Working in New Zealand

Am I eligible to work in New Zealand while studying?

Students enrolled in full degree programmes, that are at least 1 years of duration, are permitted to work up to 20 hours per week under the terms of their student visas. You need an Inland Revenue Department (IRD) number before you are able to work. Visit the IRD website for forms and more information (a new window will open).

Remember that you must not undertake employment in New Zealand until you have permission from the New Zealand Immigration Service. Often this permission stating your right to work is automatically printed on your student visa label. However, if you believe you are entitled to work and it is not shown on your student visa label, you should come and see the International Student Support and request a variation of conditions (VOC).

For the full list of conditions you must fullfil to be eligible to undertake employment, while holding a Student Visa, please see here.

Students may be granted permission to work full-time during the summer holiday period, provided they are undertaking a full-time course of study of 12 months or more duration.

Even if you are not eligible to work, it may be possible to get a VOC to work if it is a formal requirement for your degree. You will need to write a letter explaining your situation and have some documentation from your university to say that the work is part of your degree.

Spouses can apply for a work permit under the partnership scheme for the same period of time as their partner’s student permit. You need to apply for the visa personally at the Immigration New Zealand branch in town.

What is a Graduate Job Search Visa?

A Graduate Job Search Visa (GJS) is a 12 month open work visa issued to students who have successfully completed a qualification at a New Zealand University, which would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category. There are a few other condiions to be met to be eligible for this visa so please, check the requirements here. No job offer is required for this work visa and it provides a pathway to residence under the Skilled Migrant category.

What are the requirements of the GWV?

You can apply for the permit if you meet the following requirements:

  • You have completed a qualification at Massey University
  • The qualification you hold will gain points under the Skilled Migrant Category. To see if you have a recognised qualification visit the Skilled Migrant Categories on the New Zealand Immigration website.
  • You submit your application within three months of the expiry date of your student permit and you are currently on a valid permit
  • You have $4,200 as evidence of funds

How do I apply?

If you meet all the requirements above, come and see us to apply for your GJS. Please bring the following documents:

  • A completed work visa application form
  • Your passport
  • Your student ID card
  • Evidence of $4,200 in funds i.e. bank statement showing minimum funds
  • The $350 application fee (if you apply thrpugh the International Student Support Office in your Campus)
  • A medical and x-ray certificate (if you have not submitted one in the past two years)
  • A Police Clearance from your home country (if you have not submitted one in the past two years)

How long will it take?

Application for a visa generally takes three (3) weeks if all documentation and requirements are met. However, Immigration New Zealand conducts a New Zealand police check at no cost to you which may delay your application.

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