Information about Child of a Refugee Claimant Student Visa

This visa is for children whose parents have made claim for refugee or protection status and want to study at a primary or secondary school in New Zealand while their parents’ claim is being decided.



Length of stay

Up to 4 years

Age range

19 and under

You can

  • Send school-aged children to primary or secondary school in New Zealand.

Things to note

  • Children of refugee or protection status claimants don’t have to pay an immigration levy or visa application fee.
  • This visa is for school-aged children. Children who want to go to a tertiary education institution, like a university or polytechnic, should apply for a Fee Paying Student Visa.

Meeting the criteria

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

Use the filters to display country specific tips, under evidence, to assist you with your application

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Quarantine-free travel zones

You may come to New Zealand from a quarantine-free travel zone

Quarantine-free travel zones

You must have been the same quarantine-free travel zone for 14 days.


You must provide proof of your children’s identity

You must provide proof of your child's identity:

Acceptable photos

Please also provide your children’s Kartu Keluarga.

Please also provide a copy of your children’s livret de famille.

Please also provide a copy of:

  • your child’s Hukou (household registration book)
  • your child’s identity cards.

Please also provide copies of your children’s Identity cards.


Your children must be in good health

The children may need to have a chest x-ray and/or a medical examination as proof of good health.

Who needs an x-ray or medical examination

Children under 11 don’t need to have an x-ray unless a special report is needed.

You must provide a chest x-ray completed in the last 3 months, even if you've provided one to us previously, if:

  • your children have spent 6 consecutive months in China since the last x-ray certificate was issued, and
  • your children are now coming to NZ for more than 6 months.


The information below will help you understand the process so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

Fees & receiving centre

Fees & receiving centre

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.



These are the conditions that you must meet once you have your visa.


School-aged children can study at primary or secondary school.


Students studying in year 12 or 13, the last 2 years of secondary school can work up to 20 hours a week during the school year and full-time in the Christmas and New Year holiday period between school years.

  • Students under 18 must have written permission from their school, and parents or legal guardian to work.
  • Students over 18 don’t need permission to work in the summer holidays.

Everyone who has a job in New Zealand pays tax on what they earn. You can apply for an IRD number online through Inland Revenue.

Apply online for an IRD number

We don’t grant work rights to students under 16.

The children aren’t allowed to be self-employed. They have to work as an employee with an employment agreement and not as an independent contractor.

Visa expiry

The children must leave New Zealand before their visas expire.

Visa expiry dates are printed on a visa label or included in a visa letter.