New Zealand Student Visa - Requirements, Application Process, Fees

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Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert
Updated on Jun 14, 2023 17:08 IST

The international student count in New Zealand is close to 50,000 annually out of a total number of applications crossing 150,000 it can be said that studying in New Zealand for international students is a good choice. In comparison to Aug 2022, the student visa has gone up by 98% up to March 2023 which indicates that New Zealand is a preferred study destination. Since a handful number of international students are offered admission, consequently they apply for a study visa as well. Students who get an offer letter and accept it are eligible for applying for a student visa. The NZ student visa application processing time varies between 8-10 weeks or it can longer depend upon the number of applications received for one particular academic session. Check: New Zealand Student Visa Processing Time

Applications for student visas can be applied in 4 different ways - online, offline, through an immigration advisor or at a visa centre. The status of applications can be checked online at RealMe or NZeTA if applied online, while offline applications can be tracked through the immigration advisors and visa centre application filings are tracked through VAC. International students are advised to apply for the visa as soon as they confirm their spot in a New Zealand University for admission. More details are as follows about New Zealand student visa requirements.

Latest Updates for New Zealand Student Visa:

June 2023: As per the data released for March 2023, New Zealand recorded a whopping 98% student visa approvals that too only for international students. This is the highest number since August 2022 after the Borders opened since the COVID-19 pandemic. The numbers are said to increase in the upcoming session of admissions.

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December 5, 2022: New Zealand has speeded up its student visa application assessments since more than 12,000 international students have applied for a student visa up to November 19 after the borders of New Zealand opened on July 31 this year. Approximately 7,731 student visa applications have been accepted to date. All these student visa decisions for 95% of the applications were made in just eight weeks. 

April 12, 2022: Student and work visa holders in New Zealand can travel back from April 12, 2022, onwards. Students who have valid study visas can travel to New Zealand. And under certain circumstances, if the student visa does not coincide with the current scenario, the student must apply for a fresh visa. The originally granted study visa to students will be applicable if changes in course or institution are not made.

Feb 4, 2022: New Zealand decides to open its borders after 2 years because of the COVID-19 pandemic, inviting its citizens who were abroad, international students, travellers and skilled workers. 

New Zealand Student Visa Details

Students going to New Zealand to study for more than three months would require to apply for a New Zealand Student Visa. A student visa allows applicants to study full-time in New Zealand for a stipulated period of time. Check International Student Guide for New Zealand. A student visa may have conditions you must meet – for example, it may include (not limited to):

  • The name of the program you are allowed to study
  • The name of the educational provider
  • The New Zealand location of the provider, and
  • The requirement to hold acceptable insurance

Also Read:

All About Post Study Work Permit in New Zealand

How to Get Work Permit in New Zealand?

New Zealand Average Salary for International Students

Job prospects for Indians who have studied in New Zealand

Qualifications for Student Visa in New Zealand

In order to travel to New Zealand with a student visa, an international student must fulfil the following criteria:

  • Applicant must have confirmed their offer letter for a course registered under the Ministry of Education of New Zealand or NZQA.
  • It is mandatory for the applicants to show proof of INR 8,00,000 approx for a year in order to stay in New Zealand for study.
  • An applicant must maintain NZD 1250 per month in order to survive in New Zealand.
  • A ticket not to New Zealand but elsewhere to prove that the applicant actually has enough expenses to study and stay in New Zealand.

Read: Financial Documents Required for Study Abroad Applications

Cost of New Zealand Student Visa Application

New Zealand Visa Cost: Students who are submitting their Student Visa Application online are required to pay a base Visa fee of NZD 375 which is INR 19,200 (approximately).

Candidates who are applying for their Student Visa online from New Delhi are required to pay NZD 430 which is INR 22,000 (approximately) as the receiving centre fees (New Delhi).

Those applying for a student visa in New Zealand on paper (offline mode) should note that the immigration costs would be INR 22,600, in addition to this students are required to pay a receiving Centre fee of INR 1,520. Applicants are still required to check the official website before applying for the exact amount charged. New Zealand student visas for Indians would cost around INR 24,000 for an offline application.

Check: Cost of Studying in New Zealand for International Students

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New Zealand Student Visa Documents Required

Candidates looking to apply for their New Zealand Student Visa must have the following documents as part of their visa application process: 

  • Valid passport – Your passport must be valid for at least three months beyond your period of stay in New Zealand
  • Completed Student Visa Application Form (INZ 1012)
  • Application fee payment receipt (fee as mentioned above)
  • An offer of a place – You need to have an offer of a place from a New Zealand institute/university. The forms are usually issued after the tuition fees have been received
  • Letter from your current institution confirming your status as a study abroad student
  • Health insurance receipt
  • You may be required to show Health and Character certificates, to prove that your intention of staying in New Zealand is genuine
  • Two passport-sized photographs

*Note: Additional documentation may be required. During the personal interview, additional documents may be requested by the interviewer. These may be documents to prove evidence of academic or financial status.

