Work while studying
Under present immigration regulations international students on long term student permits are entitled to work up to 20 hours per week during term time and 40 hours during the summer break.
International students may be eligible to work up to 20 hours per week if they are:
Enrolled in a full-time course lasting at least two academic years;
Studying towards a New Zealand qualification that would gain points under New Zealand residence policy; or
Studying a full-time course to develop English language skills – to qualify, you must have an IELTS (General or Academic Module) overall band score of at least 5.0
Students must not undertake employment in New Zealand until they have permission from the New Zealand Immigration Service. This permission stating rights to work is automatically printed on student visa label provided the student applies for variation of conditions to student permit while visa application.
Work Permits for Partners of International Students
The partners of postgraduate students may apply for a work permit valid for the same period of time as their partner’s student permit. If your partner is interested in working they should approach the New Zealand Immigration Service and make an application.
Work after graduation
International students who have graduated with a NZ qualification are now eligible to apply for the Graduate Job Search Work Permit. This one year permit/visa allows International Graduates to work for any employer in New Zealand.
If during the one year period, students find employment relevant to the qualification studied, they may then apply to New Zealand Immigration to have the work permit/visa extended for up to 2 years.
To be eligible to apply for the Graduate Job Search Work Permit, students should have successfully completed, in New Zealand, a qualification that would gain points under New Zealand Immigration Skilled Migrant Category.
Paying Income Tax
Before you start work, you need an IRD (Inland Revenue Department) number. It normally takes 8-10 days to process your application.
As soon as students receive income from your part-time job or from other New Zealand income sources, they are legally obliged to pay tax to the government. This is usually automatically deducted from the wages by the employer. The tax deducted may vary from 15 cents to 39 cents per dollar, depending on the earnings. However, this deduction can go up to a high, non-declaration rate of 45 cents per dollar if the student does not fill a Tax Code Declaration Form given by the employer at the beginning of work.
If students work only for part of the year, they are probably entitled to a tax refund. To check the eligibility for a refund, students have to contact the IRD for a personal tax summary.
To study in New Zealand, you have to apply for a student visa. You can apply for a New Zealand Student Visa after receiving a formal offer of place from the institution.
Application fees for New Zealand Student Visa is US $150 (equivalent to Rs. 6,400/-)
Document Checklist to lodge a student visa application
Student Visa Application Form and Supplementary information form
Passport (Passport should be valid for completion date + 3 months)
Photograph (Passport sized photograph affixed to application form)
Demand Draft for Visa Application Fee
Offer of Place
Guarantee of Accommodation
Financial Documents – Funds to cover:
Tuition for First 12 months of study
Living Expenses for 1 year (NZ$10,000 per annum)
Plan of payment with evidence of access to funds to meet the tuition for remaining period of study and living expenses
IELTS Score Card
Evidence of Employment (if applicable)
Police Clearance Certificate
 Covering letter should include your background covering the evidence of funds, your English language ability (IELTS Score) and Statement of Purpose hand-written by you. Statement of Purpose should address questions like why you are applying for the visa, why you wish to do the course and how the course would help you in future.
 Health Requirements:
If you have an offer of place for a course with duration between 6 to 12 months, you must undergo a TB screening X-ray and submit Temporary Entry X-ray Certificate form (NZIS 1096) along with associated medical reports and X-ray.
If you have an offer of place for a course with duration more than 12 months, you must undergo a full medical and x-ray examination and submit Medical and Temporary Entry X-ray Certificate form (NZIS 1007) along with any associated medical and laboratory reports.
 All students above 17 years of age and intending to stay in New Zealand for more than 2 years must provide a Police Clearance Certificate. For Indian students, Police Clearance Certificate has to be obtained from the Regional Passport Office or Office of Deputy Commissioner of Police.
Processing Time for Student Visa Application
The processing time for student visa application depend on the application and can vary from 15 to 90 working days.
Student Visa applications are categorized into Positive Profile category “A” Applications, Positive Profile category “B” Applications and other Student Visa Applications depending on the risks perceived in the application by the visa officer. Visa application processing times for these categories are as below:
Positive profile category “A” applications – 15 working days
Positive profile category “B” applications – 30 working days
Other student visa applications – 75 to 90 working days
Factors used to determine if an application can be categorized as Positive Profile are:
Good Academic Record
IELTS Academic Test Score of at least 5.5
Immediate family’s verifiable evidence of funds to meet the educational and living expenses in NZ – including paper trails to explain any recent large deposits in accounts;
Regular source of sufficient income of financial guarantors;
Intended course of study relevant to qualifications and/or work experience
Career progression opportunities
Clear health & character requirements
In addition to the above factors, to be categorized as a Positive Profile Category “A” Applicant, you must have:
An overall score of 6.5 or above in IELTS Academic Test
Offer of Place to study a course which is at NQF Level 7 or above
Visa Application Approval in Principal
Once all the visa documentation requirements are met, the New Zealand High Commission will advise you that the visa application has been approved in principal. For the visa issuance, the following have to be submitted within 1 month of getting the Approval in Principal:
Fee Receipt issued by New Zealand Institution towards payment of tuition deposit for the 1st year of study.
Any other documents suggested by the High Commission.
Visa Issuance would take at least 5 working days after the above documents are received at the New Zealand High Commission.