Know all about New Zealand student visa
Updated on Oct 22, 2014 - 11:38 a.m. IST by None #New Zealand
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The number of students going to New Zealand for higher studies is increasing every year because of its accessibility to immigrants. International students need a student visa to study in New Zealand depending on the nature and duration of study. We are providing comprehensive information about the process involved in getting a New Zealand student visa.

Types of New Zealand Student Visa

The Immigration New Zealand provides student visa a maximum for four years. It decides the length of the student visa based on three factors.

  • If you are a full-fee paying student, the visa will be issued for the length that you have paid the fee for. If you are following the New Zealand academic year, your visa which is issued for one year will expire on March 31 the next year.

  • If your education provider has a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the Immigration New Zealand, you can apply for length of course visa which allows you to stay full length of the course you chose (up to four years) regardless of the period for which you paid the fee for.

  • If you are a full-scholarship student, the visa will be issued for the period which the scholarship is grated (up to four years).

If you are a student under the age of 13 and enrolled in years one to eight of a school in a private training establishment, you must be accompanied either by your parents or a legal guardian.

New Zealand Student Visa Checklist


You can apply for the New Zealand student visa either online or on paper. Click here to apply online. You can also apply on paper.


The student visa checklist includes:

a)      Completed and signed application form
b)      Two recent passport size photographs
c)       Offer letter from the university/ education provider stating that you have obtained a place.
d)      Valid passport
e)      Visa application fee. Click here to calculate your application fee
f)       Evidence for the enrolment for the course and payment of the tuition fee
g)      Medical certificates: TB clearance or medical X-ray and police certificates (if required)
h)      Details of the application for guardian visa for students under the age of 13 years
i)        Evidence of financial support during the stay in New Zealand
j)        If the documents and transcripts are not in English, you will have to provide translation.


New Zealand Visa Processing

During the assessment of the visa application, the immigration department will see if the candidate meets all requirements for the student visa to be a bona fide student, meaning the student is genuinely intended to study in New Zealand. It includes:

  • Your personal circumstances such as your family ties in the home country and New Zealand and personal, employment and financial conditions in the home country and New Zealand.

  • Information about whether any country has denied your visa

  • Information on whether you have any dependants who are unlawful in New Zealand

  • Information on your capabilities of leaving New Zealand at the completion of the course.

New Zealand Student Visa Processing Timings

The average time taken to issue a student visa is 25 days. Usually, 95% of visas are issued during this time. In some cases, when the complete information is not available or some documents are missing, the processing may take more time.

The students will get an email or SMS notification when the completed application form is received provided they give accurate email id or phone number. If you are not receiving any communication 30 days after submitting the application form, you should send the query to


Work While Studying

You are allowed to work for 20 hours per week during the term and full time during vacation if you meet one of the following criteria:

  • The course must be two years of duration

  • The course must lead to a New Zealand qualification that gives enough points for a New Zealand skilled migrant visa

  • The course must last for at least one academic year and you must be a part of a tertiary exchange programme

  • It is a private training establishment which conducts classes to improve English language. You must also have a minimum IELTS band score of 5.0

  • You are a New Zealand Aid Programme Scholarship student who has one of the following scholarships:

    a)      Commonwealth Scholarship

    b)      New Zealand Development Scholarship

    c)       New Zealand Pacific Scholarship

    d)      New Zealand Association of South East Asian Nations (ASEAN) Scholars Award.


Full-time work rights

You can get the full time work right if your course is of at least one year duration and you must earn at least 120 credit points in eight months (two semesters).

Unlimited work rights for PhD students and Masters by research students

 If you are enrolled for Masters by research or a PhD programme, there are no working hour restrictions for you.

However, you cannot work if you are doing one of the below given programmes:

  • Short-Term Training Awards

  • New Zealand Regional Development Scholarships

  • English Language Training for Officials

Visa denial

There are certain conditions in which the Immigration New Zealand rejects the visa. They are:

  • If you are unlawfully staying in New Zealand during the time of applying for visa

  • If you do not meet the health and character requirements

  • If you are convicted and imprisoned for more than five years

  • If you are a member of a terrorist entity under the Terrorism Suppression Act.

Visa and Departure

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Questions related to New Zealand

Showing 2 out of 2 Questions

why choose new Zealand for study?

dheeraj reddy 15th Feb, 2020
Well, Studying in NZ is cheaper than US and several European countries. Also a lot of scholarship opportunities are available to fund your study. University of Auckland is among the top 100 universities in the world.
NZ has some most livable cities in the world: Auckland, Wellington to name a few. Also one of the safest country to live.
Part-time job opportunities are plenty for international students through which you could recover the cost of your living expenses.
NZ is easier country to immigrate if your plan is to settle abroad. Add beautiful landscapes as another reason to ;)
As far as job opportunities are considered, NZ is a small country and offer limited work opportunities for internationals. Even though few employers might prefer locals ,as there is a lack of skilled professionals they are open to all, it would be upon you to sell yourself well.

Further research about work opportunities according to your field of interest and chose the best country accordingly. Goodluck !

Does GRE ,TOFEL &IELTS are mandatory for postgraduate courses or any one of the above?

Apoorva Student Expert 25th Sep, 2019

Hello dear student,

As it seems like you want to take admission in New Zealand. so dear student it depends in which university you want to take admission in , so different universities asks for the different exam .They all have  their own criteria to take students for MS in their university. So maximum universities asks for GRE marks while few asks for the other test scores.  GRE though not too popular, GRE is required for admission to masters courses in some of the universities in New Zealand.  GMAT: While NZ, just like Australia puts more emphasis on work experience, GMAT is still accepted for admission to management courses in its business schools.

i hope it was helpful.

Best wishes

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