Changes to Post-Study Work Rights on 26 November 2018

As has been repeatedly signalled since June 2018, the Government has now issued new immigration instructions regarding Post-Study Work Visas. These take effect from 26 November 2018. You can read the full announcement and get the details here (please note that some of this information was already published in August 2018):

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/changes-to-post-study-work-rights-for-international-students-come-into-effect-on-26-november-2018

We also know that the fee for a Post-Study Work visa will now be NZD$495.00:

https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/immigration-fees-and-levies-changes

The new instructions also suggest (although this has yet to be clarified) that those who wish to extend their existing Post-Study Open Work Visa for a further two years will need to lodge a new application for a Post-Study Work visa, which will cost NZD$495.00.

Those applying for Post-Study Work visas still have to show that they have NZZD$4,200.00 to support themselves. It is unclear whether this requirement will apply to those who are applying for the two year extension.

Those who hold existing Post-Study Employer Assisted Work visas will be able to apply for a Variation of Conditions to have their employer/location/occupation conditions removed (therefore turning it into an Open Work visa).

Regarding the fees for Partnership Work Visas (including those for Partners of Students or Post-Study Open Work Visa holders), the updated fee information lists the cost as NZD$635.00. To the best of our knowledge, Partnership forms remain the same.

If you are unsure if or how you will be affected, please contact us for an appointment.

Changes to post-study work rights announced on 8 August 2018

The Government finally announced its long-awaited policy changes to international student work rights yesterday afternoon. The full announcement on the Immigration New Zealand website is attached below. We have also provided a link to the page in the ‘News and Notifications’ section of the INZ website: https://www.immigration.govt.nz/about-us/media-centre/news-notifications/changes-to-post-study-work-rights-for-international-students

The web page also has three PDFs available for download. If you are an international student, or if you hold a post-study open work visa or post-study employer assisted work visa, please read the Student Factsheet. This information will also be available on our Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/hewatgalt/?ref=aymt_homepage_panel

Hewat Galt will be conducting seminars explaining what these changes will mean for current and former students. Our first seminar was at the Southern Institute of Technology on Tuesday 14 August 2018. You can listen to a podcast of the seminar here:

We are happy to conduct additional seminars on this or any other immigration topic as required. Please contact shrutika@hewatgalt.co.nz to make arrangements.

Changes to post-study work rights for international students

 

Wednesday, 8 August 2018

Following a public consultation, Government has come up with changes to immigration settings that impact post-study work rights for international students.

The changes are:

  • to remove the employer-assisted post-study work visas at all levels;
  • to provide a one-year post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 – 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications, with an additional year for Graduate Diploma graduates who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body;
  • to provide a two-year post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 – 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications outside Auckland, provided study is completed by December 2021, at which point the entitlement for post-study work rights reverts to a one-year post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 – 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications with an additional year for Graduate Diploma graduates who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body;
  • to provide a three-year post-study open work visa for degree Level 7 or above qualifications; and
  • to require international students studying Level 8 qualifications to be in an area specified on the Long Term Skills Shortage list, in order for their partner to be eligible for an open work visa, and in turn the partners’ dependent children to be eligible for fee-free domestic schooling.

These changes come into effect on 26 November 2018.

They are intended to support the attraction of international students studying at higher levels and preserve a pathway to residence for those with the skills and qualifications New Zealand needs, specifically through the link between more generous post-study work rights to higher level qualifications.

There has been significant growth in the international education sector over the last few years, especially in below degree level qualifications. As a result, there has been a decline in the skill level of people moving through the immigration system and granted permanent residency.

We want to ensure that post-study pathways for international students are fit-for-purpose and contribute the skills and qualifications New Zealand needs.

The Government wants to support the transition to these new immigration settings. These changes include a three year, time-limited incentive for international students to study outside Auckland. This is to ensure the benefits of international education are shared throughout all the regions of New Zealand, supporting the Government’s aims to lift regional investment, growth and productivity.

There is a three year sunset clause, to enable those parts of the sector that are most affected by the changes (Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) and Private Training Establishments (PTEs)) to be able to successfully transition, over time, to new immigration settings. It also supports the current ITP Roadmap 2020 work underway by the Tertiary Education Commission on the long-term viability of ITPs, while ensuring that Government goals for regional growth are not undermined.

These changes will be grand-parented, so they will not impact current post-study work visa holders or current students who are undertaking a qualification that (once completed) will meet the qualification requirements as set out in current immigration settings.

These changes support the Government’s broader plans for a high quality international system in order to generate educational, economic, social and cultural benefits to New Zealand.

New Government proposals affecting most international travelers to New Zealand

On 15 June the Government announced proposals to change how people get permission to travel to New Zealand, what they will have to pay as visitors, and the fees and levies paid by visa applicants.

Anyone who is interested can read the proposals and give feedback to the Government before 5.00 pm on Friday 15 July 2018. The full proposals and links to submit feedback are on the MBIE website:

http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/border-changes

What are the proposals?

1. An International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy of $25 to $35 on most international visitors to NZ who plan to stay for 12 months or less. It will be collected as an extra cost on top of their visa or, for those who have a visa waiver, paid when they apply for an Electronic Travel Authority. It will not apply to:

  • Australian citizens and Australian permanent residents
  • People from Pacific Islands Forum countries, such as Tonga and Samoa
  • Those on diplomatic, military, medical and humanitarian visas
  • Those transiting NZ
  • Business Visitor visa and APEC Business Traveller Card holders
  • Children under two years old

2. The introduction of an Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) similar to that employed by other countries such as Canada. Anyone who does not need to apply for a visa to come to NZ (except NZ citizens, NZ residents and Australian citizens) will fill out a simple form (similar to an arrival card) and pay a fee online (around $9) before travelling to NZ. An ETA will be valid for two years. If a traveller discloses certain criminal convictions or that they are travelling for medical care, they will require a visa.

