New Zealand Changes Work Rights for Student Visa Holders

Effective October 9, 2023, changes will be made to in-study work rights for students visa holders in New Zealand, to maintain in-study work right eligibility once the higher Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa qualification threshold comes into effect.

The changes include:

  • References to Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa in the in-study work instructions will be removed. Instead, the programme level and type of eligible qualification will be stated.
  • References to the requirement for a course to be relevant to the ANZSCO occupation at skill levels 3-5 will also be removed from instructions.

As a result of these changes, all students studying a full-time programme resulting in a New Zealand qualification at Level 4 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications and Credentials Framework (NZQCF) will be eligible for in-study work rights. Training schemes and micro-credentials are not qualifications and remain ineligible for in-study work rights.

Students generally need to be studying full time to be eligible for a student visa and in-study work rights.

However there is an exception for students who are:

  • completing a course of study which would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa, or
  • in their final semester of a programme that lasts at least two academic years.

This allows students who may have a part time study load in their last semester to remain on a student visa. These instructions will also be updated to reference level 4 qualifications and higher.

Erickson Insights

Erickson Immigration Group will continue to monitor developments and share updates as more news is available. Please contact your employer or EIG attorney if you have questions about anything we’re reporting above or case-specific questions.