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New Zealand Visa Information

Unravel key insights on New Zealand visa procedures in our informative article

Updated 14th August 2023
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If you are applying for a visa to study in New Zealand, the New Zealand Immigration Service provides some extremely useful information which we recommend you read carefully.

Do I need a visa to study in New Zealand?

If you plan to study for less than 12 weeks in total and are from a “Visa Free Country”, you do not need a student visa. If your length of study is over 12 weeks, you will need a Student Visa. For more information about obtaining a New Zealand visa, please visit the New Zealand Immigration Services website, or visit the New Zealand Embassy in your region.

How do I get a New Zealand visa?

You must first apply to study at a school featured on the Wiseward website. If you are eligible for admission, your chosen school will issue a 'Letter of Acceptance' and 'Schedule of Charges' to you. We will issue you a receipt and a new Letter of Acceptance when full payment is received for your booking. You should send these documents with the Student Visa Application Form to the New Zealand Immigration Service or NZ Embassy/Consulate as evidence of your course.

How soon can I start my New Zealand Visa application?

If you are applying for a visa you should give yourself from 1 - 2 months until your desired starting dates, especially if you need accommodation.

Do I need to write a start date on my New Zealand visa application?

Yes, we need to have a start date in order to process an application. Enough time should be given for your visa to be processed and accommodation secured.

Does Wiseward issue visas for New Zealand?

No. All visas are issued by the New Zealand Immigration Service or Embassy/Consulate abroad.

Which Embassy should I visit for my New Zealand Visa?

Usually, you are expected to visit the N.Z. Embassy/Consulate in the country for which you hold citizenship (i.e. the country that issued your passport). If your country does not have a New Zealand Embassy/Consulate or if you are currently located in a different country, you should contact the closest New Zealand Embassy to see if they can accept your application for a visa.

How long will my New Zealand visa be valid for?

We do not issue your visa and therefore cannot confirm for how long it will be valid. Visas are typically given for the length of your course + 4 weeks. However, this is dependent on providing the Immigration service with the proper documents. You should confirm this information with your local New Zealand Embassy/Consulate.

Can Wiseward help me complete an application for a New Zealand visa?

Your chosen school will, through us, provide you with the documents to prove you are a confirmed student at their school (Letter of Acceptance, Accommodation Guarantee, and/or Receipt). However, prior to arrival, it is the student's sole responsibility to complete all government documents. Once you are at school, we will be glad to help you change your visa or apply for a visa extension if necessary.

What happens if I am denied a visa for entry into New Zealand?

If denied your visa, you should ask the Consular Officer for the reason for the denial before you leave the Embassy. You have the right to request the denial in writing as well. If no reason or a reason due to your personal submission is stated, we will be unlikely to be able to assist you further. In most cases, the government’s decision is final and there is little Wiseward can do to change their decision.

All fees paid will be refunded on receipt of written notification and proof of visa rejection prior to your start date.

Can my student visa be extended if I need more time to study in New Zealand?

Yes, if you would like to continue your studies, our Student Services will be glad to assist you with your Student Visa extension. You should notify Student Services of your plans to extend at least 4 weeks prior to your last day of study.

What does New Zealand Immigration Services require in a bank statement?

The bank statement/letter should show that you and/or your sponsor have enough funds to cover the cost of the study. In addition, it must show that all funds are readily available without penalty for withdrawal. For this reason, statements from checking and/or savings accounts are best. Income statements, property deeds and other similar forms of investments are typically not acceptable.

You can show funds through multiple accounts and/or multiple sponsors, if necessary.

Do I have to show a bank statement on arrival in New Zealand even if I have paid?

Wiseward recommends that all students arriving into the country carry with them proper documentation as stated on NZIS website.

How much money do I need to show on my bank statement for my New Zealand Visa?

New Zealand Immigration Service needs to see that you have sufficient funds to cover your living requirements while in New Zealand. If you have pre-arranged accommodation, your bank statement should show NZD 400 per month. If you do not have pre-arranged accommodation, your bank statement should show NZD 1000 per month.

Can I change my start date after receiving my New Zealand Student Visa?

You can change your start date any time before entering N.Z. Simply contact Wiseward to confirm your new start date as soon as you know about the change. At that time, we will mail you a revised Letter of Acceptance to show new study dates. A failure to notify Wiseward about these changes can cause problems for you at the Port of Entry and/or New Zealand Embassy. If you want to begin before your start date, this is acceptable. Simply go to the school and let them know you want to start early.

Can I change schools after receiving my New Zealand Student Visa?

