After changing a number of visa application requirements last month, the Kiwi-government have now further toughened-up their visa conditions by announcing that work visa holders will now have to earn at least NZ$ 48 859,00.
The changes, which follow an increase in the visas’ points requirement, will see applicants needing to meet a minimum income of $48,859 per year for a high-skilled visa and $73,299 per year for a low-skilled visa. The salaries represent New Zealand’s median wage and 1.5 times New Zealand’s median wage, respectively.
While most skilled and highly skilled migrants in New Zealand typically earn comfortably more than the new threshold it is the effect the new visa requirement will have on freshly qualified, New Zealand produced, foreign students.
While the New Zealand’s Labor Party (the official opposition) expressed their concerns saying it would make staying in New Zealand very difficult for top locally produced university graduates.
Being freshly qualified and inexperienced meant that good quality young professionals were willing to work their way up the pay scale, but the new requirement means they are out priced and too expensive.
“The government has a Kiwis first approach to immigration and these changes are designed to strike the right balance between reinforcing the temporary nature of Essential Skills work visas and encouraging employers to take on more Kiwis and invest in the training to upskill them,” immigration minister Michael Woodhouse said in a statement.
“It’s important that our immigration settings are attracting the right people, with the right skills, to help fill genuine skill shortages and contribute to our growing economy.”
Why does New Zealand remain so popular with international students?
The new rules might make it a bit harder to find a job in New Zealand once you have qualified, but to be honest; students holding a qualification from a New Zealand University still trumps those with a South African qualification when applying for a job in New Zealand, Australia and even in the UK.
Many international students dream about studying at one of New Zealand’s 8 universities, and it’s not surprising as all 8 are considered amongst the top 3% worldwide! Graduates walk away with respected qualifications recognized in all first world economies.
Students go to New Zealand to study. It is the fourth most peaceful place in the world to complete your education.
And best of all; students are STILL five times more likely to find a job (paying the minimum) in New Zealand than they are locally.
Do you qualify to study in New Zealand?
If you’re planning to study in New Zealand full time for more than three months you’ll need a student visa. Below are some of the requirements you will have to meet before a visa will be granted, but there is a whole application process to consider. Speak to your accredited New Zealand immigration officer about what to expect and how to prepare your application.
• an offer of place from an educational institution approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
• a written guarantee from an institution or person that suitable accommodation is available to you in New Zealand (if you're under 18 years)
• evidence of sufficient funds to live on while you are studying
• a return air ticket to your country, or evidence of sufficient funds to buy one.
• If you’re spending six months or more here in New Zealand you may need to be screened for tuberculosis
• If you’re over 17 and intending to be in New Zealand for over two years, a police certificate will be required to show that you are of good character
If your course is three months or less, you don’t need a student visa: just a visitor visa.