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Full details of visa and permit requirements, advice on rights to employment in New Zealand while studying, and reporting requirements are available through Immigration New Zealand.
If you have any questions about your particular situation or visa application, phone INZ free on 0508 55 88 55. Tell the operator that you would like to speak to somebody in your first language if you don’t feel comfortable having the conversation in English.
A student visa allows you to study in New Zealand full-time. Your course of study, education provider and finish date will all be specified by your student visa. It’s important that you meet all the conditions of your student visa.
Apply for a student visa, find out about the application process, print the application form or read the Student Visa Guide here. You should apply for your student visa as soon as you have been accepted and given an Offer of Place by NorthTec as in some cases the application process may take a number of weeks.
For a list of documents you must provide with your application, refer to the checklist on the inside cover of the Student Visa Application form.
Immigration New Zealand normally requires evidence that you have paid your tuition fees to get a student visa. In some countries you can apply for an Approval in Principal (AIP) visa with your Offer of Place before paying your tuition fees. Consult your local education agent for further information.
To meet the conditions of your student visa, you must:
attend classes full-time at the education provider written on your student visa
make academic progress while you are studying as determined by your education provider
not receive income for work without the permission of INZ
not commit a crime
It’s also your responsibility to ensure that you have a valid visa in your passport at all times while studying in New Zealand.
Renewing a student visa, or getting a variation, is not a difficult process. Talk to the International Team if you need any assistance.
If you arrive in New Zealand on a visitor visa, you are still allowed to enrol in a short course of study for no more than three calendar months without a student visa. So if you plan to take an English Language course, for example, for less than 12 weeks, you may enter New Zealand on a visitor visa. Studying for a whole semester on a visitor visa is not allowed though so you’ll need to apply for a student visa.
Visitors from visa-free countries are able to enter New Zealand without a visitor visa. On arrival they will still be required to provide evidence of onward travel arrangements and adequate funds to cover living expenses while in New Zealand.
Find out about work entitlements while studying in New Zealand as an international student here
Go to the INZ website to find out more about:
Studying on a working holiday visa
Post-study work visas
Skilled Migrant Category and other residency options