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Work in New Zealand- Job Opportunities and Work Permit

Mansi Topa Mansi Topa
Content Curator

In New Zealand, international students have an advantage of working immediately after completing their studies through special visa.

For students, depending upon the course they have chosen, they have an advantage of working in New Zealand for up to 4 years and possibly even settle down after 2 years of stay in the country.

How to get a Job in New Zealand?

Job Skills Required from Students

  • Teamwork
  • Communication
  • Planning and Organising
  • Problem Solving
  • Self-Management
  • Learning
  • Technology
  • Initiative and Enterprise

How is the Economic Health of New Zealand?

There are lot of opportunities in New Zealand. Before students apply for jobs in New Zealand, factors such as skills, values, personality and interests are also considered.

Students must also be aware about the economic health of the country. Mentioned are few website searches which can provide an overview of the country’s economy.

  • Immigration New Zealand
  • New Zealand Treasury
  • Labour Market Reports from the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment

Benefits of Skilled Shortage List

Generally, it is found that domestic job seekers have greater chances of getting employed instead of international students. To open ways, international students can increase their credibility by developing skills in demand which matches the ones in skill shortage list in New Zealand. It increases the priority of such students for getting a job in New Zealand.

What does an Employer Require?

  • Motivation
  • Quality of application
  • Personality
  • Command over English language
  • Maturity
  • Self-Confidence
  • Vision

Where to Find a Job?

There are various job portals, newspapers and advertisements holding the hot list of jobs. In New Zealand one may find suitable job through: -

  • Job Portals – TradeMe, Seek or New Kiwis
  • Advertisements – Holding profiles required on internet or press
  • Hidden Job Market – Another word for hidden job market is ‘referrals. These jobs are released in the company amongst the employees to find out the right talent through their connections.

How to Find Jobs in Hidden Job Market?


Students try to communicate their known persons around and ask them further to approach others to seek a job through ‘referral’. They need not involve any agency, instead ask for information and advice.

Direct Approach

Here, students need to visit various organizations and ask directly for any suitable job openings. Research about the organization and know about the SPOC. Offer the CV and be in regular touch with the organization.

Social Network

Organizations have started aiming employees through social networking websites instead of agencies asking for commission. LinkedIn is one of the most known website for building professional network. Students can upload their concise CV reflecting their skills and abilities and be updated.

Professional Connections

Students can get associated with different associations and encourage student membership. Find out people who have same interest areas and about roles and potential employers.

Make every effort one can to gain the best out of the industry. Be the part of conferences, seminars and exhibitions or internships/webinars to get the best.

To gain a job, one must have a valid visa depending upon the aim of visit in the country. Mentioned are the relevant details about the visa for job and residence in New Zealand.

Study to Work Pathway Visa

The study to work pathway has 2 steps:

  1. Post Study Work Visa (open) – Students can work for 12 months after their studies with any employer. If one gets relevant job of the specialty of the student, one can apply for Post Study Work Visa (employee assisted).
  2. Post Study Work Visa (employee-assisted) – One can work up to 2 years if it is a relevant job. Get Post Study Work visa (employee-assisted) within 3 months of open’s expiry (6 months for doctorate).

After November 26, 2018, certain changes will be implemented in study to work visa. Following are the changes: -

  • Removal of employee assisted posts-study work visa.
  • A 3-year post study work visa for undergraduate (level 7) or further higher level of qualifications too.
  • A 1-year post study work visa for students studying at level 4 to 6.
  • International students studying at Level 8 qualification (postgraduate certificate or postgraduate diploma) must be studying in an area on the Long-Term Skills Shortage list, so that their partners become eligible for an open work visa, and dependent children for fee-free schooling.

Skill Shortage List

New Zealand has a database of jobs known as Skill Shortage List (SSL) which stores different job profiles available for international and domestic candidates. If the employer finds a migrant fit for a particular job, that migrant can apply for temporary work visa.

Through Essential Skills Work Visa, the students can support the applications for their partners and dependent children. It is issued for up to 5 years depending upon the job level.

Categories of Skill Shortage List: -

  • Long Term skill Shortage List
  • Immediate Skill Shortage List
  • Skill Level Classification

Note: A skill level is defined on the basis of range and complexity of the task one has to perform.

Benefits of Residence Visa

Long Term Skill Shortage List Work Visa

Duration – 30 months

This visa offers pathway to residence. The aspirant must have desired qualification, work experience and occupation registration to do the job and get added to the Long Term Skill Shortage List. If the students who have opted for this list work on the same occupation for at least 2 years, they can apply for permanent residents.

Note: Partner and dependent can’t be included work visa application but could be for visas based on the relationship to the aspirant.

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa

Duration – Indefinite

Students who can be an asset to New Zealand are invited for this visa. Before that, they have to submit EOI (Expression of Interest) which includes qualification and work experience while working in New Zealand. If selected, those students can live and work in New Zealand for indefinite period.

Aspirants can include their partner and dependent in the residence application.

Note: Currently, EOI are analyzed for 160 points and above. Students must not be self-employed, they need to work under an employer.

Pursuing Higher Education

Instead of searching for a job, there are students who prefer pursuing higher education. New Zealand has 8 state-funded universities and many other institutions where students can take admission according to their will.

Major Courses offered in New Zealand Universities

According to QS world university rankings by subject, mentioned are the top courses offered in New Zealand and corresponding universities providing them.

MedicineUniversity of Auckland, University of Otago
DentistryUniversity of Otago
EngineeringUniversity of Auckland, University of Canterbury
AgricultureLincoln University
Massey’s Palmerstone North campusAgriculture, Aviation, And Veterinary Science
LawUniversity of Auckland, University of Canterbury, Auckland University of Technology, Victoria University of Wellington, University of Otago and University of Waikato

Mechanical Engineering and MBA are the top specializations provided to the students in New Zealand.

Qualifications Offered in New Zealand Universities


Major Bachelor’s Degree

  • B.Sc (Adv) (Hons) - Bachelor of Advanced Science (Honours)
  • BN - Bachelor of Nursing
  • B.E. - Bachelor of Engineering (Honours)
  • LLB - Bachelor of Law
  • MBBS - Bachelor of Medicine and Bachelor of Surgery

Major Master’s Degree

  • M.Arch. - Master of Architecture
  • M.Sc. in Finance - Master of Finance
  • M.E. - Master of Engineering
  • LLM - Master of Law
  • MSW - Master of Social Work

Major Diploma Courses

  • Graduate Diploma in Information Technology – Level 7
  • Graduate Diploma in Information and Communications Technology – Level 7
  • Graduate Diploma in Animation Level – 7
  • Post Graduate Diploma of Computer Graphic Design - Level 8
  • National Diploma in Science (Two years) - Level 5 or 6

Certificate Courses

  • Certificate for English for further Study-Level 4
  • Certificate in Hospitality and Catering – Level 3
  • Certificate for Entry to Automotive Trades – Level 3
  • Certificate in Steel Fabrication and Welding – Level 3
  • Certificate in Machining Technology – Level 3

The Top 4 Universities in New Zealand

The mentioned universities are counted amongst the best universities by THE (Times Higher Education).

  • University of Otago
  • University of Auckland
  • University of Canterbury
  • University of Waikato

Students can select the course they want to pursue in higher education amongst the top courses at different levels and programs offered by top universities in New Zealand.

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