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Student visa requirements for New Zealand
Applying for a New Zealand student visa? Here’s help
The New Zealand Government provides an opportunity to all Sri Lankan students to study in the country but as a prerequisite, you’ll have to obtain a student visa first. The visa you need will depend on the type of study you want to pursue, and how long you intend to stay in New Zealand.
If you are over 18 years and plan to study in New Zealand for more than six months, here’s an overview of the types of student visa available for you:
Types of student visa
Fee-Paying Student Visa
Study full-time for up to four years and be able to work part-time
Exchange Student Visa
Study full-time for up to four years for an approved student exchange program
Foreign Government Supported Student Visa
Study full-time for up to four years on a foreign government loan or scholarship
Pathway Student Visa
Study up to five years for 3 consecutive courses on a single student visa and be able to work part-time
*For detailed information, please visit the New Zealand Government’s Immigration website
As a Sri Lankan student, you would most commonly require a Fee-Paying Student visa.
While studying in New Zealand, it’s important to maintain your Fee-Paying student status. This status relates to the purpose, or reason why you came to New Zealand.
Documentation required for New Zealand’s Fee-Paying student visa
To apply for a visa to New Zealand, you will generally need:
- Your passport, which must be valid for at least three months after your period of stay in New Zealand
- A letter of acceptance from a New Zealand education provider, which states the minimum course duration, total tuition fee and whether the tuition fee is in domestic and foreign currency. The course must be approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
- An offer of place from an educational institution approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
- A written guarantee from an institution or person that suitable accommodation is available to you in New Zealand (if you're under 18 years)
- A return air ticket to your country, or evidence of sufficient funds to buy one
Some additional documentation may include:
- Academic preparation documents such as transcripts, diplomas, degrees or certificates
- Current application form – student visa application form
- Visa application fee
- Tuition fee receipt showing payment to date
- Passport-sized photographs
You may also have to show evidence that you have sufficient funds to cover your living expenses throughout your stay. You will need to show you have NZ$ 15,000 for a full year of study or NZ$1,250 per month*. This may include:
- A scholarship program
- Bank statements
- Financial undertaking by a sponsor to cover accommodation and living costs
- Evidence that you are leaving New Zealand after the completion of your course. This can be in the form of flight tickets, however, it is optional
- A police certificate if you are aged 17 years or over and plan to study for more than 24 months. A police certificate is a document which is used as evidence of good character
- An X-ray certificate - you will need to have a chest x-ray if you are staying in New Zealand for more than six months, or if you’re a citizen of a country with a relatively high incidence of tuberculosis, or if you’ve spent more than three months in the last five years in a country with a relatively high incidence of tuberculosis
- Full medical examination
You may also have to appear for a personal interview at the New Zealand embassy or consulate.
*Please note that these are the basic requirements, speak with your IDP counsellor for a detailed list of documents required for visa processing
Applying for your visa online
You’ll have to apply for your student visa application online using the New Zealand Immigration website. You can apply up to 120 days before your intended date of program’s start date. Remember, your application date is the date when your application fee is paid.
How can IDP help in your visa application?
If you’re an IDP student with an offer letter from any of our partner institutions in New Zealand, we can advise you on how to go about the entire process. We’ll make sure you are fully informed on the latest visa requirements and conditions; also help you prepare the right documents for your submission.
Our team of experts will direct you to the official websites and to authorised immigration representatives to ensure you have the latest applications forms and guidance. To reduce the hassle, we can also help to certify, translate and courier your documents.
As an applicant from Sri Lanka, your immigration cost and receiving centre fee will depend on the kind of submission you make – online or paper.
Type of submission
Receiving centre fee
LKR 2,837+ courier fees (i.e., approx. LKR 90 – 640)
LKR 3,493+ courier fees (i.e., approx. LKR 90 – 640)
Do check the latest fee when applying here.
Note: This fee may vary as per the city from where you are applying. Check for your city!
English language requirements
To gain your New Zealand student visa, you’ll have to provide evidence of proficiency in the English language. This usually means passing a secure English language test to be able to prove your communication and correspondence skills.
The International English Language Testing System (IELTS) is the world’s most popular high-stakes English language proficiency test for study, work and migration, with more than three million tests taken in the past year. The IELTS results are recognised by more than 10,000 organisations, including educational institutions, employers, professional associations and governments, in 140 countries around the world.
The minimum IELTS score required for your New Zealand student visa is 5.5 band in each module.
You can always contact us for a free counselling session, and we can guide you on how to go about the entire visa application process.
Note: Given the current COVID-19 situation, there might be some updates in the visa process. Don’t worry, our international education experts are here to guide you with the latest information to help you apply for the same. Feel free to connect with our experts for a free counselling session and keep posted about the latest COVID- 19 updates.
Updated on August 24, 2020