Here is all the information you need on how to get a student visa in New Zealand.
Why Study in New Zealand?
If you have been wondering whether New Zealand is a good study location, wonder no more. New Zealand is a great study location that allows you to explore several job opportunities. The best part is, getting a student visa would not be difficult because many international students are yet to consider this study location.
New Zealand has a lot to offer, including a great education system, internationally recognized certifications, numerous research possibilities, and an exceptional quality of life. You can expect a kind and pleasant culture with an outstanding support structure for international students while studying there.
New Zealand’s eight institutions typically rank well in QS World Rankings and Times Higher Education Rankings, and degrees from any of them are recognized worldwide, offering doors to opportunities everywhere. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) also guarantees that institutions are registered to enroll international students and that they meet qualification requirements.
New Zealand’s education system, which was influenced by the UK, emphasizes research-based teaching, which means you will learn how to deal with circumstances in a systematic and organized manner. At various levels, you will be taught how to work individually as well as in a group. You will be encouraged to think critically, ask questions, and benefit from student-teacher interaction while studying here. You will also be putting what you have learned in class into practice and coming up with new ways to solve problems. You can work up to 20 hours per week as an international student in New Zealand during semesters and full-time during breaks. In addition, you will be able to work full-time if you are pursuing a research masters or Ph.D. degree.
What Visa Do I Need to Study in New Zealand?
The kind of student visa you will need is determined by the type of study you intend to pursue and the length of time you plan to stay in New Zealand. A valid passport and the right visa are essential for a smooth arrival. It’s necessary to keep your Fee Paying student status while studying in New Zealand. This status refers to the reason for your visit to New Zealand.
You do not require a student visa for New Zealand if you are a New Zealand or Australian citizen with a New Zealand residence class visa or a valid Australian permanent residence visa (including a current Australian resident return visa) with no conditions. You also do not require a student visa or permit to study if the course you plan to take is less than three months long and you have a visitor’s visa or permit from New Zeal
and. You will require a student visa if your course is expected to take three months or longer to finish. Below are the types of visas you need to study in New Zealand.
Student Visa in New Zealand to Study for Three Months or Less
A visitor visa is the best option for you if you wish to do a short course of study in New Zealand. A visitor visa allows you to enroll in one or more courses for up to three months. This visa allows you to include your partner and any dependent children under the age of 19.
Student Visa in New Zealand to Study for More than Three months
You will need a Fee Paying Student Visa if you plan to take a full-time course in New Zealand that lasts more than three months. Your student visa is usually issued for the same period of time as the course of study for which you have paid. During the school year, you may be authorized to work up to 20 hours per week and full-time during the holidays, depending on your visa requirements.
Study in New Zealand with NZeTA
You do not need a NZeTA if you have a student visa or another type of visa, such as a visitor visa.
New Zealand Pathway Student Visa
A Pathway Student Visa is for overseas students who desire to study for up to three years in a row with recognized education providers on the same visa. With this visa, you can stay for up to 5 years on a single student visa and study up to three courses in succession. You can also work part-time for up to 20 hours a week while studying and full-time during the holidays, depending on your degree of study.
Required Documents for Student Visa in New Zealand
Before you begin your application, you should organize your studies, figure out how you’ll sustain yourself in New Zealand, and double-check the documents you’ll need to submit. Below are the required documents you need to apply for a student visa in New Zealand.
Acceptance letter from a New Zealand university
Proof of acceptance at a recognized New Zealand-based education provider is required for your New Zealand student visa application.
Evidence of Sufficient Funds
You must also demonstrate that you have the finances to pay your tuition fees (evidence of loan coverage, scholarship, or other funds) as well as proof of funds to cover your living expenses while studying in New Zealand (via a sponsor, a loan, a scholarship, government support or sufficient bank balance). If your program is longer than nine months, you must show that you have at least NZD$15,000 (US$10,870) in your account for each year.
Evidence of onward travel
This can be proof of already purchased onward tickets, proof of additional finances, or a sponsor’s commitment to pay for onward travel. The goal is to demonstrate that you intend to leave the nation once you finish your education and that you can afford to do so.
This is frequently arranged through your educational institution. Learn more about it here.
You will need to give a general medical certificate, a chest x-ray certificate, and perhaps a tuberculosis test if you plan to study in New Zealand for more than 12 months. If you are under the age of 18, you must additionally produce proof of organized housing, as well as a police certificate of “good character” if you are 17 or older.
