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International Student Issues

International Student Issues

Study Visa

  • If you are coming to New Zealand to study for more than three months, you will need a student visa or permit
  • For Courses less than nine months, you'll need to show NZ$1000 for each month of your stay. NZ$400 for each month if your accommodation is already paid
  • For Courses more than nine months NZ$12,000 per year to cover your costs during your stay in New Zealand.
  • For Full time student - up to a maximum of four years stay is possible.
  • If your course is based on the New Zealand academic year, and you’ve paid your fees for the year, you may be granted a student permit that expires on 31 March of the following year.
  • If you are studying in New Zealand for more than two years then police certificate or character certificate is required which should be less than six months old.
  • If you are studying in New Zealand for between six months and one year then you may also need to provide a completed Temporary Entry X-ray Certificate and you also need to show that you have been screened for tuberculosis (TB).
  • If studying in New Zealand for more than one year then you will need to complete a medical examination and a medical and X-ray certificate.
  • You can also apply for a change in your permit conditions if you are on a student permit and want to change courses or course providers. You must prove you have an offer of a place from the education provider to which you wish to transfer. Any new course must still be taken within the period of the original permit or you are on a student permit and want to work while studying.
  • Names of qualifications and their levels in New Zealand
  • Certificates are levels 1 to 4
  • Diplomas are levels 5 and 6
  • Bachelor's degrees and graduate diplomas are level 7
  • Postgraduate certificates and diplomas, and bachelor's degrees with honors are level 8
  • Master's degrees are level 9
  • Doctoral degrees are level 10
  • If you are a student who has completed a qualification in New Zealand, but you do not have a job offer, you may be eligible for a Graduate Job Search Work Visa” for a maximum of 12 Months.
  • Then when you have found a job, you can apply for a further permit for upto 2 or 3 years under the “Study to Work Policy”. You must have completed a qualification in NZ that qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category



  • Homestay' means you live with a family in a residential house – usually with a room of your own. Your Homestay family provides your meals and helps you with day-to-day life in New Zealand.

Flatting/Independent Accommodation

  • "Going Flatting" is the New Zealand term for renting an apartment or house (flat). Flatting gives you the flexibility to live with as many people as you like – males or females.

Health Insurance

The New Zealand government through the Ministry of Education Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students requires that international students have medical and travel insurance. Student Permit holders are generally not eligible for publicly-funded health and disability services.


Working (while studying)

  • You can work for up to 20 hours in any given week during the academic year if you are in full-time study course lasting at least six months.
  • You can also work during the Christmas and New Year holiday period if you are in a full-time course of study lasting 12 months or longer.

Working (after competition of studies)

  • Even well qualified migrants may take six or more months to find suitable employment

Skill shortage list

  • Film Animator, General Surgeon, Anesthetist, Dietician, Nurse, Pharmacist, Psychologist, IT Professionals, Electronic Technician, Computer Application Engineers, Teachers, Social Worker, Chef and Electricians.

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