Visa factsheet Pathway Student Visa

You can apply to study up to 3 consecutive courses on a single student visa in New Zealand. You’ll need to have a Pathway Student Visa offer of place with a Pathway education provider and be able to pay your tuition fees. While you’re here, you can enjoy New Zealand’s high-quality teaching standards and gain internationally recognised qualifications.

Overview

Overview

Duration

Up to 5 years


With this visa you can

  • Study up to 3 courses, one after the other, on a single student visa.
  • Work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying and full-time in the holidays, depending on your course of study.

Things to note

  • You can't include your partner or dependent children in a student visa application, but they can apply for their own visas based on their relationship to you.
  • Pathway Student Visas are long enough to complete your qualification plan.  
  • You’ll need to meet the pre-requisites for any second and third courses on your study pathway to stay in New Zealand on a Pathway Student Visa.
Criteria

Meeting the criteria

You can apply to study up to 3 consecutive courses on a single student visa in New Zealand. You’ll need to have a Pathway Student Visa offer of place with a Pathway education provider and be able to pay your tuition fees. While you’re here, you can enjoy New Zealand’s high-quality teaching standards and gain internationally recognised qualifications.

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Identity

You must provide proof of your identity

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

Acceptable photos

If you submit a paper application, you may provide your original passport, or a certified copy. However we highly recommend you provide your original passport. This will enable us to process your application faster and it may be needed to complete your application.

If you apply online, you must upload a copy of your passport when you apply. You may need to send your passport after you've applied.

Sending your passport for online applications

Please also provide your Kartu Keluarga.

If you’re not a French national, please also provide a copy of your carte d’assuré.

Even if your partner and children aren’t coming with you, please also provide:

  • copies of their passports
  • a copy of your livret de famille.

Please also provide a copy of your livret de famille.

Please also provide a copy of your Identity card.

You should also provide a copy of 

  • your Hukou (household registration book)
  • your identity card.

If you are a citizen of China submitting a paper application form in China, you must also provide a supplementary form for Chinese citizens.

Supplementary form for Chinese citizens (INZ 1027)

If you are submitting a paper application form, you must provide a supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students.

Supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students (INZ 1220) PDF 335KB

Health

You must be in good health

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

When you need an x-ray or medical examination

Full fee paying students don’t usually need to provide a medical certificate.

You will need to get a chest X-ray if you’re from, or have spent time in a country where Tuberculosis (TB) is common

 

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

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

Bona fide

You must genuinely intend to meet the conditions of your visa

When we assess if you’re bona fide, we’ll consider all of the information that:

  • you provide to support your application
  • we have about your personal circumstances and any previous applications.

Bona fide

Study pathways

You must be offered a valid study pathway from Pathway education provider(s)

You must provide a letter from your Pathway education provider (or joint letter, if your study pathway is with  more than one provider) that:

  • sets out the courses that will make up your study pathway
  • sets out the start and end dates for each course.

Pathway education providers

Cover letter

You must provide a joint cover letter if your study pathway involves more than one Pathway education provider

The joint cover letter must:

  • include details of each course in your study pathway, including the course name and the course start and end dates
  • be signed by all Pathway education providers included in your study pathway.

Your Pathways education provider may still provide you with a cover letter even if your study pathways is with one Pathway education provider only. If provided with a cover letter, you must submit it with your student visa application letter.

Offer of place

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

Your Pathway Student Visa offer must include:

  • the name of your course and how long the course is for
  • 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

Pathway education providers

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

The only evidence you must provide is a written guarantee of maintenance from a relative in New Zealand. This relative must be a New Zealand citizen or resident.

If your study pathway is with more than one Pathway education provider, you’ll need to provide a separate offer of place from each education provider.

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 your first course of study or your first year of study (whichever is shorter)
  • you can pay for the rest of your study pathway.

Evidence can include any one of the following:

  • evidence of savings you can use to pay for your tuition fees
  • a letter from your Pathway 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
  • confirmation from your education provider that your tuition fees will be paid by New Zealand Aid
  • 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 that you’re exempt from paying tuition fees.

Pathway education providers

If you apply for your visa outside of New Zealand, you don’t have to show us you’ve paid your tuition fees until after your application is approved in principle.

 

Evidence of how you’ll pay for subsequent years of study can include, for example, savings or family income you can access while in New Zealand.

