Variation of conditions on a temporary visa

If the conditions of your work, student or visitor visa no longer suit your situation, you may be able to apply for a variation of conditions.

Temporary visas such as work, student or visitor visas are granted with conditions telling you what you are allowed to do while you’re on the visa. These conditions can be things like working in a particular job or studying at a particular education provider. 

If your visa conditions no longer match your circumstances, you may apply for a variation of conditions. However in some situations you may need to apply for a new visa instead.

Criteria for a variation of conditions

We can only vary the conditions of your visa if the new conditions you are asking for align with the reason your visa was originally granted.  For example we may be able to vary the conditions of your student visa to study a different course, but if you want to stop studying and start working full-time you must apply for a work visa.

The information you need to provide with your variation of conditions application depends on your circumstances.

You have a work visa and want to change the job, employer or location

You must provide:

  • Offer of employment
  • Employment Agreement
  • 'Employer Supplementary' form (INZ 1113) completed by your new employer
  • 'Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions' (INZ1020)
  • Application fee

If you have an essential skills work visa, and your job isn't on the skill shortage lists, you can only vary your employer. Otherwise essential skills work visa holders need to apply for a new work visa to change job or location.

If your work visa allows work in any job, employer or location, you don’t need to apply for a variation of conditions.
Skill shortage lists

You have a work visa and want to study part-time

You can study for less than 3 months if you hold a work visa, or less than 6 months if you hold a working holiday visa, without varying the conditions of your visa.

To do other study for more than 3 months you must provide:

  • Offer of place
  • Evidence you've paid the tution fees
  • 'Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions' (INZ1020)
  • Application fee

You have a visitor visa and want to study

You can study for less than three months without varying your visitor visa.  If you want to study for longer, you should apply for a student visa.

To do other study for more than 3 months you must provide:

  • Offer of place
  • Evidence you've paid the tution fees
  • 'Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions' (INZ1020)
  • Application fee

You have a visitor visa and want to work

Seasonal work

If the Ministry of Social Development declares a seasonal labour shortage you can request to vary your visitor visa to work for 6 weeks to do seasonal work in the region where there is a shortage.

There are currently no seasonal labour shortages.

You must provide:

  • 'Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions' (INZ1020)
  • Application fee

Visitors can only undertake seasonal work once each visit to New Zealand.

Guardian of a student

If you have a Guardian of a student visitor visa and want to work part-time you must provide:

  • Offer of employment
  • Employment agreement
  • 'Employer supplementary form (INZ 1113)
  • 'Application for a variation of conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions' (INZ1020)
  • Application fee

Guardians of student visitor visa holders can only work Monday to Friday between the hours of 9.30am and 2.30 pm.

You have a student visa and want to work

You may be allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during all scheduled holidays and/or during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Part-time work (Tertiary students)

You can work up to 20 hours a week if you’re studying full-time for any of the following:

  • for at least 2 years
  • for a New Zealand qualification that gains points under the Skilled Migrant Category
  • to develop English language skills, on a course that meets certain conditions
  • for a foundation programme for at least 1 academic year at level 4 or higher on the New Zealand Qualification Framework(NZQF) , at an education provider in Canterbury.

Full-time work (Tertiary students)

You may be able to work full-time:

  • during scheduled breaks in study, if you’re studying full-time for at least 1 academic year and your course is worth more than 120 credits
  • during the Christmas and New Year holiday period, if you’re studying full-time and your course is worth less than 120 credits.
Secondary school students

If you’re studying in year 12 or 13, the last 2 years of secondary school, you can work up to 20 hours a week during the school year and full-time in the Christmas and New Year holiday period between school years.

  • if you’re under 18, you must have written permission from your school and your parents or legal guardian to work.
  • you don’t need written permission if you‘re over 18 and at secondary school, and want to work during the summer holiday period.
Unlimited work rights for PhD and Masters by research students

If you’re enrolled in Masters by research or doctoral degree programme awarded by a New Zealand tertiary institution, there are no restrictions on the hours you can work.

Practical experience

You’re allowed to work, to meet a requirement of practical experience for your programme of study in New Zealand, if practical experience is a course requirement.

To vary your student visa to allow work you must provide:

  • Evidence you meet one of the criteria above
  • 'Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions' (INZ1020)
  • Application fee

You have a student visa and want to do a different course or study somewhere else

You must provide:

  • Offer of place
  • 'Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions' (INZ1020)
  • Application fee

We won't ask for evidence you've paid the new tuition fees until we've approved in principal to vary your student visa.

You can only change your course or provider if you've met the conditions of your current student visa and are still a bona fide applicant. We must also be satisfied that your original student visa would have been granted for the new course or education provider.
Bona Fide

Any other situation

If you want to vary your conditions in a way is not described above, you can still make an application. 

When you apply, you must provide:

  • Information about which visa conditions you want to vary and why, along with any relevant evidence
  • 'Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions' (INZ1020)
  • Application fee

Applying for a variation

Send your variation of conditions form, the appropriate fee and any supporting evidence to the branch recorded in the Office and Fees Finder.
Application for a Variation of Conditions or a Variation of Travel Conditions (INZ 1020) PDF 308KB
Office and Fees Finder