New Zealand is gaining popularity as a destination for higher education. In this article, we lay out the blueprint for a student’s journey to securing permanent residency in New Zealand.
1. Start by getting an admit.
Prepare and appear for exams like TOEFL, IELTS, GRE etc. Draft your SOPs, LORs, and essays. Use various sources to collect information about the universities that you want to apply for – like their eligibility criteria, application procedure etc. Send in your application before the deadline and make sure that you have a valid passport.
2. Get a student visa.
If your course is for less than 12 weeks, or your country has a visa-free agreement with New Zealand, you don’t need a visa. In all other cases you’ll need to apply for a New Zealand student visa. You’ll be required to show a confirmed offer of admission and establish that you have sufficient funds – either through loans or personal sources – to cover your educational expenses.
2. Grab an internship to increase your chances of full time employment.
You may work part-time, up to 20 hours per week, and full-time during scheduled holidays. In special cases, some students may be allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week during the term.Work may be part of your qualification. For example, if your programme includes a set number of hours of required work experience, this can be additional to the 20 hours per week.
You may be eligible to work full-time during all scheduled breaks if your programme is for one academic year, AND is worth 120 credits or more. If your programme is full-time for one academic year but worth less than 120 credits, you may be able to work full-time during the Christmas and New Year holiday break.
4. Get a work permit.
To encourage international students to stay after completing their courses, the New Zealand government, allows those with no job offers in hand to get a visa for up to 12 months during which they can search for a job – quite awesome, isn’t it! The job needs to have a base salary of at least NZ$55,000 for you to be eligible for a work visa.
Once you have got your job; you can apply for a work visa. There are four main types of work visas, which range from resident to temporary in nature.
If you have skills, qualifications or experience that New Zealand needs; you may be able to directly apply for a resident work visa under the Skilled Migrant Category. The Skilled Migrant Category is a visa granted on a system based on factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment.
- Work to Residence: Long Term Skill Shortage
If you have a permanent or long-term job offer in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List and your qualifications and experience match, you could apply for a Work to Residence Visa. You’ll need to meet the age, health and character requirements. This visa offers a pathway to New Zealand residence. Curious whether your quality? You can find our here: http://skillshortages.immigration.govt.nz
- Work to Residence: Accredited Employer
If you have a long-term or permanent job offer from an Immigration New Zealand accredited employer, you can apply for this work to residence visa. You’ll need to meet the age, health and character requirements, and your job offer will need to meet certain requirements. This visa is for people who are looking for a pathway to live in New Zealand and who have a skill that’s needed by an accredited employer.
A temporary work visa allows you to live and work in New Zealand for a set period of time. Working temporarily can be used as a step towards gaining residence and settling here permanently.
5. Apply for permanent residency.
If you’ve been a resident visa holder for 2 years or more, and can show a commitment to living in New Zealand, you can apply for a Permanent Resident Visa. Once granted, you can live and work in New Zealand permanently and move to and from New Zealand without travel limitations.
6. Get citizenship.
You can further apply for a citizenship in New Zealand if you fulfill the following criteria
- you’ve lived here for at least the last 5 years
- you intend to keep living here
- you speak English, and
- you're of good character; i.e, no criminal records etc.
Best of luck