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 and over, and will stay in New Zealand for more than 24 months (this includes any time you have already spent in New Zealand), you must provide police certificates from:

  • your country(s) of citizenship
  • any country(s) you've spent more than 5 years in since turning 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 36 months, or
  • you are under 20 years of age and have held a student visa (or consecutive student visas) on and since the date you turned 17 and are applying for a further student visa.

Good character

Police certificates

Offer of place

You must have an offer of place from an approved education provider

Your offer of place – or if you are a returning student, your confirmation of enrolment – must include:

  • the name of your course and how long the course is for
  • confirmation that your tuition fees will be paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade
  • whether your study will be full-time, part-time or as a distance learning or correspondence student
  • if your course is for more than one academic year, the dates of all of the course’s scheduled holidays
  • if you’re under 18, confirmation that your accommodation complies with the ‘Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students’.

Offers of place must also include your approved education provider’s signed declaration that they’ve assessed and are satisfied that:

  • the programme offered is appropriate for your expectations
  • you have the English language ability and academic capability to succeed

Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016

It’s OK if you provide information about your scheduled holidays in a separate document.

Tuition fees

Unless you’re exempt, you must have enough money to pay your tuition fees

You must provide evidence that you have paid the tuition fees for 1 course or 1 year of study (whichever is shorter).

Evidence can include any one of the following:

  • Letter from your approved education provider showing fees are paid or that you don’t have to pay fees
  • Evidence that your home country government loan has been applied for, and confirmation from the education provider they expect to receive the fees
  • Evidence you’ve applied for a home country government loan and confirmation that you’re enrolling in a bachelor degree programme or higher at a Private Training Establishment (PTE)
  • Evidence you have a scholarship from your education provider.

For applications processed outside New Zealand, evidence of payment isn’t required until after the application has been approved in principle.

If you study multiple courses, or a single course for more than one year, you must provide evidence you have enough money to pay tuition fees for 1 course or 1 year of study, and also how you will pay your tuition fees for subsequent years.

Medical and travel insurance

You must have full medical and travel insurance for the length of your stay

  • You must declare in your visa application that you agree to arrange and hold insurance.
  • Your insurance policy must cover you from the date that you arrive in New Zealand until the day you leave.
  • Your insurance policy must cover all of the following:
    • travel (this includes travel to and from New Zealand, within New Zealand, and outside New Zealand if travelling as part of the course)
    • medical care in New Zealand, including diagnosis, prescription, surgery, and hospitalisation
    • the transportation out of New Zealand as a result of serious illness or injury, including cover of travel costs incurred by family members assisting the student
    • death (including cover of the travel costs of family members to and from New Zealand, costs of repatriation, and funeral expenses).

Doctor of Philosophy (PhD) students don’t need to hold insurance.

You can arrange insurance through your education provider. If you are arranging your own insurance, your education provider can give you more information about what your policy must cover.

Already have a Student Visa

You must be able to show that you’re passing your course and meeting your attendance requirements

If you already have a Student Visa and you’re applying for another Student Visa, you must provide photocopied evidence of your previous student performance, progress and attendance. This can include:


You must have enough money to live on while you’re in New Zealand

Evidence can include:

  • proof that you have NZD $20,000 per year of tertiary, English language, or other non-compulsory school study or $1,667 per month if your study will be shorter than 1 year. If you are studying in compulsory education (years 1-13 at a school), you will need NZD $17,000 per year or $1,417 per month
  • documents that show your living costs have been paid — for example, for a school homestay where you will live with a local family while you study
  • a 'Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry' completed by an acceptable sponsor
  • a completed 'Financial Undertaking for a Student' form.

What sponsors must do – responsibilities and obligations

Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF 414KB

Financial Undertaking for a Student (INZ 1014) PDF 535KB

If you study for more than 1 year, you must provide evidence you have enough money to support yourself for your first year and show how you will pay your living costs for the following years.

Evidence of how you will pay for the following years must be money you can access while you are in New Zealand such as savings or family income.

Depending on what city you live in while you are in New Zealand, you might need more than NZD $17,000 per year (NZD $1,417 per month) to live on while you are studying.

What things cost in New Zealand | NauMai NZ

Onward travel

You must have a ticket to leave New Zealand or enough funds to purchase one, or be sponsored for the cost of your onward travel.

Evidence can include:

  • your travel ticket
  • proof you have enough money to buy a ticket out of New Zealand, in addition to the funds you have to live on
  • a 'Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry' completed by an acceptable sponsor.

What sponsors must do – responsibilities and obligations

Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF 414KB

Parent or legal guardian

If you are aged 9 or younger you must be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian unless you will live in an NZQA approved school hostel

If you must be accompanied, you must provide proof that your parent or legal guardian cares for you in your home country and has the legal right to provide care for you.

Evidence your parent or legal guardian cares for you in your home country can include:

  • your parent or guardian’s passport, or residence document showing that you’ve been living with them in your home country
  • documents that show they’ve paid for your education
  • educational records or documents that show they’re responsible for your education

Evidence your parent or legal guardian has the legal right to provide care for you can include:

  • your birth certificate or adoption papers (if they are your parent)
  • court documents (if they are a court-appointed guardian)
  • relevant legal documents if they are a testamentary guardian (i.e. they were named as guardian in your parents’ will, and your parents are deceased).

Your parent or legal guardian must apply separately for the type of visa they need.

If you have to be accompanied by a parent or legal guardian, you must live with that person while you’re studying.

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

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

If you’re 18 or over, you don’t need permission to work over the summer holidays. 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.

Any practical work experience you need to do complete your course can be worked in addition to the other hours your visa conditions allow you to work. 


Student visa

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