Working in New Zealand

Questions and answers about finding work in New Zealand.

Can I work during the semester? The Christmas (summer) holidays?

Under New Zealand Immigration laws, you may work for up to 20 hours per week as an International Student. Students may apply for authority to work under the following circumstances:

  • To fulfil course requirements.
  • Up to 20 hours per week during the semester as a foreign student undertaking a course of study for two years.
  • During the Christmas-New Year holiday period for students who are enrolled for a course of 12 months or more.
  • On completion of their course.
  • As postgraduate students.

Final decision of work status is made by the New Zealand Immigration Services.


Can my spouse work in New Zealand while I am studying at the University of Auckland?

The New Zealand Immigration Service advises that open work permits will be available to the partners of the following students:

  • Students enrolled in courses of study towards qualifications in areas of absolute skill shortage.
  • Students enrolled in postgraduate qualifications i.e. levels 8, 9, or 10 on the qualifications table.

The final decision of work status of dependents is made by the New Zealand Immigration Service.

For more information:

Visit the Immigration New Zealand website


Is there a Pathway from Study to Work to Residence?

Under the NZIS guides "New work permit for some graduates" students are advised:

  • Any student regardless of institution type who successfully completes a course in New Zealand resulting in a qualification that would get points under the Skilled Migrant Category will be eligible to apply for a six-month open work permit.
  • Once they have secured relevant employment they can then apply for either a post-study two-year work permit (currently specified in New Zealand Immigration Services Operational Manual at U7.20.15) or proceed directly to the Skilled Migrant Category.

Can the University of Auckland help me find work while I'm studying or once I've graduated?

University Career Development and Employability Services (CDES) at the University of Auckland offers advice and information to assist students and recent graduates to plan and achieve their career and employment goals. There are many career resources on the CDES website, as well as MyCDES, a personal online career portal where you can login to view a job board and make bookings for workshops and career events. There are networking and recruitment events with employers and large industry expos, as well as workshops for students on topics including CVs, interviews, job search, LinkedIn, career direction, personal brand and much more. You can also book in for one-on-one appointments with career development consultants, including a specialist international consultant. These services are free to all enrolled students and graduates of up to three years.