You may change your school at any time before you apply for your Student Visa at no additional charge providing that the school is featured on the Wiseward website. Simply contact Wiseward to confirm the new location and a new Letter of Acceptance will be mailed to you for the new location. If your visa has been issued, you can change locations, but you will need to apply for a Variation of Conditions before arriving in N.Z. A Variation of Conditions will cost an additional fee. Please check with your New Zealand Embassy/Consulate regarding this fee. If the names do not match because you changed school locations after getting your visa, you may be denied entry to New Zealand.

Can I enter New Zealand before or after my start date?

The Student Visa issued to you by N.Z.I.S. will notify you of the dates your Student Visa is valid. You should adhere to these dates. If you travel to N.Z. after your start date, you will probably face problems at the Port of Entry, since it appears you failed to meet the requirement of reporting to the school by your start date. To prevent problems at the Port of Entry, you should contact Wiseward and ask that we postpone your start date if you are unable to arrive before your start date. At that time, Wiseward will mail you a revised Letter of Acceptance with a postponed start date.

What documents will I need to show at the port of entry in New Zealand?

In general, you must show the Port of Entry Officer the following documents. If these documents are missing or incomplete, you may be detained, questioned or denied entry altogether:

  • A valid (non-expired) passport
  • A valid (non-expired) Student Visa (if applicable)
  • Bank statement
  • Proof of outbound travel (if arriving on a visitor’s visa)

Documents from Wiseward schools:

  • Letter of Acceptance
  • Receipt

For more information check out the NZIS website.

What are the study requirements for schools featured on the Wiseward website?

Students on a Student Visa must study full-time. If you do not meet the school's full-time study requirements while studying with a Student Visa, Wiseward will be obliged to notify NZIS of your status and you risk falling out of legal status with NZIS.

Can I work during my studies in New Zealand?

Students with a valid visa may be able to work if they meet the following conditions:

Student Visa
  • You are enrolled on a full-time course of 6 months or more
  • You have an IELTS score of 5.0 or higher
Working Holiday Visa

You may work full-time or part-time on a working holiday visa, for up to 3 months at one company (some select countries enable students to work longer than 3 months in one company.

Who would need a working holiday visa for New Zealand?

If you would like to go onto the OPUS Work and Study program in New Zealand you will require a Working Holiday Visa.

What does the Working Holiday Visa Scheme let me do in New Zealand?

  • Study for up to three months
  • Work in New Zealand for up to 12 months
  • Work with one employer for up to 3 months
How do I apply for the Working Holiday Visa Scheme in New Zealand?

You can visit your local consulate or Embassy to pick up an application, or you can download an application form.

Can I apply online for the Working Holiday Visa Scheme?

If you are between the ages of 18 and 30 years old and hold a passport from the countries listed below, you can apply online for a Working Holiday Visa.

  • Argentina
  • Belgium
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Chile
  • China
  • Czech Republic
  • Denmark
  • Estonia
  • Finland
  • France
  • Germany
  • Hong Kong
  • Ireland
  • Italy
  • Japan
  • Korea
  • Latvia
  • Malaysia
  • Malta
  • Mexico
  • Norway
  • Netherlands
  • Peru
  • Poland
  • Singapore
  • Slovenia
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Taiwan
  • Thailand
  • Turkey
  • United Kingdom
  • United States of America
  • Uruguay

Where is my nearest New Zealand Consulate or Embassy?

Use the Office and Fee Finder to locate the nearest consulate or Embassy to you.

How much does the application fee cost for the Working Holiday Visa Scheme?

Use the Office and Fee Finder tool to determine how much your application will cost.

Can I work in New Zealand longer than the stipulated 3 months in one location on this visa?

Working holidaymakers who are able to show they have worked in the horticulture or viticulture industries for at least three months could be eligible to obtain an extra three-month stay in New Zealand. For more details on this policy, please see the page about the Working Holidaymaker Extension permit. In addition, some countries may allow for working holidaymakers to work longer than the 3-month period, so please check out the list by country to see if this applies to you.

  • Visa information is correct at the time of publishing. Visa rules and regulations constantly change. It is your sole responsibility to ensure that you have the right visa for your intended course. The information provided herein by Wiseward aims to help you in making an informed choice.
  • It is extremely important that you apply for the correct visa before you leave home. Different countries have different rules and the purpose of this page is to give you some assistance and guidance.
  • Remember that it is your responsibility to ensure that you have all the correct paperwork. If you are unsure or need further help or advice please contact us and one of our helpful counsellors will be happy to assist.
  • Regardless of which country you are going to be studying in, different visa rules apply depending on your age, nationality and the length of stay you plan to be in the country.