If you are coming to New Zealand to study for more
than three months, you will need a student visa.
You don’t need a visa if you are a citizen of New
Zealand or Australia, you hold a New Zealand residence class visa,
or you are the holder of a current Australian permanent residence
If you are studying
in New Zealand for more than two years you will also have to
provide a police
certificate, from your country
of citizenship and from any country in which you have lived for
five or more years since reaching 17 years of age.
Did you know?
New Zealand has several policy measures
to facilitate the ‘two-step migration’ of international students
and to foster links between export education and permanent
- Around 70,000 international
students are granted student visas to New Zealand each year and 75%
are from Asia (predominantly, China, South Korea, and
- Around 31% of fee-paying
international students transition to work and/or permanent
residence in New Zealand. Around one-fifth of this cohort gain
permanent residence in New Zealand.
- 68% of former international
students were in full time employment 18 months after gaining
permanent residence in New Zealand. Nearly one-third (31%) worked
in professional occupations and 62% worked in a skilled
- Graduates with a bachelor’s
degree or higher earned more money, worked in a higher skilled job,
and reported a higher level of job satisfaction than those who
gained a vocational qualification in New Zealand.
- 18 months after gaining
residence, 48% of former students had done further study in New
Source: Life after
Study: International students’ settlement experiences in New
Zealand, Department of Labour
When does a student need a visa
to study in New Zealand?
- Only those coming to study for
more than three months will need a student visa.
- Participants of the Taiwan
Working Holiday Schemes can do one or more courses as long as the
total duration of all of the courses undertaken does not exceed six
- Genuine exchange students
participating in an approved exchange scheme can apply for a
student exchange visa for the duration of the exchange provided
they meet all requirements.
- Visitors from Bahrain, South
Korea, Kuwait, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, and Singapore going to New
Zealand for three months or less will not need a visa.
What are the main requirements
of a student visa?
- An offer of a place from a New
Zealand education provider. The course must be approved by
the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).The Letter of Offer
must clearly state the minimum course duration, the total tuition
fee (if the course is longer than one year) or the annual tuition
fee (for courses less than one year), and importantly if the course
fee applicable is domestic or foreign rate.
- Evidence that the student has
sufficient funds to maintain themselves throughout the period of
their stay in New Zealand. This includes:
- enough money held in New Zealand
by the student or a sponsor
- a financial undertaking by a
sponsor to cover accommodation and living costs or
- scholarship under aid programmes
operated in New Zealand by a government agency.
If the course is less than 9
months, student will need to show:
- NZ$1000 for each month of the
- NZ$400 for each month, if
accommodation is pre-paid or
- a letter from your education
provider saying that your accommodation and other living costs are
included in the package already paid for.
If the course is more than 9
months student needs to show NZ$10,000 per year.