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Student

Visa: If you are enrolled into a qualifying course at a New Zealand tertiary institution, you can apply for a student visa. This visa allows you to study and to work up to 20 hours per week.

Offer of a place

To get a student visa, you need to have an offer of a place from a New Zealand education provider. The offer must include:

  • the name of the course and the minimum time required for completing it, and 
  • proof that the course and course provider meet New Zealand's requirements for international students, and 
  • the amount of the fee for the complete course, or if the course is longer than one year, the annual fee, and
  • whether you have to pay course fees and whether the fees are domestic or foreign fees, and
  • whether you are studying full-time or part-time.
  • Your course must be approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA).

Primary and secondary schools

  • State or integrated primary and secondary schools are funded by the New Zealand government. Schools accredited by New Zealand's Ministry of Education can offer places to full fee-paying international students after all New Zealand domestic and NZAID scholarship students are placed.
  • Private primary and secondary schools are schools funded mainly through student fees. Provided they are accredited by the Ministry of Education, these schools can offer places equally to international students and New Zealand students.

Tertiary education providers

Tertiary education providers can offer courses to international students 

  • Private training establishments (PTEs) can only offer international students approved courses that are longer than three months and registered with the NZQA. The PTE must be accredited by the NZQA to offer the course.
  • Institutions including universities, polytechnics, and colleges of education can only offer approved courses that are longer than three months and registered with the NZQA. 
  • You may have to be accompanied by a guardian (your parent or legal guardian), who will come to New Zealand with you. You need a guardian if you are enrolled in years 1 to 8 of a school, or a student aged 13 or under and enrolled in a private training establishment.
  • You have to meet our health and character requirements and prove to us that your intent is genuine.
  • To gain a student visa or permit we want to see that you are able to meet your living costs during your stay.
      • enough money held in New Zealand by you, or on your behalf,
      • an undertaking by another person to cover your accommodation and living costs (we'll want to see this before you leave for New Zealand),
      • an undertaking by a New Zealand sponsor to cover your accommodation and living costs, or
      • financial assistance available to you under aid programmes operated in New Zealand by a government agency.

You must have a passport that is valid for at least three months past the end of your intended stay.

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Study to Work

Students who have successfully completed a qualification in New Zealand that would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category are eligible for a post study work visa.
These students may apply for a Post Study work visa  for up to 12 months. They must apply no later than three months after the end date of their student visa for that qualification.

  • Students with a job offer relevant to their qualification and who successfully completed a course in New Zealand that:
    • took at least three years to complete, or
    • would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category.

Students may be granted a Post Study Work Visa - employer assisted  for up to two years to get practical experience suitable to their qualification. Students who are working towards obtaining membership or registration from a New Zealand professional association may be eligible for a work permit for up to three years where they meet the Study to Work policy requirements. They must apply no later than three months after the end date of their student permit for the relevant course or qualification, or hold a Post Study Work Visa - Open.


If you do not have a job offer, you may be eligible for a Graduate Job Search Work Visa and/or Permit for a maximum of 12 months. When you have found a job, you can apply for a further permit for up to two or three years under Study to Work Policy.


To be eligible for a Graduate Work Search Permit you must:

  • have successfully completed a qualification in New Zealand that would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category
  • apply no later than three months after the end date of the student permit for that qualification
  • provide evidence of a minimum of NZ$2,100 available to maintain yourself during your 12-month stay in New Zealand (we will accept traveller's cheques or bank documents in your name)

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Robert Benjamin
Licensed Immigration Adviser

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Licensed Number
200901192

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