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NEW ZEALAND STUDY VISA

New Zealand Study Visa

If you're planning to study here full time for more than three months you'll need a student visa.

Student visa requirements include:

  • an offer of place from an educational institution approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
  • a written guarantee from an institution or person that suitable accommodation is available to you in New Zealand (if you're under 18 years)
  • evidence of sufficient funds to live on while you are studying
  • a return air ticket to your country, or evidence of sufficient funds to buy one.

If you’re spending six months or more here in New Zealand you may need to be screened for tuberculosis.

If you’re over 17 and intending to be in New Zealand for over two years, a police certificate will be required to show that you are of good character.

If your course is three months or less, you don’t need a student visa: just a visitor visa.

If you have been offered a place in an approved exchange scheme you can apply for a student visa for the duration of your exchange, provided you meet our health and character requirements and are a genuine exchange participant. If you’re coming on a working holiday scheme you can do one or more courses of study as long as their total duration doesn’t exceed six months.

This is just a summary. You should make sure you get the full details at Immigration New Zealand.

If you wish to stay in New Zealand and work after you have finished your studies, you will need the right visa.

International students who have achieved a New Zealand qualification may be allowed to gain experience in work related to their studies.

Depending on what you study, you may be able to work in New Zealand for up to four years, and possibly even gain residence.

First you need to apply for a visa and have it approved. The study to work pathway has two steps:

  • Post-study work visa (open): This visa gives you up to 12 months to get a job in a field related to your studies. While you are looking for a job in your field you are allowed to work in any job to support yourself.
  • Post-study work visa (employer assisted): This visa lets you stay in New Zealand to gain work experience for a further two years (or three years if work experience is required as part of a professional registration). This visa relates to a specific job with a specific employer.

After your post-study work visa (employer assisted) you may qualify for a New Zealand resident visa under the Skilled Migrant Category. If your work is in an occupation that has skill shortages, this improves your chances of being allowed to stay, either with work visas or residence.

Whatever visa you apply for, you will need to pass health and character checks.

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