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30 October 2023

5 minutes read

Work and Study Program in New Zealand: A Guide for International Students

New Zealand, with its stunning landscapes and world-class education system, is a dream destination for many international students. It’s not only about getting a quality education but also an opportunity to gain valuable work experience.

In this comprehensive guide, we’ll delve into the Work and Study program in New Zealand, focusing on student visas, work rights, post-study work options, and much more.

Whether you’re considering studying in New Zealand or you’re already there, this guide will provide you with all the essential information you need to make the most of your academic journey.

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Studying in New Zealand – A Path to Practical Experience

Studying in New Zealand offers a unique blend of academic excellence and practical experience. International students have the chance to work part-time during their studies and full-time during scheduled breaks. This is a great way to support yourself financially and gain insights into the Kiwi workforce.

International Students and Student Visa

To embark on your journey of work and study in New Zealand, you’ll need a student visa. This visa not only allows you to study but also grants certain work rights. You can work for up to 20 hours a week during your academic sessions and full-time during holidays.

Understanding Visa Conditions

It’s crucial to be aware of your visa conditions. Make sure you’re enrolled full-time in a New Zealand university or institution. Also, ensure that your course meets the requirements and is at least one academic year in duration. Checking your visa conditions regularly is vital to avoid any breach.

Post-Study Work Visa – A Pathway to Stay and Work

One of the most significant advantages of studying in New Zealand is the Post-Study Work Visa. Depending on your qualification, you may be eligible to work in New Zealand for a certain period after completing your studies. This provides an excellent opportunity to gain work experience in your field of study.

Meeting the Demand in New Zealand

New Zealand has a growing demand for skilled workers in various industries. Completing a New Zealand qualification enhances your chances of finding employment in your specific field. Employers in New Zealand often recognize and value these qualifications.

Different Types of Post-Study Work Visas

There are various types of post-study work visas in New Zealand, each catering to different qualifications and goals. Let’s explore these options:

1. Post-Study Work Visa (Open)

The Post-Study Work Visa (Open) allows you to work in New Zealand for up to 12 months after completing your studies. This visa is ideal if you’re looking for short-term employment opportunities or simply want to explore the country before making a long-term commitment.

2. Post-Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted)

If you have a job offer related to your field of study, you can apply for the Post-Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted). This visa is valid for up to two years and provides you with the opportunity to gain practical experience in your chosen profession.

3. Post-Study Work Visa (Pathway)

The Post-Study Work Visa (Pathway) is for students who need more time to meet the requirements for a Skilled Migrant Category visa. It allows you to work for two years, providing a pathway to residence in New Zealand.

Application Process for Post-Study Work Visas

To apply for a post-study work visa, follow these general steps:

  1. Gather Required Documents: Collect all necessary documents, including your academic transcripts, evidence of completion of your qualification, and a valid job offer if applicable.
  2. Submit an Online Application: Visit the Immigration New Zealand website and complete the online application form.
  3. Pay the Application Fee: Pay the required application fee.
  4. Biometrics and Health Checks: Depending on your circumstances, you may need to provide biometrics or undergo health checks.
  5. Wait for Processing: Immigration New Zealand will process your application, which may take several weeks.
  6. Receive Your Visa: Once your application is approved, you will receive your post-study work visa.

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Rights and Responsibilities

While enjoying the benefits of the Work and Study program in New Zealand, it’s essential to understand your rights and responsibilities as an international student.

Rights for International Students

International students in New Zealand enjoy various rights, including:

  • The right to work: As mentioned earlier, you have the right to work up to 20 hours per week during academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks.
  • Quality education: You have the right to expect a high standard of education and support from your institution.
  • Safe environment: New Zealand is known for its safety, and international students have the right to live and study in a secure environment.
  • Equal treatment: You should expect to be treated fairly and without discrimination.

Responsibilities for International Students

Along with rights come responsibilities, and as an international student in New Zealand, you are expected to:

  • Obey New Zealand laws: Familiarize yourself with local laws and follow them.
  • Abide by your visa conditions: Ensure you comply with the conditions of your student visa, including maintaining your enrollment and academic progress.
  • Respect others: Treat fellow students, faculty, and New Zealand residents with respect and consideration.

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English Language Proficiency

Proficiency in the English language is essential for both your academic and work experiences in New Zealand. Most courses are taught in English, and you may need to demonstrate your English language skills when applying for a student visa.

International English Language Testing System (IELTS)

The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is commonly used in New Zealand to assess English proficiency. You may need to achieve a specific IELTS score depending on your course requirements. It’s essential to check the language requirements of your chosen institution before applying.

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Working While Studying

Working part-time while studying in New Zealand can significantly help with your living expenses and provide valuable work experience. Here are some key points to consider:

  • You can work up to 20 hours per week during academic sessions.
  • You can work full-time during scheduled breaks in your study program.
  • Be sure to check your visa conditions, as they may vary based on your course and level of study.

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Applying for Skilled Migrant Visa

If you decide to work in New Zealand permanently, you can explore the Skilled Migrant Category visa. To be eligible, you’ll need to meet specific criteria, including age, health, character, and English language proficiency requirements. Your New Zealand qualification and work experience gained in the country can enhance your chances of securing this visa.

Conclusion

In conclusion, New Zealand’s Work and Study program offers an excellent opportunity for international students to gain both a world-class education and valuable work experience. Remember to stay informed about your visa conditions, explore post-study work options, and make the most of your time in this beautiful country.

Whether you’re seeking a short-term adventure or planning to settle in New Zealand permanently, the Land of the Long White Cloud has much to offer. Explore the lush landscapes, meet new people, and advance your career—all while enjoying the unique Kiwi way of life.

If you have any questions or need assistance, don’t hesitate to talk to us or visit the Immigration New Zealand website for official guidance. Start your journey towards a brighter future in New Zealand today!

FAQs

Q1: Can I work while studying in New Zealand?

Yes, you can work up to 20 hours per week during your academic sessions and full-time during scheduled breaks.

Q2: How long can I stay and work in New Zealand after completing my studies?

The duration of the Post-Study Work Visa varies depending on the level of your qualification. It can range from 1 to 3 years.

Q3: Can I apply for a skilled migrant visa after studying in New Zealand?

Yes, if you meet the criteria for the Skilled Migrant Category, you can apply for a skilled migrant visa.

Q4: What is the International English Language Testing System (IELTS), and do I need it?

IELTS is an English proficiency test. You may need it for your student visa application, depending on your course requirements.

Q5: What happens if I breach my visa conditions?

Breaching your visa conditions can have serious consequences, including deportation. Always adhere to the terms of your visa.

Q6: How can I find job opportunities in New Zealand after completing my studies?

You can start your job search by networking, exploring job boards, and reaching out to career services at your institution. Additionally, the Post-Study Work Visa can provide you with ample time to secure employment.

Q7: What industries are in demand in New Zealand for international graduates?

New Zealand has demand for skilled workers in various industries, including healthcare, information technology, engineering, agriculture, and more. Research the job market to identify industries with high demand for your skills and qualifications.

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