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Get Your Degree in NZ, and Start Your PR Process

Your NZ degree could lead to permanent residency. Make smart choices, and you could call Aotearoa home forever.

Benefits of the NZ Post Study Visa

The post study visa gives you the ultimate in flexibility. Once you’ve completed your eligible course of study, it allows you to live and work in NZ for up to three years, working in almost any role for any employer. This means you can take your time to find the perfect role that opens the door to permanent residency.

You can bring your family with you, and your partner can apply for a work visa. Your children can attend school free of fees. You are also able to study while on the post-study work visa, for up to three months or as mandated by your employer.

You can have multiple entry visa, which allows you to travel in and out of NZ as required.

It’s a highly flexible visa, designed to get qualified graduates to stay in NZ once they’ve finished their degrees so they can get into in-demand roles.

Work life in NZ

NZ has a laid-back work culture. While the working week is 40 hours Monday to Friday, it’s a typical Kiwi attitude. Most employers allow flexibility in their arrangements if they can accommodate you.

While Kiwis work hard, they also like to have a balance with time for family and friends- life is for living, not slaving away at your job. 

NZ has one of the best standards of living anywhere in the world. It’s no wonder that people from all over the world want to live there- small cities, friendly people, good levels of safety and security, and a good healthcare system.

How to apply for the post study visa

1. First thing to note is that you must apply for this visa within three months of your study completion/ student visa expiring. If you completed a doctorate degree, you can apply within six months from degree completion. 

2. Currently, 90% of applications are processed within 33 days. You can apply on paper or online. Online is recommended as it makes communication faster and simpler.

3. Ensure you have all valid documents ready for your application. This includes:

  • a completed INZ 1015 work visa application
  • the application fee of NZ$495
  • receiving centre fees, this varies across different countries
  • valid passport
  • education certificates
  • English certificate
  • medical certificate or chest x-ray showing you are in good health
  • cover letter
  • police certificate/s proving you are of good character 
  • a copy of your qualification or academic transcript from your institution confirming you have completed your course and gained a qualification
  • proof of funds (at least NZ$4,200 as at July 2021)

4. Apply online through the NZ Immigration site, which directs you to create a ‘RealMe’ account, which is NZ’s internal affairs site.

5. Pay the relevant fees.

6. Await immigration’s decision, or they may advise they need more information. This will happen through the RealMe portal. Immigration may contact you and ask for more information. If you are in NZ and your current visa is due to expire, they will usually issue an interim visa so you can stay in NZ legally until your new visa is awarded.

Your rights on the post-study work visa

The post-study visa gives you the ability to:

  • stay for one, two, or three years
  • work for any employer
  • be employed in almost any role in NZ except commercial escort services
  • bring your partner and dependent children with you
  • your partner can apply for a work visa
  • a multi-entry visa allows you to travel to and from NZ as required
  • study for up to three months each year or as directed by an employer

What qualifications allow you to apply for a post study work visa?

In general terms, you must have studied in NZ, and your qualification must be at least a level four on the NZQA framework.

If you studied on levels four to six, the degree must have spanned at least 60 weeks. Alternatively, you can have achieved two qualifications of at least 30 weeks of study, with your second qualification being higher than the first.

If your qualification is level seven or more, the course must have been a minimum of 30 weeks in duration.

Unfortunately, students who came to NZ to study English are not eligible for this visa.

How long can you work on a post study working visa?

The length of your visa largely depends on where you studied. Those who studied in Auckland or distance-studied for an Auckland-based provider:

  • Level 7 bachelor degree can apply for up to three years
  • Level 7 graduate diploma can apply for one year, or two years to gain registration with a local body, such as teachers requiring two years to get their full practising certificate
  • Levels 4, 5 and 6 can apply for a one year visa
  • If you studied outside of Auckland, you can apply for longer periods.
  • Level 7 bachelor degree can apply for up to three years
  • Level 7 graduate diploma can apply for two years if you complete the degree before 31 December 2021, otherwise it’s one year
  • Levels 4, 5 and 6 qualifications can apply for up to two years if the course is completed before 31 December 2021, otherwise one year

You can apply for another post-study work visa once your existing one ends, but you must complete another eligible qualification in NZ first. This means the course must be at least 30 weeks long, is a bachelor or post-grad degree, and is higher on the NZQA framework than your previous qualification.

Can you bring your family if you have a post-study work visa?

You can bring your family with you on a post-study work visa. Your partner can get a work or visitors visa, and your children are eligible for a visitor visa or a student visa. Your children may be able to study fee free as domestic students. 

Start your journey towards NZ permanent residency today

If PR in Aotearoa is your goal, then a post study visa gives you the time you need to find the perfect job. Contact IDP to find out how you can study in NZ, how the post study visa works, and what skills are in-demand. Make yourself an immigration candidate that NZ wants, and have the life you’ve always wanted.

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