Staying to work after study

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


If you applied for your student visa on or before 11 May 2022 the below requirements do not apply to you. You may be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa for up to 3 years after completing your study if you have an acceptable qualification.

Acceptable qualifications for a Post Study Work Visa (pre 12 May 2022)

What you can do on a Post Study Work Visa

A Post Study Work Visa lets you work for any employer if you have studied a degree level 7 qualification or above.

If you have studied a non-degree level 7 or below qualification you may still be able to get a Post Study Work Visa. However you must have studied a qualification that is on the Qualifications Eligible for Post Study Work Visa list. The job you end up taking must be related to what you studied.

Qualifications Eligible for a Post Study Work Visa

Bringing your partner and children

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

Bringing family if you have a work visa

How long you can stay on a Post Study Work Visa

The length of your Post Study Work Visa will depend on the qualification you completed in New Zealand. If you completed a master’s or doctoral level qualification in New Zealand, and studied here for at least 30 weeks you can work in New Zealand for 3 years.

If you completed a qualification at level 8 or below your work visa will be for the same length of time as your study. We will use your offer of place to work this out. For example if your offer of place says that your study will take 32 weeks, your visa will be for 32 weeks.

If you fail a course or otherwise take longer to complete your study than what is stated on your offer of place this will not extend the length of your visa. If the actual length of your study is different from the offer of place, we may request further information from your education provider.

You cannot get a second Post Study Work Visa if you have already had one.

Check the Post Study Work Visa link for more information on meeting the criteria.

Post Study Work Visa

New Zealand Qualifications Framework | NZQA website

Getting a Post Study Work Visa after completing post-graduate study

If you complete a post-graduate degree straight after completing your undergraduate degree, you may be able to apply for a Post Study Work Visa that is valid for up to 3 years.

Getting a Post Study Work Visa after submitting a doctoral degree thesis

If you studied towards a doctoral degree level qualification, you can apply for a Post Study Work Visa after submitting your thesis.

Finding a job

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

Finding work | Live and Work New Zealand

Studying for qualifications in an occupation that has skill shortages may increase your chances of getting a job. The Green List is a list of roles with skill shortages.

Green List roles