To stay on in New Zealand and work after they have finished their studies, international students need the appropriate work visa.
New Zealand’s immigration policies include a graduate work pathway for international students who have achieved a New Zealand qualification, to enable them to gain work experience in a field directly related to the studies they have completed.
Depending on their area of study, they may have the opportunity to stay and work in New Zealand for up to four years, and possibly even gain residence.
First, however, they will need to apply for a visa and have it approved. The graduate pathway has two steps:
After working on a post-study work visa (employer assisted) a number of years, graduates may have sufficient New Zealand work experience to apply for a New Zealand residence visa. If their work is in an occupation that has skill shortages, then this improves their chances of being allowed to stay, either with work visas or residence.