On 8 August 2018, the government announced changes to the Post-study work visa policy to ensure that post-study pathways for international students are fit for purpose and provide the skills and qualifications New Zealand needs. These changes will come into effect on 26 November 2018.

The changes will:

remove the employer-assisted post-study work visas at all levels
provide a 1-year Post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications, with an additional year for Graduate Diploma graduates who are working towards registration with a professional or trade body
provide a 2-year Post-study open work visa for students studying Level 4 to 6 and non-degree Level 7 qualifications outside Auckland, provided study is completed by December 2021, at which point the entitlement for post-study work rights reverts to a 1-year Post-study open work visa
provide a 3-year Post-study open work visa for degree Level 7 or above qualifications
require international students studying Level 8 qualifications to be in an area specified on the Long Term Skill Shortage list in order for their partner to be eligible for an open work visa.