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New Zealand Student Visa

In this post, we have made available for you all you need to know to apply for a New Zealand student visa. New Zealand is consistently crudely referred to as a rugby-mad state 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 are originally from New Zealand or Australia, in possession of a New Zealand residence class visa, or have a current Australian permanent residence visa (also comprising a valid Australian resident return visa) without restrictions on the visa, you do not have to possess a student visa for New Zealand. If nothing above describes your status, then you will need to apply for a New Zealand Student Visa.

People who DO require a New Zealand student visa

If your study in New Zealand will take at least three months and you are not from New Zealand or Australia, you will be mandated to secure a New Zealand Student Visa.

For schooling lasting less than three months, you are allowed to school in New Zealand on a temporary/visitor visa. For programs that take longer, it is mandatory that you obtain a student visa.

New Zealand student visa – How to apply

To hand in an application for a New Zealand student visa, application can be done online or in person.

To hand in an application in person at your home nation, you are required to get in touch with your local New Zealand embassy or consulate to get an application form and/or appointment. On the other hand, you can hand in an application online by visiting the official website www.immigration.govt.nz, and opening an account. You are advised to submit an application a minimum of six weeks before you plan to travel to New Zealand.

Application fees amount is dependent on your nation of origin. You will have to show:

  • Letter of Admission from a recognised academic institution in New Zealand

To apply for your New Zealand student visa, you will have to provide evidence of admission to a licensed New Zealand-based education provider.

  • Evidence of sufficient funds

You will also be required to present evidence that you possess adequate money to pay your tuition fees (this can take the form of a proof of loan coverage, scholarship program or other finances) and evidence of finances to fund for your living expenditures while you study in New Zealand (through a sponsor, a scholarship award, a loan, government support or adequate bank balance). You have to show that you possess a minimum of NZD$15,000 (~US$10,870) for every year if your program will last longer than nine months.

  • Proof of onward travel

This can be receipts of return tickets you have already bought, evidence of extra funds or agreement from a sponsor to cover payment 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 your plan is to school in New Zealand for 12 months at least, you will be required to present a general medical certificate, a chest x-ray result and maybe submit to a tuberculosis screening.

If you are not up to 18 years of age, you will also be required to present proof of arranged housing, and if you are 17 years or more, a police certificate of “good character”.

Furthermore to the above, you’ll also be required to submit:

  • Two color passport photos
  • A passport valid for not less than three months after the date you plan to leave New Zealand
  • Evidence you have paid the application fee

Student visas that are applied for online generally take 20 days to treat, while student visas that are applied for with the paper form take 25 days to treat.

Can you work a job in New Zealand under 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.

After your studies, you may still be able to hold a job in New Zealand, but you are advised to confirm with the visa consultants and thereafter 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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