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Student Visa

Here we share some general information about Student Visa policy. This material is for information purposes only. Contact one of our Licensed Immigration Advisers for personal immigration advice.


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Student visas come with specific conditions outlined in the visa document. Usually, these conditions limit the student to a particular course of study at a designated institution and may include part-time work rights. It's essential to comply with these conditions. If you need any changes, seek advice.

International Students

New Zealand welcomes fee-paying international students. The country offers well-developed programs and services to ensure an excellent experience for students of all ages. The New Zealand government is committed to enrolling international students in high-quality tertiary education.


To apply, students must:

- Hold a formal offer from a State Institution or Private Training Establishment (PTE).

- Pay full international fees.

- Have sufficient funds for support or be sponsored.

- Hold comprehensive health insurance.

- Satisfy Immigration New Zealand (INZ) that they are genuine students, not using the visa for other purposes.

- Be of good health and character.

Key Considerations

There are two categories of educational facilities that qualify for international students. These include any institution with a level 1, 2, or 3 grading from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority and institutions that have signed the "Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students."


Some international students can work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full-time during vacations. This offers a chance to gain local work experience, practice English, and earn pocket money. However, not every course grants work rights. Seek expert advice to confirm if this applies to you.

Useful Information

The NZIHS team of advisers and experts takes away the stress and worry of navigating the complex world of New Zealand Student visas, policies, and immigration.

School Children

Children from overseas can receive education in New Zealand from primary through secondary levels in either state-owned or privately owned schools. This is subject to fee payment and certain conditions designed to protect students and ensure a satisfactory educational experience.


Schools offering places to international students must be approved to ensure quality pastoral care arrangements are in place, meeting all the child’s scholastic and residential needs.

Guardian Visa

A parent or legal guardian can apply for a visa to accompany their children aged 17 or younger to New Zealand. In certain cases, they may also receive permission to work or study while the child is attending school.

English Language Schools

New Zealand is renowned for its excellent English language education. With over 600 institutions offering courses, you can find programs that combine English teaching with other activities. Options range from facilities for younger people seeking an enriching overseas experience while improving their English to university-based courses designed to help serious students master English at a graduate level. Ensure your choice aligns with your objectives.

Tertiary Studies

New Zealand offers numerous options for serious tertiary study. In recent years, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) have taken steps to ensure a quality experience for all students.

Domestic Students

School-age children of work visa holders in New Zealand can attend primary, intermediate, or secondary school as "Domestic Students." They need to apply for a Student Visa but are exempt from paying international student fees. However, this concession does not extend to tertiary studies, where full international student fees typically apply.


This is an important consideration when planning a move to New Zealand with older children.


The same benefit also applies to certain members of diplomatic missions, individuals on armed service transfers, and some postgraduate students.

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