Student visas



Studying in New Zealand

You will need a Student visa in NZ if you are planning to study for more than three months. This also includes school aged children and full fee paying tertiary students who either want to complete an English language course or a higher education qualification.

—You must have an offer of place, or confirmation of enrollment from an approved education provider.

—You’ll need enough money to pay your fees and to live on while you’re here.

The range of studies starts from basic 6 week English courses to diplomas, degrees, post-graduate diplomas and Doctorates. Each level has specific conditions and it is vital to complete all your exams and assessments to qualify for your next student visa.

If you complete a course which is a Bachelor degree (or higher), students may qualify for a post-study work visa which can greatly assist them with gaining work experience. 


Conditions of the visa

—Study full-time at the course stated on your visa – this includes schools, tertiary (study after secondary school) and English language study.

—Work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying and 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.

The international student industry has a high standard and offers a range of attractive courses.  Nearly all of the main centre have large institutes including the big 5: Auckland University, AUT, Unitec, Massey and Victoria University. There’s also plenty to do as a student in NZ such as outdoor activities near the beach, stunning parks and vibrant shopping centres. As immigration advisers, we are registered with both English schools and Universities and can guide you in choosing the best options for you while in New Zealand.  

Bridge between studies?

We are having many enquires from student visa holders who have completed their semester and want to visit China from December to January or February. Their student visas usually expire in January and their studies start again in March. There seems to be lots of confusion about the type of visa you need. This is particularly the case with students studying English and achieving a favourable IELTS score. Usually the answer is to apply for a visitor visa while still in NZ.

Generally lodging a visitor visa as a bridge between the current and future student visas can be a successful approach. While visitor visas are generally used for tourism, family and friends visits, they are also be part of the student process in-between visa renewals at the end or beginning of academic years. Its worth noting that only 9 months in an 18 month period can be used as a visitor. In rare cases 12 months can be granted however it has to be an exception. Its also important not to use up all your visiting time as you may need to bridge another time.


The key here is good communication by letting INZ understand your current situation, evidence and perhaps some special circumstance which promote a fast, genuine and stress free visitor visa application. It also pays to ensure the visa is multiple entry in case you travel. Also a good idea to have copies of recent bank statements and a neat cover letter. Also good attendance and grades is a must if you’ve been a recent student. Key points are using good English and an accurately completed visitor application form.

Finally make the most of your time as a visitor in NZ. You may need to study but take the time to visit all the top tourist attractions.