Student Visa New Zealand

New Zealand is a young country where independence, initiative and resourcefulness are more highly regarded than status or rules. As a student here you’ll be encouraged to be questioning, flexible and to seek your own answers by thinking for yourself.

If you’re from overseas, you can apply for a visa to study full-time in New Zealand. You’ll need to pay the full cost of your courses and enrol with an approved education provider. While you’re here, you can enjoy New Zealand’s high-quality teaching standards and gain internationally recognised qualifications.

Overview

Up to 4 years

With this visa you can

  • Study full-time at the course stated on your visa – this includes schools, tertiary (study after secondary school) and English language study.
  • Work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying or full-time in the holidays, depending on your visa conditions.
  • Live by yourself above a certain age, otherwise you’ll need to come with your parent or legal guardian.

Things to note

  • You can apply for this visa if you’re a distance learning or correspondence student and you need to visit your New Zealand education provider for any reason to do with your education, eg to do practical study or sit exams.
  • If you want to bring your partner or children with you, they can apply for visas based on their relationship to you.
  • Your Student Visa is normally for the same length of time as the study you’ve paid for.

Fee Paying Student Visa

This visa is for you if… … you want to study full-time in New Zealand for more than 3 months. You’ll need to pay the full cost of your courses and enrol with an  Criteria you must meet
  • You must have an offer of place, or confirmation of enrolment from an 
How long can I stay on this visa Up to 4 years
With this visa you can…
  • Study full-time at the course stated on your visa – this includes schools, tertiary (study after secondary school) and English language study.
  • Work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying and full-time in the holidays, depending on your visa conditions.
  • Live by yourself above a certain age, otherwise you’ll need to come with your parent or 
After this visa… …you can apply for another student visa, or a work visa.
Opening and closing dates and times You can apply for this visa at any time.

Offer of place

You must have an offer of place from an approved education provider

Your offer of place or if you’re a returning student, confirmation of enrolment, must include:

  • the name of your course and how long the course is for
  • confirmation that your tuition fees will be paid by New Zealand Aid
  • whether your study will be full-time, part-time or as a distance learning or correspondence student
  • if your course is for more than one academic year, the dates of all of the course’s scheduled holidays
  • if you’re under 18, confirmation that your accommodation complies with the ‘Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students’.

Offers of place must also include your approved education provider’s signed declaration that they’ve assessed and are satisfied that:

  • the programme offered is appropriate for your expectations
  • you have the English language ability and academic capability to succeed

It’s OK if you provide information about your scheduled holidays in a separate document.

Tuition fees

Unless you’re exempt, you must have enough money to pay your tuition fees

Evidence can include any one of the following:

  • Letter from your approved education provider showing fees are paid or that you don’t have to pay fees
  • Evidence that your home country government loan has been applied for, and confirmation from the education provider they expect to receive the fees
  • Evidence you’ve applied for a home country government loan and confirmation that you’re enrolling in a bachelor degree programme or higher at a Private Training Establishment (PTE)
  • Evidence you have a scholarship from your education provider.

For applications processed outside New Zealand, evidence of payment isn’t required until after the application has been approved in principle.

If you study multiple courses, or a single course for more than one year, you must provide evidence you have enough money to pay tuition fees for your first course or year of study, and also how you will pay your tuition fees for subsequent years.

Medical and travel insurance

You must have full medical and travel insurance for the length of your stay

  • You must declare in your visa application that you agree to arrange and hold insurance.
  • Your insurance policy must cover you from the date that you arrive in New Zealand until the day you leave.
  • Your insurance policy must cover all of the following:
    • travel (this includes travel to and from New Zealand, within New Zealand, and outside New Zealand if travelling as part of the course)
    • medical care in New Zealand, including diagnosis, prescription, surgery, and hospitalisation
    • the transportation out of New Zealand as a result of serious illness or injury, including cover of travel costs incurred by family members assisting the student
    • death (including cover of the travel costs of family members to and from New Zealand, costs of repatriation, and funeral expenses).

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students don’t need to hold insurance.

You can arrange insurance through your education provider. If you are arranging your own insurance, your education provider can give you more information about what your policy must cover.

