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Working on a student visa

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

Check your visa conditions

If you are allowed to work in New Zealand, your work rights are recorded on your eVisa, the visa label in your passport, or explained to you in a letter.

If you work when you are not allowed to, it is a breach of your visa conditions. This can affect your ability to stay in New Zealand, or our decision on your next visa application.

Deportation and how you can appeal

Types of students who can work

You may be able to work part-time or full-time if you are:

Read the following information to see if you meet the criteria to work.

Tertiary students

Part-time work while studying

You can work up to 20 hours a week if you are doing a full-time course that:

You generally need to be studying full-time to be eligible for in-study work rights, however this does not apply if:

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

Note

You cannot work if you are in a training scheme or studying towards a micro-credential as these are not qualifications.

You can also work up to 20 hours if you are aged 18 or older, enrolled full-time and are included in a 2021 RV application as a dependent child.

You cannot work part-time if you are:

Full-time work during breaks and holiday

Your visa conditions will allow you to work full-time during scheduled breaks in study if all of these apply:

You can work full-time during the Christmas and New Year holiday period if:

PhD and Masters by research students

There are no restrictions on the hours you can work if you are enrolled in a Research Masters or doctoral degree programme (PhD) awarded by a New Zealand tertiary institution.

English language students

If you are an English language student, you can work for up to 20 hours a week while you have a valid Student Visa, if your course meets the following conditions.

Courses of at least 24 teaching weeks

You can work part-time if all of these apply:

Courses of at least 14 teaching weeks

You can work part-time if all of these apply:

When we assess if you are eligible for work rights, we will look at any English language study you have done on previous student visas.

We can count your previous English language study towards the 14 consecutive weeks if:

Secondary school students

Your visa conditions will allow you to work for up to 20 hours a week during the school year, and full-time in the Christmas and New Year holiday between school years if:

Note

If you are under 18, you must have written permission from your school and your parents or legal guardian to work. You do not need written permission to work full-time in the Christmas and New Year holiday period if you are over 18.

Practical experience

If practical experience is a requirement of your course, we will grant you a Student Visa with conditions that allow you to work to complete it.

Work you cannot do

International students are not allowed to be self-employed. You must work for an employer and have an employment agreement.

You cannot provide commercial sexual services. This means you cannot:

If your visa does not allow you to work

If you meet the criteria to work but the work conditions on your eVisa, passport label or letter do not match, contact us for assistance.

Contact us

Working when your course ends and you still have a visa

You must only work in line with your visa's work conditions — even if your course ends and your visa is still valid.

If your course has ended and your visa says you can:

Find out about staying in New Zealand to work.
Staying to work after study

Contact us

If you have questions about your ability to work, contact us.

Contact us