<img height="1" width="1" style="display:none" src="https://www.facebook.com/tr?id=717122988434669&amp;ev=PageView&amp;noscript=1">
New Zealand study visa process
Y Sindhura
Y Sindhura

With 8 years of experience in the overseas division, Sindhura is a specialist in Canada, Australia, UK and Germany visa process.

New Zealand Study Visa Process in 5 Simple Steps!

New Zealand is one of the best places to live and study. It is known for its international universities and a prosperous lifestyle. The New Zealand government provides loads of opportunities for students who want to pursue their higher studies. 

The maximum validity of the NZ Student Visa is 4 years. A Pathway Student Visa allows you to study for up to 5 years for three consecutive courses. Read along to understand the New Zealand Study Visa Process, requirements, costs involved and so on.

New Zealand Study Visa Process: Apply in 5 Steps

Applying for a New Zealand study visa is not that complicated.


The following paragraphs have summed up the whole process in just 5 steps.

Step 1: Apply for a college/university

Visit the official website of these shortlisted colleges/universities to know more about the courses. Afterward, choose a course that you want to pursue.

Then you can apply online for admission to that particular college/university. You can even apply offline through a paper application method. 

While applying for the NZ study visa, you will be asked to submit a few relevant documents. Submit the documents and complete the application process. And then wait for the offer letter.

Step 2: Arranging medical certificate and police clearance certificate (PCC)

As soon as the offer letter from an educational institute reaches you, you must undergo a thorough medical examination to get a medical certificate. The medical examination must be done by a doctor approved by the New Zealand Immigration Department. 

Simultaneously, you have to apply for the Police Clearance Certificate (PCC) from the office of Deputy Commissioner of Police or Regional Passport Office of your area.

Step 3: Lodging the visa application

Now you have to lodge your visa application along with the required documents. You can check the list of documents needed for different study visa categories from the immigration website of New Zealand.

Step 4: Paying the tuition fees

After lodging the visa application, you will receive the “Approval in Principle (AIP).” This approval comes from the Immigration New Zealand website. You have to pay the tuition fees for the first year to the respective college/university.

Step 5: Wait for the final outcome

Once you have submitted the visa application form and paid the fees, it is time to wait for the final decision. The officials will notify you about the outcome of your New Zealand study visa application in your email.

If your application is accepted, the immigration NZ officer will soon grant you a visa.

Note: New Zealand Study Visa is not a temporary visa or a Permanent Residency Visa

What are the different types of  New Zealand Student Visa?

The different types of student visas for New Zealand are:

  • Fee-Paying Student Visa: It is for full-time courses for up to 4 years. The visa holder can also work part-time.
  • Exchange Student Visa: This visa allows you to sign for a full-time course of up to 4 years in New Zealand under an approved student exchange program.
  • Pathway Student Visa: With a Pathway Student Visa, you are eligible to sign up for three consecutive study courses for up to five years. You don’t have to apply for separate visas to take up individual study courses. You are eligible to work part-time with a Pathway Student Visa.
  • Foreign Government Supported Student Visa: You can study a full-time course for a maximum of 4 years in New Zealand on a foreign government scholarship or loan.

New Pathway Student Visa

If you plan to study more than one course simultaneously in New Zealand, then the New Pathway Student Visa Pilot Program is meant for you.


This program allows you to take admission for three consecutive courses on a single student visa for up to three successive years.

The benefits of applying through the New Pathway Student Visa Pilot scheme are: 

  • Apply just once: Once you get a study visa under this scheme, you are allowed to take as many as three courses over a time period of a maximum of 5 years.
  • Uninterrupted study experience: New Pathway Student Visa makes the transitions between the courses smoother and more effortless. This means you can focus more on your studies rather than making rounds at the immigration office.
  • Better support from education providers: Under this pilot student visa program, you can expect better support from your education providers until you finish the courses. Your education providers must have a formal agreement to take care of your education in New Zealand.
  • Scope to work while you study: One of the attractive perks of the New Pathway Student Visa Pilot program is your scope to work while you are still studying in New Zealand. 

Depending on your course’s nature, you are allowed to work for up to 20 hours a week during the semesters. You can work full-time during the vacations.

List of Documents for a NZ Study Visa Application


Here is the list of necessary documents that you have to submit while applying for a New Zealand Study Visa:

  • Offer Letter from an approved educational institute or education provider
  • Proof that you have enough money to bear the tuition fees and living costs/expenses during your stay in New Zealand.
  • Copy of your valid passport
  • Recent passport-sized photographs
  • Accommodation guarantee if you age below 18 years
  • Proof of payment of the student visa application fee
  • Medical Certificate and Police Clearance Certificate
  • A copy of your return flight ticket to home or proof that you have sufficient funds to buy one

Cost of New Zealand Student Visa from India

For Indian Students, the NZ Study Visa fee’s total cost is the sum of the Immigration Cost and Receiving Centre Fee. From the below chart, calculate the cost of an NZ Study Visa from India.

Type of Visa Application

Immigration Cost/Application Cost

Receiving Centre Fee/Passport Fee

Online Visa Application

NZD 530 (approx. INR 27,851)

INR 722

Visa Application on paper

INR 24,500

INR 1,087

Processing Time for New Zealand Student Visas

New Zealand Student Visa processing times largely depend on your study course’s nature and the educational institute you are applying for.


The following table gives a fair idea of NZ student visa processing time.

Type of Education Provider

50% Application Completed Within

75% Application Completed Within

90% Application Completed Within

Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics (ITPs)

29 days

52 days

4 months

Private Training Establishments (PTEs)

24 days

45 days

70 days


10 days

17 days

28 days


15 days

28 days

50 days

Other Important FAQs

What to do when travelling to New Zealand without a visa?

If you visit New Zealand without a visa, you have to apply for an NZeTA (the Electronic Travel Authorization) before travelling.

You can also study in New Zealand without a student visa.

If you plan to study a short course of fewer than 3 months, you don’t need a student visa. You have to obtain a visitor visa. With a visitor visa, you are eligible to study for up to 3 months in New Zealand.

How can I take advantage of the Funds Transfer Scheme( FTS)?

When it comes to your financials, you can take advantage of the Funds Transfer Scheme (FTS) designed by the ANZ Bank. This scheme is particularly beneficial for international students who don’t own funds older than six months.

Under this scheme, you have to transfer the living expense of about a year to an ANZ Bank account in New Zealand, along with a year’s tuition fee to the same bank account. 

The officials will lock the funds for a year. It will then be drip-fed to you on a pre-arranged basis. The locking period may vary depending on the instructions laid by the New Zealand Immigration Department.


Make sure to know these points when you are applying for a New Zealand Student Visa:

  • The validity of a New Zealand Student Visa is four years
  • Students can also apply through the New Pathway Student Visa Scheme.
  • You can apply for more than one course simultaneously
  • You can also apply for an NZ study visa if you are a correspondence or distance learning student
  • If you want to bring your family members or children to New Zealand, they need to apply for separate visas for themselves based on their relationship with you
  • The cost and processing time of the visa varies according to the university
  • You can take a part-time job while studying in New Zealand and work up to 20 hours a week during the semester. You can take a full-time job during scheduled vacations.

If you have any further questions regarding how to get a New Zealand Study Visa, feel free to contact our experts.

Book a free consultation

Topics: Study, New Zealand, Study-in-New-Zealand