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New Zealand Study Visa

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New Zealand Study Visa

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.

Student visa requirements include:

  • an offer of place from an educational institution approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
  • a written guarantee from an institution or person that suitable accommodation is available to you in New Zealand (if you’re under 18 years)
  • evidence of sufficient funds to live on while you are studying
  • a return air ticket to your country, or evidence of sufficient funds to buy one.

If you’re spending six months or more here in New Zealand you may need to be screened for tuberculosis.

If you’re over 17 and intending to be in New Zealand for over two years, a police certificate will be required to show that you are of good character.

If your course is three months or less, you don’t need a student visa: just a visitor visa.

If you have been offered a place in an approved exchange scheme you can apply for a student visa for the duration of your exchange, provided you meet our health and character requirements and are a genuine exchange participant. If you’re coming on a working holiday scheme you can do one or more courses of study as long as their total duration doesn’t exceed six months.

This is just a summary. You should make sure you get the full details at Immigration New Zealand. You may also be able to apply for your student visa online.

Working after study


If your long-term plan is to work here and become a New Zealand resident, then you’ll need to know about our requirements to work after study. It’s good to have these in mind when deciding what course to enrol in so you gain a qualification that’s needed and valued by New Zealand employers.

Visas for school children


Dependent children of temporary work visa holders also need a student visa. This entitles them to attend New Zealand primary and secondary schools as domestic students. To avoid delays it is strongly recommended that you apply for this visa from your home country. Without a student visa, they can only attend school for two weeks as a domestic student or for three months as a fee-paying international student.

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.
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