Working in NZ
Kia ora! We know studying in a different country can be quite confusing. One thing that is sometimes difficult to understand is whether you are allowed to work or not. This page contains some information about working in New Zealand as an international student.
As an international student studying in New Zealand, you may be granted work rights. To confirm this, check your eVisa or visa label in your passport.
Work rights allow most international students to:
Work up to 20 hours per week, and
To work full time during scheduled holidays (subject to visa conditions).
Please be aware that you can be deported if you work more than your approved hours.
Your employer may ask you to provide a letter confirming your scheduled holiday dates. Our International Student Advisor will provide this for you at your request.
Want more information?
You can check information about working while studying on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Employment rights, minimum wages and labour conditions
All workers in New Zealand have rights as employees including the basic minimum wage. For more information, visit New Zealand Government Employment website.
If you’re allowed to work in New Zealand while studying, you’ll need to apply for an IRD number.
An IRD number is an eight, or nine, digit number unique to you – it’s important because all your tax, entitlement and personal details are linked to this number.
If you don’t have an IRD number, your employer will deduct income tax at the highest “non-declaration” tax rate of 45%.
You can apply for an IRD number from the Inland Revenue Department (IRD).
Your ability to speak English
It’s a good idea to try and practice your English with native speakers.
Work Talk is a great tool to help you get an idea of the language used in New Zealand workplaces that may be different to other cultures.
We also offer a range of English Language programmes if you want to improve your everyday English.
You should be able to talk about the knowledge you gained during your studies. Show how it is relevant to the job and how it will add value to the organisation.
Overseas qualifications are not automatically equivalent to New Zealand qualifications. If you have overseas qualifications, you can apply to the New Zealand Qualification Authority (NZQA) to have them assessed and recognised in New Zealand. This will cost you a small fee.
|NZ Qualifications Authority
|+644 463 3000
We can help
Our Career Services team can help you with your CV, cover letter and how to prepare for an interview. We can also help you discover job opportunities or think about your next career step. This website also contains resources that can help you in your job hunt.
What do NZ employers look for?
There are lots of things employers look for that are important. These depend on the organisation and the type of job. You can learn more about what attributes employers are looking for in the What employers want page.
Your New Zealand work experience
Employers also like to see some New Zealand work experience on CVs, especially if it is career related. Many international students find it hard to get work when they finish their studies because they have no New Zealand work experience.
While you are studying, it’s a good idea to try and find some part-time work. You could also do some work during your holidays. Or, you could do some volunteer work to build your experience and connections.
Volunteering is a great thing to do to help your community. It builds your experience and looks great on a CV.
Getting ready to apply
The list below will help you understand what you need to do if you’re thinking of applying for a job in New Zealand.
Get ready to apply for work
The job interview
The checklist below will help you to prepare for an interview in New Zealand. Visit the Interview skills page for more information and tips.
Job interview preparation checklist
Wear clothes and shoes that are clean and smart.
Make sure you are clean and that you have used deodorant. If you wear perfume or fragrance, don’t wear too much.
Research where your interview will happen. Plan how long it will take to get there and make sure you leave plenty of time for if you can’t find a parking space. Make sure you arrive 10 minutes early for your interview.
Research the company, products and services it offers.
Prepare a short introduction about yourself.
From the job description, identify the skills, experience and personal qualities that you will bring to the job.
Be prepared to give examples that explain your skills and experience.
Prepare a short list of your own questions to ask the interview panel.
Post Study Work Visa
When you’ve finished studying with us and have got official confirmation of this, you may be eligible to apply for a Post Study Work Visa.
Settling in New Zealand
If you’re a new migrant and would like some information about staying and settling in New Zealand, you can visit the Immigration New Zealand website.