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Student Work Rights

If you are entitled to work on your student visa, it would be indicated on your eVisa or in a letter from INZ

It's important that you understand whether you are allowed to work or not, otherwise you may be in breach of your student visa conditions. Note also that under no circumstances can you be self-employed

International, tertiary students

You can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week if your full-time programme of study meet certain requirements. The most common are:

  • Studying for at least two years between level 4-6 course or one year course of level 7 or higher, or;
  • Studying for at least one year as part of an approved student exchange programme, or;
  • The study leads to a NZ qualification that gains points for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category, or;

You may work full-time during all vacations during study of at least one academic year, if:

  • you are studying full-time for at least 1 year, and;
  • your course is for at least 120 credits, and;
  • your course is over at least 8 months or 2 semesters

You can work full-time over the Christmas and New Year holiday period if studying for at least eight months course that has minimum of two semesters.

If you are enrolled in Masters by research or doctoral degree programmes awarded by a New Zealand tertiary institution, there are no restrictions on the hours you can work while studying. There are unlimited work rights for PhD and Masters research students.

English language students

If certain criteria are met, you may be allowed to work while studying English in New Zealand. You must meet all of these:

Courses of at least 24 weeks

  • your study is full-time, and;
  • your programme of study is at least 24 teaching weeks, and;
  • you can show that the main purpose of your study is to improve your English, and;
  • you have an acceptable English language test result that is no more than 2 years old (IELTS 5.0 or over)

Courses of at least 14 weeks

  • your study is full-time, and;
  • your study is for at least 14 consecutive weeks, and;
  • you are studying English language, and;
  • your study is with a university, or an education provider that has been assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as a Category 1 provider.

Shorter English language courses may qualify if they can be counted towards the 14 consecutive weeks and with the same education provider.

Secondary school students

If you are at least 16, and enrolled in year 12 or 13 at a secondary school, you may be allowed to work part-time during school terms, and full time during the Christmas break.You may require your parents' and the school Principal's authorisation in writing before you can vary the conditions of your dependent child student visa, to be allowed to work part-time.

Your parents' and the school Principal's authorisation in writing may be required.

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