Graduates holding a work visa

International students who complete their studies in New Zealand can apply for a Post-study work visa. With this visa they can work for almost any employer.

Who can get a Post-study work visa

After an international student completes their studies in New Zealand they may be able to work here on a Post-study work visa. Depending on the level of their qualifications, they can work for 1, 2 or 3 years and for almost any employer. (They cannot work for employers who provide commercial sexual services.)

Post-study work visa

Someone with a New Zealand bachelor degree or post-graduate qualifications can usually work for 3 years. Someone with lower qualifications, but at least Level 4, can usually work for 1 or 2 years.

How long you can work on a Post-study work visa

Checking a graduate's work visa

It is your responsibility to check that a graduate has a visa that lets them work for you.

The quickest and most reliable way to find out is to use our online tool, VisaView. It holds information about the work rights for every migrant.

VisaView

You need a RealMe login to use VisaView.

Log in to VisaView with RealMe

You do not need to support a graduate's Post-study work visa application or provide us with any information when you hire them.

When they can start working for you

Many graduates will move straight from a student visa to a Post-study work visa. They can start working for you before their student visa expires as long as they only work the hours allowed by their student visa — you can find this information in VisaView. In most cases they will be able to work full time from the end of their course until their student visa expires.

Working on a student visa

When their Post-study work visa ends

Before their Post-study work visa expires, you may be able to support a graduate to apply for another type of work visa or for residence. To do this they must be working in skilled employment.

Get to know the work visa options

Further information

Our information sheet provides help if you are planning to hire graduates and students. Job applicants may provide this guide to you with their CV.

Information for employers on hiring international student graduates PDF 247KB

Being a good employer

All workers in New Zealand — citizens and migrants — have the same rights.

Complying with immigration and employment law