Staying to work after study

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

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

Gaining work experience

The study to work pathway currently has two steps: Post Study Work Visa (Open) and Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted). However, from 26 November 2018, our policy is changing and we will only grant Post Study Work Visas (Open). 

Post Study Work Visa changes

Post Study Work Visa (Open)

The Post Study Work Visa (Open) allows you to find a job that is relevant to your qualification. It’s valid for 12 months, and during this time you can work for almost any employer in New Zealand. After you have found a job relevant to your qualification you can apply for a Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted).

Post Study Work Visa (Open)

Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted)

The Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted) allows you to stay in New Zealand and work for a specific employer for a further two years, if your job is relevant to your qualification. To be granted a visa, you must hold a Post Study Work Visa (Open) or apply no later than 3 months after the end date of your student visa (no later than 6 months if the qualification was a Doctoral Degree). From 26 November 2018, we will no longer be granting employer assisted post-study work visas. However, you may be eligible for an open work visa instead.

Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted)

Post Study Work Visa changes

From 26 November 2018, post study work visas will change. These changes will include removing the employer-assisted post-study work visas and adjusting how long we grant post-study work visas for. There will also be policies that ensure that current students are not disadvantaged by the new policy settings.

Post Study Work Visa changes

Staying permanently

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. This visa uses a points system based on factors such as age, work experience, your qualifications, and an offer of skilled employment.

Skilled Migrant Category
Skill shortages in New Zealand

Finding a job

It’s important to remember that there may be plenty of competition for jobs after you graduate, from both international and domestic students. Studying in an area of skill shortage may increase your chances of getting a job.

You may also find New Zealand’s job market different from what you are used to. The New Zealand Now website has information that can help you adjust your approach to meet employers' expectations.

Skill shortages in New Zealand
Finding work | New Zealand Now