Guide on Post Study Work Visa

After the completion of a New Zealand qualification, you may be able to "soft-land" with an open work visa that will give you sufficient time to look for a job.
If you want to learn about Post Study Work Visa, you've come to the right place.
This guide has everything you need to understand the basics of Post Study Work Visa. You'll also find links to useful resources from our blog and video throughout, so you can plan your next steps.

What is it?

This category allows certain student visa holders to apply for a work visa on the basis that they have completed a recognised New Zealand qualification, to give them an opportunity to find employment in their field of study.

There are two types of visas which you could apply for, depending on your situation. They are called 'post-study work visa (open)' and ' post-study work visa (employer assisted). The difference between the two are that the former is an open work visa with a validity of up to 12 months, and the latter is a specific work visa allowing you to work for a specified employer for up to 24 months.

Let's take a look at each of them in turn.

What are the requirements?

Under Post Study Work Visa (Open) category, you will need to satisfy each of the following requirements:

  • meet general requirements; and
  • meet qualification requirements; and
  • meet funds requirements.


General requirements include paying correct application fee, using prescribed Immigration New Zealand form, meeting health/character requirements, and being a 'bona fide' (genuine) applicant.

In addition, you must not have held a work visa under this category previously, unless you have completed a higher second qualification at bachelor degree or post-graduate level for at least one academic year.


The qualification obtained must satisfy any one of the following:

  • level seven or above and studied for at least one academic year; or
  • levels four to six and studied for at least two academic years; or
  • two qualifications at levels four to six that each required at least one academic year study, provided that the second qualification is at a higher level (two years study in total).

You also need to submit your application no later than 3 months after the end date of your student visa for that qualification.


You must provide evidence to show to Immigration New Zealand that you have a minimum of $4,200 in funds available to maintain yourself during your 12 months stay in New Zealand.

author headshot Michael Yoon
Guide last modified on 9 September 2023 by
Michael Yoon
Michael has been working as a lawyer in New Zealand since 2006. Over the years, he has successfully helped thousands of clients to get their desired outcome. Clients find Michael knowledgeable, approachable and professional — a trusted expert.

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