International students need a student visa to study at a New Zealand university . As soon as you have found your desired university in New Zealand, the financing of the costs has been clarified and the application has been completed, you can submit an application for a visa with the offer of the university and the proof of payment for the tuition fees. Exceptions are courses of less than twelve weeks, as a tourist visa is sufficient for these.
With the prospect of a study place, a valid passport and a well-filled travel budget, nothing stands in the way of a student visa for a semester abroad or Study Abroad Program in New Zealand . If your plans change locally, so that you want to change your course of study, for example, you can apply to Immigration New Zealand to update your visa. Here you can find out which visa is the right one for your study visit to New Zealand.
The right visa for studying in New Zealand
For German citizens coming to New Zealand to study, various visa options are available , depending on the length of the study :
- The Fee Paying Student Visa : This student visa is valid for a maximum of four years of full-time study in New Zealand at a tertiary educational institution or English language school. The visa also applies to New Zealand distance learning students wishing to enter New Zealand.
- Exchange Student Visa : This visa is valid, among other things, for participants in an exchange program between their home university and a recognized New Zealand tertiary educational institution. It is valid for a period of up to four years. Visa holders are required to study full-time and are classified as native students so there are no tuition fees .
- Pathway Visa : This student visa enables international students to complete up to three consecutive courses at selected institutions in New Zealand. It is valid for up to five years.
- Foreign Government Supported Student Visa : This visa is for students whose home country fully funds a specific full-time study. In addition to tuition fees, this also affects the cost of living .
Law students or law graduates, for example the Master of Laws , can apply for the German Law Student Visitor Visa . As part of your studies, you will get to know a New Zealand law firm as an unpaid observer. In addition to proof of sufficient financial resources, you need a temporary job offer from a New Zealand law firm for the application. The visa is valid for up to six months.
In addition to these student visas for New Zealand, there are other options for attending university courses during a stay in the island state:
- Visitor Visa : The visa primarily enables entry as a tourist. This visa can also be used for study courses at a New Zealand university of up to three months . Applicants must provide evidence of sufficient financial means to support themselves and a return ticket. A stay in New Zealand is possible for up to nine months.
- Germany Working Holiday Visa : This visa for a 12-month stay in New Zealand is used by so-called Work & Traveler , mainly to travel around the country. In addition, it allows the visa holder to pursue a temporary job or study for up to six months . Applicants must be between 18 and 30 years old and have international health insurance and a minimum of NZ $ 4,200 to cover living expenses. If visa holders work in horticulture or viticulture, they can apply for an extension of the visa after three months.
Foreign students also have the option of an on after successful completion of a full-time study in New Zealand up to three years temporary work visa to obtain. The Post-Study Work Visa enables you to work in almost all areas in New Zealand without being tied to a specific employer. In this way, the stay in the country can be extended without major hurdles after graduate or post-graduate degree.
Requirements and conditions for a New Zealand student visa
To obtain a New Zealand student visa, international students must be enrolled in a New Zealand tertiary education institution . Non-university universities, such as Institutes of Technology and Polytechnics , must be registered with the NZQA so that they meet the required quality standards. The student visas include a requirement to attend the specified university and are dependent on the visible progress of the study. For a student visa as a full-time student, students must take at least three courses per semester . Exchange Students and Study Abroad Students must take at least four courses.
For the visa application, students have to prove that they can pay the tuition fees or that they will be waived. A waiver of the mostly high fees is requested , for example, in the course of funding through BAföG abroad . Applicants must also indicate grants and sponsors.
In order to study at a New Zealand university and obtain a student visa , international students must take out private international health insurance for the entire duration of their stay . The conditions of the insurance must correspond to the conditions of the Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students . This regulates the requirements for the New Zealand educational institutions.
A visa also requires that the applicant be able to pay for living expenses in New Zealand in addition to the tuition fees . Visa holders must be able to finance a return ticket to their home country at any time. The respective minimum amounts can be found at Immigration New Zealand.
In some cases, separate conditions apply to students under the age of 18 . For example, they must provide a guarantee from the school or an authorized person that suitable accommodation is available for them in New Zealand. Therefore, affected students should inform themselves in advance about different conditions.
Character and medical requirements for a New Zealand student visa
In principle, applicants for a student visa must pass a test of their personal aptitude and must not pose a security risk. This falls under the concept of good character . Previous convictions or violations of visa requirements, including those of another country, can lead to the rejection of the application. In certain cases, a police clearance certificate must therefore be presented. In addition, applicants must be bona fide . This means that the New Zealand authorities have no reason to believe that the applicant will remain in New Zealand after the temporary visa expires.
The vaccinations that are usually carried out in Germany are required for entry into New Zealand. Applicants for a student visa do not need to go through a health examination. In some cases, the authorities require additional x-rays after receipt of the application. This affects all applicants planning to stay in New Zealand for over 12 months.