Meeting the criteria

The criteria and evidence below will provide you with the information you need to meet the requirements.

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You must provide proof of your identity

  • 1 acceptable photo if you apply online, or 2 photos if you use a paper application form.
  • your passport or certificate of identity.

Acceptable photos

If you submit a paper application, provide your original passport or a certified copy.  We can usually process your application faster if you provide your original passport.

If you apply online, you must upload a copy of your passport when you apply. We will let you know if you need to send your passport after you've applied.

Sending your passport for online applications


You must be of good character

You may need to provide police certificates as proof of your good character.

If you are aged 17 or older and plan to stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months (including any time you have already spent in New Zealand), you must provide police certificates from:

  • any country you are a citizen of
  • any country you have spent more than 5 years in since you turned 17.

You do not need to provide police certificates if:

  • you have provided them to us with an earlier visa application, and
  • they were issued in the previous 24 months.

Good character

How to get a police certificate

Offer of place

You must have an offer of place from an approved education provider unless you are coming to New Zealand with an Exchange Programme Organisation (EPO)

You must provide an offer of place from a New Zealand education provider if you are attending a school to school or tertiary exchange programme. Your offer should state that you are an exchange student.

You do not need an offer of place if you are coming to in New Zealand with an Exchange Programme Organisation (EPO). Instead, you need a letter from your EPO explaining that you are an exchange student.

Approved exchange scheme

You must show that you’ve been accepted to an approved student exchange scheme

You must provide evidence that you’ve been accepted into an approved student exchange scheme. For example, a letter from the scheme organiser.

Permission to work

If you're aged 16 or 17, or in years 12 or 13 of secondary school, you must have written permission to work

Permission to work up to 20 hours a week and/or full-time in the summer holidays from each of the following:

You don’t need written permission if you‘re 18 years of age or over and at secondary school, and want to work during the summer holiday period.

We won’t grant work rights to children under 16 who have a Student Visa.

Full-time vacation work rights

You must provide information about your holidays and your course

If you’re allowed to work full-time in the holidays, proof:

  • of the holidays scheduled by your approved education provider, as shown in your offer of place document
  • that your course value is 120 credits – this information may be on your fee receipt or invoice, or other correspondence provided by your approved education provider.

Practical experience (optional)

If you’re required to do practical work experience as part of your course, you must provide evidence that it’s a course requirement

Evidence can include either of the following:

  • a letter from your approved education provider
  • a course outline that shows the practical component requirement, as shown in your offer of place document.


You must be outside of New Zealand when you apply

We will check our records, to make sure you are not already in New Zealand.

If you’re already in New Zealand, we can only grant this visa in very special circumstances.

Onward travel

You must have made arrangements to leave New Zealand

Evidence can include: 

  • a travel ticket out of New Zealand
  • a guarantee from your student exchange scheme’s New Zealand guarantor that even if you don’t complete your exchange, they’ll make arrangements for you to leave New Zealand at the end of your stay.


Student visa

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