Student Visas

Embarking on an educational journey in New Zealand is an exciting opportunity for international students. At Choose New Zealand, we are committed to providing exceptional support and guidance throughout the Student Visa application process.

What is a New Zealand Student Visa (Fee Paying)?

There are many types of New Zealand Student Visa. For most international students, they need to apply for the Full Fee-Paying Student Visa.

A New Zealand Student Visa allows international students to study full-time at an educational institution in the country. The visa duration may correspond with the length of the chosen course and typically includes a few extra weeks to allow for wrapping up affairs upon completion.

Eligibility Criteria

To qualify for a New Zealand Student Visa, applicants must:

  1. Have an offer of acceptance from an education provider in New Zealand.
  2. Provide evidence of sufficient funds to cover tuition fees and living expenses throughout the study period.
  3. Meet health and character requirements, including medical clearance and a police certificate, if applicable.
  4. Demonstrate genuine intent to study and comply with visa conditions.

Application Process with Choose New Zealand

With our expert guidance, applying for a New Zealand Student Visa becomes a seamless process. A simplified version of steps are:

  • Consult with our team: Reach out to our team to discuss your educational plans and receive personalised advice on the whole process.
  • Apply for Offer of Place: After we helped you to identify the study plan, our team will help you with the admission process and secure you with an offer of place from your dream institution.
  • Prepare your visa documents: We will provide a checklist of essential documents and provide guidance throughout the preparation process to maximise your chances of visa approval
  • Submit the application: After carefully preparing and reviewing your documents, our team will submit your visa application on your behalf.
  • Wait for a decision: The processing time for student visa applications may range from a few weeks to several months, depending on factors such as application volume and the complexity of individual cases. We will keep you updated on your application’s progress and notify you once a decision has been made by Immigration New Zealand.
  • Start your study journey: Hooray! Your visa got approved. Now it’s time to book your ticket and start your Kiwi study journey.

Student Visa application fee

The New Zealand Student Visa application fee depends on your country of citizenship, the location when you apply, and submission method.

As of April 2023, the Student Visa application fee for most offshore international students who submit their application online is NZD $430.

It’s important to note that visa application fees are subject to change, so it’s a good idea to check the current fee on the New Zealand government’s immigration website or contact the Choose New Zealand team for the most up-to-date information.

Working on a Student Visa

International students on a New Zealand Student Visa may be eligible to work part-time during their studies. Full-time work may also be permitted during scheduled holidays, depending on the course duration and type. Our team will help you understand the specific work conditions associated with your visa to ensure compliance.

After your student visa is granted

If you wish to renew your visa to complete your course, or undertake a new course, you may apply for a new Student Visa. Our advisers will guide you through the standard application process, ensuring you provide updated documentation for the extended study period.

If you are eligible for a post-study work visa or other type of work visa upon completion, our team of Licensed Immigration Advisers is fully qualified to help you obtain one as well.

Common Reasons for a New Zealand Student Visa refusal

Some common reasons for a New Zealand Student Visa denial include:

  1. Insufficient or Inadequate Documentation: Failing to provide all the required documents or submitting incomplete or unclear documents can lead to a visa denial. Ensure that you submit all necessary documents, such as proof of acceptance from a registered education provider, proof of funds, health and character certificates, and a valid passport. Aside from the mandatory documents, you need to provide evidence of your academic and professional history, and account for any gaps in your timeline.
  2. Lack of Sufficient Funds: Applicants must demonstrate that they have enough funds to cover their tuition fees and living expenses during their stay in New Zealand. Aside from having sufficient funds, you must prove that the funds genuinely belong to you (or your financial guarantor), and that you will have access to them in New Zealand. If you cannot provide adequate evidence of financial support, your application may be denied.
  3. Inadequate Health and Character Certificates: All applicants must meet specific health and character requirements to be eligible for a student visa. If you fail to provide medical clearance or a police certificate (if applicable), or if you have a criminal record, your application may be denied. If INZ detects an attempt to hide previous visa refusals from other countries, your New Zealand visa application may be declined.
  4. Questionable Bona Fide Intentions: Immigration officers assess an applicant’s genuine intentions to study in New Zealand. If they suspect that your primary purpose is not to study or that you may not comply with the visa conditions, your application may be declined. It is essential to demonstrate a clear study plan and explain how the chosen course aligns with your long-term goals.
  5. Unrealistic Study Plan: If your chosen course of study does not align with your previous academic or professional background or seems unrealistic given your career path, immigration officers may question your genuine intentions, resulting in a visa denial.
  6. Inadequate English Language Proficiency: New Zealand educational institutions often require international students to demonstrate proficiency in English. If you fail to meet the minimum English language requirements for your chosen course, your application may be declined.
  7. Incorrect or Incomplete Application: Providing inaccurate or misleading information on your application form can result in a visa denial. Make sure to double-check all the information you provide and ensure its accuracy before submitting your application.

