Prostitution is legal in New Zealand and the international students there have been told they are to be barred from working in the sex trade.
A government immigration website, www.nzstudywork.com, said Monday overseas students have the same workplace rights as all New Zealanders, but lists jobs they cannot do.
Foreign students "can't provide commercial sexual services. In other words, they can't work as a prostitute, act as an operator of a New Zealand prostitution business or invest in a prostitution business", the website said.
Immigration New Zealand general manager Stephen Dunstan said New Zealand legislation did not preclude students from working as massage therapists.
Prostitution was decriminalised in 2003.
There are about 70,000 overseas students in New Zealand, many of whom take part-time jobs to help meet their expenses.
The New Zealand Herald reported Monday that Chinese make up a third of the 1,700 sex workers in Auckland, but it was not known how many were on a student visa.