The New Zealand government has recently announced that it will grant open work visas to foreign students. These are foreign students who were unable to use their Post Study Work Visa due to the Covid-19 pandemic. Whoever travels to New Zealand for a holiday or business trip can usually easily apply for an NZeTA.
Open work visas for students with Post Study Work Visa
Because of the Covid-19 measures of the New Zealand government, students who applied for and were granted a Post Study Work Visa in 2020 were unable to use this visa. This is why the New Zealand immigration service is going to grant open work visas to these students.
Who is eligible?
Anyone who was granted a Post Study Work Visa between 19 March and 10 August 2020 and at that time was not staying in New Zealand is possibly eligible for an open work visa. To profit from the new scheme, the applicant must not hold another valid New Zealand visa and temporarily not reside in New Zealand. Those who are eligible for an open work visa can enter New Zealand between 30 March and 29 September 2023, with this visa. From the day of arrival in New Zealand, the visa is valid for 12 months. The open work visa allows individuals to work in the country for one year from the date of entry.
Why does New Zealand appeal to students?
There are various reasons why New Zealand is a popular destination for foreign students. First, New Zealand is known for its high-quality education. Its universities and educational institutions are worldwide renowned for their academic excellence and research possibilities. The country offers a wide variety of courses and programs in various fields, giving students ample choice to pursue their desired field of study. In addition, the country is known for its safe and welcoming environment. New Zealand is one of the safest countries in the world, which makes it an appealing destination for international students and their families. The friendly and inclusive culture of the country also adds to the overall positive experience of students.
Employment and beautiful landscapes
What should also certainly not be overlooked is that New Zealand is known for its beautiful landscapes, unspoiled nature and recreational outdoor possibilities. During their study trips, students can enjoy the unique environments the country has to offer. New Zealand is characterised by a variety of landscapes, from mountains and beaches to forests and lakes, offering plenty of opportunities for adventure and relaxation. What attracts foreign students the most to New Zealand is the possibility to stay and work in the country after their studies. The country offers a wide range of employment possibilities for international students. Even while studying, students are allowed to work part-time to support themselves financially and gain valuable work experience. In addition, international students are eligible for a Post Study Work Visa after completing their studies, allowing them to gain professional experience in the country.
Number of foreign employees and students increases gradually
In March 2023, New Zealand had about 34,000 international students with study visas. This is an increase of about 98% in comparison to August 2022, when New Zealand reopened its borders and the issuance of visa applications resumed.
The number of people currently travelling to New Zealand for work and study opportunities is not yet at pre-Covid-19 pandemic levels but is steadily rising. According to a report by the New Zealand Ministry of Business, Innovation, and Employment, about 16,692 people travelled to New Zealand on a work visa in the first month of 2023. In comparison, in February 2020, before the first Covid-19 measures were announced, about 20,551 people arrived in the country on a work visa.
Travelling to New Zealand for business with an NZeTA
It is not necessary to apply for a work visa for all work-related travel. If you travel to New Zealand for business, for example, to attend a business meeting, visit business events, or for an interview, you can apply for an NZeTA. You can easily apply for this visa online. To apply for an NZeTA for a business trip, you select the option ‘Business’ in the NZeTA application form under ‘Purpose trip’. If there are multiple travel purposes applicable to your trip, select the option ‘Tourism’. In that case, you can also use the NZeTA for a business trip. However, always keep in mind the requirements for applying for an NZeTA.
Once the NZeTA is granted, you can make an unlimited number of trips to New Zealand during the 2-year validity period. With this visa, you can stay up to three consecutive months in the country per trip. Per calendar year, you can stay up to 6 months in New Zealand with an NZeTA.
If you have a travel purpose that does not qualify you for an NZeTA, for example, because you want to enter into employment with a New Zealand employer, you will have to apply for a physical visa. You can do so at the New Zealand immigration service.