Frequently Asked Questions: Student Visa Applications
- How long does it take to process my student visa?
Processing times will vary depending on the quality of the application and the documents provided to us. Student applications which meet the “Positive Profile” (see definition below) could be approved within 10 days on a case by case basis.
Some applications may take up to 45 days to process again on a case by case basis.
If your medical certificate requires referral to our Medical Assessor due to significant findings, your application may take up to two months to process. We recommend that you follow your panel doctor’s advice on what further tests to take and opt to do them before your lodge your application.
We also recommend that you apply for your student visa as least 3 months before your intended course date.
- What is a “Positive Profile”?
Our experience shows that when students meet a particular profile, it assists us in assessing their applications considerably more quickly.
Applicants who meet most or all of the mentioned factors below give us a greater assurance that they are likely to be genuine students in New Zealand.
If an applicant does not meet the “positive profile” criteria, it does not necessarily mean that the application will not be approved. However, the application and may take longer to be decided.
Factors which determine what we consider to be a “Positive Profile” student.
- Good Academic history (proven ability to achieve in a subject area similar to that in which they intend to study in New Zealand)
- Clear study plan able to show future career development
- Course is relevant to educational background and/or work experience
- Continuous study pattern and work experience, no big gap from previous study or relatable work experience
- Proven ability in English to be able to successfully attend a course of study in New Zealand (IELTS)
- Verifiable evidence of funds to meet the educational and living expenses
- Regular source and sufficient income of financial guarantors
- Clear Health and Character requirements, if required
- What evidence do I need to provide of my funds?
You need to show that you have sufficient funds to pay for your first year of study. Living expenses are calculate at NZ$1,000 per month or NZ$10,000 for year.
If you intend to study for longer than 12 months, you need to show that you have the ability to pay for your ongoing studies and living expenses for the duration of your studies. You will need to provide evidence to show that you or your family members have the income and/or assets to pay for your tuition fees and stay in New Zealand.
You also need to provide the evidence of the source of your funds and show that the funds are available for you to use.
- Who can sponsor my studies in New Zealand?
Anyone can sponsor your studies in by completing the Financial Undertaking for a Student Form. You need to show that your sponsor genuinely intends to provide these funds to you and why.
Normally it is acceptable why close family members are willing to sponsor and provide funds. However, you may need to explain clearly why distant relatives or non-relatives would sponsor you and provide you with funds.
- What is the English requirement for a student visa?
Your educational institution in New Zealand will require a level of English before offering you a place in a course. Immigration New Zealand does not have a specific English requirement for studying in New Zealand., it depends on the school’s requirements.
However we may ask you to provide evidence of your English ability to prove that you have met the schools requirements.
- Can I work while I am in New Zealand?
The following categories of students can work 20 hours per week and over the holidays:
- Studying full time for a course that is 2 years duration or will gain points under Skilled Migrant Category.
- Full time secondary school students in Year 12 or 13 with permission from parents and the school.
- Studying English for at least 6 months with an IELTS of 5.
- Can I bring my family members with me to New Zealand? What sort of visas do they need to apply for?
Your family members will need to apply for visas separately from your. They can apply at the same time as you if they wish. However the outcome of their decision will also be dependent on the outcome of your application. If your application gets declined, then their application also gets declined. There is no refund for the application fees.
Students studying towards a qualification on the Long Term Skill Shortage List or for a post graduate qualification can apply for a work visa for their spouse. Children can apply for student visas as dependent of the spouse work visa holder and are consider as domestic students.
Other students can apply for visitor visas for their dependents. Evidence of funds to support the family is required.
Normally visas for your dependent family members are valid for the same period as the validity of your student visa.
- Can I work after I have completed my studies in New Zealand?
If you have completed a qualification in New Zealand that leads to points under the Skilled Migrant Category, you can then apply for a 12 month open work visa/permit under the Graduate Job Search Visa/Permit.
This will allow you to look for a job and begin working in a skilled employment related to your course. Once you have found a job related to your qualification, you can then try to apply under the Skilled Migrant Policy for residence.