To maximize your chances of a successful visa application, it is crucial to provide complete and accurate information, submit all required documents, and demonstrate your genuine intentions to study in New Zealand. Consulting with experienced professionals, such as our team at Choose New Zealand, can help guide you through the application process and avoid potential pitfalls.

Choose New Zealand is dedicated to ensuring a smooth and enjoyable study experience in this beautiful country by offering unparalleled support throughout the New Zealand Student Visa process. For further assistance and personalized guidance, don’t hesitate to reach out to our team of experts.

Student Visa - FAQ

Do I need to pay tuition fee before apply for the Student Visa?

Whether or not you need to pay tuition fees before applying for a student visa depends on your location. If you are applying from outside New Zealand, INZ does not require you to provide evidence of payment until after your application has been approved in principle. However, you must show proof that you have sufficient funds to cover your tuition fees, unless you are exempt. You will also need to follow your education providers policies.


Please note that our advisors may recommend that applicants who require a faster visa approval process pay their tuition fees upfront in order to expedite the process.


If you are applying from within New Zealand, you must pay your tuition fees before submitting your application.


If you plan to enrol in multiple courses or a single course that lasts more than one year, you must demonstrate that you have enough funds to cover the tuition fees for the first course or first year of study, as well as provide evidence of how you will pay for subsequent years’ tuition fees.

How long can I stay in New Zealand with a Student Visa?

The duration of your stay in New Zealand with a Student Visa depends on your course duration. You may be given the right to stay in New Zealand for up to three months after the end of your course. You need to double check the visa expiry date on your visa carefully.

Can I work while studying in New Zealand with a Student Visa?

You can work while studying in New Zealand with a Student Visa for up to 20 hours a week during your term time and full-time during breaks if the visa conditions allow this. However, if the visa conditions prohibit employment, it is important to avoid working or you will risk cancellation of the visa.

How long does it take to process a New Zealand Student Visa?

The processing time for a New Zealand Student Visa varies depending on many factors. You can check the latest figures on the Immigration New Zealand’s website. However, actual processing times vary widely and are not predictable.

What are the financial requirements for a New Zealand Student Visa?

International students must provide evidence of financial support during their stay in New Zealand. The fund normally includes your tuition fee, living expenses ($17,000 per year for students attending year 1-13 schools, and $20,000 per year for tertiary students), and onward travel cost.

Do I need insurance for a New Zealand Student Visa?

Yes, international students must have comprehensive travel and medical insurance for the duration of their stay in New Zealand. Your institution normally includes the insurance fee in your invoice and they will arrange it for you.

Can I bring my family to New Zealand with me on a Student Visa?

Yes, you can bring your family with you to New Zealand if you meet specific requirements, such as proof of financial support. There are different types of visas for family members, depending on different factors, such as the level of your study. Consult our advisers for more information.

Can I travel outside of New Zealand while on a Student Visa?

Yes, you can travel outside of New Zealand while on a Student Visa. However, you must have a valid passport, a valid Student Visa if you plan to return to New Zealand.

What are the conditions of a Student Visa?

The primary conditions are that the visa holder attends classes at all times (any absences must be explainable with genuine reasons), at the place of study listed on the visa, and make satisfactory progress in their course.

Students must also maintain sufficient funds for living costs throughout their study.

Undertaking employment where the visa does not allow this, or exceeding the maximum number of work hours printed on the visa, would represent a breach of conditions.

How can I qualify for a Post-Study Work Visa?

Completing a Level 7 Bachelors degree, or a Level 8-10 Postgraduate Diploma, Masters, or PhD will allow the graduate to apply for a Post Study Work Visa, as long as the course has been studied for at least 30 weeks from within New Zealand. These work visas will allow the holder to work in any occupation. The length of the visa may be up to 3 years, depending on the circumstances.

Certain specific Level 4 to 7 non-degree qualifications (Certificates, Diplomas, Graduate Diplomas) may also lead to a Post-Study Work Visa, if the course was studied entirely in New Zealand. These will only allow the holder to work in an occupation related to their studies. The length of the visa depends on the length of the course.

Most Post Study Work Visas must be applied for within 3 months of the student visa expiry. Applicants must also have $5000 in funds to qualify.

If your course does not make you eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa, and obtain a full-time job offer before your student visa expires (or after you leave New Zealand), you may be eligible for an Accredited Employer Work Visa instead (if all requirements for that work visa are met).

Book an appointment with our Immigration Advisers