Having a student visa means you can study in New Zealand for a set time at a specified institution as a full-time student.
You can only stay in New Zealand on a student visa for a limited time.
If you are a full fee-paying student you may be granted a student visa for the period for which you have paid tuition fees (up to a maximum of four years). If your programme of study is based on the New Zealand academic year, and you’ve paid your fees for the year, we may grant you a student visa that expires on 31 March of the following year.
If you are studying with an education provider that Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has a Memorandum of Understanding with, you have the opportunity to apply for a Length of Course visa.
If you are a full scholarship or fees scholarship student you may be granted a student visa for the period of your award (up to a maximum of four years).
If you are enrolled in years 1 to 8 of a school, or you are a student aged 13 or under and enrolled in a private training establishment, your parent or legal guardian must apply for a special visitor visa known as a guardian visa. A guardian visa allows your parent or legal guardian to live with and care for you in New Zealand.
However, your parent or legal guardian won’t have to accompany you if you are:
If you are aged 14 to 17 years (inclusive), or you are enrolling in school years 9 to 13, your parent or legal guardian can also apply for a guardian visa to live with and care for you in New Zealand, but it is not compulsory.
If you are granted a student visa on the condition that you live with a parent or legal guardian in New Zealand and you breach this condition, you and your parent or legal guardian may become liable for deportation.
Ordinarily, you need to be studying full time to be eligible for a student visa. However, we may allow you to study part time on a student visa if you are:
You may be allowed to work for up to 20 hours each week and full-time during all scheduled vacations and/or during the summer vacation period.
You do not have to have a job offer to work part-time (20 hours per week). Your full-time programme of study must meet one of the following criteria:
You may work full-time during all vacations scheduled by your education provider if you are undertaking a full-time programme of study of at least one academic year’s duration. An academic year means a programme of study of a minimum of 120 credits during a period of at least eight months (minimum of two semesters).
If your full-time programme of study has a duration of at least eight months (minimum of two semesters), but is less than 120 credits, you can work full-time over the Christmas and New Year holiday period. You do not have to have a job offer.
If you are enrolled in Masters by research or doctoral degree programmes awarded by a New Zealand tertiary institution you will be eligible for unlimited work rights.
If you want to work in New Zealand after you have completed your studies, you need to apply under the Study to Work Instructions.
When you apply for a student visa, you will need to pay a fee. Go to our Office and fees finder to find out what you will need to pay.
Many temporary visa holders may study for up to three months per visa, or for up to three months in every 12-month period where a visa is granted for mutiple years, without being required to apply for a student visa or variation of conditions.
If you are here on a visitor or work visa and you want to study part time for longer than three months, you can apply for a variation of conditions to your current visa.
You hold a work visa and you wish to undertake:
You can apply for a variation of conditions:
If you apply for a variation of conditions:
You may not start studying or undertaking any training until you have been granted a variation of conditions.
If your partner or children want to come to New Zealand with you, they will need to apply for a visitor visa or, if they will also be studying, their own student visa.
You must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while you're studying in New Zealand (a requirement of the Ministry of Education's Code of Practice).
Student visa holders are generally not eligible for publicly funded health and disability services. People covered by New Zealand’s reciprocal health agreements with Australia and United Kingdom are entitled to publicly funded health care for immediately necessary medical treatment only.
If you’ve been studying by distance learning with a New Zealand education provider, they may require you to come to New Zealand to undertake practical study, sit exams, or to meet other requirements.
If you need to stay longer than three months you’ll need a student visa. If your stay is for less than three months you can apply for a visitor visa. For either application we’ll need to see proof that:
Most people can be considered for a visa to study in New Zealand. However, to protect the interests of New Zealanders we do not grant visas to people who don't meet certain requirements, or who are involved in certain activities.
If an immigration officer believes you have not made a genuine application for a visa, or that you do not intend to meet the conditions of the visa, we will not grant it to you.
You can be refused a visa if:
If we are unsure whether you will meet the requirements of your visa, you may need to apply for a limited visa.
We have different requirements for NZAP students (or the partners or dependent children of NZAP students). You will need written approval from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade if you want a visa for New Zealand in the two-year period after the end of your or your partner's scholarship.
NZAP students may be granted conditions on their student visa allowing them to work:
These work conditions can apply unless the NZAP students are studying under the following schemes:
Partners of NZAP students may be eligible for a work visa valid for the duration of their partner's NZAP scholarship. Dependent children may be eligible for a student visa
This does not apply to any work visas that we give you to complete your programme of study requirements or to any short-term visitor visas.
If you are not sure whether these conditions apply to you, see our examples of eligibility, or to see the requirements in immigration instructions go to the Operational Manual.
If you fail to meet our conditions of studying in New Zealand you may become liable for deportation. We will do this if: