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Proposed work visa boost for international university students

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International university students and New Zealanders alike would benefit from the Government’s proposed overhaul of post-study work visas, says Victoria University of Wellington.

Under proposals released at the weekend, international students who are degree-level or higher at Victoria University of Wellington and other New Zealand universities would qualify for a three-year post-study work visa rather than just a one- or two-year visa, which is the case at the moment.As well as allowing degree-level or higher international students three years to work after completing their studies, the visas would no longer require students to tie themselves to a specific employer. Currently, only students applying for one-year visas are not required to be ‘employer assisted’.“The proposed changes to work visa arrangements are great news for international university students,” says Julia Innocente-Jones, Assistant Vice-Chancellor (International) at Victoria University of Wellington.“They would give all international students more freedom to secure the right role for themselves after they complete their studies and would also increase the amount of valuable New Zealand work experience degree-level or higher students could gain after completing their studies.”Under the proposals, international students studying for anything less than a degree would only be entitled to apply for a one-year post-study visa.“This would encourage international students to secure the higher-value education Victoria University of Wellington and other universities provide, which would be better for the students, better for employers and better for New Zealand,” says Ms Innocente-Jones.In 2017, there were more than 3,500 international students at Victoria University of Wellington and data indicates the number will be significantly higher for 2018.The first trimester of the year, from March to June, saw the third consecutive annual increase in new international undergraduates at the University.“We have students from 114 countries and nearly half our academic staff are from overseas,” says Ms Innocente-Jones. “The global mix and atmosphere benefits both international and domestic students, as well as adding to the multicultural atmosphere of Wellington as a whole.”The Government’s work visa proposals are open to public feedback until 29 June.

  • Source: A Victoria University Releas