Aerial view of a beach in New Zealand

Study in New Zealand: Student Visas & Permits

In most cases, if you are studying for longer than three months, you will need a student visa in New Zealand. For shorter stays, you might be able to stay with only a tourist visa. As is the case with all countries wherever you go, the procedure for issuing student visas and other documents takes several steps. Therefore, the basic rule applies: start well ahead of time.

Find a program

Want to study in New Zealand? Find & compare programs


In order to be eligible for a student visa, you must have a confirmation letter on having been accepted to an NZQA-accredited course and on having paid the necessary fees. This documentation 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
  • Proof that you have paid for the course in full, or if the course is longer than one year, the first annual fee
  • Whether you have to pay course fees and whether the rate of fees is at the lower domestic rate or the higher international rate
  • Whether you are studying full-time or part-time

The institution application process itself may take several months if you have to have your existing qualifications assessed. In addition to your transcripts, you will need to produce a passport valid at least three months past your leaving date, as well as proof of sufficient funds to support yourself and to pay future tuition fees throughout your study.


Once you have all of your documentation ready, you can submit your application to the nearest New Zealand embassy or consulate. For some nationalities and circumstances, special regulations apply, so make sure to check with the New Zealand migration authorities before submitting your application.

Once you have your permit there are certain conditions you must meet during your stay:

  • You must enroll and attend the educational institution noted in your permit. It is possible to change the course or institution in your permit.
  • You must show that you are passing your course
  • Only undertake work allowed through your student permit
  • Obey New Zealand laws
  • Only stay in New Zealand for the time allowed by your permit.

    Study in New Zealand

    Over 30,000 international students choose New Zealand as their study abroad destination every year. Click here to learn why.

    Learn more

    Education in New Zealand

    The New Zealand education system is currently ranked as number 3 in the world. It reflects their unique and diverse society, open to different abilities, religious beliefs, ethnic groups, income levels, and ideas about teaching and learning.

    Learn more

    Housing & Living Costs

    Most New Zealand institutions will be happy to help you to find accommodation before you arrive. Here you'll find information about the types of accommodation on offer in New Zealand.

    Learn more

    Tuition Fees & Scholarships

    All higher education in New Zealand requires you to pay a certain fee per year of study. Although it is a substantial amount of money, compared to fees of many other developed countries, fees are relatively low.

    Learn more

    Language & Culture

    New Zealand has three official languages. Find out more about what the country offers in terms of language, culture, cuisine, and more!

    Learn more

    Application Process

    Applications for higher education in New Zealand are made directly through the school in question. Here you'll find more information about what you need to apply to a New Zealand university.

    Learn more


    Ready to look at programs in New Zealand? Use our search engine to find and compare top programs in New Zealand.

    Learn more

    Last update: 24 Jun 2021


    Scholarship Directory

    Looking for scholarships to make your dream of studying abroad possible? We've compiled 440+ scholarships available for international students!

    Access the Scholarship Directory

    Win a $7,000 scholarship to study an MBA

    Planning on studying an MBA degree abroad? We can help.

    Applications are now open

    Like us?

    Leave a review on Facebook so we can help others like you find their perfect study abroad adventure!

    Recommend us ⭐