Education and Migration Agents

New Zealand

International Education


New Zealand Student Visas

New Zealand Immigration Service (NZIS), is a government authority responsible for issuing permits and visas to enter New Zealand. Students are advised to contact the nearest New Zealand Embassy or High Commission to obtain information on visa regulations.

Please note: With many countries, New Zealand has agreements that mean a student visa is not normally required for one single course of study or training of not more than three (3) calendar months' duration.

Standard Requirements:

  1. Complete the 'Application for Student Visa' Form. These are available at the New Zealand Embassy or High Commission and your local travel/education agencies. With the 'Application for Student Visa' you will need to include:


    • A recent passport-size photograph.

    • Payment of a non-refundable visa application fee.

    • An 'Offer of Place' from a New Zealand education school or institution which states that you have been accepted by the school, the name of the course, the minimum time to complete the course, whether a course fee is required to be paid or the student is exempt from the fee (e.g. scholarship students).This 'Offer of Place' will be sent to you by the New Zealand institution who has confirmed your enrolment.

    • Evidence of payment of course tuition fee or evidence of exemption from fee.Note: Students are no longer required to produce evidence of payment of course fees before their applications are approved in principle.

    • A guarantee of accommodation. A written assurance from a New Zealand education institution or other persons that suitable accommodation is available to you in New Zealand. Most New Zealand institutions will assist you with accommodation.

    • Evidence of sufficient funds to cover your living expenses and return travel back to your home country.

    • You will need to provide medical clearance and character references ONLY for courses which are longer than 24 months. Contact the New Zealand Embassy or High Commission for further information on this.


  2. Students will only be issued with a student visa if they have enrolled in an approved course at an institution or establishment which is accredited to offer it.

  3. If your application for a student visa is approved you will need a passport which will be valid for 3 months beyond your initial date of departure from New Zealand.

A Student Visa is

an endorsement you get in your passport to allow you to travel to New Zealand. It shows you have permission to travel to New Zealand and may be granted a Student Permit when you arrive. The visa may be single for one journey, or multiple for more than one journey.

A Student Permit is

an endorsement in your passport which allows you to study in New Zealand. It will state the expiry date of your permit and the conditions of your permit. The conditions may include:

  • the course of study

  • the educational institution

  • the location of the institution in New Zealand.

Who does not need a Student Permit or Visa to study in New Zealand?

You do not need a visa or permit to study in New Zealand if you are:

  • a New Zealand citizen or a New Zealand Resident Permit holder (to re enter you need a current New Zealand returning resident visa) or

  • an Australian citizen or an Australian resident who holds a current Australian resident return visa or

  • one of a group of people who are exempt from the requirement to hold a permit to be in New Zealand or

  • will undertake a course of no more than three months.

Who needs a Student Visa

You will need to apply for a Student Visa if you are outside of New Zealand, and are coming to New Zealand to study full time for longer than three months. Your spouse and children may apply for a Visitor's or a Student Visa.

However, potential students entering New Zealand from visa-free countries will be able to apply for a student permit once they have found an educational institute.

Who needs a Student Permit

  • You may apply for a Student Permit if you are a visitor or a worker in New Zealand and wish to study full time.

  • You can also apply for further Student Permits in New Zealand.

  • Your spouse and children may apply for a Visitor's or a Student Permit.

What courses may I study?

  • Your course of study and educational institution must be approved for foreign students. The educational institute will advise you if the institute and the course are approved. If you have any queries contact the New Zealand Qualifications Authority(NZQA).

  • You must show evidence that you are enrolled in the course and have paid the course fees for non New Zealand students.

What do I have to provide to get a Student Visa or Permit?

Student Visa and Permit requirements are found on the Application to Study in New Zealand form, under the heading The Student's Guide.

What if I want to study part time?

If you are a visitor or worker in New Zealand and wish to study part time, you may apply for a Variation of Conditions to allow you to study.

You must show evidence that you are enrolled in the course and have paid the course fees for non New Zealand students, and pay the Variation of Conditions fee.

As a Tertiary student, can I work?

Students undertaking a full-time long-term course of study culminating in a recognised diploma or degree taking at least two academic years to complete and students undertaking a full time course of study culminating in a qualification that would attract points under the General Skills category of Residence policy may be granted a variation of conditions to their student permit to allow them to work for no more than 15 hours per week, provided that:

  • they request the variation of conditions after beginning such a course of study, or

  • they are applying for a student permit in order to continue such a course of study.

No application form or fee is required for this variation of conditions.

Can I work during the Christmas and New Year holidays?

If you have a Student Permit for more than 12 months you may apply for a Variation of Conditions to your Student Permit to allow you to work over the Christmas and New Year holidays. No offer of employment is required. You will need to pay a Variation of Conditions fee (see New Zealand Immigrations Guide to Fees leaflet)

Can I work after I have completed my studies?

If you have completed a polytechnic or university qualification that has a minimum completion time of 3 years, you may apply for a Work permit which allows you to work up to a maximum of two years (this does not apply to holders of Limited Purpose Permits). An offer of employment relevant to your qualifications is required.

Am I able to holiday in New Zealand after I have completed my course?

If you arrived in New Zealand on a Student Visa and have completed your course, you may apply for a Visitor's Permit to holiday in New Zealand. You will need to meet visitor requirements and may be granted a Visitor's Permit for up to three months.

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