Pathway visas

A Pathway Student Visa is for international students who want to study up to 3 consecutive programmes of study with approved education providers on a single visa.

Pilot project

The Pathway Student Visa (PSV) pilot was introduced in December 2015 to enable international students to study up to 3 consecutive courses on a single student visa for up to 5 years. The visa is only available for study with approved Pathway education providers and for some courses of study.

Pathway education providers

Current status

Immigration New Zealand had planned to make the visa category permanent early in 2021. Due to eligibility requirements for the PSV it cannot be a permanent category until some time after the border has opened.

Current PSV instructions will remain. Providers who are part of the PSV can continue to support applications for students in New Zealand or those students who can apply for a PSV under a border exception. No new education providers will be added to the scheme at this time.

What students can do on this visa

Students can:

  • stay for up to 5 years
  • study up to 3 courses, one after the other on a single student visa
  • work part time for up to 20 hours a week while they are studying and full time in the holidays, depending on their course of study.

How it works for students

Pathway Student Visas are long enough to complete a qualification plan.

To stay in New Zealand on a Pathway Student Visa, students still need to meet the pre-requisites for any second and third courses on their study pathway.

Benefits for education providers

The Pathway Student Visa:

  • reduces cost and hassle
  • provides certainty for students and their families
  • lets students concentrate on their studies rather than having to worry about visa applications, and
  • makes the transition between courses of study smoother.

Factsheet: Pathway Student Visa