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Country Of Study > Go New Zealand > Working in New Zealand
Working while studying
Students Undertaking Employment : You may apply for authority to work under the following circumstances:
  • to fulfill course requirements
  • up to 15 hours per week for tertiary students undertaking a long term course of study
  • during the Christmas and New Year holiday period
  • on completing your course of study
  • As a postgraduate student.
Note: No person who holds a temporary permit or limited purpose permit may provide commercial sexual services or operate or invest in a business which does so.

For more information please see the official New Zealand Immigration Service Web site at: www.immigration.govt.nz

The main purpose of a student visa or permit is to allow international students to study full time in New Zealand. In some cases students from overseas can have their permit varied to allow a limited amount of paid employment, while studying.

You can undertake work:
  • To meet a course requirement for practical work experience
  • For up to 20 hours a week during the academic year (including holidays within the academic year) if you are:
  • undertaking a full-time, course of study at a private training establishment or tertiary institution and taking at least two academic years to complete, or
  • undertaking a full-time course of study culminating in a qualification that would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category, or
  • undertaking a full-time, full secondary school year course of study in Years 12 or 13, providing you have written permission from your school and parents, or
  • engaged in a full-time, course of study of at least six months duration, at a Private Training Establishment or Tertiary Institution, and a visa or immigration officer is satisfied that the primary purpose of the course of study is to develop English language skills, and, at the time of application for a student visa or permit, you have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 5.0 or above
  • During the Christmas-New Year holiday period if you are undertaking a full-time course of study for 12 months or more

Working in New Zealand after completing study
You can work in New Zealand after you completing your studies if:
  • you have an offer of employment relevant to your qualification and have successfully completed a course in New Zealand that:
  • had a minimum completion time of three years, or
  • qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant Category
  • You do not have an offer of employment but have successfully completed a qualification in New Zealand that qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant Category of Residence Policy, for a maximum of six months, to transition from study, to work, to residence with a Graduate Job Search Work Visa/Permit.
Finding work and starting a job in a new country can be a bewildering experience. Many things will be different from your previous experience. Sometimes you can feel confused and anxious. It helps to have plenty of information so that you’re better prepared for settling into work. Getting a job in  New Zealand may be a challenge if you have not arranged work before arriving. The more experience and qualifications you have to offer, the better your chances will be in securing a position. However, even well qualified migrants may take six or more months to find suitable employment and will often need to move out of their specialist field. It is also common for highly qualified migrants to accept more junior positions than they held at home. Disappointing as this may be, it does provide new migrants with the New Zealand work experience most employers demand. These difficulties tend to diminish with time, but it is important to be prepared for a period of adjustment during at least the first year of residence.

.Monday, Wednesday and Saturday editions carry the most extensive job vacancy sections.

Job vacancies are listed in most professional journals. For further information, check the websites listed under New Zealand Boards. Executive and professional management positions are generally handled by private recruitment agencies. Most international placement agencies are represented in New Zealand.

On behalf of the New Zealand Government, Work and Income provides a free job-seeking service for unemployed residents. (Check the 'Government' section of the White Pages for details of local Service Centers). Websites Lists job opportunities for people moving to New Zealand.

 www.nzrecruitme.co.nz - Is a free recruitment service for people who are outside New Zealand. We connect your skills with the needs of New Zealand employers. You can register as a jobseeker and put your CV/resume online for New Zealand employers to browse.  

www.newkiwis.co.nz - Is a nation-wide website free to all migrants who are resident in NZ and eligible to work here. NZ Employers (including recruitment companies) post vacancies and/or search the database for the skilled staff they require. You register your CV and employers will contact you directly or via us. You can also access job vacancies on the website as well as employment tips and techniques, and other useful information.

.In June 2006, New Zealand's unemployment rate was 3.6%, lower than Australia at 5.0%, the United Kingdom at 5.4%, and Canada at 6.2% and France at 8.8%. The only countries to have a lower unemployment rate than New Zealand were Switzerland at 3.1% and Korea at 3.5%. The OECD average in June 2006 was 6.1%.

  • www.jobs.govt.nz-Lists state sector employment vacancies.
  • www.nzqa.govt.nz-Information on New Zealand qualifications and overseas equivalents.
  • www.workandincome.govt.nz-Information about finding work or getting income support.Freephone: 0800 559 009.
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