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Student visas

If you are coming to New Zealand to study for more than three months, you need a student visa. We've pulled together a handy list of the requirements and where to apply.

Student Visas

There are two main types of visas - a student visa and a pathway student visa.

A student visa allows you to study in New Zealand and last up to four years. Your student visa is usually for the same length of time as the study you have paid for.

A pathway student visa allows you to study up to 3 consecutive courses within a 5 year period.

You don't need a student visa if your course is three months or less – for example, if you are doing a six week English language course as well as holidaying in New Zealand. As long as you're studying three months or less, you only need a visitor visa.


You need to meet certain requirements before applying for a student visa. The key things are to have been accepted by a school or educational institution and to prove you have enough money to live on while in New Zealand.

Student visa requirements include:

  • an 'offer of place' from an educational institution approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.
  • if you're under 18, a written guarantee from an institution or person that accommodation is available for you.
  • 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.
  • approved travel and medical insurance.
  • being healthy and of good character.

You must also study full-time and make satisfactory progress with your studies.

Pathway student visa requirements include:

  • You must have an offer of place from a Pathway education provider.
  • If you have more than one education provider you must provide a letter explaining the courses you will study and the start and finish dates of those courses.
  • You must pay the full cost of your first course, or first year of study (whichever is shorter) and be able to pay the tuition fees for any second or third courses.
  • During the length of your visa, you must have a travel ticket or funds available to buy a ticket to a country you can enter.
  • You must have enough money to support yourself while you’re in New Zealand or have a sponsor.
  • You must maintain your medical and travel insurance policy while you're studying in New Zealand, from the time you enrol until your visa expires.
  • If you’re required to be accompanied, your parent or legal guardian must live with you while you’re studying and they can’t leave New Zealand without you.
  • You must study full-time and attend your course at the approved education provider noted on your visa.
  • You must make satisfactory progress on your course.
  • You must leave New Zealand before your visa expires.


For full details and to apply online, go to the Immigration New Zealand website. You can also explore other visa options.

Working on a student visa

Working student

With a student visa, you may be able to work up to 20 hours a week while studying or work full-time in the holidays, depending on your visa conditions.

Find out more about working in Wellington while you study.