New Zealand launches online advice resource for international students

by Ray Clancy on July 15, 2013

New Zealand launches online advice resource for international students

New Zealand launches online advice resource for international students

New Zealand has launched a new online resource to provide advice and support for international students moving to study in the country. According to Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse it provides international students with a one stop shop where they can get information about their employment rights and responsibilities, health and safety in the workplace, work conditions attached to student visas and settlement resources.

A student visa or a limited visa granted for the purpose of study is required for all people going to New Zealand to study for more than three months. Study must be the main purpose of the visit and to get a student visa you have to show you have enough money to meet living costs during the stay. A working holiday visa may allow young people to travel, work and or study for a limited period depending on age and nationality although people may be able to work part time while studying, but only under certain circumstances.

Generally only full time tertiary students or year 12 and 13 high school students can work. ‘Before you start to work, you must get permission from Immigration New Zealand by applying to have the conditions of your student visa changed to allow you to work. This is often called a variation of conditions,’ explained an immigration spokesman. ‘You can apply for a variation at the same time that you apply for your student visa, or you can apply for it separately after your student visa has been granted,’ he added.

Quote ExpatForum.com : “There is good news for people seeking employment in New Zealand with the latest forecast from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment showing it is set to grow by about 130,000 jobs over the next three years.”

If you have a variation, you’re allowed to get a job for up to 20 hours per week during the academic year or full time during the Christmas and New Year holidays. ‘The conditions under which you can work should be clearly stated on your visa, or in a letter from Immigration New Zealand confirming you have a variation of conditions to work. If you are found to be in breach of your visa conditions the consequences may include deportation,’ the spokesman pointed out.

There are some types of employment that international students are not permitted to do. They are not allowed to be self employed so must work as a worker or employee with an employment agreement, and not as an independent contractor. Students wanting to stay in New Zealand and work after they have finished their studies will need an appropriate visa. New Zealand’s immigration policies include a graduate work pathway for international students who have achieved a New Zealand qualification, to enable them to gain work experience in a field directly related to the studies they have completed. ‘Depending on your area of study, you may have the opportunity to stay and work in New Zealand for up to four years, and possibly even gain residence,’ the spokesman said.

The graduate work pathway has two steps. The first is a Graduate Job Search Work visa which gives the applicant up to 12 months to get a job in a field related to their studies. While you are looking for a job in your field you are allowed to work in any job to support yourself. The Graduate Work Experience visa lets you stay in New Zealand to gain work experience in your field of study for a further two years, or three years if work experience is required as part of a professional registration. This visa relates to a specific job with a specific employer.

If you have a job offer relevant to your studies when you graduate you can apply directly for the Graduate Work Experience visa as you don’t need to have a Graduate Job Search Work visa first. After your Graduate Work Experience visa you may have sufficient New Zealand work experience to apply for a New Zealand resident visa. If your work is in an occupation that has skill shortages, then this improves your chances of being allowed to stay, either with work visas or residence.

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