Student Visas.

Student Visa information.

This article is about Immigration Policy but is not a description of policy.



International Students


Fee-paying International Students are welcome in New Zealand.  There are well-

developed programmes and services designed to ensure the best possible experience for students of all ages. 



School Children.


Children from overseas may be educated in New Zealand from Primary, through 

Intermediate to Secondary levels, in either State owned or Privately owned schools, subject to payment of fees and certain conditions that are in place to protect students and ensure a satisfactory education experience.


Schools that wish to offer places to overseas students must be approved to ensure quality pastoral care arrangements are in place to care for all of the child’s needs, both scholastic and residential. 


Search for approved Primary schools (ages 5 to 10).


Search for approved Intermediate Schools (ages 11 to 13).


Search for approved Secondary Schools (ages 13 to 18).



Guardian Visa.


A parent or legal guardian can apply for a visa to accompany their children aged 17 years or younger to New Zealand and, in limited circumstances, may even gain permission to work or study while the child is at school.



English Language Schools.


New Zealand is considered an excellent place to learn English and there are many institutions that offer courses. Including places where teaching English is combined with other courses and activities; there are over 600 choices!  These range from facilities for younger people who want to combine a wonderful overseas experience with an improvement to their English, through to University based courses designed to help serious students master English at a graduate level. Make sure your choice matches your objectives.



Tertiary Studies.


New Zealand has many options for serious tertiary study. In recent years Immigration New Zealand (INZ) and the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) have moved to ensure a quality experience for all students.


The applicant must

  • Hold a formal offer of a place from a State Institution or “Private Training Establishment” (PTE) (See special note, below.)

  • Pay full international fees.

  • Have sufficient funds for support, or be sponsored.

  • Hold comprehensive Health Insurance. 

  • Satisfy Immigration New Zealand (INZ) that they are a genuine student (not using a student visa application for some other purpose.)

  • Be of good health and character.



Special note #1: 


There are two categories of educational facility that qualify:

  1. Any institution with a level 1, 2 or 3 grading from the New Zealand Qualifications Authority.

  2. Only institutions that have signed the "Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students" can offer places to international students.



Special note #2:


Some international students can obtain the right to work up to 20 hours a week during term time and full time during vacation. This is a great way to gain local work experience, practice English and earn some pocket money; but not every course qualifies you. Take expert advice to make sure whether this concession applies to you.



Domestic Students.


School age children of persons in New Zealand on work visas can attend Primary, Intermediate or Secondary school as “Domestic Students”.  They need to apply for a Student Visa, but do not need to pay International Student Fees. This concession does NOT apply to Tertiary studies.


The same courtesy also applies to certain persons in New Zealand as members of Diplomatic missions, or persons on Armed Service transfers and may also apply to certain post-graduate students.