New Zealand Visa Process

Student Visa Overview

Everyone who comes to study in New Zealand from overseas must meet certain rules and requirements. If you are coming to New Zealand to study for more than three months, you will need a student visa. You don't need a visa if you are a citizen of New Zealand or Australia, you hold a New Zealand residence class visa, or you are the holder of a current Australian permanent residence visa including a current Australian resident return visa. If there are conditions on your Australian permanent residence visa or resident return visa, then you will need to apply for a student visa.

If you want to undertake one or more short courses which are approved or exempted by New Zealand Qualifications Authority, for no more than three calendar months duration in total, you do not need a student visa or a variation of conditions.

If you hold a temporary visa that is valid for 24 months or more, you can study one or more courses for up to three months in total in each 12-month period.


Offer of a Place

Unless otherwise specified in student instructions, an applicant for a student visa must provide evidence that they have an offer of a place, from a New Zealand education provider, in a full-time course that meets foreign student requirements (U5).

The offer of place letter must be signed and dated by the representative of the provider and contain the following information:

Provider details

  • Name of education provider
  • Address
  • Phone, fax number, and email address

Student details

  • Full name of student (underline family name) and current address

Course/program details

  • Length of course/program (if longer than one year, state the minimum completion time)
  • Date program starts
  • Year of study (Primary and Secondary schools): eg year 5
  • Year of study (Tertiary): eg first
  • Type of study (Tertiary)
    1) Full-time (at least 20 contact hours per week if at a PTE or three papers or equivalent per semester at a university or polytechnic)
    2) Part-time

Fee payment details

  • Foreign student fee, or
  • Domestic student fee, or
  • New Zealand Aid Program funding or other scholarship
  • Fee amount for the complete course (if applicable): $__________
  • Fee amount paid:$_______ for:
    A) the complete course; or
    B) the term/semester, until (date).

English Language Requirement :

Immigration NZ does not set any English language requirements for students. Some Education Providers (especially at tertiary level) require a certain level of English before an offer of place will be given to you. You should contact your school/institute for more information on this

Accommodation details for under 18 year olds

Fee-paying foreign students who are under the age of 18 must provide, with their student visa application, a statement from their education provider confirming that the student's accommodation complies with the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Student. For example:

Name of education provider ensures that the accommodation provisions for are met in accordance with the Code of Practice.

Clauses 6.1 and 7.1 of the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students declaration

All education providers are required to include the following declaration in their ‘Offer of Place' letters to international students:

As required by the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students Name of education provider declares that:

  • an assessment of name of student has been undertaken (if required as detailed in clause 6.1) to ensure that they are able to participate effectively in the course, and the course offered meets this prospective student's proficiencies and career intentions (clause 7.1).

Date                   signed