Student visa

If you are a new international student, you need to apply for a student visa before you travel to New Zealand. Find out how to apply for the right type of visa.

You must have a valid student visa to study here if you are not a New Zealand or Australian citizen, or a permanent resident. Your student visa must name Victoria University of Wellington as your place of study.

You will need to present your student visa at International Orientation to complete your enrolment.

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) recommends you apply for your student visa early—with current visa processing times, you should apply three to four months before you need to travel. If you have been advised by INZ that your student visa will not be processed in time for your orientation date, contact Victoria International immediately.

If you are a returning student or you already hold a valid student visa for another New Zealand institution, find out how to renew your student visa.

Which student visa to apply for

There are different student visa categories depending on what you are studying. Visit the Immigration New Zealand website to explore all study visa options.

Pathway students

Apply for a Pathway Student Visa if you are studying the English Proficiency Programme (EPP) or Foundation Studies followed by a degree programme at the University.

Exchange students

Apply for an exchange visa if you are an exchange student from an overseas university. If you are unsure whether you are an exchange student or a Study Abroad student, check your Offer of Place.

New Zealand Scholarship students

Apply for the MFAT-funded NZ Scholarships Student Visa if you are a New Zealand Scholarship student.

All other students

Most other international students, including Study Abroad students and PhD students with scholarships, should apply for the Fee Paying Student Visa.

If you are bringing your family with you, each family member will also need a visa. Find out more about visas for your partner and family.

How to apply for a student visa

You should accept your offer and pay your tuition fees before you apply for a visa. You will then need to apply for your visa online:

  1. Go to the Immigration New Zealand website.
  2. Create a RealMe account within the INZ website when prompted, before you start your application.
  3. Complete the INZ online application form. You will need to refer to your Offer of Place letter for your programme details.
  4. At the end of the form, upload a PDF file of any requested documentation.

Documentation to support your application

Different supporting documents are required depending on where you are applying from and your individual situation. You will be told what you need to upload when you complete the online application form.

You will usually need at least:

  • a passport that is valid for at least three months past the end of your intended stay
  • a copy of your Offer of Place letter from Victoria University of Wellington
  • if you are a New Zealand Scholarship student, a copy of your Scholarship Letter of Offer from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT)
  • proof that you have paid the first year of your tuition fees (a Summary of Deposit from the University), or proof that you have a scholarship that is paying on your behalf
  • proof that you have sufficient funds to support yourself while you are studying in New Zealand
  • proof of how you will return home when your studies are complete (such as copies of airline tickets or proof of funds to buy them).

Conditions of your student visa

It is a condition of most New Zealand student visas that you study full time and within New Zealand (not remotely from another country).

You must follow the conditions of your student visa while you are studying in New Zealand. These include:

  • attending classes
  • making good academic progress
  • following all New Zealand laws
  • holding approved insurance from the date of your enrolment until your visa expires (unless you are a PhD student or part of the New Zealand Scholarships programme).

If you break the conditions of your student visa, you could be told to leave New Zealand and may have trouble applying for other visas in the future.

Working on a student visa

Your student visa may allow you to work while you are studying. Most full-time international students can work part time while studying and full time during University holidays.

Go to the Education New Zealand website NauMai NZ for more information about student visa conditions and work rules and rights for international students.