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How to Find Work After Studying in New Zealand

author:Education NZ

After you finish your studies, you may be able to stay and work in New Zealand for up to four years – and possibly even gain residence.

New Zealand’s immigration policies include a post-study work pathway to work for international students who have gained an acceptable New Zealand qualification. 

The post-study work pathway has two steps: 

  • The Post Study Work Visa (Open)
  • The Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted).

Post Study Work Visa (Open) 

The Post Study Work Visa (Open) is a 12-month visa for recent graduates, which allows you to work for any employer in New Zealand and find a job that’s relevant to your studies.

  • You have three months after your student visa ends to apply for the visa (or six months if you have done a PhD).
  • If you find a job relevant to your qualification, you may then apply for a further two-year Post-study work visa (Employer Assisted).  
  • You can find out whether you meet the criteria and apply for the visa online.

Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted)

If you’re on a Post Study Work Visa (Open) and have been offered full-time work in the same area as their qualification, you may be eligible to apply for the Post Study Work Visa (Employer Assisted). This allows you to work in New Zealand for a specific employer for a further two years.

  • If you are granted this visa you may be able to apply later for residence under our Skilled Migrant Category.
  • You can find out whether you meet the criteria and apply for the visa online.

Looking for work

Your tertiary institution may offer you assistance to find work, such as helping you with your job search or giving you tips on writing a CV.

You could also try talking to your teachers, lecturers, friends and neighbours – they may know of jobs that have not yet been advertised. 

Other options include registering with a recruitment agency, contacting potential employers directly or signing up with New Zealand job vacancy websites, such as Trade Me and Seek. Another useful site is New Kiwis.

The Finding Work section of the New Zealand Now website is packed full of useful information about how to find a job, including a list of job sites to check out, and tips for success. 


EDucation NZ 2012