New Zealand's Policy Update for Post-Study Work Right


Meridean Overseas

Updated On 14 August 2023 & Read Time 7 minutes



New Zealand has become a hotspot for international students in the past few years as its educational system is well-known for being top-notch, creative, and application-oriented.


Do you know what makes it more extraordinary? It’s a post-study work policy!


Today, we will dig deeper into New Zealand's updated policy on post-study work rights. This blog will explore the reasons behind its significance, recent alterations, and impact.


Also, if you are looking to explore the world while pursuing your higher education or are just curious about how countries welcome global talent, keep reading!


The Importance of Post-Study Work Rights

New Zealand has decided to partially open its borders, where approximately 5,000 students are set to enter in the upcoming weeks. However, understanding post-study work rights is essential for you when applying to study in New Zealand. So, take a look at some significant points below:


  • Post-study work rights are super important for those students who are choosing their universities.

  • Post-study work rights act like a bridge from studying in New Zealand to working, hence, letting you get work experience after finishing your education.

  • In New Zealand, these rights improve international students' experience and help the country's economy.

  • Utilising your skill set not only allows you to apply your expertise but also introduces innovative concepts and diverse perspectives into the workforce.

  • Overall, it is a win-win as you will get experience, and the country will receive talent and growth.


Understanding New Zealand's Previous Policy

Now that you know why the post-study work policy is significant for students and the country. Let’s delve into the previous policy of New Zealand’s concerning post-study work rights.


From the last update to this recent one, the decision represents a step toward normalcy after the global disruptions caused by the pandemic. Notably, the country's borders are now scheduled to fully reopen on July 31, 2022, which were previously  set to open in October.


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A Closer Look To Revised Post-Study Work Rights Guidelines

Now that you know why the post-study work policy is significant for students and the country. Let’s delve deep into the Revised Post-Study Work Rights Guidelines in this section.


The guidelines mainly summarise the opportunities available to graduates after completing their higher studies in New Zealand. Here's what you need to know:


Post-Study Work Permits:

  • Graduates are eligible for a single post-study work permit.

  • This permit allows them to work for a duration of one year and three years depending on their level of education


Non-Degree Students and the "Green List":

  • Non-degree students can also benefit from post-study work rights if their qualifications align with occupations listed on the "Green List".

  • The "Green List" identifies skills that are in demand in New Zealand's labour market.

  • The “Green List” job roles include Anaesthetist, Audiologist, Civil Engineer, and Dental Practitioner, among others.


Financial Requirements:

  • Higher education and English-language students are expected to demonstrate an annual fund of $20,000 to cover living expenses.

  • Primary and secondary students must show $17,000, previously $15,000 under the old rules.

  • Additionally, students with work permits must display funds amounting to $5,000. 


Prime Minister Jacinda Arden's Vision: Enhancing Labor Pool and Tourism Recovery

Prime Minister Jacinda Ardern is hopeful about the positive effects of the updated immigration plan. She thinks this plan will make more workers available and help the tourism industry recover faster.


The plan is devised to attract more international students while safeguarding low-skilled workers from exploitation. This dual purpose signifies the government's commitment to a balanced approach that benefits students and the local workforce.


Aligning Immigration with Economic Priorities: Stemming Low-Skilled Migration

The revamped immigration process signals a significant shift in the government's approach. By linking immigration with New Zealand's economic priorities, the government aims to address skill shortages and financial demands more effectively.


Furthermore, this approach seeks to curtail the influx of low-skilled migrants, ensuring that the country's labour force remains sustainable and well-equipped for future challenges.


Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi's Focus on Labour Reinforcement

Immigration Minister Kris Faafoi's vision for reinforcing the labour force is crucial to this revised immigration plan. The plan emphasises trades training and apprenticeships, aiming to upskill the workforce.


An impressive 1,90,000 New Zealanders stand to benefit from these efforts, illustrating the plan's potential to create a more resilient and skilled local workforce.


Key Takeaway: Linking Education with Employment Opportunities

At the heart of this scheme lies the opportunity for international students to study in New Zealand. However, a critical caveat exists: students must pursue qualifications aligned with the country's job market demands. This alignment is pivotal for a rewarding experience regarding employment opportunities and immigration prospects.



Q. What are post-study work rights?

A. Post-study work rights refer to the permission granted to international students to work in the country after completing their studies. These rights enable graduates to gain practical work experience related to their field of study, contributing to their career development.


Q. How long can I work in New Zealand after graduating?

A. The duration of post-study work rights depends on the level of study and the type of qualification obtained. Graduates with a bachelor's degree or higher can secure a post-study work permit for three years. Non-degree students can also qualify for work rights if their qualification aligns with the "Green List" of in-demand skills.


Q. Can I switch employers while on a post-study work permit?

A. Yes, the recent policy update in New Zealand allows post-study work permit holders to work for any employer. This change aims to prevent exploitation and provide graduates more flexibility in choosing employment opportunities that align with their skills and career goals.


Q. How does the "Green List" affect post-study work rights?

A. The "Green List" is a compilation of skills that are in demand in New Zealand's labour market. Non-degree students with qualifications matching the "Green List" occupations are eligible for post-study work rights. This offers them the chance to contribute to industries facing skill shortages.


Q. Can post-study work rights lead to permanent residency?

A. Yes, post-study work rights can serve as a pathway to permanent residency in New Zealand. Graduates who secure skilled employment have the opportunity to transition to an employer-assisted work visa, which can eventually lead to permanent residence. This is part of New Zealand's effort to retain skilled individuals contributing to the economy.


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In conclusion, New Zealand's gradual reopening and the subsequent revisions to post-study work rights signify a strategic approach to immigration and education. By offering opportunities for students to contribute to the local workforce, the country aims to strike a balance between economic priorities and the well-being of its citizens.


Aspiring students considering New Zealand as a study destination should carefully assess their qualifications and how they align with the nation's evolving job market to make the most of these opportunities.


If you need clarification or more profound insight, we encourage you to speak with our expert counsellors at Meridean Overseas Education Consultants (MOEC). If you cannot travel to our offices, we offer online counselling services via our website.


Our dedicated counsellors will provide the best guidance regarding your application to study in New Zealand. Our expert counsellors will also assist in the visa process for your successful study abroad journey. Don't hesitate to contact us at or call us at 1800-1230-00011.

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