Make sure you apply at least four weeks before your student visa expires. Most student visas for students in the compulsory and tertiary sector expire on 31 March; therefore you should have submitted your application to us already or be submitting it as soon as possible.
It is important that you submit it early as you may not be considered eligible for an interim visa and you may not be able to start your course on time.
We have provided some information to make it easy for you to apply for a student visa to study in New Zealand. This will also result in your application being processed as quickly as possible.
Read about the changes to student visa requirements that came into effect on 25 July 2011.
To ensure your visa is processed as quickly as possible, you will need to submit all the required information, documents and fees with your application.
If you are applying from within New Zealand, you will need to submit the following with your application.
Please also refer to the full Student visa checklist PDF [68KB] to see if there is anything else you need to include. We recommend that you print out and complete the checklist and submit it with your application.
If you do not provide all the documents on the checklist, your application will be returned to you without being processed. This could result in you not obtaining a visa and not being able to start your studies on time.
Note: Our branches in New Zealand no longer accept cash. Please ensure credit card details or a bank cheque are provided with your application.
The application requirements when applying from outside of New Zealand are different. If you are applying from outside of New Zealand or want general information see studying in New Zealand. You can use the fee finder to find out where you need to send your application and how much it will cost.
If your education institute is a Students Online provider, you may be able to submit your visa application to them and get a faster response. There are currently 51 education providers with Students Online.
If you are not studying with a Students Online provider, you will need to submit your application directly to us at the following address:
Immigration New ZealandPalmerston North Student BranchPO Box 1049PALMERSTON NORTH 4410
The Palmerston North Student Branch is responsible for processing all fee-paying student visa applications for anyone applying in New Zealand.
If you are applying from outside of New Zealand, your application must be made and approved before you are able to travel to New Zealand. Find out where to send your application.
We recommend that you send your application and all associated documents via secure post or courier.
During February and March, Immigration New Zealand receives significantly more applications due to the start of the academic year. Because of this, your application may take longer to process if it is submitted during these months.
We recommend that students submit their application as early as possible. Some of the documents you need may take some time to organise, therefore make sure you start getting the documents together with plenty of time to spare. This includes checking to make sure you don’t need to provide a full medical certificate or a police certificate from your home country. If you have not provided a medical or police certificate to Immigration New Zealand within the last 36 months, it is likely that you will need one. You can contact our Immigration Contact Centre on 0508 55 88 55 to find out whether you will need to provide a full medical certificate or a police certificate.
If you leave it too late, you may not obtain your student visa or be granted an interim visa before your course starts, and you may become an unlawful visitor to New Zealand and become liable for deportation.
There are several reasons why your application may be delayed, including:
Please be aware that a decision may not be made on the outcome of your student visa application until our concerns have been resolved.
If you want to know more about student visa requirements, including information about working in New Zealand whilst studying, and about how to bring your partner over with you, see studying in New Zealand.
Alternatively, please contact our Immigration Contact Centre on 0508 55 88 55, or use the online help facility.
If you are already in New Zealand on a temporary visa and are awaiting a decision on a further temporary visa, you can now be granted an interim visa. This new type of visa allows you to maintain lawful status in New Zealand if your current visa expires while we are considering your application.
We recommend that you submit your application at least four weeks before the expiry date of your current visa to allow us to make a decision on whether to grant an interim visa.
Note: No one is entitled to an interim visa as a matter of right and there is no guarantee an interim visa will be granted.