In this article, we have provided you with all you need to know to apply for a New Zealand student visa. New Zealand is habitually crudely labelled as a rugby-mad nation sequestered from the rest of the world and brimming with hobbits, but, to be honest, there are a lot of reasons to give consideration to moving to a university there (and not just because you are a super-fan of Lord of the Rings).
People who DON’T require a student visa for New Zealand
If you’re a native of New Zealand or Australia, in possession of a New Zealand residence class visa, or in possession of a current Australian permanent residence visa (also including a current Australian resident return visa) without conditions on the visa, you are not required to have a student visa for New Zealand. If none of the above relates to you then you will have to apply for a New Zealand Student Visa.
People who DO require a New Zealand student visa
If your plan is to study in New Zealand for at least three months and are not from New Zealand or Australia, you will be required to secure a New Zealand Student Visa.
For studies less than three months long, you can school in New Zealand on a temporary/visitor visa. For longer programs it is compulsory that you get a student visa.
New Zealand student visa – How to apply
To submit an application for a New Zealand student visa, you can apply online or in person.
To submit an application physically at your home nation, you will need to get in touch with your local New Zealand embassy or consulate to get an application form and/or appointment. Alternatively, you can submit an application online by going to the official website www.immigration.govt.nz, and signing up for an account. You should submit an application at least six weeks before you plan to move to New Zealand.
Application fees vary based on your nation of origin. You will have to show:
- Admission letter from a school in New Zealand
To apply for your New Zealand student visa, you will be have to provide evidence of admission to a licensed New Zealand-based education provider.
- Evidence of sufficient funds
You will also have to submit evidence that you have enough money to pay your tuition fees (this can be in the form of a proof of loan coverage, scholarship award or other funds) and evidence of funds to provide for your living expenses while you study in New Zealand (through a sponsor, a scholarship, a loan, government support or sufficient bank balance). You have to prove you have a minimum of NZD$15,000 (~US$10,870) for every year if your program is longer than nine months.
- Proof of onward travel
This can be receipts of already bought return tickets, evidence of more funds or agreement from a sponsor to pay for return travel. The point is to prove that you plan, and can afford, to leave the nation once you conclude your studies.
- Travel insurance
This can usually be settled through your education provider.
- Medical certificates
If you have the plan to school in New Zealand for at least 12 months, you will have to supply a general medical certificate, a chest x-ray certificate and maybe go through a tuberculosis screening.
If you are under 18 years of age, you will also have to present evidence of arranged housing, and if you are 17 years of age or older, a police certificate of “good character”.
In addition to the above, you’ll also need to submit:
- Two color passport photos
- A passport valid for minimum of three months after the date you plan to leave New Zealand
- Evidence you have paid the application fee
Student visas applied for online typically take 20 days to treat, while student visas applied for through the paper form take 25 days to treat.
Can you hold a job in New Zealand with a student visa?
Foreign full-time students with a New Zealand Student Visa are lawfully allowed to work in New Zealand for up to 20 hours each week during session, and may work full-time during all reserved holiday periods like Christmas, Easter and summer holidays. Work experience asked for in your program does not count towards the 20-hour constraint. Foreign students cannot be self-employed.
Masters by research and PhD candidates can work as many hours as they desire.
Following your studies, you may still be qualified to hold a job in New Zealand, but you will have to confirm with the visa consultants and then put in for the relevant work visa.
To learn more about New Zealand student visa or regarding your ability to work in New Zealand, peruse the government’s official immigration website.
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