The Study Visa

Get Ready to Study Abroad

First of all Decide, Where to Go!

New Zealand

Can I study in New Zealand?

Everyone who comes to study in New Zealand from overseas must meet certain rules and requirements. If you are coming to New Zealand to study for more than three months, you will need a student visa or permit. In this section you can find out whether you need a visa or permit, whether you'll qualify, and what a student visa or permit will allow you to do.

People who do not need a student visa or permit
You don’t need a visa or permit if you are a citizen of New Zealand or Australia, you hold a New Zealand residence permit, or you are an Australian resident with a current permanent resident return visa.

If the course you want to take runs for less than three months, and is NZQA approved, you don't need a student visa, and can apply for a visitor visa.

The requirements for a student visa or permit
Before you apply, ensure that you understand the requirements that you need to meet, and the requirements that your course must meet.

Also see our examples to make sure you will be eligible for a visa or permit to study in New Zealand.

What a student visa or permit allows
Find out how long you can stay, whether you can work while studying, who we will refuse entry to, and answers to other questions about student visas and permits.

Partners and children of New Zealand residents and visa holders
If your partner or parent is in New Zealand and you want to join them here and study, your permit conditions may depend on factors such as your partner or parent's immigration status.


If you're sure you need a student visa and/or permit, and you meet the requirements, find out how to apply.

Applying for a student visa
The application process below is for people who want to apply for a student visa or permit. This may include people who want to travel to New Zealand to study, people who want to stay temporarily in New Zealand to study, and people already here on another permit who want to study in New Zealand full time.

The application steps
Complete the form
Print and complete the form Application to Study in New Zealand (NZIS 1012) PDF. Also available is the Guide for Studying in New Zealand (NZIS 1013) PDF, which will assist you in applying. If you cannot print the form and guide, they are available from your nearest Immigration New Zealand branch.

Make sure you submit everything we require, including the fee
Along with your completed (and signed) application form you will also need to provide all the information listed at the front of the application form and the correct fee. If you do not submit the required information with your application we cannot accept it for processing.

Make sure you meet our health and character requirements
What you have to provide us with depends on how long you will be staying in New Zealand.

Studying in New Zealand for between six months and two years?
You may also need to provide a completed Temporary Entry X-ray Certificate (NZIS 1096) PDF to show you have been screened for tuberculosis (TB). 

Studying in New Zealand for more than two years?
You will need to complete a medical examination and a medical and X-ray certificate.

Pregnant women and children under the age of 11 years are not required to submit X-ray certificates unless a special report is required.

For full details on our health requirements, see the Health Requirements Leaflet (NZIS 1121) PDF.

You will also have to provide a police certificate, less than six months old, from your country of citizenship and from any country in which you have lived for five or more years since reaching 17 years of age.

Lodge your application
If you are applying from outside of New Zealand, your application must be made and approved before you are able to travel to New Zealand. Find out where to send your application.

If you are in New Zealand, please send your student application direct to:

Student Processing Unit
Immigration New Zealand
P O Box 1049
Palmerston North 4440            

Student applications may also be placed in the branch student drop box (Auckland Branches only) and will be forwarded to the Student Processing Unit in Palmerston North.

If your education provider is certified with Students Online you can make your application at your nearest certified educational institute.

To help you make sure you have everything you need to apply for your visa or permit, use our checklist.

Already here?
If you need to renew your permit to complete your course of study, you will still need to go through the application process. However, if your education institution is on our Students Online list of certified educators, they will be able to process your student permit on campus. Find out which institutes are with Students Online.

Or you may want to change the conditions of your permit if you:

  • are on another permit type and wish to study part time
  • are on a student permit and want to change courses or course providers, or
  • want to work while studying.

Student visa checklist

Ready to apply?
This is a reminder to help you prepare and submit your application. You need to include all of the documents and information stated in the application form and its guide.



I have read the guide Guide for Studying in New Zealand (NZIS 1013) PDF.
I have read the list of requirements in the Application to Study in New Zealand form (NZIS 1012) PDF.


I have a recent passport size photograph of myself.


I have a valid passport.


I have the correct application fee.


I have evidence of financial support while in New Zealand.


I have evidence of enrolment and of payment of course fees.


I have completed a TB clearance or medical and X-ray forms and police certificates (if required).


My parent or guardian has applied for a visitor's visa (guardians of students) if I am someone who must be accompanied by a guardian.


You are now ready to fill out the application form

Application form completed?



I have signed the form.


If I have used an agent or consultant, they have signed the form.


I have ticked off the requirements at the front of the form.


You are now ready to submit your application to the nearest Immigration New Zealand office.

Read more about applying for visas and permits. We have a separate section with extra information to help you complete your application.



For comprehensive further information on this or any other course(s) or college(s), please use our  Application Form Service - It's FREE

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