Funds

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

Evidence can include:

  • proof that you have NZ $15,000 for your first year of study or NZ $1,250 per month if your study will be shorter than that
  • proof that you’ll have enough money to live on for the remaining time on your study pathway
  • documents that show your living costs have already been paid
  • a ‘Sponsorship for Temporary Entry’  form completed by an acceptable sponsor
  • a ‘Financial Undertaking for a Student’ form completed by an acceptable guarantor.

Acceptable sponsors
Sponsorship for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF 286KB

The only evidence you must provide is a written guarantee of maintenance from a relative in New Zealand. This relative must be a New Zealand citizen or resident.

If you’re applying in South Asia, you’ll need to provide acceptable evidence you can comfortably afford to study in New Zealand.
Evidence of funds requirements for applicants in South Asia

If you’re applying in South Asia, only immediate family are able to sponsor you or provide a financial undertaking. Immediate family are your partner, parents, siblings, grandparents and parents-in-law.

Onward travel

You must have a ticket to leave New Zealand or be sponsored for the cost of your onward travel

Evidence can include:

  • your travel ticket
  • proof you have enough money to purchase a ticket to leave New Zealand, in addition to your funds for maintenance
  • a ‘Sponsorship for Temporary Entry’  form completed by an acceptable sponsor.

Sponsorship for Temporary Entry (INZ 1025) PDF 286KB
Acceptable sponsors

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.

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).

NZQA approved school hostels

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 work experience requirement.

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. 

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:

  • academic transcripts
  • a letter from your approved education provider
  • attendance records.
Process

Process

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

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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.

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Visa conditions

Visa conditions

If you are granted a visa, there are conditions that you must meet. These visa conditions are described below.

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing an arrival card, which you’ll be given on the way to New Zealand.

You can be refused entry permission if:

  • you don’t meet our character requirements
  • your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
  • you refuse to let us take your photo or to provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if asked for them
  • you’re unable to provide evidence of any onward travel or funds required by the conditions of your visa.

Travelling to and arriving in New Zealand

Travel

If you want to travel in and out of New Zealand, you must have valid multiple entry travel conditions to return to New Zealand.

If you’re applying from inside New Zealand, we’ll normally give you multiple entry travel conditions when we grant you this visa.

If you don’t have multiple entry travel conditions and you leave New Zealand, your visa will expire.

Your travel conditions will be recorded on your visa label or in your visa letter.

Onward travel

During the length of your visa, you must have a travel ticket or funds available to buy a ticket to a country you can enter. The funds can be in the form of any of the following:

  • sufficient funds held in New Zealand to purchase a travel ticket 
  • an acceptable form of financial undertaking by your guarantor
  • current sponsorship by an acceptable sponsor.

Acceptable sponsors

Unless your visa label or letter states “Return/onward travel not required” you must have a ticket to leave New Zealand whenever you travel here.

Funds or sponsorship

You must have enough money to support yourself while you’re in New Zealand or have a sponsor.
Acceptable sponsors

We may ask you for evidence of funds when you arrive in New Zealand.

Medical and travel insurance

You must maintain your medical and travel insurance policy while you're studying in New Zealand, from the time you enrol until your visa expires.

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

Work

You may be allowed to work part-time for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during all scheduled holidays and/or during the Christmas and New Year holiday period.
Work rights for students

When you have a job in New Zealand, you have to pay tax on your earnings. You’ll need to have a New Zealand bank account and an IRD number to do this.

For an IRD number, contact Inland Revenue.

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

You can’t provide commercial sexual services or operate a business that provides these services.

If you’re applying for a Pathway student visa and the first course of your study pathway gives you work rights, you’ll be allowed to work in New Zealand for the length of your visa.

If the first course on your study pathway doesn’t give you work rights, but your second or third courses do, you can apply for a ‘variation of conditions’ to allow you to work in New Zealand.

Application for a Variation of Conditions (INZ1020)

Parent or legal guardian

If you’re required to be accompanied, your parent or legal guardian must live with you while you’re studying and they can’t leave New Zealand without you.

Attendance and progress

You must study full-time and attend your course at the approved education provider noted on your visa, unless you have a reasonable excuse for absences.

You must make satisfactory progress on your course.

If you want to change your education provider or move to a lower level course, you’ll need to apply for a new student visa.

If you want to move to a higher level course, you’ll need to apply for a ‘variation of conditions’ to continue studying on your Pathway Student Visa.

Application for a Variation of Conditions (INZ1020)

Visa expiry

You must leave New Zealand before your visa expires.

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