Working on a student visa

You may be able to work while you’re studying, but only under certain circumstances.

If you have a Student Visa, you may be able to work part-time, up to 20 hours per week, and full-time during scheduled holidays.

Check your visa – it will show if and when you are allowed to work while you are studying in New Zealand.

Working during the term

To work for up to 20 hours per week, you must meet one of seven requirements. The most common requirements are:

  • Your study programme is for at least two years.
  • The study leads to a New Zealand qualification that gains points under the Skilled Migrant Category.
  • You are taking an English language course that meets conditions approved by Immigration New Zealand.

For more information on who may work while studying, please see this Immigration New Zealand page.

In special cases, some students may be allowed to work for more than 20 hours a week.

Work may be part of your qualification. For example, if your programme includes a set number of hours of required work experience, this can be additional to the 20 hours per week.

Students of a masters by research or doctoral degree at a New Zealand institution may work full-time while they are studying.

Working during scheduled breaks

During scheduled breaks eligible students may work full-time.

You may be eligible to work full-time during all scheduled breaks if your programme is for one academic year, AND is worth 120 credits or more.

If your programme is full-time for one academic year but worth less than 120 credits, you may be able to work full-time during the Christmas and New Year holiday break.

NOTE:

Your e-visa or visa label in your passport should state if and when you may work. You may also have a letter from Immigration New Zealand stating that your visa allows you to work.

If you are found to be in breach of your visa conditions, the penalties may include deportation. If you have questions about your rights, talk to an Immigration New Zealand branch officer or a licensed immigration adviser.