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International Student: Changes to Post Study Work Rights for student visa

From 1 August, overseas applicants can now apply to study in New Zealand. However, the NZ government made huge changes to the post-study work visa (PSWV) policy. You are only eligible to apply for a PSWV (open) if you’re studying at least a bachelor’s degree, postgraduate, master’s or a PhD.



If you’re studying a graduate diploma Level 7 and below, you’re eligible to apply for a PSWV if you studied a qualification on the Green List. Your PSWV will only allow you to work in that Green List occupation.



Duration of PSWV. If you’ve studied for a master’s or PhD, you are eligible for a three-year open work visa as long as you’ve studied for at least 30 weeks in New Zealand. For other eligible qualifications (Graduate Diploma Level 7, Postgraduate Level 8, Bachelor’s degree, Level 4 – 6), the duration of your visa will mirror the time you studied in New Zealand. For example, if you studied a Level 4 qualification in the Green List (i.e. Diesel Mechanic) for at least 30 weeks (one year), then your PSWV will only be for one year.


2 years or 6 months automatic visa extension for eligible work visa holders

You will be granted a two-year open work visa from the date of expiry of your previous visa if:

· your current work visa was granted onshore; and

· your visa expiration is from 9 May – 31 Dec 2022 (inclusive); and

· your work visa type is one of the following:

o Essential Skills Work Visa; or

o Post Study Work Visa; or

o Partner of a New Zealand Work Visa;


If you have a partner and/or dependent children who are in NZ on 9 May 2022, and have held a visa based on their relationship with you, and their visas are expiring between May 9 – 31 Dec 2022 (inclusive) their visas will also be automatically extended for two years after the date of their current visa expiry. Their visa conditions remain the same.


For Work to Residence (WTR) Visa holders, if your current visa is expiring between 9 May and 31 Dec 2022, you get a six months visa extension and the visa condition remains the same. WTR includes those that were granted under the following scheme:

· Talent (Accredited Employer; Arts, Culture and Sports)

· Long Term Skills Shortage List

· Skilled Migrant Job Search

· South Island Contribution

If you have a partner and/or dependent children who are in NZ on 9 May 2022 and have held a visa based on their relationship with you, and their visas are expiring between May 9 – 31 Dec 2022 (inclusive) their visas will also be automatically extended for six months after the date of their current visa expiry. Their visa conditions remain the same.


You can request an extension check using the link below:

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/formshelp/request-an-extension-check