What are the requirements my course has to meet?
The most important requirement is that you have an offer of a place from a New Zealand education provider such as a school, polytechnic or university.
How long can I stay?
If you need to get a Student Permit, the amount of time you can stay in New Zealand will be restricted. In most cases we issue a one-year, renewable permit. And where your course is longer than one year you need to reapply for each year of study.
Can I work while I'm studying?
The main purpose of a Student Visa or Permit is to allow international students to study full time in New Zealand. However, in some cases we may vary the conditions of your Student Permit to allow you a limited opportunity to work while studying.
Firstly, your course of study must require you to be here for more than one year.
And then, you can only undertake employment if you need to work to:
- meet a course requirement for practical work experience. We may change the conditions of your Student Permit to allow you to work, or instead, grant you a Work Permit with the conditions varied to allow study
- support your full-time, long-term course of tertiary study. You can apply for a change to your Student Permit conditions to allow you to work up to 15 hours per week during term time
- support yourself over the Christmas-New Year holidays. You can apply for a change in your Student Permit to allow you to work during the Christmas-New Year holidays only if:
- you’re studying full time
- your course is longer than 12 months
is a course that would qualify for points under our Skilled Migrant Category
- to gain practical experience in New Zealand following the completion of your polytechnic or university course. You may be eligible for a Work Permit once you’ve successfully completed your course, if:
- that course took at least three years to complete
Do I need a Student Visa or Permit to sit exams in New Zealand for a distance learning course?
If you’ve been studying by distance learning with a New Zealand education provider, they may require you to come to New Zealand to undertake practical study, sit exams, or to meet another of their requirements.
If you need to stay longer than three months you’ll need a Student Visa. If your stay is for less than three months you can apply for a Visitor’s Visa. For either application we’ll need to see proof that:
- you’re a distance education student
- you have an offer of a place at an educational institution
- you’ve paid the course fees.
Will I need medical insurance?
You must have appropriate and current medical and travel insurance while you're studying in New Zealand (a requirement of the Ministry of Education's Code of Practice).
Student Permit holders are generally not eligible for publicly funded health and disability services. People covered by New Zealand’s Reciprocal Health Agreements with Australia and United Kingdom are entitled to publicly funded health care for immediately necessary medical treatment only.
When should I apply for a Student Visa or Permit?
You can apply for a Student Visa when you’re:
- living outside New Zealand and you have an offer of a place from a New Zealand education provider
- already in New Zealand on a Student Permit but you need to leave New Zealand and come back.
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