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Which New Zealand Student Visa do I need?

Sean Campbell
Last Updated: 26 November 2021 • 4 min read

If you’re planning on going abroad to study in New Zealand (and here are 6 reasons why you absolutely should, and 14 quirky things you'll notice if you do go), you’ll have to arrange a visa to allow you to enter the country and pursue your studies.

While the field of visas and immigration law is fraught with confusion, we at Edvoy are here to clear things up and make studying abroad much easier for you.

In this handy article we take you through which New Zealand study visa you should apply for, let you know a few things you should know before applying, and point you in the right direction on how to apply.

Before getting started though, here’s a comprehensive student guide to the best cities in New Zealand for international students, and keeping one eye on your future after studying, here are 15 high paid jobs in New Zealand you need to consider!

Which New Zealand Student Visa do I need? (and more...)

  1. Do I even need a New Zealand study visa? If so, which one?
  2. About the New Zealand ‘Fee Paying Student Visa’
  3. New Zealand student visa requirements
  4. Can I work in New Zealand with a study visa?
  5. New Zealand study visa costs
  6. How to apply for a New Zealand student visa

1. Do I even need a New Zealand study visa? If so, which one?

If you’re planning on studying for more than three months in New Zealand, then you do need a study visa. However, if your course of study lasts 3 months or less, a visitor’s visa will do just fine.

Simply put, if you’re heading there to study for just one university year or for an entire course, then you’ll have to apply for a study visa.

There are a whole load of visa options for studying in New Zealand, many of which are only applied to a certain country, but the vast majority of international students need to get a Fee Paying Student Visa. Even if someone else is paying your fees or you've won some kind of scholarship, grant or bursary, this is still most likely the visa you need… because, you know, someone is paying the fees…

(Since I mentioned scholarships, check out this handy guide to how to apply for one!)

But if you're still in any doubt about your visa options, head over to the very user-friendly New Zealand Immigration website and follow the prompts to explore your options.

After you’ve read this article of course...

2. About the New Zealand ‘Fee Paying Student Visa’

The fee paying student visa allows you to stay in New Zealand for up to 4 years while you study there. However you'll usually be granted a visa that lasts the length of your course. When it runs out, you can simply apply for another one if you want to continue with your studies, or indeed apply for a work visa (New Zealand is great like that).

Read all about that really nice New Zealand post-study work visa here, by the way.

3. New Zealand student visa requirements

Time to whip out the list. Here’s what you need to get sorted before applying for a New Zealand study visa (or more specifically, a ‘fee paying student visa’.)

  • Proof of a formal offer from an approved New Zealand education provider. 
  • Proof that you, a guardian or other benefactor can pay for your tuition fees (usually NZ $20,000-30,000 per year for international students). Failing this, you’ll need proof of a bursary, grant or scholarship that can cover the costs.
  • Proof that you have enough money to live off while in the country (approx NZ $15,000 per year, which converts to around £7,800).

These are the major things, but on top of these you should have:

  • A copy of your plane ticket to take you home, or simply proof that you can pay for one.
  • A passport and passport style photographs.
  • Proof of accommodation (if you’re under 18).
  • Your visa application fee (more on that below)
  • You may also have to supply information on your health and medical history.

4. Can I work in New Zealand with a study visa?

Yes, you can! Well, it depends on the specific conditions of your visa, but in most cases, one of the great things about studying abroad in New Zealand is that you can work part-time (up to 20 hours per week) during the university semester, and full-time during university holidays.

5. New Zealand study visa costs

The cost of a New Zealand study visa depends on where you’re applying from, as well as how you apply (online or on paper), but the average cost is approximately NZ $300 (approx £150).

6. How to apply for a New Zealand student visa

We’ve written an entire article on just that, taking you through every part of the process: A step-by-step guide to applying for a New Zealand student visa. Check it out!

At Edvoy, our mission is to help bright young people (that’s you!) find the right course at the right university in the right country, and to help you get there with less stress. Come take a look at what Edvoy has to offer, and when you’re ready, say hello and let us help you!

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Sean Campbell
Written By
Sean Campbell

Sean is a writer, copywriter & editor from Ireland.

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