Working while studying is a good idea. It lets you explore the culture of the country and helps you meet your expenses to a certain extent. A common doubt that looms over the mind of an overseas student in New Zealand is “Can I work while I study?” Well, in most of the cases, you can. However, certain conditions have to be met.
As a norm, a student visa holder may be allowed to work part-time for 20 hours a week. You can work full time on holidays too. Your student visa generally indicates the number of hours you can work for while studying. Since there are many levels of education that you can pursue here, it would be prudent to understand the entire system. This will help you in finding the right work without violating your visa conditions.
If You Are a Tertiary Student
Tertiary level students may be allowed to work part-time for 20 hours a week. This applies when any one of the following is applicable to you:
- You are enrolled in a full-time course.
- Your course duration is two years or more.
- Your course is targeted at becoming a New Zealand skilled employee.
- You are doing a foundation program for at least one academic year at level 4 or higher on the New Zealand Qualification Framework at an education provider in Canterbury.
You may be allowed to work full-time if there is an official break in the course or it is New year/Christmas holiday and you have been attending your classes for one year. This rule applies to courses that have 120 credits or more.
If You Are a Masters Level & PhD Student
If you are pursuing your masters level or PhD level qualification, there are no limitations to the number of hours you can work for in a week. You may join any part-time work for any number of hours depending upon your situation and comfort.
If You Are an English Language Student
For those of you who are learning English here, depending upon the duration of your course, you may be allowed to work part-time. If your course duration is six months or more and the immigration authorities are satisfied that your primary intent is to learn English, you can work for 20 hours a week. You will have to submit your IELTS certificate having scored a minimum band of 5. This certificate should be older than two years.
In case you have enrolled for a course which is 14 weeks or more in duration, you may be allowed to work part-time provided:
- You are registered in a full-time course.
- The course lasts for at least 14 consecutive weeks.
- You have joined a university or a high-quality education provider for your course.
If your English language course is shorter than 14 weeks and if you have done a similar course previously, it might be clubbed to your current session. If the combined duration touches the 14-week mark, you would be allowed to work part-time.
If You Are a Secondary School Student
If you studying in secondary school and are above the age of 16, you would be allowed to work part-time (20 hours a week) during your schools and full time during New Year and Christmas break. You would need to furnish written permission from your school and parents/legal guardians if you are not 18. In case you are 18, no such consent is required.