Staying to work after study

Applying for a visa to work in New Zealand after you finish your study.

You can apply for a visa to work in New Zealand for up to 3 years after you finish your study if you have an acceptable qualification and held (or had applied for) your student visa before 11 May 2022.

If you applied for a student visa after 11 May 2022, you may be able to apply under the changed Post Study Work Visa. Students undertaking a qualification at Level 7 and below (excluding bachelor’s degrees) after 11 May 2022 will only be eligible for post-study work rights if the qualification is relevant to an occupation on the Green List. Post study work rights for sub-degree students who have studied for Green List relevant qualifications will only allow the migrant to work in that occupation, though they can switch employers and work for less than the median wage. Further information will be available about this later in 2022.

A Post-study work visa lasts for 1, 2 or 3 years depending on the level of your qualification.

What you can do on a Post Study Work Visa

A Post Study Work Visa lets you work for any employer and in almost any job.

Your partner can apply for a work visa and your dependent children can study fee-free as domestic students.

Check all the criteria and work out how long you can work for.

Post Study Work Visa

If you plan to live in New Zealand permanently getting a skilled job in an occupation where there’s a shortage could improve your chances of getting a residence visa.

Skill shortage list checker

Staying longer

You can apply for a further Post Study Work Visa if you complete another qualification in New Zealand that:

  • is at least a Level 7 Bachelor’s degree
  • lasted for a minimum of 30 weeks, and
  • is higher than the qualification you submitted for your previous visa.

Acceptable qualifications for a Post-study work visa

Depending on your situation, there may be other visas you can apply for if you want to work in New Zealand — for example, an Essential Skills work visa or an Accredited Employer Work Visa.

Explore visa options to work

Finding a job

New Zealand’s job market might be different from what you are used to. The New Zealand Now website has information that can help you prepare for finding a job in New Zealand.

Finding work | New Zealand Now

Studying for qualifications in an occupation that has skill shortages may increase your chances of getting a job.

Skill shortages in New Zealand