Work after study in New Zealand
Updated on Dec 3, 2015 - 3:45 p.m. IST by Manashjyoti #New Zealand
Applications Open Now
Study Abroad Opportunities with IELTS

Work after study in New Zealand
: With more and more international students earning their degrees from universities in New Zealand, there is renewed focus on work after study in New Zealand. It is because the international students are not just happy to go back and find jobs in their native countries, but instead want to take advantage of New Zealand’s thriving job market. According to official sources, New Zealand faces shortages of skilled and educated manpower in many sectors like–Agriculture and Forestry, Construction and Engineering.

Some of the key reasons why New Zealand is popular among students:

  • High quality teaching and small class size

  • All eight universities ranked within the world’s top 500 as per 2015/16 QS ranking

  • Quality assurance as there are strong regulatory mechanisms in place

  • Scope for enriching life experiences

  • Very warm and hospitable people

Let us discuss some important information related to the process of working in New Zealand after your studies.

The first step towards becoming eligible to stay and work in New Zealand after completing one’s studies involves obtaining a work visa under the Study to Work visa.


 Post-study work visa (open)

This visa is meant for students who have completed their qualification (s) in New Zealand but are still to get a job offer. The post-study work visa (open) is valid for a period of 12 months during which students can work in any job to support themselves, while they look for jobs in their related field of study. This visa opens a plethora of work opportunities for students and is an important step towards work after study in New Zealand and thereby ensuring financial security.

You will be considered eligible for this visa, if

  • Your chosen course (qualification) meets the study to work qualification requirements and you have completed the course

  • You apply within the prescribed three-month period (six months for those with doctoral qualifications) after the end date of the student visa for that qualification

  • You prove that you have minimum New Zealand $4,200 with you to support yourself during the 12-month period (both traveller’s cheques and bank documents are accepted)

Post-study work visa (employer assisted)

Post your qualification, if you have an offer of employment, you can apply for this visa to work after study in New Zealand. The visa is usually given for a period of two years, but is extendable for up to three years provided you are in the process of obtaining a membership or registration from a professional association in New Zealand, for which it is mandatory to have two years of relevant practical experience.

To be eligible for this visa, you need to:

  • Provide evidence that the job offer is relevant to your qualification

  • Complete your qualification in a discipline that is covered under Study to Work qualification requirements.

Job after expiry of post-study work visa

Once the validity of employee-assisted visa expires, students can apply for New Zealand resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category. But to take advantage of this scheme, your work must be one of the occupations that come under skill shortages as per the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand. In other words, using this facility you can extend your work after study visa in New Zealand. But for this particular type of work after study visa, you must figure out the occupations which have the maximum skill shortages, which isn’t difficult.

All you have to do is check the Skill Shortage lists published by the The Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment, New Zealand.


The Essential Skills in Demand lists published by the ministry consists of:

  • The Long Term Skill Shortage List (LTSSL),

  • the Immediate Skill Shortage List (ISSL) and

  • the Canterbury Skill Shortage List (CSSL)

LTSSL comprises long-term highly-skilled occupations which are in short supply in the New Zealand labor market. The list, which covers both the Essential Skills Category (a temporary work visa policy) and Skilled Migrant Category (a residence visa category), include such occupations like Forest Scientist, Quantity Surveyor, Civil Engineering and Clinical Psychologist. Individuals who meet the LTSSL requirements may be eligible for residence through the Work to Residence (LTSSL) policy, or the Skilled Migrant Category, making it one of the most attractive ways to get work after study in New Zealand.

The short-term skill shortage in the New Zealand labor market is covered in the ISSL list and is used only in reference to Essential Skills temporary work visa policy. Some of the occupations covered under this category are Electrician (general), Fire Fighter, Sound Technician and Property manager.


A temporary list is used in reference to the occupations that are in demand in view of the rebuilding work in Canterbury. Used only in the context of the Essential Skills policy, the list includes professions such as building inspector, construction project manager, telecommunications engineer and welder.


Going through the shortage lists and the type of jobs on offer, students may even choose the best-suited study program in New Zealand–a horses-for-courses approach. After all, work after study in New Zealand is a great opportunity to test the scope of your qualification in an international market like New Zealand apart from earning some much-needed cash.


New Zealand job market and their relation to key industries

New Zealand job market is amongst the most stable in the world having withstood the global financial crisis and coming out of it without as much as a scratch. Employment, cutting across sectors, has been gathering steam for the last three years, while forecasts for the next few years also look robust - employment grew by 3% in 2015. Many new openings are slated to come up in industries like medicine, engineering and IT. In addition, there is also scope for people with more general skills.


Jobs that you can’t do in New Zealand

While you can be a part of the New Zealand workforce after completing your qualification, yet there are certain limitations as to what type of jobs you can do. To begin with, international students aren’t allowed to be self-employed, which practically means that you have to work for an employer under an employment agreement. In addition, students are prohibited from entering the sex industry and as such can’t offer commercial sexual services.


Apart from these regulations, there is no other restriction to professions while choosing a work after study in New Zealand.


Stay tuned to for more stories on New Zealand

Work Opportunities

Applications Open Now

Study Abroad Opportunities with IELTS
Study Abroad Opportunities wi...
Arden University, Berlin
Arden University, Berlin
PTE- Pearson Test of English
PTE- Pearson Test of English
View All Application Forms

More like New Zealand

Questions related to New Zealand

Showing 2 out of 2 Questions

why choose new Zealand for study?

dheeraj reddy 15th Feb, 2020
Well, Studying in NZ is cheaper than US and several European countries. Also a lot of scholarship opportunities are available to fund your study. University of Auckland is among the top 100 universities in the world.
NZ has some most livable cities in the world: Auckland, Wellington to name a few. Also one of the safest country to live.
Part-time job opportunities are plenty for international students through which you could recover the cost of your living expenses.
NZ is easier country to immigrate if your plan is to settle abroad. Add beautiful landscapes as another reason to ;)
As far as job opportunities are considered, NZ is a small country and offer limited work opportunities for internationals. Even though few employers might prefer locals ,as there is a lack of skilled professionals they are open to all, it would be upon you to sell yourself well.

Further research about work opportunities according to your field of interest and chose the best country accordingly. Goodluck !

Does GRE ,TOFEL &IELTS are mandatory for postgraduate courses or any one of the above?

Apoorva Student Expert 25th Sep, 2019

Hello dear student,

As it seems like you want to take admission in New Zealand. so dear student it depends in which university you want to take admission in , so different universities asks for the different exam .They all have  their own criteria to take students for MS in their university. So maximum universities asks for GRE marks while few asks for the other test scores.  GRE though not too popular, GRE is required for admission to masters courses in some of the universities in New Zealand.  GMAT: While NZ, just like Australia puts more emphasis on work experience, GMAT is still accepted for admission to management courses in its business schools.

i hope it was helpful.

Best wishes

Never miss exam and college updates Login
The question have been saved in answer later, you can access it from your profile anytime. Access now

Download the Careers360 App on your Android phone

Regular exam updates, QnA, Predictors, College Applications & E-books now on your Mobile

Careers360 App
150M+ Students
24,000+ Colleges
500+ Exams
1500+ E-books