  • Transcripts, diplomas, degrees, or certificates from schools you attended
  • Scores from tests that your college required, such as TOEFL, GRE, or GMAT scores
  • How you will pay for all educational, living and travel costs

Related Reads:

How to apply for a New Zealand Student Visa online?

Candidates should note that the preferred mode of submitting their New Zealand Visa Application is via online method. The online method is not only less time-consuming but also less expensive as compared to post. Here is how to complete your application online using NZ Immigration Online.

Gather your documents as mentioned above and scan and prepare all your main and supporting documents in PDF format. Ensure you have scanned and attached a photo of yourself. Candidates are instructed to visit the official website for photograph specifications required by the embassy.

The average time taken by the New Zealand High Commission for the visa procedure is approximately 63 calendar days depending on the individual’s background. So the students need to apply for their visas at least three months prior to their course commencement. Complete your online application – You need to create an account online and fill in the form.

NZ Student Visa Dependents

In most cases, the spouse and dependent children of a student will be granted a visitor visa for the same duration as their partner or parents' stay. Spouses of the student on a Work Visa can work full-time in NZ. However, the dependents of students on visitor visas have no work rights. Read: Student's Spouse Visa for New Zealand  

You must be in a genuine and stable relationship with your partner and you must hold a New Zealand student visa to study for:

  • A level seven (or higher) qualification on the New Zealand Qualification Framework in an area of absolute skill shortage as specified in the Long Term Skill Shortage List, or
  • A postgraduate qualification

Additional Information

As an international student, you must complete your course within the minimum course duration listed on your acceptance letter. If you do not yet have a job offer, you may apply for a Post-study work visa. Visas granted are valid for up to 12 months and allow you to work in a temporary job while you look for a job in your field.

You can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week if your program of study meets one of these criteria:

  • It is at least two years in duration.
  • It leads to a New Zealand qualification that qualifies for points towards an application for a Skilled Migrant visa.
  • It is a tertiary institution, and the main purpose is to develop English language skills – you must also have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 5.0 or above in the general or academic modules.

You may work full-time during all vacations if you are enrolled in a full-time program of study of at least one academic year’s duration. If your full-time program of study has a duration of at least eight months, and is a minimum of two semesters, but is less than 120 credits, you can work full-time over the Christmas and New Year holiday period.

If you are enrolled in a Master's by research or doctoral degree program awarded by a New Zealand tertiary institution, there are no restrictions on the hours you can work. 

Read: Popular Job Sectors in New Zealand

Where to Apply for a student visa in New Zealand offline?

Provided below is the contact information of various New Zealand High Commissions located across the country.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ), New Delhi Centre
Telephone: 91 11 4259 6300
Fax: 91 11 4761 2990

New Zealand High Commission
Sir Edmund Hillary Marg
New Delhi 110 021
Telephone: 0091-11-4688 3170
Fax: 0091-11-4688 3165

New Zealand Consulate General
Mumbai, India
Street Address: Level 2, 3rd North Avenue, Maker Maxity, Bandra Kurla Complex, Mumbai 400 051, India
Telephone: 91-11-42596300 or email 
Fax: 91 22 6770 9003

Related Reads:

Know more about student visas for study abroad and student visa for prominent international study destinations:

Student Visa for Australia Student Visa for Canada
Student Visa for France Student Visa for Germany
Student Visa for USA Student Visa for UK

New Zealand Study Visa Processing Time

On average a student visa application is processed within 30-90 days in New Zealand for international students. The following data is based on the timeline of three months starting from August 31, 2022, and the time taken to assess and process study visas in New Zealand: 

Education Providers

50% Applications Processed in

75% Applications Processed in

90% Applications Processed in


32 days

48 days

62 days


30 days

47 days

67 days


21 days

31 days

45 days


22 days

39 days

66 days

The application is considered complete if the student visa application in New Zealand is either accepted or declined. Above-given data may change depending upon the data updation on the official website.

