Visas for New Zealand Universities

You will need a New Zealand Student Visa to study for your degree, which allows you to attend a particular institution as a full-time student.

Requirements for a student visa in New Zealand

Before you apply, ensure that you understand the requirements that you need to meet, and the requirements that your course must meet.

The first essential is to have an offer of a place from a New Zealand education provider. The offer must include:

  • the name of the course and the minimum time required for completing it
  • proof that the course and course provider meet New Zealand’s requirements for international students
  • the amount of the fee for the complete course or, if the course is longer than one year, the annual fee
  • whether you have to pay course fees and whether the fees are domestic or foreign 
  • whether you are studying full-time or part-time.

Your course must be approved by the NZQA.

You have to meet health and character requirements and prove to the immigration service that your intent is genuine.

Evidence of funds to support yourself

To gain your student visa or permit, you must prove that you can meet your living costs during your stay. Suitable evidence for this may include:

  • enough money held in New Zealand by you or on your behalf
  • an undertaking by another person to cover your accommodation and living costs (you must provide this before you leave for New Zealand)
  • an undertaking by a New Zealand sponsor to cover your accommodation and living costs, or
  • financial assistance available to you under aid programmes operated in New Zealand by a government agency.

Since a degree course lasts more than nine months, you’ll also need to show that you have access to:

  • NZ$10,000 per year to cover your costs during your stay in New Zealand, or
  • if you are a citizen of Samoa or Tonga, a written guarantee from a relative who is a New Zealand citizen or resident that they will cover your living costs.

Proof that you plan to leave

So that the immigration service can be sure you will leave New Zealand when you have finished your course of study, you will need to show how you will leave New Zealand.

For example, you might hold travel tickets out of New Zealand to a country you are allowed to enter, or evidence of enough money held in New Zealand, additional to the funds you’ll need for your living expenses.


You must have a passport that is valid for at least three months past the end of your intended stay.

Permit requirements during your stay

Once you have your student visa, you must meet certain conditions during your stay:

  • You must attend the place of study noted in your permit. However, you can apply to change your course or institution
  • You must be able to show that you are passing your course
  • You may only undertake work allowed by your student permit
  • You must obey New Zealand’s laws
  • You must stay in New Zealand only for the time allowed by your permit.

If you break any of these conditions, your permit may be revoked.

Medical insurance

You must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while you're studying in New Zealand.

Student permit holders are generally not eligible for publicly funded health and disability services.


When you apply for a student visa, you will need to pay a fee. This is currently £80 if you are applying from the UK.

How to apply

Click here to start the application process at the Immigration New Zealand website.