively released to ensure information which is of public interest is made available. These changes align with our broader strategic direction to raise the overall quality and value of international education to New Zealand, as set out in the International Education Strategy.

The changes, which took effect on 26 November 2018:

  • remove the employer-assisted post-study work visas at all levels
  • provide a 1-year Post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications, with an additional year for Graduate Diploma graduates who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body
  • provide a 2-year Post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications outside Auckland, provided study is completed by December 2021, at which point the entitlement for post-study work rights reverts to a 1-year Post-study open work visa
  • provide a 3-year Post-study open work visa for degree Level 7 or above qualifications
  • require international students studying Level 8 qualifications to be in an area specified on the Long Term Skill Shortage list in order for their partner to be eligible for an open work visa.

Documents released

The strategic direction of the international education sector: appendix to post-study work rights Cabinet paper [PDF, 372 KB]

Draft Cabinet paper – consulting on proposed changes to post-study work rights and eligibility of students’ partners and their dependent children to work and study in New Zealand [PDF, 1.5 MB]

International Education Stakeholder Group meeting 28 June [PDF, 688 KB]

Education Report: Information on the potential education sector impacts of proposed changes to post-study work rights for international students [PDF, 2.5 MB]

Briefing Note: Draft Cabinet paper – Report back on consultation on proposed changes to immigration settings for international students and recommended final proposals [PDF, 818 KB]

Briefing Note: Cabinet paper – Report back on proposed changes to immigration settings for international students and recommended final proposals [PDF, 724 KB]

Education New Zealand’s input in Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment advice on post-study work rights [PDF, 2.1 MB]

ENZ’s advice on the proposed changes to post-study work rights [PDF, 2.8 MB]

Last reviewed: Has this been useful? Give us your feedback