Visas and Passports

The easy way to prepare and pass your NZ student visa interview

By Amelia Carruthers• Last updated: Jun 23, 2023
The easy way to prepare and pass your NZ student visa interview
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New Zealand is an incredibly popular location for international students. Boasting stunning scenery, famously warm and welcoming people with a whole host of cultural traditions and institutions – it’s not hard to see why.

When you add in great infrastructure, world-class universities and plenty of funding options, the only question remains – why isn’t it on your study abroad shortlist!?

Anyone wishing to attend a university in the country will have to successfully apply for a study visa. One of the key steps in this process is passing the New Zealand student visa interview, which can be a daunting process. It really shouldn’t be, however, especially if you know how to prepare.

With this in mind, we’ve created your ultimate guide on how to crack your student visa interview. From common interview questions to key preparation tips, here’s everything you need to face your interview with confidence.


New Zealand student visa interview preparation

If you’re invited to attend a New Zealand student visa interview, congratulations! This means that your study visa application is well on its way – and you’re one step closer to realising those study abroad dreams.

We’ll cover exactly how the interview works and questions you’re likely to face, but there’s some key preparation to complete first..

1. Understand what type of visa you’re applying for

Few students are aware of this, but there are several types of study visas for New Zealand. The type of visa you need depends on your financial status and educational requirements. These include:

  • Fee-Paying Student Visas: The most common type of student visa, allowing you to enroll on the full-time study with an accredited education provider – paying tuition fees yourself in full.
  • Foreign Government Supported Student Visa: For students with a foreign government student loan or scholarship.
  • Exchange Student Visa: For anyone partaking in a student exchange program in New Zealand (but studying and paying tuition fees to an academic institution outside of the country).
  • Pathway Student Visa: For students studying multiple consecutive courses (up to three) on a single student visa.

2. Organise your documents in advance

As part of your visa application process, you’ll have to provide lots of official documents to support your case! If you’re invited to an interview, make sure to have all of this paperwork to hand.

This includes things like copies of your passport, language test scores, academic transcripts, loan approvals, bank statements and any other information you think is relevant. If specific documents are needed, your interview invitation will make this clear.

3. Work on your English language skills

Fluency in English is an essential part of passing your New Zealand student visa interview. You’ll have taken an English language test before this point, so have confidence in your skills!

If you’re feeling a little rusty, practise your language skills well in advance! Think about the questions you’re likely to face and prepare short, concise answers. Get family and friends to help you practice, as it will really help impress your interviewer.

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How the New Zealand student visa interview works

The New Zealand student visa interview usually takes place via telephone or video calls with immigration officials based in New Zealand. You might have to travel to your local New Zealand embassy or consulate to do this – so leave plenty of time and plan your travel in advance.

The interview itself takes between 20 and 30 minutes. The sole purpose is to make sure you’re a genuine student that understands your rights and responsibilities in the country. So try not to stress too much and just be yourself!

New Zealand student visa interview tips

When it comes to the big day, here are the most important New Zealand student visa interview tips to bear in mind…

  • Be natural: Whilst proper preparation is essential for passing the New Zealand student visa interview, don’t entirely rely on memorised answers. Your interviewer may start to worry you’re not genuine – so always listen carefully and answer thoughtfully.
  • Be honest: It’s obvious, but an important one! Never falsify any information or leave out key facts in your answer. If you genuinely don’t know an answer – just say so! This is absolutely fine and may just mean that follow-up evidence is required.
  • Be clear: During the interview, stay absolutely focused on the questions you’re answering. This will help you keep your responses clear and concise. If your interviewer feels you haven’t properly responded to a question, you might have to clarify information – which can result in delays.
  • Be yourself: Understanding your personal reasons for studying in New Zealand is key. Many of the questions you’ll face are entirely subjective, so there are no “right or wrong” answers. Avoid generalisations and accurately communicate your personal motivations for study. Stay positive, polite and confident – you’ve got this!

Also Read: Study a Bachelor’s in New Zealand

New Zealand interview questions for student visa

The New Zealand student visa interview doesn’t have a set format or list of questions. Despite this, there are common topics that are likely to come up.

These are all about making sure you’re a legitimate student, travelling for the sole purpose of academic study. With your answers in the bag, you’ll be on your way to passing the interview in no time! Questions could include.

Your reasons for choosing New Zealand

  • Why does New Zealand appeal to you?
  • What do you know about New Zealand?
  • Have you travelled to New Zealand before?
  • Why can’t you undertake your studies in your own country?
  • What are your responsibilities as a student visa holder in New Zealand?

Your academic studies and institution

  • What modules will you study?
  • Why did this course appeal to you?
  • Why did you select this specific university?
  • What can you tell us about your university?
  • What academic studies have you previously enjoyed?
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Your financial status and long term goals

  • Do you plan to work alongside your studies?
  • How will you fund your tuition fees?
  • Do you have sufficient funds to cover living expenses?
  • How does this fit in with your long term career goals?
  • Are you planning to return home after your course ends?

If you’re currently applying for a New Zealand student visa, take a look at our ultimate step-by-step guide to the process. New Zealand is a wonderful country for international study, and we wish you the best of luck with your applications (and interviews)!

Edvoy partners with many fantastic academic institutions in New Zealand, so if you’re still weighing up options – explore these great universities and the courses on offer.

Related tags:
New Zealand
Student visa interview
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With a background in academic publishing, education and digital marketing, Amelia Carruthers is a freelance writer with ...Read More

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