Along with the above-mentioned documents, you will also need to provide:
- Two colored passport photographs
- A passport that is valid for at least three months following your departure date from New Zealand.
- Proof that you have paid the application cost.
*Student visas applied online typically take 20 days to process, whereas student visas submitted on paper take 25 days.
How to Apply for Student Visa in New Zealand
Before arriving in New Zealand, you can apply for a student visa either online or in person. You must contact your local New Zealand consulate or embassy to obtain an application form and/or an appointment to apply in person within your home country. Alternatively, you can create an account on the official website and apply online. You should submit your application at least six weeks before your trip to New Zealand.
Below are the processes for applying for a student visa in New Zealand:
- Receive an offer letter: Your chosen college will give you an offer letter, which you must accept before paying any upfront tuition or housing fees.
- Obtain a medical examination: You must have a medical examination performed by a doctor who has been approved by Immigration New Zealand.
- Obtain a Police Clearance Certificate (PCC): A clearance certificate can be obtained from a Regional Passport Office or the Deputy Commissioner of Police in your area.
- Create an account and apply online: you might also be able to apply by mail. Keep a copy of the receipt for your application fee payment.
- Receive a decision: The length of time it takes to receive a visa decision varies based on the nation from where you are applying. Always apply at least three months before the start of your study.
*The time it takes to process your visa will differ depending on a number of factors. The New Zealand government has reported that: Within 13 days, 50% of applications are processed; 75% of applications are processed within 24 days and 90% of applications are processed in 46 days or less. That means your visa will take between two to seven weeks to arrive.
Can Family Join with a New Zealand Student Visa?
With a Partner of a Student Work Visa, your spouse or partner may be able to join you in New Zealand, but the restrictions mean that the majority of students will not be eligible. In order for your partner to join you in New Zealand, you must be studying for a Level 7 or 8 qualification on New Zealand’s Long Term Skill Shortage List, or a Level 9 or 10 qualification. Your university will be able to inform you what level you are studying at if you are uncertain.
How Much Does a Student Visa in New Zealand Cost?
Students who submit their Student Visa Application online must pay a Visa fee of NZD 330. Candidates who apply for a Student Visa through the mail must pay USD 222. Candidates should be aware that the handling fees may vary based on the Visa Center, therefore they should check the official website before applying for the precise amount at the moment.
Additional Information for Student Visa in New Zealand
You must complete your course within the minimum course term indicated on your acceptance letter as an international student. You can apply for a Post-study work visa if you do not yet have a job offer. The visas are available for up to 12 months and allow you to work in a temporary position while looking for work in your industry.
If your program of study fits one of the following criteria, you can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week:
- It will last at least two years.
- It leads to a New Zealand qualification that can be used to earn points toward a Skilled Migrant visa application.
- It is a higher institution with the primary goal of developing English language abilities; you must also have an overall band score of 5.0 or higher in the general or academic modules of the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).
If you are enrolled in a full-time program of study for at least one academic year, you may work full-time during all holidays. You can work full-time during the Christmas and New Year holidays if your full-time program of study lasts at least eight months and consists of at least two semesters but does not exceed 120 credits.
There are no restrictions on the number of hours you can work if you are enrolled in a Masters by research or a doctoral degree program at a New Zealand tertiary institution.
Can I work with a New Zealand Student Visa?
Foreign full-time students with a student visa are legally permitted to work in New Zealand for up to 20 hours per week during the school year and full-time during all scheduled holiday periods such as Christmas, Easter, and summer vacation. The 20-hour limit does not apply to the work experience required for your studies. International students are not permitted to be self-employed. Students pursuing a master’s degree by research or a doctorate can work as many hours as they like. You may still be able to work in New Zealand after completing your education, but you must first check with the visa authorities and then apply for the relevant work visa.
What to do if your New Zealand Student Visa Application is Denied
If you believe your visa was denied by mistake, you can request a written reconsideration of your visa decision. You will be given the visa you were denied if New Zealand Immigration evaluates your case again and determines that you are accurate. A reconsideration procedure may come at a cost.
You can only request that your application be reconsidered if:
- When you make the request, you are in New Zealand.
- You are in possession of a valid visa, i.e. an interim visa.
- Your request is received within 14 calendar days of the rejection of your application.
- If you believe you can file a new visa application that addresses the basis for your refusal, you should do so.
*You will have to pay the application cost again, and you’ll have to make sure you properly address any issues that were raised in your earlier application.