Working while studying.

Working While Studying

Most international students in New Zealand have the right to work part-time during the semester and full-time during breaks scheduled by the provider of their study programme.

Working while studying offers a range of benefits. You can earn extra money to spend on anything from a more advanced laptop to entertainment and holidays.

You will gain work experience and get used to the work style and environment in the country. You will meet new people and make contacts and friends. Here you will find information and advice on working while studying in New Zealand.

Student Visa Employment Conditions

Most student visa holders enrolled in full-time tertiary programmes of study can work part time up to 20 hours per week during the semesters of the academic year and full time during scheduled breaks. Please note that the visa conditions on working while studying may vary from one international student to another.

You are required to check the conditions which apply to you. They will be outlined in the student visa stamped in your passport. You may also receive a special letter from Immigration New Zealand explaining the employment conditions which apply to you as a student visa holder.

You must have full understanding of the employment conditions of your student visa and adhere to them strictly. Otherwise, you may be penalised. One of the penalties applied is deportation.

Employment Arrangement Options

There are different types of jobs based on employment arrangement. The main options which are available in New Zealand include:

Full-time and part-time work

Full-time jobs typically have 35 to 40 working hours per week while part-time ones have between 10 and 20 working hours per week. Keep in mind that you are allowed to work only part time during the terms of the academic year. Full-time employment is an option during scheduled breaks.

Fixed-term employment

Under this arrangement, you will be employed for a set period of time which is fixed in advance. Usually, fixed-term agreements are offered to workers who are hired to complete a specific project or to do seasonal work.

Casual work

Under this arrangement, you will be required to work as and when you are required. It must be stated in your employment agreement.

Piece work

If you do this type of work, you will be paid per piece of work which you produce rather than an hourly wage. Still, the pay which you get must not be lower than the minimum hourly wage in the country.

Trial period

During this initial work period, the employer has the right to release you without informing you in advance and without stating a reason for the release. It can be up to 90 days long. You are not required to accept a job which comes with a trial period. All terms and conditions applied to this period must be present in the employment agreement.

Pay and Taxation

There are minimum wage rates set in New Zealand. Employers in the country are required to pay at least the minimum wage to each and every worker over the age of 16 and international students are no exception. The minimum wage rates are reviewed on an annual basis.

Every employee in the country is required to pay tax and Accident Compensation Corporation levies. Tax is automatically deducted from your pay by your employer under the Pay As You Earn system. In order to be able to receive remuneration and to pay taxes you must have an Inland Revenue number (IRD number).

The payment of wages is done under the terms and conditions of the employment agreement. It states the intervals at which you have to be paid and the days on which you have to be paid. Unless there is a precise method of payment outlined in the agreement, the employer is legally required to pay the wage in cash and more specifically in New Zealand bank notes and coins.

Employee Rights

Each and every worker in New Zealand has minimum rights and entitlements. Employers are legally required to provide written employment agreement, to pay at least the current minimum wage, to grant paid annual holidays, paid rest breaks and unpaid meal breaks and to provide a safe work place.

When an employer offers you a job, you must be given a written employment agreement in advance. You need to read it and to understand it.

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