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Student Visas

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Student Visas

Students may be dependent children of temporary visa holders, known as domestic students, paying international students or workers who are upskilling.

New Zealand has an internationally renowned education system with a wide range of programmes across the nation. The level of study ranges from Certificates to Doctoral degrees. If you are an international student, education providers have a responsibility to ensure that you are safe, well informed and properly cared for. This is called ‘pastoral care’.

If you don’t have a scholarship or a sponsor/family member to financially support you, you will be required to show evidence that you can cover your living expenses.

If you will be studying in New Zealand for more than one year, you‘ll need to prove that you have at least $15,000 to support yourself for the first year. If you’re studying for less than a year, you must have at least $1250 for each month of study to contribute to your living expenses.

As an example of how much to budget for, Victoria University recommends that students allow between $18,000-$27,000 each year, the University of Auckland recommends $20,000-$25,000, the University of Otago recommends $15,000-$17,000 and Massey University recommends $15,000-$18,000. As a student, you are able to work up to 20 hours per week to help pay your living costs and full-time in the holidays.


Dependent Child Student Visa

This is for children of work or student visa holders. Only children of certain types of visa holders may apply. Check with your immigration adviser if your child is eligible. Dependent children may stay as long as their parents' visa conditions allow. They must be financially dependent. Dependent child domestic students do not pay full school fees for public schools as the New Zealand government subsidises the education provider. Most schools do request an annual donation which varies considerably from school to school. Generally higher decile schools charge higher donations. Private school fees are very high and you would need to pay for these. 


Fee Paying Student Visa

This visa allows you to study in New Zealand for more than 3 months. You will need to pay the full cost of your course and enrol with an approved education provider. You will need to provide evidence that you have full medical and travel insurance. 


Exchange Student Visa

You can apply for this visa if you have a place in an approved student exchange scheme and you want to study full-time for more than 3 months. You will need to apply from offshore.


Pathway Student Visa

You can apply for this visa if you have a place in an approved student exchange scheme and you want to study full-time for more than 3 months. You will need to apply from offshore.​