The consultation into overseas student work rights has been launched by the Immigration Minister of New Zealand Iain Lees-Galloway. The Minister said that the changes are aimed at ending the exploitation of immigrants. It is also to ensure that the immigrants who are offered the PR Visa contribute to the skills needed by the nation, he added.
The Immigration Minister elaborated that many overseas students are being falsely guided regarding work rights after studies. They are being misled regarding PR visa being fast-tracked, he added, as quoted by the NZ Herald Co NZ.
Iain Lees-Galloway said that this is resulting in the decline of average skills levels of immigrants that are offered the PR Visa. Overseas students are being exploited by select fraud and corrupt agents, education providers, and employers added the Immigration Minister.
The changes that are proposed include eliminating the requirement of a particular employer sponsoring the work visas post-study. The review of overseas student work rights will also include other aspects.
Those who are studying in level 9 or 8 qualifications will be required to be in a specified course in the skills shortage list for long-term skills. This is for their partners to be qualified for an open work permit. It will also be required for enrolling children in free of fee schools.
New Zealand Universities and New Zealand Investment and Immigration Association have welcomed the changes. The public will have the opportunity express their views from 5 June.
Chris Whelan Executive Director of Universities New Zealand said that the proposed changes will ease things for overseas students. It will also motivate them to obtain qualifications that will enhance chances for obtaining meaningful employment, added Whelan.
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