The process of obtaining a New Zealand student visa is touted as one of the most complex ones amongst the visa process of any other country. Before you travel to another country to pursue higher studies, it is important to understand the various factors that play an important role in obtaining the student visa of that particular country. The New Zealand student visa process is unique in many ways. The main aim of this article is to help our readers understand the New Zealand student visa process on a deeper level.

New Zealand Student Visa: Types

The New Zealand government has introduced four different types of student visas on the basis of the nature of the courses which individual candidates wish to pursue in the country. 

Exchange Student Visa
Students who have enrolled themselves into an approved student exchange scheme in New Zealand may avail this particular student visa to pursue their course. Candidates who avail an exchange student visa are allowed to study for not more than four years in any student exchange program.

Foreign Government Supported Student Visa
Recipients of a government scholarship/stipends are required to apply for a foreign government-supported student visa in order to attend their course in New Zealand. For this purpose, such students are required to furnish evidence of their eligibility and funding to the New Zealand immigration department.

Pathway Student Visa
Students who have enrolled into pathway programs in New Zealand are required to obtain a pathway student visa in order to be able to pursue their programme of study. Students who are in New Zealand on a pathway student visa will be eligible to study up to three consecutive courses in New Zealand on a single student visa.

Fee-paying Student Visa
A fee-paying New Zealand student visa allows students to pursue full-time courses in any of the approved universities. This is especially applicable to students who have been accepted into postgraduate courses. Students with a fee-paying student visa are eligible to pursue a full-time course in New Zealand and work there for 4 years. Since most students from India apply for full-time courses to study in New Zealand, this article will be focussing more on the particulars of the Fee-paying New Zealand student visa process.

New Zealand Student Visa: Fee Paying Student Visa Overview

When students avail a New Zealand student visa under this visa category, they are eligible to pursue their full-time course in New Zealand. In addition to that, students are also allowed to work in New Zealand for a span of four years.

Students who are on a Fee Paying student visa are also eligible to work for 20 hours a week part-time while studying or full-time in the holidays, depending on the conditions mentioned in their visa. Before students can move ahead to carry on with their application process, they are required to fulfil certain requirements. 

New Zealand Study Visa Requirements For Indian Students

The list of requirements listed by the government for New Zealand study visa applicants varies from country to country. The New Zealand study visa requirements for Indian students are elaborated in this article. Some of the requirements are as listed below.

  1. Students who apply for a New Zealand student visa from India are expected to possess a letter of acceptance from the university in which they intend to study.
  2. Candidates applying for a New Zealand student visa must be in good health and provide evidence regarding the same to the embassy in addition to the other relevant New Zealand student visa documents.
  3. They must have sufficient funds to support their expenses during the course of their study in New Zealand. The evidence for the same must be provided at the time of applying for a New Zealand student visa.
  4. Students who are applying for a New Zealand student visa must purchase medical insurance which covers all the expenses related to their medical needs during the entire course of their stay in New Zealand.
  5. Students must possess the correct tickets to travel to New Zealand. If their trip is being sponsored, then students are expected to submit New Zealand student visa documents which mentions their sponsor’s particulars as well.
  6. Students must provide information about their scheduled holidays during their course period in New Zealand.

Documents Required For a New Zealand Study Visa

Documentation is the most important part of any student visa process to study abroad. The New Zealand student visa process does not involve any exceptions when it comes to the documentation process. In order to acquire a New Zealand student visa, students must submit the relevant New Zealand student visa documents which prove that the candidate meets all of the requirements mentioned in the previous paragraph.

Proof of Identity

Students must submit a proof of identity at the time of submitting their application for a New Zealand student visa. In order to do so, they are required to submit the following documents which support their claims.

  1. Acceptable photograph if the students are applying for a student visa online or if they plan on applying on paper.
  2. Photographs have to be submitted. The embassy has prescribed certain dimensions for the photographs which all students applying for a New Zealand student visa are required to adhere to. For more information regarding the same, you can refer to the New Zealand government’s official website.
  3. Passport or a certificate of identity. While applying for the New Zealand student visa on paper, students are required to submit their original passports to the embassy. If an online application is being submitted, students are to upload a copy of their passport at the time of applying. The embassy or consulate will intimate such students if their passport is physically to be sent at a later date.

Proof of Good Health

New Zealand student visa applicants are required to submit proof of their good health in the form of a medical examination report or a chest X-ray. New Zealand on a temporary visa like the New Zealand study visa are required to submit a an X-Ray of their chest regardless of their visa category.

Proof of Good Character

In order to have a successful New Zealand visa process, students are expected to submit documents which provide evidence of their good character. These documents can be in the form of a police report stating that the applicant has never been involved in an altercation with their native country’s law or have had any police records or previous prison sentences.

The embassy needs documents which prove that a student applying for a visa to study in New Zealand is not a threat to New Zealand’s image.

Proof of Genuine Intention

If you plan on having a hassle-free New Zealand student visa process, you must prove to the embassy that your intentions behind studying in the country are not malicious. In order to do so, the applicant must submit certain documents which could help the embassy in understanding their intentions behind applying for a student visa for New Zealand. Submitting the following documents will help support their claims.

