Working while on a student visa
You can usually work up to 20 hours a week during term time, and full time over the holidays.
Who can work on a student visa
The visa in your passport will tell you if you can work, when and for how long.
You can usually work part time for up to 20 hours per week as long as your full-time study programme is:
- at least 2 years in duration, or
- at least 1 full academic year, if you're studying in NZ on an approved tertiary exchange scheme.
You must also be studying on a programme that:
- leads to a New Zealand qualification that gives you points towards an application for a Skilled Migrant Category visa, or
- is an English language course that meets conditions approved by Immigration NZ, or
- is funded by a New Zealand Aid Programme scholarship and you're studying under the:
- New Zealand Development Scholarship
- Commonwealth Scholarship
- New Zealand Pacific Scholarship, or
- New Zealand Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Scholars Award.
Hours you can work
Most NZ student visas let you work up to 20 hours a week during term-time and full time during holidays. Check your visa to confirm the hours you can work.
If you have to complete work experience as part of your training, this can be additional to your 20 hours a week.
Masters by research and PhD students can work as many hours as they like.
What you can't do
International students aren’t allowed to be self-employed. You must work for an employer and have an employment agreement.
You can’t provide commercial sexual services. This means you can't:
- work as a prostitute
- operate a New Zealand prostitution business
- invest in a prostitution business.
Getting a tax number
Once you have your visa, apply for an IRD number from Inland Revenue. You give this number to your employer when you start work and use it for all of your tax matters.