Scholarships for Studying in New Zealand

Arranging finances for studying in New Zealand is a great concern for international students. However, the government of New Zealand and various universities are offering a number of scholarships that students can avail of and gain knowledge. We have listed out the top scholarships that students can apply to study in New Zealand. Other Scholarships include:

New Zealand Student Visa Requirements FAQs

Q. What are the dependent visas in New Zealand?

A. Relation based visas are the ones that for the student's family or dependents. In New Zealand the following relationship based visas are acceptable from international student visa holders' dependents:

  • Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander Visitor Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander Work Visa
  • Partner of a New Zealander Resident Visa
  • Child of a New Zealander Visitor Visa
  • Dependent Child Student Visa
  • Dependent Child Resident Visa
  • Adoption Visitor Visa
  • Adoption Pre-citizenship Visitor Visa

Q. How long is a student visa in New Zealand?

A. The student visa in New Zealand is for 12 months long. If the course opted by the student is for more than 1 year then he/she will have to apply again to renew the student visa. However, the students can stay up to 4 years while he/she completes their study in New Zealand.

Q. Is New Zealand accepting visa applications from students for 2023 session?

A. Yes, New Zealand has started accepting visa applications from international students for the academic session starting from 2023. It was initially closed because the borders hadn't opened for international students to return to New Zealand for their studies.

Q. When will student visa applications open in New Zealand for Indian students?

A. It is expected that by October 2022 New Zealand would start accepting student visa applications. And by the starting of 2023 applicants might receive their student visas as well. Indian students are eligible to apply for their student visas in New Zealand full-fledged by 2023 onwards.

Q. What is the average time for processing a student visa in New Zealand?

A. The average visa application processing time is between 3-4 months and varies in case some documents are missing or if the visa office requires more clarity about the applicant or his/her application.

Q. How to apply for a student visa in New Zealand?

A. There are four ways of applying for a student visa in New Zealand:

  • Apply online
  • Apply using a paper form
  • Apply through an immigration advisor 
  • Apply at a visa application centre.

Q. How much bank balance is required for student visa in New Zealand?

A. International students studying in New Zealand, holding a student visa would need NZD 15,000 to pay living costs for each year of study. If they apply after 31 July 2022 for New Zealand university admissions, they would need NZD 20,000, or NZD 17,000 per year if studying in compulsory education. This is the minimum amount needed to transfer to the FTS account.

Q. Is IELTS required from international students applying for a student visa in New Zealand?

A. If international students are applying for admission to New Zealand universities and wish to get a student visa for the 2023 academic year, they'd need a minimum overall IELTS Band Score of 5.5. For New Zealand residence visas, the applicants would need a minimum score on an IELTS Band Score between 4.0 to 6.5.

Q. Is interview compulsory for NZ student visa?

A. Yes, international students who qualify for admissions to New Zealand universities will have to appear for an interview after applying for a student visa. No matter how tough the interview may sound, its significant to qualify for the interview in order to be able to get a student visa to study in New Zealand. 

Q. Does New Zealand accept study gap while applying for a student visa?

A. If an international student qualifies for admission to New Zealand university along with his/her study gap, then the student can apply for a visa to New Zealand. During the interview, the students can show credible information about what he/she has been doing in the aforementioned gap years in terms of work experience, studies and skill set, etc.

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About the Author
Aishwarya Bhatnagar
Study Abroad Expert

A passionate writer and a literature fanatic, Aishwarya Bhatnagar has 4+ years of experience - working in EdTech with a strong focus on studying abroad. She holds a postgraduate degree in Linguistics from Delhi Univ... Read Full Bio




sarabjeet kaur

2 years ago

I have valid visa to enter NZ ,,Any chance border will open for post study work visa holder who stuck offshore migrants

Reply to sarabjeet kaur


Rahul Singha

2 years ago

Hello Sarabjeet. The situation is very unpredictable with the advent of the Delta variant of the virus. Would request you to keep check the official website for regular updates.


iffat faleela

2 years ago

hi rahul, can a parent accompany with the student to newzealand

Reply to iffat faleela


Rahul Singha

2 years ago

Hello Iffat. You would be required to apply for a different visa category.


Ravikant Kurra

2 years ago

Hi i am planning to study in NZ and already my aunt and uncle live there, so if i am going to stay with them how do i show it to the government or university

Reply to Ravikant Kurra


Rahul Singha

2 years ago

Hello Ravikant. You can mention this under the accommodation category in your application form.



2 years ago

Hii...What are the chances of getting admission in new zealand as the pandemic is still going on, so will the process of admission & accepting applications of international students would be made?

Reply to Priyanka


Ashish Surti

2 years ago

hi rahul . i had applied for for my visa in march 2020 . what are my chances for getting a student visa for new zealand for feb 2021 ?

Reply to Ashish Surti


Rahul Singha

2 years ago

Hello Ashish. There is obviously a lot of uncertainty looming over international travel for next year. While most universities are promoting students to do a semester or two at home via the remote method and then travel to the country once travel restrictions are lifted. you can get more updates he


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