  1. Evidence of travel history including the photo page and all pages which have visa records, entry and exit stamps.
  2. Evidence of a student’s home country circumstances which explains the situation due to which they have to apply for a New Zealand student visa.

Letter of Confirmation From University

A letter of offer from your university in New Zealand must include certain information which is specific to the course of study in New Zealand. The offer letter from the student’s university must contain the following details.

  1. The name of the student’s course and its duration.
  2. Confirmation that the tuition fee will be paid by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade.
  3. Whether the applicant’s course of study is full-time, part-time or whether it will be completed on the basis of correspondence.
  4. If the course lasts for more than a year, then a list of all the scheduled holidays must be mentioned in the confirmation letter.
  5. The offer letter from the university must also include a signed declaration by the authorities stating that they have assessed the applicant’s ability to fulfill the following requirements and are satisfied with the results.
  6. The programme offered is appropriate for the candidate’s abilities
  7. The candidate has the english language ability and the academic capability to succeed.

Proof of Payment of Tuition Fees

Unless they are exempted from paying their tuition fees due to legitimate reasons, all students applying for a study visa for New Zealand must possess the sufficient funds in order to pay the required tuition fees.  The evidence may include any of the following documents.

  1. Letter from the approved education provider that the applicant does not have to pay the fees or that they have already made the payment.
  2. Evidence that your home country government loan has been applied for, and confirmation from the education provider they expect to receive the fees
  3. Evidence you’ve applied for a home country government loan and confirmation that you’re enrolling in a bachelor degree programme or higher at a Private Training Establishment (PTE)
  4. Evidence you have a scholarship from your education provider.

Read about Study in New Zealand  Education Loan - Process & Timeline

Medical & Travel Insurance 

Students who plan on applying for a student visa for New Zealand must ensure that they possess insurances which cover their medical and travel expenses. Your medical and travel insurance documents must support the following requirements.

  1. You must declare in your visa application that you agree to arrange and hold insurance.
  2. Your insurance policy must cover you from the date that you arrive in New Zealand until the day you leave.
    Your insurance policy must cover all of the following:
    a. travel (this includes travel to and from New Zealand, within New Zealand, and outside New Zealand if travelling as part of the course)
    b. medical care in New Zealand, including diagnosis, prescription, surgery, and hospitalisation
    c. the transportation out of New Zealand as a result of serious illness or injury, including cover of travel costs incurred by family members assisting the student
    d. death (including cover of the travel costs of family members to and from New Zealand, costs of repatriation, and funeral expenses)

How Much Funds Required For New Zealand Student Visa?

Funding is another important part of the New Zealand Visa Process. Go through the following points to understand how much funds are required for a New Zealand student visa.

Evidence can include:

  1. proof that you have NZ $15,000 for a full year of study or NZ $1,250 per month that you’ll be in New Zealand. Students may explore the New Zealand funds transfer scheme to deposit their living expenses for a year. This is a more hassle-free way of ensuring a continuous flow of funds.
  2. documents that show your living costs have been paid — for example, for a school homestay where you will live with a local family while you study.
  3. If you’re applying in South Asia, only immediate family are able to sponsor you or provide a financial undertaking. Immediate family are your partner, parents, siblings, grandparents and parents-in-law.
  4. If you study for more than 1 year, you must provide evidence you have enough money to support yourself for your first year and show how you will pay your living costs for the following years.
  5. Evidence of how you will pay for the following years must be money you can access while you are in New Zealand such as savings or family income.
  6. Depending on what city you live in while you are in New Zealand, you might need more than NZD $15,000 per year (NZD $1250 per month) to live on while you are studying.

Also read about Guide to Study in New Zealand for Indian Students: How To Open An FTS Account

Proof of Affording Onward Travel

Students applying for a New Zealand student visa must possess proof that they are able to afford their air tickets to travel out of New Zealand. 

Evidence can include:

  • your travel ticket
  • proof you have enough money to buy a ticket out of New Zealand, in addition to the funds you have to live on
  • a 'Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry' completed by an acceptable sponsor.

Full-Time Vacation Work Rights 

If you plan on working during the holiday season, you must provide documentation provided by your sponsor.

If you’re allowed to work full-time in the holidays, proof:

  • of the holidays scheduled by your approved education provider, as shown in your offer of place document
  • that your course value is 120 credits – this information may be on your fee receipt or invoice, or other correspondence provided by your approved education provider.

New Zealand Student Visa Process Timeline and Fees

The New Zealand student visa process is different for students who plan on applying for one online and for those who plan on applying on paper. The fees charged by the government of New Zealand for the following procedures are listed below.

Application processing charges : $330 NZD

Passport Fee: INR 737

A passport fee is charged when students are required to send over their original passports to the embassy for the visa to be processed without a lot of hassles.

It takes a total of 63 days for the embassy to process a New Zealand student visa. Hence, it is important to gather all the necessary documents and funding keeping this part in mind.

New Zealand Student Visa Process

Like most of the student visa processes, the New Zealand student visa process takes place in the following steps.

  1. Gather your documents. Students may refer to the New Zealand student visa document checklist for first time applicants to do so.
  2. Submit your application. This can either be done online, on the embassy’s official website or students may physically submit their application forms.
  3. Wait for a decision to be made on their visa status.

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