Student visa COVID-19 information

Updates for student visa holders and applicants.

On this page:

Student visa holders in New Zealand

Student visa holders and applicants outside New Zealand

Visa changes for students working in supermarkets during Alert Level 3 or 4

Visa processing

Student visa holders in New Zealand

WARNING

New visa conditions: If you have a visa you must follow health instructions in New Zealand or you can be detained and deported.

If you have a student visa and you are in New Zealand, apply for a new visa or a variation of conditions if you: 

  • have completed your studies
  • are unable to complete your studies
  • want to extend your course, or
  • want to change your course or education provider.

Normal fees apply.

Explore New Zealand visa options

COVID-19 short-term visitor visa

You can apply for the new COVID-19 short-term visitor visa if you intend to leave New Zealand but are unable to travel before your student visa expires. You will need to pay a fee when applying. You can apply more than once.

COVID-19 Short-term Visitor visa

If your student visa was extended to 25 September

If you had a student visa or other temporary visa that:

  • expired between 2 April and 9 July, and
  • you were in New Zealand on 2 April, your visa has been extended to 25 September 2020.

This was under the original Epidemic Management Notice. A confirmation of this was emailed to all visa holders. 

Epidemic Management Notice information

Confirm your visa expiry date with our Visa Verification Service.

Visa verification service

You will need to apply for a new visa or leave New Zealand after 25 September 2020.

Explore New Zealand visa options

Student visa holders and applicants outside New Zealand

New Zealand’s border is closed to most travellers and entry is strictly controlled. Student visa holders can no longer enter New Zealand. Exceptions to the border closure can be made by Immigration New Zealand for exceptional circumstances only.

Border closures and exceptions

If you already have a student visa and are outside New Zealand

Many students who are outside New Zealand will be able to study with their education provider online.

If the 'first entry before' date on your visa has passed will not be able to travel to New Zealand on that visa. When the border re-opens and you have re-confirmed your study plans, you will need to apply for a new student visa before you will be able to travel to New Zealand. 

If you decide to cancel or defer your study plans, contact your education provider. If your visa application has not been processed you can contact us to withdraw it. Requests for visa application fee refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

If you have applied for a student visa and are outside New Zealand

Students who are outside New Zealand can study online without a visa. When New Zealand’s border restrictions are lifted, you can provide evidence of your online study to support your visa application. If you choose to study online in your home country first, you will still need to meet standard student visa requirements to be granted a student visa. These requirements include being a genuine student, having sufficient funds for maintenance, and being of good health and character.

If you decide to cancel or defer your study plans, contact your education provider. If your visa application has not been processed you can contact us to withdraw it. Requests for visa application fee refunds will be considered on a case-by-case basis.

Post-study work visa eligibility

Current requirements for post-study work visa applications still apply - 30 weeks minimum study in New Zealand for qualifications at level 7 and above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework or 60 weeks for qualifications at levels 4 to 6. If you choose to study online in your home country first you will still need to meet the requirement to study in New Zealand to be eligible for a post-study work visa.

Visa changes for students working in supermarkets during Alert Level 3 or 4

Changes have been made to relax visa restrictions for some visa holders to work at a supermarket to support New Zealand’s response to COVID-19 when a region is in Alert Level 3 or 4, from 20 August 2020 to 31 July 2021.

If a student is employed by a supermarket on the day immediately prior to the region entering Alert Level 3 or 4, they will be able to work for more than 20 hours.

Alert

As the Auckland region is currently in Alert Level 3, this applies if you were employed at a supermarket in Auckland on Tuesday 11 August.

If this applies to you and you want to work more than 20 hours, discuss your plans with your education provider as you must still meet the study requirements of your student visa.

Supermarkets mean those operated by:

  • Woolworths New Zealand – owners of Countdown, Super Value and FreshChoice supermarkets
  • Foodstuffs Limited – owners of New World, Pak n Save and Four Square.

Visa processing

Our immigration offices in New Zealand are open and we are processing visa applications from people who are in New Zealand. Our offices in Beijing, Manila, Mumbai and the Pacific (except for the Apia branch) remain closed and visa processing for overseas applicants is still on hold. This is because people who are not New Zealand citizens or residents are unlikely to meet the current entry requirements. Immigration New Zealand is not able to legally grant a visa to people who are unlikely to meet the entry requirements. 

From 10 August 2020, Immigration New Zealand has temporarily suspended applications for temporary visas, including student visas, from outside New Zealand for 3 months.

COVID 19 - Key Updates I Visa processing

Suspension of overseas visa applications

Alert

We are unable to confirm processing timeframes for any visa categories at this time.

If you and in New Zealand and need to submit a new visa application, it is recommended that you submit an online application where you can as paper based application processing will be delayed.

If you are a student in New Zealand applying for another student visa you must provide a tuition fee receipt and proof of NZD $15,000 of funds per year (pro-rata for courses under 36 weeks). It is vitally important you are able to support yourself financially while in New Zealand. Your home country's embassy in New Zealand may be able to offer support.

Embassies | MFAT

Further information

We will update this page with new information when it becomes available.

0800 358 5453 | Healthline

Advice and support on life as an international student in New Zealand | NauMai

Contact us

Immigration Contact Centre is currently experiencing extremely high call volumes and you may face an extended delay in your call being answered.

+64 9 952 1679 | outside New Zealand

0508 225 288 | within New Zealand