3. A review of Immigration Fees and Levies. The Government proposes to adjust visa fees and remove the $20 discount for online applications. It also proposes to increase the employer accreditation fee.

Summary of proposed changes:

  • Work visas (excluding Recognised Seasonal Employers, Working Holiday and humanitarian work visas)   + 54%
  • Student visas – 6.5%
  • Group visitor visas    – 45%
  • Business visas     – 1%
  • Other visas   + 10%
  • Immigration levies   + 43%

If they become law, when would these changes happen?

The Government proposes to introduce the Visitor Levy and ETA in the second half of 2019. The new visa fee and levy rates are likely to come into effect in November 2018.

For further advice, please contact Shane Robinson or Scott Donaldson.

New Government proposals affecting international students and their families

On 2 June the Government announced proposals to change post-study work rights for international students. There is also a proposal to change work rights for their partners and study rights for dependent children.

Anyone who is interested can read the proposals and give feedback to the Government before 5.00 pm on Friday 29 June 2018. The full proposals and links to submit feedback are on the MBIE website:

http://www.mbie.govt.nz/info-services/immigration/consultations/immigration-settings-for-international-students

Final changes will be announced in August 2018.

What are the proposals?

  1. To remove post-study employer assisted work visas entirely at all levels.
  2. To provide a one year post-study open work visa for non-degree courses (at or below level 7).
  3. To provide a three year post-study open work visa for degree courses (at or above level 7).
  4. To require students studying at non-degree level 7 (such as graduate diplomas) to study in New Zealand for at least two years to be entitled to post-study work visas.
  5. To change the requirements for a ‘Partner of a student’ work visa (which also allows the partner’s dependent children to qualify for fee-free compulsory schooling) to require the international student partner studying at level 8 or 9 to be studying in an area specified on the Long Term Skill Shortage List.

If the proposals become law, what will happen?

  • If you are studying a course of less than two years at non-degree level 7 or below, you won’t be able to get a post-study work visa.
  • If you are studying a course of at least two years at non-degree level 7 or below, you can get a one year post-study work visa.
  • If you are studying a course at degree level 7 or above, you can get a three year post-study work visa.
  • If you are the partner of an international student studying at level 7, 8 or 9, you will only be eligible for a ‘partner of a student work visa’ if that study is in an area specified on the Long Term Skill Shortage List. Without a ‘partner of a student work visa’, your children will not qualify as domestic students. They will have to pay international student fees unless they qualify in some other way.

What about those who are already here?

The Minister has said that any changes in work rights won’t affect those already here. They will affect students who come to NZ from 2019 onwards. That probably means that any student or post-study work visa applications from 2019 on will be affected.

For further advice, please contact Shane Robinson or Scott Donaldson.

What happens to our pets if I separate from my partner?

In most circumstances people are able to come to an agreement about who should keep the pets following a separation. However, if this is not the case then the pets are treated as family chattels and are subject to equal sharing rules under the Property (Relationships) Act. The Courts will decide on who is best suited to keep the pets, however this will depend on the particular facts of your situation.

For further advice, please make an appointment with Malcolm McKenzie or Scott Donaldson.

AML Compliance Coming

From 1 July 2018 we will be required to obtain more information from you.  This is part of Hewat Galt’s compliance with the Anti Money Laundering and Counter Financing of Terrorism Act 2009 (AML/CFT).

The purpose of this Act is to prevent money laundering or the financing of any terrorism.  By asking you for more information, we are able to have more knowledge about the transactions we are undertaking on your behalf and we are able to ensure that we are not in breach of our requirements under the Act.  If we have reason to believe suspicion we are obligated to report this.

See further information here.

Does my name change if I get married?

If you get married, you can begin using your husband’s surname or continue using your original surname. An application for a legal name change is not required in either situation. For certain things (such as driver’s licences, passports, and the electoral roll) you may need to fill out an application form to update your details if you begin using your new surname. You will often need your marriage certificate as proof when filing these applications. Again, however, a legal name change is not required.

For further advice on this matter, please make an appointment with Scott Donaldson or Malcolm McKenzie.

I want to revoke my enduring power of attorney, do I need to tell my attorney?

We recommend that you notify your attorney if you wish to revoke your enduring power of attorney. Unless the attorney has been notified of the revocation, they may still act under the presumption that they have approval. It is best to seek further legal advice if you are considering revocation.

If you would like further advice regarding enduring powers of attorney, please make an appointment with Malcolm McKenzie or Scott Donaldson.

How do I appoint guardians for my children?

Your partner can be appointed as a guardian for your children upon application to the Family Court.

The acceptance of this application is subject to certain conditions:

  • The partner must have been sharing day-to-day care of the child for at least one year
  • Both parents must agree to the appointment of the guardian (unless one is deceased)
  • The partner must not have been involved in any proceedings relating to the harm of children, domestic violence, or care and protection proceedings

Testamentary guardians can also be appointed by the parent’s will upon their death. This appointment, however, is subject to challenge from other guardians of the child.

If you would like further advice regarding appointing a guardian for your child, please make an appointment with Scott Donaldson or Malcolm McKenzie.