New Zealand Student Visa
New Zealand is a beautiful country that welcomes visitors from abroad with open arms, including those who wish to take advantage of its high standard of education and training.
If you would like to study a short course in New Zealand for the duration of less than three months, a visitor visa is all that is required. Two or more short courses require a student visa or permit.
If you are a New Zealand or Australian citizen, hold a New Zealand residence permit or an Australian permanent residence/resident return visa (except for when conditions apply to your residence/resident return visa) you will NOT need to apply for a visa or permit to study in New Zealand.
For full-time courses longer than three months, you will probably need a student visa. This includes courses at primary, secondary and tertiary levels.
You may be able to study part-time if your course is at least three years long and includes practical work experience, or if you are accepted into an approved course that is no longer than nine months long. In these cases, you may study and work part-time at the same time.
It is important that you thoroughly understand the conditions and outcomes of the course you wish to undertake before commencing the visa application process.
Please note that this outline is a guide only, as visa conditions are subject to change. It is advised that you log onto the New Zealand Immigration website to find out the latest news and conditions and contact our team.
Contact your home country’s New Zealand Government office for all application forms and thorough details of the visa application process and your eligibility.
To apply for a student visa, you are required to provide an offer of acceptance from a New Zealand education provider, which must include:
- A written place of offer for the course.
- The name and duration of the course.
- Proof that the course is approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), which will ensure it is of a high educational standard.
- The cost of the course fees and whether this is in New Zealand dollars or your own currency.
- Whether these fees need to be paid (in which case a receipt must be provided when your application has been approved in principle) or whether you are on a scholarship or exempt from fees.
- Whether you are studying full-time (longer than 20 hours per week) or part time (less than 20 hours per week).
This offer of acceptance must be provided with a completed ‘Student Visa/Permit Application’ form from the New Zealand Immigration Website, the application fee and a passport-sized photograph. The website also includes a useful application guide to help you through the process.
Further details which must be provided include:
- A written guarantee of accommodation either from your education provider or other relevant person assuring appropriate housing will be available to you.
- Proof of adequate health and travel insurance.
- Accompaniment by a guardian, if required.
- Your passport, which must remain valid through to three months after the end of your study period.
- Proof that you plan to leave New Zealand at the end of your study period.
- An acceptable standard of health and of good character (if the stay is longer than two years, a police background check and medical check will need to be undertaken).
- Evidence that you will have access to appropriate funds during your stay in New Zealand, depending on the duration of the course.
If successful, you must continue to satisfy the conditions of your student permit during your stay in New Zealand.
- Attending the place of study in your permit.
- Continuing to pass your course.
- Not undertaking work, or only undertaking the amount specified in your permit (up to 20 hours a week).
- Abiding by New Zealand’s laws.
- Only remaining in New Zealand for the time specified in your permit.
- Remaining accompanied by a guardian if necessary, with the guardian’s visa remaining valid.
If any of these conditions are broken, you may have your permit revoked and will be required to leave New Zealand.
Certain conditions such as the course or institution you are studying at and your ability to work whilst studying may be applied for after your initial permit is granted through a student permit variation.