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Employing International Students and Graduates

Employing international students - part-time employment while studying

Most students are entitled to work up to 20 hours each week during the academic year and they will have secured the required ‘variation of conditions’ on their ‘student visa’ to do so. In addition they can apply for a further ‘variation of conditions’ to allow full-time work during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Employing international graduates - full-time employment

Immigration New Zealand’s Graduate Job Search Work Visa and Graduate Work Experience Visa instructions are designed to provide paths for well-qualified and skilled international graduates who have completed qualifications in NZ, to work and if appropriate, settle here.

  • Graduate Job Search Work Visa

    This allows graduates to work for up to 12 months for any employer(s) and in any role(s). Evidence of an offer of employment is not required. A job offer can be made with no requirement to advertise or offer the position to a NZ resident or citizen.

  • Graduate Work Experience Visa

    With an offer of work relevant to their degree level qualification and ‘major area’, a work visa may be granted for up to 2 years to obtain full-time, practical work experience. The visa may be for up to 3 years if they will be working towards membership or registration with a NZ professional association which requires more than two years of practical work experience and this is a requirement for their profession. The visa is usually restricted to work for a specified employer and within a specified work sector and location. A job offer can be made with no requirement to advertise or offer the position to a NZ resident or citizen.

For more information on the Study to Work Visas for employers see the immigration page: Graduating Students - Study To Work Visas

For the attention of employers of international students and graduates: Employing an International Student or Graduate (pdf 520KB)

For general information on immigration see the Immigration Guide for Employers

Questions should be directed to Immigration New Zealand on 0508 55 88 55