Knowledge base articles

Can I work while I am on a student visa?

International students have several opportunities to gain work experience and supplement their funds while studying.  

Under certain circumstances, student visa holders may work part-time and/or full-time (during scheduled vacations), or to meet course requirements for practical work experience.

Working on a student visa

If your circumstances make you eligible for these work rights but your current student visa does not have conditions in it allowing you to work, you may apply for a variation of conditions to request the work rights are added to the visa.

Variation of conditions 

If you have not yet applied for a student visa and you believe your programme of study means you will be eligible for work rights, you can include information about the scheduled vacation dates with your visa application. This may be included in your offer of place or you can include the course calendar with the application.

Your immigration officer can then assess your eligibility and include any work conditions into your student visa (if approved) without the need for a separate application.

Study in New Zealand

It may also be possible for students to work in New Zealand after they have completed their studies. Certain courses may mean you are eligible for a post-study work visa after the course is completed.

Staying to work after study

If you have finished your course and still hold student visa, you may be able to continue to work.

If you have been granted a student visa valid until 31 March and the student visa conditions state:

  • May work up to 20 hours per week
  • May work full-time during summer vacation
  • May work full-time during scheduled vacations

Then you may work full-time from the date your course ends up until the expiry date of the visa (31 March).

Work rights for holders of student visas valid until 31 March

If you have finished your course and still hold student visa but your visa does not meet the above conditions, you may still be eligible to work up to 20 hours per week provided this is included in your visa conditions.

If you are unsure, it is important that you contact us to avoid any breaches of your visa conditions.

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