INZ Updates: Work Visa Eligibility for Partners of Student Visa Holders

 Immigration New Zealand (INZ) recently announced significant changes to the Green List, affecting the work eligibility criteria for partners of student visa holders. These amendments aim to provide more opportunities for partners of students pursuing certain qualifications, enhancing the overall appeal of studying in New Zealand.
 

Understanding the Green List Changes

On June 21, 2024, INZ issued Amendment Circular No. 2024-14, outlining updates to the operational manual that expand work visa eligibility for partners of student visa holders. This change primarily impacts partners of students who are studying qualifications that are now included on the Green List, particularly those requiring occupational registration.

Key Details of the Amendment

Under the updated immigration instruction WF4.1, partners of student visa holders may be eligible for work visas if their partner is studying a level 7 or 8 qualification that is specified on the Green List. This update includes qualifications necessary for occupational registration, thus broadening the scope of eligible qualifications and facilitating greater opportunities for work visas.

What is the Green List?

The Green List is a catalogue of occupations and qualifications that are in high demand in New Zealand. It is divided into two tiers:
  • Tier 1 occupations – granted immediate New Zealand residency via the ‘Straight to Residence‘ pathway
  • Tier 2 occupations – granted New Zealand residency after working for two years via the ‘Work to Residence‘ pathway

Updated Qualifications on the Green List

The updated Green List now includes various qualifications across several fields, such as healthcare and education. Here are some examples:
  • Health: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery, Bachelor of Midwifery, Bachelor of Nursing, etc.
  • Education: Bachelor of Education, Bachelor of Education (Early childhood teaching), Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood Education, etc.
These qualifications are comparable to New Zealand standards and are required for specific occupational registrations.
A full list of added qualifications can be found at the end of this article.

Impact on Partners of Student Visa Holders

The amendments extend work visa eligibility to partners of students who are studying towards qualifications listed in the Green List. This change means that if your partner is enrolled in a recognised level 7 or 8 qualification program requiring occupational registration, you may apply for a work visa.

Benefits of the Change

  • Increased Opportunities: More partners can now work in New Zealand, which can alleviate financial pressures and improve the overall living experience in the country.
  • Skill Utilisation: Partners with relevant skills and qualifications can contribute to the workforce, addressing skill shortages in critical sectors.
  • Enhanced Appeal for International Students: This change makes New Zealand a more attractive destination for international students, as their partners have better prospects for employment.

Considerations and Caveats

While these changes present new opportunities, there are several factors to consider:
  • Bachelor of Nursing and Education Degrees: Adding Bachelor of Nursing and multiple education degrees is significant, as these fields attract many students.
  • Expensive and Specialised Qualifications: Many of the listed qualifications are costly, particularly in the medical and engineering fields. This means that only wealthy students or those from affluent families are likely to benefit significantly. So, it may not cater to the broader student population.
  • Inconsistencies: There are some puzzling aspects, such as a Bachelor of Science without a specified major qualifying someone as a medical physicist or cardiac perfusionist, which seems impractical. Similarly, a Bachelor of Midwifery qualifying for roles like drug and alcohol counselor raises questions. Given these inconsistencies, it’s advisable to verify specific registration requirements with the relevant organisations to ensure accuracy.

Conclusion

The recent changes to Immigration New Zealand’s Green List provide a valuable opportunity for partners of student visa holders. By including qualifications required for occupational registration, INZ has expanded the scope of work visa eligibility, enabling more partners to contribute to the New Zealand workforce. This update not only benefits the partners but also enhances New Zealand’s attractiveness as a destination for international students.

However, prospective applicants should carefully consider the specifics of these qualifications and verify details with relevant registration bodies to avoid misunderstandings.

The updated Green List includes various level 7 and 8 qualifications across multiple fields such as healthcare, education, and social service. For a detailed list, refer to the INZ Green List.

Partners can now apply for work visas if their partner is studying a recognized qualification on the Green List. This allows them to work in New Zealand, providing financial support and better integration into the community.

The changes were outlined in Amendment Circular No. 2024-14 and took effect from June 10, 2024.

Partners of students studying non-listed qualifications may have varying eligibility for work visas depending on the level of the qualification. Here’s a clearer explanation:
 
Partners of students studying certain qualifications can apply for work visas if the student is enrolled in:
  • Level 9 and 10 programs (Master’s and PhD)
  • Level 7 or 8 programs that are on the
    • Green List (including the newly added ones)
    • Qualifications Eligible for a Post Study Work Visa List
However, partners of students studying non-listed qualifications at Levels 8 and below may only apply for a visitor visa. While on a visitor visa, they can look for a job. If they find one and meet the criteria, they can apply for an accredited employer work visa, but they cannot work while on the visitor visa.
Yes, if your partner is the child’s other parent and is eligible for a work visa.
 
