Student Visa for New Zealand

New Zealand Student Visa Guide

International full-time students studying in New Zealand have three types of study visas. The first is the fee-paying student visa, which is suitable for students studying full-time for four years. The second is the foreign government-supported student visa, which is designed for students receiving financial assistance from a foreign government. Lastly, the pathway student visa is specifically for students who plan to pursue multiple consecutive programmes of study.

Among these options, the fee-paying student visa is the most commonly required visa for international students in New Zealand. The application fee for this visa is NZD 375 when applying online from outside New Zealand. Depending on your nationality, applying for a visa by post may be more cost-effective.

Eligibility for the New Zealand Study Visa

To be eligible for a New Zealand Study Visa, specifically the Fee Paying Student Visa (costing approximately NZD 375), applicants must meet the following criteria:

Applicants are required to demonstrate their ability to support themselves throughout their study period financially. This includes covering tuition fees, accommodation costs, daily living expenses, and personal needs. The payment of processing fees for the visa can be made conveniently online or offline using cards or demand drafts.

Required Study Visa Documents

To obtain a Fee Paying New Zealand Study Visa, there are several criteria and evidence that you need to provide.

First and foremost, you'll need to provide proof of your identity, such as a photo or passport. Establishing your identity is essential to ensure a smooth visa application process as well as meet the health standards set by New Zealand. This may involve a chest x-ray or a medical examination, especially if you're from a country with a high prevalence of tuberculosis.

If you're 17 years or older and plan to stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months, you may need to obtain police certificates. This helps ensure that individuals with a clean record are entering the country. A university offer of place from an approved education provider is vital to your application. This offer should include details about the course you'll be undertaking, the tuition fees, the duration of the study programme, and the provider's compliance with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students. This ensures that you receive quality education and appropriate support during your studies.

To cover your expenses, you'll need to demonstrate that you have sufficient funds to pay for your tuition fees and support your living costs. You can show this through payment receipts, sponsorship, or financial undertaking forms. Having medical and travel insurance coverage is mandatory throughout your stay in New Zealand. This insurance should cover your travel, medical care, transportation in case of illness or injury, and any related expenses in unfortunate circumstances.

Additionally, you may be required to provide proof of funds for living expenses, details about onward travel arrangements, and, for young students, parental or legal guardian documentation.

Student Dependent Visa in New Zealand 

New Zealand allows students to bring their spouse or partner to the country with a Partner of a Student Work Visa. However, the eligibility criteria for this visa are quite restrictive, resulting in the majority of students being ineligible. In order for your partner to join you in New Zealand, you must be studying towards Level 7 or 8 qualifications on New Zealand's Long Term Skill Shortage List. Alternatively, a Level 9 or 10 qualification also qualifies. If you're unsure about your current qualification level, you can seek clarification from your university. 

How long does it take to receive a Study Visa?

The processing times for New Zealand student visas encompass the Fee Paying Student Visa (including English language students), Pathway Student Visa, MFAT-funded NZ Scholarship Student Visa, and Exchange Student Visa. The processing times are categorised based on the education provider, which includes universities, Te Pūkenga, Private Training Establishments (PTEs), and schools.

As of April 2023, the average processing time for Te Pūkenga applications is 58 weekdays, with 90% of applications completed within 78 weekdays. PTE applications take an average of 21 weekdays, with 90% being completed within 70 weekdays. Universities have an average processing time of 18 weekdays, with 90% being completed within 47 weekdays. 

It is important to note that processing times can vary due to the complexity of each application. The education provider is a contributing factor, but other considerations aligned with New Zealand's immigration policy and regulations also impact processing times.

Student Visa Application Process

Step 1: Determine your eligibility

Step 2: Prepare your application

Step 3: Submit your Study Visa application

New Zealand Student Visa Enquiry

If you have any questions, do not hesitate to contact SI-New Zealand, who can assist with all queries regarding New Zealand Study Visa.

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