You want to study in New Zealand

Visa information for international students outside New Zealand.

Apply for a student visa 

If you are currently outside New Zealand, you can apply for a new student visa from 23.59 New Zealand Standard Time (NZST) on 31 July 2022.  

Reopening the New Zealand border

If you have a current student visa

You can travel to New Zealand as an international student if you:

  • still hold a valid student visa with a valid offer of place to study,
  • have conditions on your visa allowing you to travel to New Zealand, and
  • you continue to meet the conditions of your student visa.

You no longer need a border exception to travel to New Zealand.

Showing you still meet your student visa conditions 

You may not be able to travel to New Zealand on your current student visa if your circumstances have changed since you were granted this visa or if you no longer meet the conditions. For example, if your course or education provider has changed from what is named in your visa conditions.

If you will travel on your current student visa, you need to have access to up-to-date evidence showing you still meet the conditions of your student visa. You may be asked to provide this when you travel to New Zealand.

You may be asked to show:

  • that you have money available to support yourself in New Zealand and 
  • confirmation that you are studying or will resume studying the same course at the same education provider that your student visa was granted for.

Contact your education provider or Immigration New Zealand if you are unsure if you can travel to New Zealand on your current student visa.

If you have a visitor visa or are a visa waiver traveller

You can travel to New Zealand if you are a genuine visitor with an existing visitor visa or are from a visa waiver country (and have a New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)).

You can study a short course that is less than 3 months in total duration if you have an existing visitor visa or are a visa waiver visitor. For example, a short English language course or, for school-aged children, for a single period of up to 3 months at a New Zealand school.

You cannot study 3 months’ worth of a longer programme as a visitor visa holder or visa waiver visitor. For example, you cannot study part of your diploma or degree as a visitor because the total length of a diploma or degree programme is more than 3 months.

If you want to study a programme that is longer than 3 months in total duration, you should wait to enter New Zealand on the appropriate student visa. While potential students can apply for a student visa from within New Zealand, you cannot start that study until you have a visa with the appropriate study conditions. This may mean a delay in starting your study.

Note

If you intend to travel to New Zealand on a visitor visa or visa waiver and apply for a student visa once onshore, you may not be considered a genuine visitor and may not be allowed to enter New Zealand. You may also miss the start date of your study while the student visa is under assessment.

Visa Waiver Visitor Visa

Visitor Visa

New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority (NZeTA)

If you have a working holiday visa

With a working holiday visa you can study one or more short courses in New Zealand for a maximum of 6 months.

For example, you can study a short English language course (or courses), a Study Abroad programme, or a short training course. The total duration of the course or courses you study cannot be more than 6 months.

Working Holiday Visas

Border exceptions for international students

If you are nominated by your education provider and New Zealand’s Ministry of Education, you may be granted a new student visa to enter New Zealand through the border exceptions process.

Border class exception for 1,000 international students

Border class exception for 5,000 international students

Up to 250 Pacific Manaaki Scholars who have been nominated by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade can also request to travel to New Zealand. 

Note

Even if you have been nominated, you must not request to travel to New Zealand until your education provider tells you to complete this.

If you are nominated you still need to meet standard student visa requirements to be granted a visa. You must also meet New Zealand’s border entry requirements. 

COVID-19 testing and vaccination requirements | covid19.govt.nz 

Supporting your family to come with you to New Zealand

If you are a nominated tertiary student, you may be able to support your partner and dependent children to apply for a relationship-based visa, in line with current visa requirements.

Bringing family if you have a student visa

Living with your dependent child in New Zealand

If you want to travel to New Zealand to live with and care for your dependent child who is aged 17 years or under and who has been nominated under a border exception, you must be included in your child’s request for travel.

You will be invited to apply for a visitor visa as the guardian of a student. Your visa conditions will require you to live with your dependent child, and your child’s visa conditions will require that they live with you while they are in New Zealand.

Note

There are specific rules around Guardian visas, and they are not appropriate if you just want to travel to New Zealand with your child.

Guardian of a Student Visitor Visa

Travelling with your dependent child to New Zealand

You can enter New Zealand if you are from a visa waiver country, and you want to travel with your dependent child and then return to your home country. You will need an NZeTA.

If you are not from a visa waiver country and you wish to travel to New Zealand with your dependent child and then return to your home country, you can apply for a visitor visa from 23:59 NZST on 31 July 2022 when normal visa processing resumes.

Studying online while outside New Zealand

If you are outside New Zealand, you can study online without a visa.

You can apply for a student visa to continue your study in New Zealand from 23:59 NZST on 31 July 2022. You must meet the standard student visa requirements to get a student visa, and you can show evidence of your online study to support your visa application.

Note

Time spent studying online from outside New Zealand does not count towards the study requirements for a post-study work visa.