Working while you study (international students)

As an international student at AUT you may be able to work while you are studying. Check your visa – it will show if and when you are allowed to work while you are studying in New Zealand.

If you work when you’re not allowed to, you’ll be in breach of your visa condition and may have to leave New Zealand.

International students at AUT who have a student visa may be able to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during all scheduled holidays and/or during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

Check your visa – it will show if and when you are allowed to work while you are studying in New Zealand.

Immigration New Zealand website

Part-time work (up to 20 hours a week)

You may be able to work part-time if you are:

  • Studying full-time for at least 2 years
  • Studying for a New Zealand qualification that gains points under the Skilled Migrant Category


You can only work 20 hours per week - you can't work 10 hours one week and 30 the next to average out to 20 hours per week.

Full-time work

During scheduled breaks in study

You may be able to work full-time if:

  • You are studying full-time for at least one academic year; and
  • Your course is worth more than 120 credits

During the Christmas and New Year holiday period

You may be able to work full-time if:

  • You are studying full-time; and
  • Your course is worth less than 120 credits

AUT semester dates and scheduled breaks

PhD or master's by research students

There are no restrictions on the hours you can work if you are studying a:

  • Master's by research (dissertation or thesis only); or
  • Doctoral degree programme

You need to indicate this when you apply for your student visa at Immigration New Zealand, so that they can endorse the appropriate work condition.

If you don't have this full-time work condition, you can only work part-time in New Zealand for up to 20 hours a week, depending on your programme of study.

Working full-time for your AUT workplace experience

If you are required to do workplace experience (co-operative education) as part of your AUT programme:

  • You can apply for the “Holder may undertake practical experience” condition¹, which allows you to work full-time while on your student visa
  • You should discuss this condition with Student Hub staff

¹ This condition is only valid for the time that you are enrolled in co-operative education, and can't be used at any other time while you hold a student visa.

As an International House English language student, you can work part-time (up to 20 hours a week) if you have a valid student visa and your course meets certain conditions.

Courses 6 months and longer - you can work part-time if:

  • Your study is full-time; and
  • Your programme is for 6 months or longer; and
  • We believe the main purpose of your study is to improve your English; and
  • You have an International English Language Testing System certificate with an overall band score of 5.0 that’s no more than 2 years old – you’ll need to provide this with your application.

Courses 14 weeks and longer - you can work part-time if:

  • Your study is full-time; and
  • Your study is for at least 14 consecutive weeks
  • You’re studying English language
  • Your study is with a university, or a high-quality education provider

Shorter courses

When we assess if you’re eligible to work part-time, we’ll look at any English language study you’ve done on previous student visas.

We can count your previous English language study towards the 14 weeks if:

  • Your new study follows on from your previous study
  • The study is with the same education provider

Working in New Zealand

If you need help to find a job while you're studying at AUT, you can contact Employability and Careers.

AUT Employability and Careers service

Jobs you can't do

There are some jobs you can not do as an international student:

  • You can't be self-employed: you must work as an employee with an employment agreement, and not as an independent contractor
  • You can't provide commercial sexual services

Useful websites for international students

Contact the Student Hub

Need help or have a question? The Student Hub is located on each campus.

Hub locations and hours