Student Visa for New Zealand

New Zealand is renowned for providing high quality but affordable education and hence, is a preferred destination for study abroad. It continues to be ranked among the safest countries in the world and as such, sees an influx of eager students each year. However, while the entire application process for study abroad can be time-consuming, getting your student visa for New Zealand can be an equally arduous task as you need to get a visa appointment, prepare your documents, and submit your application for approval. Hence, you should start preparing for visa application early if you plan to study in New Zealand.

Types of Student Visa for New Zealand

Student Visa

If you are going for an academic program that is longer than three months duration, you need to apply for the Student Visa. Usually valid for a term of four years, you can study on this visa for the tenure of your program. However, depending on the validity of your passport, you may be issued the visa for a shorter term and need to renew it thereafter. With the Student Visa for New Zealand, you can study full-time at the tertiary level. Furthermore, you will have the scope to take up part-time work for up to 20 hours a week during your classes or full-time during holidays. However, your permit to work may also depend on certain conditions. It is a good idea to verify the same during your visa processing. Moreover, if you are on a correspondence program and need to visit New Zealand to complete a project or take any special classes for more than three months, you can still apply for the Student Visa for New Zealand.

Visitor Visa

If you are going to New Zealand for a short-term study program, that is any program of a duration of three months, you will need the Visitor Visa.


If you have an official letter of acceptance from your university, hold a valid passport, can present sufficient proof of financial support, and have no criminal record, you are eligible to apply for a study visa in New Zealand. However, there are certain visa conditions that you must abide by. You must always check the same before starting your study visa application for New Zealand.

Documents Required for Student Visa for New Zealand

The following documents are mandatory for your student visa application for New Zealand:

  1. Proof of Acceptance: An official letter of acceptance from your university. This must be issued by a recognized university of New Zealand and must include information such as the name of the program, the duration of the program, and the date of commencement of classes.
  2. Valid Passport: Your passport needs to be valid for up to six months beyond your intended period of stay in New Zealand.
  3. Health: If you are staying less than a year, you may need to submit a chest x-ray and a medical examination certificate.
  4. Proof of Financial Support: This is very crucial. You need to show that you have sufficient funds to support your stay as a student in New Zealand. You can provide bank statements, scholarship award letters, or sponsorship letters. You also need to show that you have paid a year worth’s of tuition fee or of one course, whichever is shorter.
  5. Health and Travel Insurance Coverage: This is another mandatory requirement to get your student visa for New Zealand. You need to provide proof of the health insurance coverage that you have acquired to support your medical expenses during your term of stay as a study abroad student in New Zealand. Additionally, you need to obtain travel insurance for all your travels within and outside New Zealand for the term your visa is valid and you plan to stay in New Zealand.
  6. Legal Guardian: If you are nine years old or younger, you need to provide documents such as the passport of your parents or legal guardian.
  7. Permit to Work: If you are below 16 or 17 years of age, you need to have a written permit to work during your stay in New Zealand.
  8. Practical Work Experience (Optional): This is only in the scenario that your course needs you to take up practical work as part of the curriculum. In that case, you need to provide the course outline or the curriculum directive that states this mandatory requirement.
  9. Passport-sized Photographs
  10. Proof of no Criminal Record
  11. Flight Tickets

While these are the mandatory document requirements for applying for your student visa for New Zealand, each visa type may have additional requirements. It is mandatory to always check the same prior to starting your visa application process. You can connect with the experienced advisors at Manya – The Princeton Review to navigate this extremely nuanced and critical process.

The Online Application

To apply for a visa, you need to complete the application form, gather all the necessary documents and submit the same to the concerned embassy or consulate. The submission of your application will require you to pay the immigration fee and the application fee. This step must be completed as soon as possible because visa processing takes considerable time. Ensure that your documents are properly arranged to avoid any delays in visa processing.

Visa Interview

Usually, you do not need to appear for an interview for visa processing for New Zealand. You need to submit all your documents and forms either online or via post and await the decision. It usually takes nine to ten weeks for visa decision. However, if you are asked to attend an interview, be prepared to justify if your intent to visit the country is only for academic purposes, that you will be returning to your home country upon completion of the program, the fit of the program to your academic and professional background, how the program will help you meet your career goals, your reasons for selecting the particular country and the university to further your academic journey, and your financial background.

Proficiency in the English Language

English language proficiency is not a mandatory requirement to be approved for a Student Visa for New Zealand.

Validity of your Visa

The validity of your student visa for New Zealand will depend on the type of visa that you apply for and the respective visa conditions. Usually, the Student Visa is valid for four years, while the validity of the Visitor Visas will range between six to nine months and two years depending on visa type and conditions.

Find Your Dream University

The entire process of studying abroad from shortlisting schools, writing essays, preparing documents, completing applications, getting a visa, and completing other official formalities can seem overwhelming. Hence, the admission experts at Manya – The Princeton Review are here to guide you every step of the way. Their rich experience ensures that you find schools that perfectly match your requirements, thus helping you narrow down your search for your dream study-abroad destination. From ranking, scholarship opportunities, and tuition fees, to cost of living, visa application and approval, and the latest updates, you will get all the information and more from the seasoned admission experts at Manya.

Thus, for end-to-end admissions consulting, come to Manya – The Princeton Review!


How long does it take to get a student visa for New Zealand?

Visa processing takes time and can take weeks, even months, to be approved. Hence, it is recommended that you apply well in advance.

Which visa do I need to study in New Zealand?

If you are going for a short-term three-month program, you will need the Visitor Visa. If you are going for a long-term program, you need a Student Visa.

Can I renew my student visa for New Zealand?

Depending on your type of visa and visa conditions, you may be able to renew your student visa for New Zealand.

Can I work while on a student visa in New Zealand?

Yes, you may take up part-time work while on a Student Visa in New Zealand. The regulations for the same depend on the rules and policies of the country as well as the specific visa conditions.

What is the cost of a student visa for New Zealand?

You will be charged a New Zealand student visa fee of around 375 NZD.

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