What’s the link between the level of study, course duration, and the length of my Post-Study work visa?
New Zealand is an increasingly popular destination for international students seeking high-quality education and career opportunities. One of the main attractions for these students is the possibility of obtaining an open work visa after completing their studies, allowing them to work in New Zealand and gain valuable experience. In this article, we’ll explore the level of the course you need to study in New Zealand to be eligible for an open work visa.
Post-Study Work Visa: Open
The Post-Study Work Visa (Open) is designed to allow international students who have completed a qualifying course in New Zealand to search for a job and work for any employer in the country. This visa is valid for up to 12 months, after which you may be eligible to apply for the Post-Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted)
Eligibility Requirements for an Open Work Visa
To be eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa (Open), you must meet the following criteria:
- Level of Course:You must have completed a course in New Zealand that meets the qualification requirements set by Immigration New Zealand (INZ). This includes:
- A Level 7 Bachelor’s degree or higher, studied for at least 30 weeks in New Zealand.
- A Level 7 Graduate Diploma, studied for at least 30 weeks in New Zealand.
- A Level 5 or 6 Diploma or a Level 7 Diploma (excluding Graduate Diplomas), studied for at least 60 weeks in New Zealand.
- Two Level 5 or 6 Diplomas, or a combination of a Level 5 or 6 Diploma and a Level 7 Diploma (excluding Graduate Diplomas), studied for at least 60 weeks in total in New Zealand, with each diploma requiring at least 30 weeks of study.
- You must apply for the Post-Study Work Visa (Open) within three months (or six months if you have completed a doctoral degree) of the end date of the student visa that allowed you to study the qualifying course.
- Health and Character Requirements: You must meet INZ’s health and character requirements, which include undergoing a medical examination and providing a police certificate from your home country.
- Evidence of Funds: You must provide evidence that you have sufficient funds to support yourself during your stay in New Zealand. This includes a minimum of NZD 4,200 in your bank account or a written guarantee from a New Zealand-based sponsor.
- Genuine Intent: You must demonstrate that your primary intention for coming to New Zealand is to study, and that you intend to leave the country once your visa expires.
Selecting the Right Course for Your Career Goals
When choosing a course to study in New Zealand, it’s essential to consider your long-term career goals and the level of qualification required to achieve those goals. ICL Immigration’s licensed Immigration advisers have years of experience assisting students with choosing the right course to meet their career goals while also accounting for their financial constraints and future resident visa possibilities.
Studying a higher-level course, such as a Bachelor’s degree or higher, increases your chances of being eligible for an open work visa and enhances your employability in the competitive job market. Additionally, it’s important to research the institutions offering your desired course and ensure that they are accredited by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), as this is a requirement for obtaining a Post-Study Work Visa (Open)
The Length of Your Post-Study Work Visa Is Based On Your Level of Study
The length of the Post-Study Work Visa you are eligible for depends on the level of course you have completed in New Zealand. Here is a breakdown of the visa duration based on the level of study:
- Level 7 Bachelor’s Degree or Higher:
- If you have completed a Level 7 Bachelor’s degree or higher, you are eligible for a three-year Post-Study Work Visa. This includes Bachelor’s degrees, Master’s degrees, and Doctoral degrees.
2. Level 7 Graduate Diploma:
- If you have completed a Level 7 Graduate Diploma, you are eligible for a one-year Post-Study Work Visa (Open), followed by a two-year Post-Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted) if you find a job relevant to your field of study.
3. Level 5, 6, or 7 Diploma (Excluding Graduate Diplomas):
- If you have completed a Level 5, 6, or 7 Diploma (excluding Graduate Diplomas), you are eligible for a one-year Post-Study Work Visa (Open). Additionally, if you have studied for at least two years in New Zealand and your diploma is relevant to the skills in demand in the country, you may be eligible for a two-year Post-Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted) upon finding a job in your field of study.
It’s essential to keep in mind that the length of the Post-Study Work Visa may be subject to change, so always refer to the latest information provided by Immigration New Zealand
To be eligible for an open work visa in New Zealand, you must study a qualifying course at the appropriate level and meet all the other requirements set by INZ.
By choosing the right course and institution, you can pave the way for a successful career in New Zealand. The length of the Post-Study Work Visa you may be eligible for is determined by the level of your study, which is an important factor to consider when planning your education and career in New Zealand. If you’d like more information, fill in our contact form to book a free consultation with our team.
To help you better understand the ins and outs of studying and working in New Zealand, we have compiled a list of useful resources and links:
- Immigration New Zealand (INZ): https://www.immigration.govt.nz/
- New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA): https://www.nzqa.govt.nz/
- Study in New Zealand: https://www.studyinnewzealand.govt.nz/
- Post-Study Work Visa information: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/new-zealand-visas/apply-for-a-visa/about-visa/post-study-work-visa
- NZ Ready – Planning Tool for Migrants: https://www.newzealandnow.govt.nz/resources/nz-ready-planning-tool