Only students studying level 10 PhD programmes can support their children directly via their student visa to study at school as domestic students. However, if your partner is eligible for a work visa, the partner can support your shared child to study at school on a student visa. This is great for children aged 5 to 18!
 
If your child is an infant aged 0 to 4, a visitor visa is more appropriate for them. Children can attend a crèche or kindergarten without requiring a student visa, school attendance in New Zealand is only compulsory from age 5.
 
If your partner is eligible for a work visa but is the child’s step-parent (your child’s other parent was an ex-partner, not your current partner), then your partner cannot support your child’s domestic student visa. Your partner must be the child’s biological or adoptive parent to do this.
 
Children up to the age of 19 may apply for visitor visas as the children of a student, regardless of the course you choose. However, this may be impractical for school aged children as they cannot attend school on a visitor visa for more than 3 months per year.
 
If your partner is only eligible for a visitor visa, then your child can only apply for a visitor visa as well.

Full List Of The Added Qualifications:

  • Dental Studies
    • Bachelor of Dental Surgery
    • Bachelor of Dental Technology
    • Bachelor of Dental Technology with Honours
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Endorsement in Dental Therapy)
    • Bachelor of Oral Health
    • Bachelor of Health Science in Oral Health
  • Medicine and Surgery
    • MBChB: Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery
    • Bachelor of Midwifery
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Midwifery)
    • Bachelor of Nursing
    • Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science
    • Bachelor of Medical Laboratory Science with Honours
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Perioperative Practice)
    • Bachelor of Psychology
    • Bachelor of Science
    • Bachelor of Science in Physics (Medical Physics and Imaging Technology)
    • Bachelor of Science with Honours in Medical Physics
    • Bachelor of Applied Science
    • Bachelor of Biomedical Science
    • Bachelor of Engineering (Honours) in Biomedical Engineering
    • Bachelor of Pharmacy
    • Bachelor of Physiotherapy
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Physiotherapy)
    • Bachelor’s degree in speech and language therapy with Honours
    • Bachelor of Medical Imaging
    • Bachelor of Applied Science (Medical Imaging Technology)
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Medical Imaging)
    • Bachelor of Medical Imaging (Honours) Medical Radiation Therapist
    • Bachelor of Radiation Therapy
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Occupational Therapy)
    • Bachelor of Occupational Therapy (at Otago Polytechnic or Waikato Institute of Technology (Wintec)
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Podiatry)
    • Bachelor of Health Science
    • Bachelor of Health Science in Paramedicine
    • Bachelor of Health Science (Paramedic)
  • Veterinary Science
    • Bachelor of Veterinary Science
  • Counselling and Social Services
    • Bachelor of Counselling
    • Bachelor of Counselling and Addiction Practice
    • Bachelor of Health Sciences (Mental Health and Addiction)
    • Bachelor of Applied Counselling
    • Bachelor of Health Science in Counselling
    • Bachelor of Social Services (Counselling)
    • Bachelor of Social Work
    • Bachelor of Social Work (Honours)
    • Bachelor of Applied Social Work
    • Bachelor of Bicultural Social Work
    • Bachelor of Social Practice
  • Education
    • Bachelor of Education
    • Bachelor of Education (Early childhood teaching)
    • Bachelor of Education (Teaching) Early Childhood Education
    • Bachelor of Teaching and Learning (Early Childhood)
    • Bachelor of Teaching (Early Childhood Education)
    • Poutuarongo Whakaakoranga Kōhungahunga (PWK) (Taumata 7 Rumaki Māori Early Childhood) Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood
    • Te Tohu Paetahi Whakaako Kohungahunga: Bachelor of Teaching Early Childhood Education
    • Bachelor of Education (Early Childhood)
    • Bachelor of Education (Technology)
    • Bachelor of Teaching
  • Nutrition, Food Science, and Dietetics
    • Bachelor of Science with a major in nutrition, food science or dietetics
  • Optometry
    • Bachelor of Optometry
  • Genetics
    • Bachelor of Science in Genetics
  • Musculoskeletal Health
    • Bachelor of Musculoskeletal Health

Related Posts

On 30 September 2021, the Government announced a new one-off residence visa pathway for some temporary work visa holders currently in New Zealand. Some people arriving in New Zealand between
Search

Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet