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Student Visa for New Zealand

New Zealand offers a range of opportunities to those looking to undertake a course and learn more about what the unique country has to offer.

If you’re considering applying for a Student Visa to New Zealand and want to learn about New Zealand’s visa pathways, contact one of our experienced immigration lawyers at Total Law on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, and get expert advice.

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    Introduction to Student Visas

    There are many benefits to studying in New Zealand. Aside from the high teaching standards, you will enjoy its friendly living environment and diverse community of international students from more than 100 countries.

    A visa will be required if you are looking to study in New Zealand for longer than three months, and you must ensure you apply for one before starting your studies.

    The New Zealand Student Visa only applies to full-time students who would like to study in New Zealand for a maximum of four years. A NZ Student Visa application must be made at least eight weeks before you plan to start studying abroad.

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    Types of Student Visas

    There are five types of student visas for studying in New Zealand. These are:

    Fee Paying Student Visa

    A Fee Paying Student Visa allows you to study full-time in New Zealand under the specific program mentioned in your visa. The visa holder is also entitled to work part-time for a maximum of 20 hours per week and full-time during academic breaks.

    MFAT-Funded NZ Scholarship Student Visa

    This scholarship visa is for those with an offer from an approved education provider to study full-time in New Zealand. Living expenses and tuition fees need to be provided by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) or Education New Zealand (ENZ).

    Exchange Student Visa

    This visa is for students accepted into a student exchange program. You do not need to pay tuition fees on this visa, as you will be categorised as a domestic student. This type of visa also allows international students to work part-time.

    Pathway Student Visa

    The Pathway Student Visa allows international students to study up to three courses. On this visa, you can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week while studying and full-time during holidays.

    Vocational Trainee Visa

    A visa for trainees who have received a New Zealand Short-Term Training Scholarship by Manaaki New Zealand Scholarships. You need a paid place at Manukau Polytechnic if you are a nautical student or New Zealand Scholarship Short-Term Training Award for this visa.

    Student Visa Requirements

    Before applying for a Student Visa, it is important to know that students must cover the cost of their courses and must be enrolled with an approved education provider.

    To be eligible to study abroad, students must prove that they meet the academic criteria and must have permission to work if they are aged 16/17. The requirements for a Student Visa are:

    • Have an offer of acceptance from an educational establishment in New Zealand
    • Evidence of sufficient funds covering tuition fees and living costs for the duration of study
    • Meet health and character requirements, such as a medical certificate and police certificate, if applicable
    • Copy of passport valid for at least three months past the end of your stay in New Zealand
    • Show a genuine interest in studying in New Zealand and commitment to complying with visa conditions

    Financial Requirements and Sponsorship

    You will need sufficient funds to support your studies to apply for a Fee Paying Student Visa. Funds must be in your name or the name of your sponsor/financial guarantor. To support your visa application, you will need to provide:

    • Bank transaction statements covering the last three months (in some cases, it may be longer than three months)
    • Relevant bank deposit statements or certificates
    • Statements/certificates showing fixed-term deposits a minimum of 6 months old
    • An education loan sanction letter from an approved financial institution
    • Stock transaction reports or sale of property agreements

    If you will be studying for more than 12 months, you must provide a payment plan to show how you will fund your studies, with evidence to support this.

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      Healthcare and Insurance

      All international students studying in New Zealand must have private medical insurance that covers the duration of their course and meets the government’s standards.

      Overseas students studying in New Zealand are not entitled to publicly funded health services, so they may be liable for medical costs for the duration of their visa.

      The ACC (Accident Compensation Corporation) provides free medical care and a free medical examination for international students and visitors to New Zealand if they are accidentally injured, but it is not a substitute for medical insurance.

      Student Visa Application Process and Costs

      The application for a Student Visa can be made online through the New Zealand Immigration website or via a paper application. The processing time is typically 45 days.

      Online Application

      To apply online, you will need to register on the New Zealand Immigration website and create a RealMe account. Make sure to specify that you are making an application for a NZ Student Visa, and then you will need to submit the required documents in PDF format.

      Paper Application

      You must complete the Student Visa Application (INZ 1012) to make a paper application. You will need to specify in section F that you are making an application for an NZ Student visa. Passport-style photo ID must be attached to the documentation with your name on the back of the photo.

      As part of the paper application, you must book an appointment at a visa application centre via Global. You must arrive 15 minutes before the scheduled time of your appointment and bring all documentation with you. You will be required to pay the application fees during your appointment, and you can reschedule your appointment only once.

      Application Fees

      Online applications for a Fee Paying Student Visa cost NZD 430, while a paper application fee is NZD 440-485, with a visa application centre fee of NZD 46-77, and a courier fee of NZD 13-100.

      Conditions and Duration of Stay

      A Student Visa allows you to study in New Zealand for 4 years. The visa duration may correspond with the duration of the chosen course. Most students must renew their visas yearly.

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        How Can Total Law Help?

        Studying abroad is an exciting and fulfilling experience, both academically and spiritually. New Zealand is an excellent choice for those looking to gain a world-class qualification and become a part of a diverse community of students.

        Our legal team at Total Law can assist you with your queries and support you step-by-step with your Student Visa application. Call us today on +44 (0)333 305 9375 or message us online, and speak to one of our dedicated legal advisors to ensure you have everything you need to become an international student in New Zealand.

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              By choosing our Appeal Package, you can rely on our lawyers’ legal knowledge and experience to ensure you have the highest chance of a successful appeal. We will also fully represent you in any hearings/tribunals.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  Yes, it is easy to study in New Zealand. The cost of living in the country is considerably lower than in other developed countries, and it is also considered a safe country to study.

                  Depending on your qualification, you could be eligible for a Post Study Work Visa, valid for up to 3 years after completing your studies.