Already have a Student Visa

You must be able to show that you’re passing your course and meeting your attendance requirements

If you already have a Student Visa and you’re applying for another Student Visa, you must provide photocopied evidence of your previous student performance, progress and attendance. This can include:

  • academic transcripts
  • a letter from your approved education provider
  • attendance records.

Funds

You must have enough money to live on while you’re in New Zealand

Evidence can include:

  • proof that you have NZ $15,000 for a full year of study or NZ $1,250 per month that you’ll be in New Zealand
  • documents that show your living costs have been paid
  • a ‘Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry’ completed by an acceptable sponsor
  • a completed ‘Financial Undertaking for a Student’ form.

If you study for more than one year, you must provide evidence you have enough money to support yourself for your first year and how you will pay your living costs for subsequent years.

Evidence of how you’ll pay for subsequent years can include for example, savings or the income of family you can access while in New Zealand.

Onward travel

You must have a ticket to leave New Zealand or be sponsored for the cost of your onward travel

Evidence can include:

  • your travel ticket
  • proof you have enough money to buy a ticket out of New Zealand, in addition to the funds you have to live on
  • a ‘Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry’ completed by an acceptable sponsor.

Parent or legal guardian

If you are aged 9 or younger you must be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian unless you will live in an NZQA approved school hostel

If you must be accompanied, you must provide proof that your parent or legal guardian cares for you in your home country and has the legal right to provide care for you.

Evidence your parent or legal guardian cares for you in your home country can include:

  • your parent or guardian’s passport, or residence document showing that you’ve been living with them in your home country
  • documents that show they’ve paid for your education
  • educational records or documents that show they’re responsible for your education

Evidence your parent or legal guardian has the legal right to provide care for you can include:

  • your birth certificate or adoption papers (if they are your parent)
  • court documents (if they are a court-appointed guardian)
  • relevant legal documents if they are a testamentary guardian (i.e. they were named as guardian in your parents’ will, and your parents are deceased).

Your parent or legal guardian must apply separately for the type of visa they need.

If you have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, you must live with that person while you’re studying.

Permission to work

If you’re aged 16 or 17, or in years 12 or 13 of secondary school, you must have written permission to work

You must have permission to work up to 20 hours a week and/or full-time in the summer holidays from each of the following:

  • your parents or legal guardian
  • your approved education provider.

If you’re 18 or over, you don’t need permission to work over the summer holidays. We won’t grant work rights to children under 16 who have a Student Visa.

Full-time vacation work rights

You must provide information about your holidays and your course

If you’re allowed to work full-time in the holidays, proof:

  • of the holidays scheduled by your approved education provider, as shown in your offer of place document
  • that your course value is 120 credits – this information may be on your fee receipt or invoice, or other correspondence provided by your approved education provider.

Practical experience (optional)

If you’re required to do practical work experience as part of your course, you must provide evidence that it’s a course requirement

Evidence can include either of the following:

  • a letter from your approved education provider
  • a course outline that shows the practical component requirement, as shown in your offer of place document.

Any practical work experience you need to do complete your course can be worked in addition to the other hours your visa conditions allow you to work.

Immigration costs

Application cost

NZD $ 295

This is the fee for Immigration New Zealand to process your application.An immigration levy is payable and is included in the total amount above.

Timeframes

Processing

within 49 days

90% of applications are currently completed within this time. Timeframes are in calendar days.

Pathway Student Visa

This visa is for you if… …you want to study up to 3 consecutive courses on a single student visa. You’ll need to have an offer of place from a Pathway education provider.
Criteria you must meet
  • You must have an offer of place from a Pathway education provider.
  • If you have more than one education provider you must provide a letter explaining the courses you will study and the start and finish dates of those courses.
  • You must pay the full cost of your first course, or first year of study (whichever is shorter) and be able to pay the tuition fees for any second or third courses.
How long can I stay on this visa Up to 5 years
With this visa you can…
  • Study up to 3 courses, one after the other, on a single student visa.
  • Work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying and full-time in the holidays, depending on your course of study.
After this visa… …you can apply for another student visa, or a work visa.
Opening and closing dates and times You can apply for this visa at any time.