New Zealand Study Visa

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In recent years, New Zealand has become a popular study-abroad country amongst overseas students with excellent educational opportunities. Along with its stunning landscapes and scenic views, it also provides a pleasant and safe community with a global reputation for cutting-edge research and creative talent. These factors combine to make the country a desirable location for international students to study in New Zealand. Every year, over 30,000 students from all over the world pick New Zealand as their study abroad destination. Its universities are mostly research-based and state-owned. They provide courses ranging from certificate to PhD level, with the majority of courses lasting a full year.

Education System in New Zealand

Because New Zealand was previously a British territory, higher education in New Zealand is quite similar to that in the UK. This indicates that qualifications obtained in New Zealand are typically transferable to institutions in both, the United Kingdom and Australia. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority must accredit all educational institutions that grant qualifications (NZQA).
The New Zealand education system is based on the British educational system, making it widely recognized. There are four types of higher education institutions in New Zealand:

  1. Universities
  2. Polytechnics and institutes of technology
  3. Colleges of education
  4. Private training providers


New Zealand’s universities are mostly research-oriented and state-owned. They provide courses ranging from certificate to PhD level, with the majority of them lasting a year. Some courses are only offered for one semester and may even be taken in the middle of the academic year.

Polytechnics and Institutes of TechnologyPolytechnics and institutes of technology are also state-owned institutions that provide courses comparable to those given at universities. These establishments are more vocational in nature and provide a more hands-on learning experience than many university courses. They provide education ranging from certificates to degrees. Many also provide postgraduate courses of extremely high international standing.

Colleges of education in New Zealand are teacher-training schools that are usually linked with or combined with a local university.

Private Training Providers
Private training providers provide training in a specialised area, such as tourist management, hotel management, cookery, or business. These institutes, which are accessible to foreign students, are likewise vocationally focused and strive to place students in qualified employment immediately after graduation.

Why Study in New Zealand

New Zealand is a rapidly growing destination for high-quality education and a welcoming learning environment. Over the years, the number of students choosing New Zealand as a study abroad destination over other places has steadily increased. Here are a few reasons why you should decide to study in New Zealand for International Students –

Well-Structured Programmes & Courses: All programmes provided by New Zealand’s state-funded institutions must pass severe quality inspections. The New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA), a government institution in charge of quality management, must approve all non-university education programmes.

Globally-Recognized Institutions: Academic institutions in New Zealand are among the greatest in the world. In actuality, all eight universities in New Zealand were ranked in the top 3% of the world. A degree from any of the universities will put you ahead of the competition. Universities enrol fewer students, and the exceptional student-teacher ratio (an average of 6.7) allows for intimate engagement with professors.

Excellent Career Opportunities: After graduation, 97 % of New Zealand university students find work, and % of them find work in fields related to the degree they studied. New Zealand grads are given the finest employment chances due to strong relationships with the industry’s leading firms.

Affordable Tuition Fees: The cost of studying in New Zealand is significantly lower when compared to other countries providing identical programmes. The tuition fees plus the living expenditures in New Zealand are less than that of popular study abroad countries such as the US, the UK, Australia, Singapore, Canada, Hong Kong, and Switzerland according to the 2015 research by FairFX currency exchange.

Available courses to study

New Zealand is the only country with all of its universities ranked in the top 500 in the world. Students can also pursue degrees in high-demand fields such as healthcare, engineering, IT, and finance. For overseas students, these university courses in New Zealand provide some of the best diploma programmes. In addition to this, you have the option of studying unconventional courses. The following are some of the most popular courses to study in New Zealand – 

With a robust film industry, several New Zealand institutions and colleges offer highly regarded animation and film programmes. A number of New Zealand colleges provide introductory courses or diploma programmes in animation and design that prepare students for entry-level work or entrance into four-year degree programmes. Animation and design courses in New Zealand train students for professions in creative media production such as animator, motion capture animator, CG artist, and many others.

New Zealand, with its fine blend of major and small universities, provides the most up-to-date curricula to kickstart your engineering career. Typically, it takes three to five years to finish your undergraduate course in Engineering, with an extra one to three years if you carry on to your master’s programme. New Zealand, known for its innovative spirit, offers engineering programmes that will inspire you to think more independently, creatively, and critically as you address real-life challenges.

