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International Students will be able to return to NZ from July

Updated: May 23, 2022

Some important decisions were announced by the Prime Minister today that impacts the international education sector and international students.

From 31 July international students will be able to apply for visas, 3 months earlier than planned.

However, the government also announced changes to the post-study work rights and increase in fund requirements, as part of The Immigration Rebalance to attract and hire high-skilled migrants.

Post-study work rights from 11 May 2022

  • International students studying bachelor’s or post-graduate courses or higher will continue to receive Post-Study Work Visas.

  • Students studying non-degree courses at Level 7 and below (excluding bachelor’s degrees), will only be eligible for post-study work rights if the qualification is relevant to an occupation on the new Green List, which will replace the existing skills shortage lists. These work rights will only allow them to work in that occupation.

  • The duration of work rights will reflect the duration of study undertaken in New Zealand, except for Masters and PhD students who retain the current setting of 3 years.

  • International students will no longer be able to apply for a second post-study work visa.

  • Students with a student visa application underway to study a qualification currently eligible for a post-study work visa and that student visa is subsequently granted; students who get a visa through the current border exception for 5,000 students; and students who already hold a student visa for a programme of study that results in a qualification that is currently eligible for a post study work visa, will be considered under the old settings if they apply for a post-study work visa within the next three years.

  • There are no changes to in-study work rights for student visa holders.

Living costs and fees from 31 July 2022

  • The amount of funds that students are required to demonstrate they have access to, so they can cover their living expenses while in New Zealand, will increase. For tertiary and English language students, the funds required will be $20,000 pa, and for primary and secondary school students it will be $17,000 pa. These funds are prorated for study less than a year. The current setting is $15,000pa for both. Note: This change does not affect the living costs requirements for students in cohort 4.

  • Students will be required to pay tuition fees of one year or the first programme (whichever is the shorter) upfront. Note: This change does not apply to cohort 4 students.

The official announcement from INZ as it relates to international students

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