New Zealand to Revise Student Work Rights: Important Changes Effective Oct 9

New Zealand is making significant changes to its student work rights, with updates set to roll out on October 9, 2023. These revisions will impact eligibility criteria and broaden opportunities for international students. Find out what these changes mean for you.

New Zealand is set to introduce significant updates to the work rights of international students, taking effect from October 9, 2023.

These changes are closely tied to the new criteria for the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa. In an effort to provide clarity and inclusivity, the amendments encompass several key aspects:

Revise Student Work Rights

1. Streamlined Qualification Criteria

One of the most notable changes is the removal of references to the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa within the in-study work instructions. Instead, eligibility for in-study work rights will be determined by the qualification’s programme level and type, making the process more straightforward for students.

2. Elimination of ANZSCO Occupation Requirement

The updated guidelines will no longer necessitate that a course be relevant to the Australian and New Zealand Standard Classification of Occupations (ANZSCO) occupation at skill levels 3-5. This adjustment broadens the scope of qualifying programs, benefiting a wider range of students.


3. Expanded Eligibility for In-Study Work Rights

As a result of these changes, students enrolled in full-time programs leading to a New Zealand qualification at Level 4 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQCF) will now be eligible for in-study work rights.

However, it’s important to note that training schemes and micro-credentials will remain ineligible for in-study work rights.

4. Full-Time Study Requirement

Generally, students must be engaged in full-time study to qualify for a student visa and its accompanying in-study work rights. However, exceptions will apply for students who fall into one of two categories:

  • Those completing a course of study that qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa.
  • Students in their final semester of a program lasting a minimum of 2 academic years.

This flexibility allows students with a part-time study load in their last semester to maintain their student visa status. Furthermore, these instructions will be updated to reference qualifications at Level 4 and higher.


Must Read: New Zealand Adds 17 Occupations to Green List, Offering Fast-Track to Residency


These changes aim to facilitate a more inclusive and accommodating environment for international students in New Zealand. Students and institutions alike should prepare for these updates, which will be implemented on October 9, 2023.

New Zealand remains committed to welcoming and supporting students from around the world in their educational pursuits.

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Manish Khandelwal
Manish Khandelwal

Manish Khandelwal, a travel-tech enthusiast with over a decade of experience in the travel industry. Founder and Editor-in-Chief of, he's passionate about writing.

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