If you want to pursue nursing in New Zealand, you have two options: a three-year undergraduate professional degree that permits you to become a General Registered Nurse, or a one- to two-year master’s degree. Nursing programmes in New Zealand are designed to produce graduates who are well-versed in both theory and practice. When it comes to medicine, the University of Auckland and the University of Otago are the two primary medical schools. Both institutions are well-known for their medical courses, their outstanding research facilities and immersive learning opportunities for students. A medical degree in New Zealand takes six years to complete.

Students who pursue Business Management & Entrepreneurship programmes in New Zealand have a wealth of options. New Zealand’s B-schools provide top-notch education and are renowned for their affordability and strong industry connections. When you pursue a business management degree, you will have access to world-class networks, experience, and expertise. As part of their internships, B-schools in New Zealand also provide students with opportunities to engage with investors, mentors, and partners.

The significant hospitality and tourism industry in New Zealand employs about 136,000 people, accounting for roughly 7% of the total. Students who wish to study in New Zealand in pursuit of this course, are generally employed in the hospitality business in cafés, restaurants, hotels, lodges, parks, and resorts. Travel and tourism courses, therefore, are amongst New Zealand’s most popular courses to pursue.


Cost Of Education

You must pay every academic year of study in New Zealand for any higher education. In comparison to other wealthy countries, fees in New Zealand are cheap. Tuition expenses are set based on the type of degree you seek and the institution or school you attend.

  • Fees for undergraduate study can cost about NZ$22,000 to NZ$35,000 per year. Costs vary depending on your course.
  • Postgraduate courses can cost between NZ$26,000 to NZ$37,000 per year.
  • Doctoral Programmes cost between NZ$6,500 to NZ$9,000 annually.
  • MBA Programmes which are on the expensive end compared to other courses would ideally cost between NZ$31,000 to NZ$50,000 per annum.

    Do keep in mind that you can apply for scholarships, grants, or bursaries that are both, university-funded as well as privately-funded in order to support your tuition costs and other expenditures. There are several New Zealand scholarships available for international students, most of which cover your expenses either partially or in full, depending on your eligibility for the same.

Cost Of Living

Apart from costs pertaining to your study in New Zealand, you must budget for your living expenditures, which include housing, grocery shopping, social events, and sudden expenditure. A tertiary student budget in New Zealand ranges between NZ$ 15,000 and NZ$ 18,000 each academic year, taking into account various fees and living costs (indicative). When making your budget, keep the following costs in mind –

ParticularsWeekly Average Expenses (NZD)
Utilities (gas, electricity, water)$202
Clothing $16

Major Cities To Study

Wellington is the capital city of New Zealand. With a population of only 200,000 people, it is a small city by global standards. It has a lot of charm, history, and natural beauty. Massey Institution, Wellington’s largest university, offers a diverse range of creative arts degrees, from literature to cinema and music. Victoria University of Wellington is in the top 1% of institutions worldwide in 19 academic areas, with overseas students accounting for 20% of the total student body. Wellington’s core business centre is located between a harbour, several beaches, and the picturesque hills that comprise the city’s backdrop.

Auckland is New Zealand’s largest and most magnificent city, with 1.6 million people. It Au is also New Zealand’s most ethnically diversified metropolis. There are five main universities in Auckland to pick from. With almost 40,000 students, the University of Auckland is the most distinguished and largest. Many courses in the city focus on Maori culture, art, and history since the city is such a cultural hotspot. When you study in Auckland, you will be near world-famous beaches such as Takapuna.

Christchurch, popularly known as The Garden City, features lush green surroundings and a plethora of public parks and gardens. The city is noted for its English origins and has a very western cultural atmosphere. The University of Canterbury, New Zealand’s second-oldest university, is the major university in Christchurch, and it is known for its research programmes in natural sciences, plant and animal biology, ecology, and geology. The campus mirrors the city as a whole, with plenty of parks and lawns.

Dunedin is sometimes referred to as “The Edinburgh of New Zealand.” It is well-known for its architectural legacy, most of which is influenced by Scotland. Dunedin has a rich literary legacy, so much so that it was designated a UNESCO Creative City of Literature in 2014. If you’re looking for options pertaining to studying in New Zealand for international students at Dunedin, you have two options: the University of Otago or the Otago Polytechnic. Dunedin’s other expertise is technology, which Otago Polytechnic represents. Attending the University of Otago almost certainly entails living in one of their renowned student flattings, or residential college communities.

