New Zealand is one of the most popular study destinations in the world, right now. Naturally, students from all corners of it wish to pursue higher education there. The most important information that one needs to go to another country is related to the visas that the country offers to students

Types of Student Visas in New Zealand

Fee-paying student visa New Zealand

If a student wants to study full-time in New Zealand for more than three months and is willing to pay the full cost of the course, this education visa is for students. The visa requirement is that students must enrol with an approved education provider in the country. Besides, students must have an offer of a place or confirmation of enrolment in a course. It becomes obvious that anyone who goes to New Zealand on this visa must have enough money to pay student fees for the course or programme the student wants to pursue. With this visa, a student can study full-time in a course stated on the visa, and can also work part-time, up to twenty hours a week. In addition, during holidays, students can work for as many as twenty hours a week. With this visa, an international student can stay in New Zealand for a maximum of four years. Students can apply for this visa any time during the year, and after the term of the visa ends, he/she can apply for another student visa and even a work visa.

Exchange student visa New Zealand

This visa is for students who have a place in an approved student exchange scheme and wants to pursue higher education in New Zealand for a duration of more than three months. Obviously, the student needs to show proof of acceptance in a student exchange programme and must apply from another country. Students on this visa are allowed to stay in New Zealand for a maximum of four years. During their stay, they can work part-time, for twenty hours a week, and full-time during the holidays. After the visa expires, a student can apply for a visitor visa and can stay for a maximum of another three months as a tourist.

The foreign government-supported student visa

This visa is for those international students who have a foreign government loan or scholarship and wants to pursue higher studies full-time in New Zealand. To get this visa, a student must provide proof that the government of the student’s country will pay his/her tuition fees. Students must have an offer of a place of residence in New Zealand, and must also provide proof that his/her loan from his/her government is enough to cover his/her living expenses in New Zealand. A student on this visa can stay in New Zealand for a maximum of four years. While pursuing his/her course, he/she can work part-time, for twenty hours a week, and full-time during his/her holidays. After the visa expires, a student can apply for another student visa, or even a work visa. An international student can apply for this visa at any time of the year.

New Zealand Student Visa Checklist

The following documents are required to apply for a student visa for pursuing higher studies, apart from the New Zealand Student visa application form.

  • Birth Certificate
  • Passport Photographs
  • A Valid Passport Photocopy
  • NID Copy (both Side)
  • Police Clearance Certificate –
  • Your English Proficiency Test Results
  • Proof of visa fees payment
  • Letters of Recommendation where needed
  • All Academic Certificates Mark Sheets/Transcript
  • Job Experience letter ( if any)
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Resume / CV
  • Offer Letter from an approved educational institute or education provider
  • Proof that you have enough money to bear the tuition fees and living costs/expenses during your stay in New Zealand.
  • Medical Certificate
  • Accommodation guarantee if you age below 18 years
  • COVID-19 Vaccination Record

There is no Student Visa in New Zealand Age Limit. Evidence of intended study- All necessary documents related to the enrolment in a particular course or programme in a university in New Zealand.

Health insurance in New Zealand

A student must maintain his/her medical and travel insurance policies while in New Zealand, the documents of which must be obtained and produced, to apply for a visa.

How Many Funds Needed For New Zealand Student Visa

Students must provide enough proof to show that he/she has enough funds to study and live in New Zealand. The required funds to show at the immigration for New Zealand Visa are:

  • NZD 1250 a month, for courses shorter than 36 weeks
  • NZD 15000 a year, for courses that run longer than 36 weeks

New Zealand Student Visa Fees

The New Zealand Visa Fees are different for different nationals. The tuition fee for a student visa in New Zealand is 295 NZD + 15 NZD for the application, the total fees for the visa process thus would be 310 NZD.

New Zealand Student Visa English Language Proficiency Requirements

NZ Accept English Language Proficiency (Either of the Three):

  • IELTS: A minimum language score of 5.5 in IELTS is mandatory for students opting for Under Graduation and 6.0 for Post-Graduation*
  • TOEFL:  A minimum language score of 80 in IELTS is mandatory for students opting for Under Graduation and 90 for Post-Graduation*
  • PTE:In PTE Academic, most of the universities prefer to have a minimum score of 50 for Under-graduation and a score of 64 for Post-Graduation *

*The score requirements can vary as per the standards needed by the universities.

New Zealand Study Visa Process: Apply in FIVE Steps

The following whole process is in just Five steps.

Step One: Apply for a college/university

Visit the official website of these shortlisted colleges/universities to know more about the courses. Afterwards, choose a course that you want to pursue.

Then you can apply online for admission to that particular college/university. You can even apply offline through a paper application method.

While applying for the NZ study visa, you will be asked to submit a few relevant documents. Submit the documents and complete the application process. And then wait for the offer letter.

Step Two: Arranging medical certificate and police clearance certificate (PCC)

As soon as the offer letter from an educational institute reaches you, you must undergo a thorough medical examination to get a medical certificate. The medical examination must be done by a doctor approved by the New Zealand Immigration Department.

Simultaneously, you have to apply for the Police Clearance Certificate (PCC)

 Step Three: Lodging the visa application

Now you have to lodge your visa application along with the required documents. You can check the list of documents needed for different study visa categories from the immigration website of New Zealand.

Step Four: Paying the tuition fees

After lodging the visa application, you will receive the “Approval in Principle (AIP). This approval comes from the Immigration New Zealand website. You have to pay the tuition fees for the first year to the respective college/university.

Step Five: Wait for the final outcome

Once you have submitted the visa application form and paid the fees, it is time to wait for the final decision. The officials will notify you about the outcome of your New Zealand study visa application in your email.

If your application is accepted, the immigration NZ officer will soon grant you a visa.

Note: New Zealand Study Visa is not a temporary visa or a Permanent Residency Visa.

New Zealand student Visa Processing Time

New Zealand Student Visa processing times largely depend on your study course’s nature and the educational institute you are applying for.

The following table gives a fair idea of NZ student visa processing time.

Type of Education Provider 50% Application Completed Within 75% Application Completed Within 90% Application Completed Within
Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs) 29 days 52 days 4 months
Private Training Establishments (PTEs) 24 days 45 days 70 days
Schools 10 days 17 days 28 days
Universities 15 days 28 days 50 days

New Zealand Student Visa Interview Questions

The interview is a final process one has to go through before the visa application process ends. There is a certain set of questions an interviewer will ask the candidate. Here are some of the questions one is likely to be asked:

  • What is your previous education?
  • Why New Zealand?
  • Have you visited NZ before?
  • Why have you chosen this particular University?
  • Where you will be staying in New Zealand?
  • Are you planning to work?
  • Who will cover the funds?

The interviewers, along with the question will also assess the proficiency of the candidate to converse in English.