International students often make study abroad decisions based on longer term opportunities in the study destination. This is certainly common for students who are looking to study in New Zealand.
There are a couple of things to keep in mind;
- When you apply for a student visa, you need to be a genuine student, with a plan to utilize the knowledge and skills you learn in New Zealand, when you return to your country after your studies
- When you complete your studies, depending on the course you take, you might have the option of a “Post study work visa”, and
- If you have a post study work visa, you can apply for a job, and often by having a suitable New Zealand qualification and local work experience, you will accumulate enough ‘points’ to make a skilled migrant visa application.
In effect this means, in terms of the migration pathway you could have a plan to return home to your country and choose a course that will benefit you in terms of your career in your home country. You can also keep in mind the “skilled migrant” residency category in case you find that you would like to stay longer in New Zealand, and in case you find the necessary job opportunities to be successful in a skilled migrant residency application.
New Zealand utilises a points based system in the processing of Skilled Migrant visas. Potential migrants are awarded points for things such as age (the younger the more points), work experience (the more skilled work experience the better), expertise or qualifications in skills shortage disciplines and qualifications gained in New Zealand (the higher the qualification the more points).
Having a New Zealand qualification and a job offer after graduation gives individuals a big advantage when making a Skilled migrant visa application, as often potential migrants fall short of the required points to be considered in this category, without the points given to NZ qualifications and employment.
If you are deciding to study in New Zealand, you might like to leave open the option of applying for an open work visa at the end of studies, followed by an application for residency under the Skilled Migrant category. In this case it can be worthwhile to apply for qualifications which are in demand in New Zealand and / or on one of the Skills Shortage lists. Completion of such qualifications will give you a better chance of successfully finding skilled employment after graduation and more points towards a residency application.
Work experience and qualifications giving points to residency fall across a number of fields and Immigration New Zealand regularly updates their information on the skills the New Zealand labour market needs.
In terms of general labour market trends, Immigration has identified a list of occupations which are in strong demand, they are included in the “Green List” here:
If you are deciding what to study and would like to study in an area where there is a shortage of workers and many job vacancies, it could be useful to consider the Green list.
If you would like to apply to study in New Zealand we can assist you with this, and when it is time to consider making an application for either an Open Work Visa (post study) and/or a Skilled Migrant visa, we are here to assist with your Immigration application also, in order to give you the best chance of reaching your goals.