Hamilton is located in the beautiful Waikato area of New Zealand’s north island and is known for the Hamilton Gardens, a floral oasis that flows beside the Waikato River. Hamilton is New Zealand’s fourth biggest city, so you’ll get the big city vibe with little traffic and pollution. Popular universities in Hamilton would include – the University of Waikato, Waikato Institute of Technology, and Te Wananga o Aotearoa.

Admission Process

If you wish to pursue an undergraduate degree in New Zealand, you’ll need a senior high school diploma, which is regarded the equal to a New Zealand diploma. These documents must be translated if you are from a non-English speaking country. In exceptional cases, the institution you are applying to may request that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority examine your qualifications (NZQA).

The same holds true for postgraduate study in New Zealand, in terms of translation and evaluation, albeit most countries with similar degree structures will be accepted for admittance. A previous bachelor’s degree in an area comparable to the master’s degree in New Zealand that you intend to study is usually required.

Intakes: In New Zealand, there are two primary intakes for overseas students applying to institutions. These are held twice a year, in February and July, with colleges providing a diverse range of programmes.

Tests Accepted In New Zealand

  • English Language Tests: IELTS, TOEFL iBT, PTE
  • Standardised Tests: GRE, GMAT

How To Apply

Every university in New Zealand defines its set of admission criteria and requirements, particularly for overseas students. The eligibility criteria, application procedure, financial aid provided, tests accepted, and documents largely vary depending on the shortlisted universities. Applicants are required to register themselves with the university in order to get started with their application.  Upon successful registration, you will be required to fill out an application form specific to you with complete and accurate information. You will also have to attach the documents that your respective university demands from you.

Documents Required In New Zealand

  1. ID Proof – A Passport with two Passport-sized photographs
  2. Documents pertaining to your academic qualifications
  3. Evidence of financial sustainability throughout the duration of your course
  4. Standardised Test Scores as specified by the university
  5. SOP 
  6. LOR (s)
  7. Documents pertaining to Work-Experience if any

Visa Process and Requirements

In most situations, if you plan to study in New Zealand for more than three months, you will require a student visa. You may be eligible to stay with just a tourist visa for shorter periods. The process for obtaining student visas and other documents in New Zealand involves multiple stages, as it does in every country.

You should have a confirmation letter stating that you have been accepted into an NZQA-accredited programme and that you have paid the relevant fees in order to be eligible for a student visa. You must include the following documents –

  1. The course’s name and the minimum time necessary to complete it
  2. Proof that the course and its provider fulfil New Zealand’s international student criteria
  3. Proof of complete payment of the course, or, if the course is longer than one year, proof of payment of the first year
  4. If or whether you must pay course fees, and whether the costs are charged at a lower domestic rate or a higher international rate
  5. Whether you’re a full-time or part-time studen

    If your previous qualifications must be evaluated, the application procedure to the university may take several months. In addition to your transcripts, you must provide a passport that is valid for at least three months beyond your departure date, as well as proof of adequate finances to maintain yourself and pay future tuition payments throughout your period of study in New Zealand. You must also show proof that you possess a ticket out of New Zealand post your studies or proof of sufficient funds to buy a ticket.

The cost of your New Zealand student visa will differ based on where you apply. It might be anywhere from NZ$330 and NZ$530. According to the government, New Zealand student visa applications might take up to eight weeks to process.


There are several student housing options available for students planning to study in New-zealand. You may select from a wide choice of affordable yet elegant student flats, halls of residence, studios, ensuites, and more! You have the option of staying on campus in the university halls of residence or a private residence. Because of their proximity to the university, on-campus housing options may be ideal; nevertheless, they tend to fill up fast and are more expensive.

UniAcco simplifies the process of finding student housing and offers a variety of options. As a result, students can select from a wide range of available student accommodations near the university, such as luxury studios, en-suites, and shared apartments that are more inexpensive and student-friendly.


Students are permitted to work 20 hours a week over the academic year and full-time during holidays. Doctoral and research master’s students are permitted to work full-time.

Yes. All overseas students who wish to pursue their higher education in New Zealand must procure health insurance. Students have the option to choose between a public healthcare system and a private healthcare system.

Yes. It is feasible. If you plan on taking more than one course in New Zealand, the Pathway Student Visa would be of use. During a five-year period, it allows for up to three consecutive study programmes with one or more recognised education providers.

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