Child of a Refugee Claimant Student Visa

This visa allows children to study at primary or secondary school in New Zealand while their parents’ claim for refugee or protection status is being decided.

Length of stay

4 years

Age range

19 and under


NZD $0

Processing time
80% within
8 weeks
With this visa 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.

What you need to apply

Check if you are eligible to apply for this visa and what supporting documents and information you need to provide.

View All Evidence

You must provide:

Acceptable photos for a visa

If the passport or certificate of identity is unavailable, the original or certified copy of the birth certificate or another identity document may be provided.


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.

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 have 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.

Your children may need to provide Police Certificates as proof of their good character if they’re 17 years or over.

Good character
Police certificates

When we decide if your intentions are genuine, we consider all the information:

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

Genuine intentions to visit, study or work in NZ

Process and costs

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.

We make a decision about your application

If there is anything else you need to do, we will be in touch.

If you are in New Zealand, and your current temporary visa expires before your new visa is granted, we will normally issue you an interim visa to let you stay in New Zealand lawfully.

Interim Visa

Timeframes - Processing
80% within 8 weeks

80% of applications are currently completed within this time.

How to submit

Payment methods and receiving centre details if applicable.

Applying on paper

Postal address

Immigration New Zealand
PO Box 76895
Manukau City
Auckland 2241
New Zealand

Courier address

Immigration NZ
DX Box: EP71514
20 Fairfax Avenue
Auckland 1061
New Zealand


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. An IRD number can be applied for online through Inland Revenue.

Apply online for an IRD number

We do not grant work rights to students under 16.

The children are not 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.