A Complete Guide to Your New Zealand Student Visa

Level 7 or 8, Pathway visa or not—answers to all your Kiwi study permit and visa related questions.


For all of you looking forward to spending your academic years in New Zealand, the Kiwis have a few options for visas for international students. The two kinds of visas that will probably be up for your consideration would be the Fee Paying Student Visa and the Pathway Student Visa. Of these, almost all graduate or post-graduate students opt for the very first.

A Fee Paying Student Visa, valid for a period of 4 years, applies to you if you wish to enrol in a full-time course from an “approved education provider.” A Kiwi approved educational institution is a primary, secondary, or tertiary education provider approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority or New Zealand’s Ministry of Education to offer certain courses of study.

Once you have your acceptance letter from the university, the paperwork required to apply for a student visa is almost the same as for most other countries—proof that you have the financial means to support your tuition, stay and return travel from New Zealand, valid travel and medical insurance or a declaration to arrange the same, medical reports including a chest x-ray, and a police clearance certificate. The visa costs NZD 330/ Rs 15,200* for online applications. Applications made in person at any Visa Application Centre includes a processing fee of Rs 1,087.

While almost all criteria for applications and rules remain the same for both types of visas, the Pathway Student Visa is best suited for those planning to pursue consecutive courses from a list of pre-recognised “pathway institutions.” It allows you to enrol in up to 3 consecutive related courses under the same student visa and study in the country for 5 years. Applying online will cost NZD 295/ Rs 13,585*.

As an international student in New Zealand studying with either visa, you are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week during term and full-time during break. All students can support a visitor visa for their partner or spouse and dependent children, wherein your family can visit for up to 9 months and stay with you but not work in the country. However, if you are pursuing a Level 9 or 10 degree (Master and Doctoral) in any field, or a Level 7 or 8 degree (Bachelor and Bachelor Honours) in one of the fields in the New Zealand Skill Shortage Checker List, then you can support a work visa for your partner for the duration of your study.

All of you looking to embrace a career and the Kiwi life, apply for a post-study work visa, no later than 3 months after your student visa expires (6 months for doctorate candidates). Valid for a period of 1 to 3 years depending on your study duration, it allows your partner to apply for a work visa as well and for dependent children to study free of cost as domestic students.

*Based on exchange rate during publication of story.

Image courtesy: picryl.com


Posted in New Zealand on Sep 19, 2019