Learn more about entry requirements to study in New Zealand

Learn more about entry requirements to study in New Zealand

Ranking highly in international comparisons of national performance, such as quality of life, education, protection of civil liberties, government transparency, and economic freedom and renowned for its world-class reputation in cutting-edge research and creative energy, while simultaneously having a safe and welcoming community, making New Zealand a viable destination for international students. International students can apply for the two major intakes in New Zealand in January and July Intakes.

What is the New Zealand Student Visa?

A student VISA is a legal document that permits applicants to study, remain, and work in the nation for a specific amount of time. It is a mandatory requirement if you wish to study in New Zealand for more than three months. It will cost NZ$480 to apply for a study visa. You will be contacted for a visa interview when your application has been reviewed.

International students must meet a set of requirements to study in New Zealand and to apply to any of the country’s universities. These are-

  • New Zealand Student Visa– It will cost NZ$480.Study full-time at the course stated on your visa – this includes schools, tertiary (study after secondary school), and English language study. Student visa conditions require you to attend the place of study endorsed on your visa. Work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying or full-time in the holidays, depending on your visa conditions. Live by yourself above a certain age, otherwise, you’ll need to come with your parent or legal guardian. If you’re from overseas, you can apply for a visa to study full-time in New Zealand. You’ll need to pay the full cost of your courses and enroll with an approved education provider. Your Student Visa is normally for the same length of time as the study you’ve paid for.
  • A Proof of English Proficiency– One of the main requirements to study in New Zealand as an international student is confirmation of English competence. IELTS is accepted as the standard test for non-English speaking countries by the majority of New Zealand universities. While the TOEFL test is equally popular, the IELTS exam is recommended for a New Zealand study permit. Acceptance to a New Zealand institution will require an IELTS score of 6-6.5 or better and a TOEFL score of 75-90.
  • A Proof of Funds– One of the most important prerequisites for the study permission is proof of funding. It’s a document that proves you’ll be able to take care of yourself as a student once you arrive in New Zealand. The following evidence can be used to demonstrate your financial stability- Bank statements of the last 4 months-
  1. If you have already paid your tuition and housing expenses, provide proof.
  2. If you’ve taken out a student loan from any bank, you’ll need a loan letter.
  3. Documents that prove your scholarships/funding
  • Statement of Purpose– A document written explaining your overall purpose of undertaking a particular course at the chosen institution. From your academic record to volunteering experiences, extracurricular activities to test scores, everything can be included.

To qualify for a student visa, applicants will need to be accepted for a course at an education institute approved by the Ministry of Education or the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), money for your tuition fees, or proof that you have a scholarship that pays your fees
proof you have enough money to live on while you’re in NZ and a ticket out of NZ or evidence that you enough money to buy one.

The New Zealand student visa is something you mandatorily need if you’re planning to study in New Zealand for the long term or at least 3 months. The foremost requirement in getting your Student Visa for New Zealand is having your documents ready for verification. The following is a list of documents that you’ll need mandatorily-

  1. Electronic Confirmation of Enrolment (eCoE) certificate
  2. Genuine Temporary Entrant (GTE) statement
  3. Your English Proficiency test results
  4. Proof of visa fees payment
  5. Health insurance (Overseas Student Health Cover (OSHC))
  6. Verification of your criminal records
  7. Financial Requirements proving a sum of up to AU$18,610 per year

How to Apply for a NZ Student Visa?

  1. Step 1: Gathering Required Documents- Before planning to submit your application, the most critical step is documentation. If you are aware of every document needed, then you can experience an easy visa process.
  2. Step 2: Submission of Application- You can submit your visa application online. However, you need to send a physical copy of your passport and application forms to the New Zealand Embassy.
  3. Step 3: Wait for Visa Approval- The applications are assessed as soon as they are received. During this process, sometimes, you may need to provide more information as evidence to support your visa.
  4. Step 4: Arriving in New Zealand- After the visa approval is obtained, you can now visit New Zealand to study and live.


Other Visa options for international students-

  • Exchange student- It will cost NZ$480. Study full-time in New Zealand in a school-to-school exchange, an exchange program organization scheme, or a tertiary exchange. Can work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying or full-time in the holidays, depending on your age and how long your study is for. You can only apply if you’re outside of New Zealand. You don’t have to pay tuition fees, as you’re considered a domestic student. Student exchange schemes may include school-to-school (or sister school exchanges), exchanges organized by exchange program organizations, and tertiary exchanges.
  • Post-study work- It will cost NZ$720. You can get a Post-study work visa for 1, 2, or 3 years depending on your qualifications, where you studied, and if you are working towards occupational registration. With this visa, you can work for any employer and in almost any job in New Zealand. You can only apply for this visa once unless you complete a second higher qualification at a bachelor’s degree level or higher.
  • Skilled Migrant Category Resident- It will cost NZ$771. With this visa, you can live, work and study in New Zealand. Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your residence application. This visa isn’t designed for people who are self-employed. If you want to work in your own business, you may wish to apply for an Entrepreneur Resident Visa instead. The length of stay is indefinite.



*This is a three part series of Pursuing Further Education in New Zealand: A Comprehensive Guide

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