New Zealand High Commission Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

New Zealand extends work rights to more international students

Today the New Zealand government announced that more international students will be allowed to work while they study in New Zealand.

The New Zealand Minister for Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment, Steven Joyce, and Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, announced that:

  • All international students enrolled in an English language course of at least 14 weeks duration at a high-quality provider will be eligible to work up to 20 hours a week.
  • All tertiary-level international students enrolled in a course of at least one academic year will now be able to work full-time during each scheduled semester break.
  • International PhD and Masters by research students will have unlimited work rights.

“Today’s announcements will allow more students to gain valuable work experience while they study in New Zealand,” says Education New Zealand’s Regional Director, Izak Human

As well as helping with living costs, working part-time while studying means students can practice their English in the workplace and gain work experience that will give them an edge over other graduates when they finish studying.

The changes announced today will come into effect from January 2014.

Immigration New Zealand’s General Manager Service Support, Rob Stevens, says the New Zealand government has created a website – – expressly for international students and their New Zealand employers so everyone clearly understands their respective rights and responsibilities.

“While the global financial crisis hasn’t hit New Zealand as hard as other countries, it will still take time to find the right job and students must have enough money to cover their living costs while studying,” he says.

The New Zealand Government also announced that Immigration New Zealand will no longer grant visas to students seeking to enrol at the lowest quality providers.

“We want students studying in New Zealand to experience the highest quality education we have to offer,” says ENZ Regional Director for South East Asia, Izak Human.

To find out more about studying in New Zealand, visit

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