Staying to work after study

To stay in NZ to work after your studies, you’ll need a work visa.

If you wish to stay in New Zealand and work after you have finished your studies, you will need the right visa.

International students who have achieved a New Zealand qualification may be allowed to gain experience in work related to their studies.

Depending on what you study, you may be able to work in New Zealand for up to four years, and possibly even gain residence.

First you need to apply for a visa and have it approved. The study to work pathway has two steps:

  1. Post-study work visa (open). This visa gives you up to 12 months to get a job in a field related to your studies. While you are looking for a job in your field you are allowed to work in any job to support yourself.
  2. Post-study work visa (employer assisted). This visa lets you stay in New Zealand to gain work experience for a further two years (or three years if work experience is required as part of a professional registration). This visa relates to a specific job with a specific employer.

After your post-study work visa (employer assisted) you may be eligible to apply for a New Zealand resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category. If your work is in an occupation that has skill shortages, this improves your chances of being allowed to stay, either with work visas or residence.

Whatever visa you apply for, you will need to pass health and character checks.

For more information on resident visas to work in New Zealand indefinitely, including videos from others who have stayed to work after studying in New Zealand, see newzealandnow.govt.nz.