NEW ZEALAND EDUCATION

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Work Visa

Work Visa options

JOB Search Visa / Work Visa
New Zealand’s immigration policies include a post-study work pathway for international students who have completed a New Zealand qualification. This lets you find a job and get work experience in a field directly related to your studies, and makes it easier to apply for residence.

There are two types of work visa specifically for students who have completed their tertiary study in New Zealand:

  1. The Post-study work visa (open). This work visa used to be known as the “Graduate Job Search Visa”. This gives you up to 12 months to find a job that is relevant to your studies
  2. The Post-study work visa (employer assisted). This option lets you work in a specific job, which must be relevant to your studies, for two more years. Check out who is eligible for a Post-study work visa.

Job Search Centres in most of the Education Institutions offer assistance to graduates who wish to find employment in New Zealand. This assistance includes help with interview skills, CV preparation and careers guidance, as well as information on employment consultants and useful job search websites.

Contact the Student Job Search Centre before the end of your programme if you intend to look for employment opportunities. You will require a Post-Study Work Visa (Open) which can be applied with assistance from the Education institution.

Post Study Work Visa (open) / Job Search Visa

If you are a student who has completed a qualification or qualifications in New Zealand, but you do not have a job offer, you may be eligible for a Post-study work visa – open for a maximum of 12 months. Then, when you have found a job, you can apply for a further visa for up to two or three years under the Study to Work category.

To be eligible for a Post-study work visa (open) you must:

  • have successfully completed a qualification in New Zealand that meets the study to work qualification requirements 
  • apply no later than three months (six months if you have completed a doctoral qualification) after the end date of the student visa for that qualification
  • provide evidence to Immigration New Zealand of a minimum of NZ$4,200 available to maintain yourself during your 12-month stay in New Zealand.

Post Study Work Visa (employer assisted)

  • If you are a student with an offer of employment relevant to your qualification, you may be eligible for a work visa and for a maximum period of:
  • two years; or
  • three years, if you are working towards obtaining a membership or registration from a New Zealand professional association which requires more than two years of relevant practical work experience.

You will need to provide evidence:

  • of the relevance of your job offer to your qualification, and
  • that you have successfully completed a qualification or qualifications in New Zealand that meets the Study to Work qualification requirements.

If you are applying for a three-year work visa because you are working towards obtaining a membership or registration from a New Zealand professional association (such as the New Zealand Institute of Chartered Accountants or the New Zealand Registered Architects Board), you need to provide Immigration New Zeakland with more evidence.

  • You must show that you need membership or registration to fully perform your professional duties.
  • You must show that the employment is considered relevant practical experience by the professional association. Evidence might include documentation from the professional association, or from the employer, which says how the employment meets the association’s requirements.
  • You must show that your New Zealand qualification meets the requirements for registration or membership of the professional association.

Your application for a work visa must be made no later than three months (six months if you have completed a doctoral qualification) after the end date of your student visa for that programme of study or qualification, unless you hold a Post-study work visa (open).

Working temporarily in New Zealand 
Temporary work visas – for people who:

  1. have a job offer from a New Zealand employer
  2. are coming here for a particular purpose or event
  3. want to gain work experience or work after studying in New Zealand
  4. want to join a partner here and work.

Requirements
If you have decided to come to New Zealand to work temporarily, you will probably need to apply for a work visa. Find out if you do, and what requirements you need to meet.

How to apply
If you think that you meet the requirements, then follow our steps to applying for a temporary work visa.

After you are accepted
If you have been in New Zealand for a while and your circumstances have changed, find out how your visa is affected.

Want to study or train while holding a temporary work visa?
All temporary visa holders may study for:

  • up to three months per visa or
  • three months in every 12-month period if the visa is granted for multiple years. You won’t need to apply for a student visa or variation of conditions.

If you’re here on a work visa and you want to study full time for longer than three months, you need to apply for a student visa.

If you are here on a work visa and you want to study part time for longer than three months, you can apply for a variation of conditions to your current visa.