Apply for a visa

If you’re applying for a student visa from overseas you can apply online and send your passport to your nearest Immigration New Zealand visa application centre.

How it works

You can apply for a student visa:

  • online through Immigration New Zealand (INZ)
  • at the Victoria International office on campus (if you’re already in Wellington).

If you are outside of New Zealand, you’ll need to arrange your visa before you get here.

If you’re a returning student and need to renew your student visa, see the information in our Current students section.

Applying from overseas

  1. Complete the Student Visa Application form on the INZ website, including all required supporting documents.
  2. Send your passport to your nearest INZ visa application centre.

Different supporting documents are required depending on where you’re applying from, but you’ll 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
  • evidence that you have the funds to support yourself while you’re studying
  • proof of how you’ll return home when your studies are complete (like copies of airline tickets or proof of funds to buy them).

You can find full details on what you must supply on the INZ website.

Applying from within New Zealand

You can apply for a student visa through Victoria International if you:

  1. are already in Wellington at the time of application
  2. currently hold a valid New Zealand visa (study, visit or work)
  3. are or will be a full-time student (unless you’re in your final trimester of study), and
  4. are not currently under the Victoria University academic progress policy.

If you don’t meet all of these conditions, you need to apply for your student visa directly with INZ.

  1. Complete the Student Visa Application form on the INZ website, including all required supporting documents.
  2. Send your passport to INZ at:

Immigration New Zealand
PO Box 1049
Palmerston North

Immigration New Zealand can refuse applications submitted on campus and may ask you to resubmit your application directly to the Palmerston North Immigration New Zealand branch.

Conditions of your visa

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

  • attending classes
  • making good academic progress
  • not breaking the law
  • holding approved insurance from the date of your enrolment until your visa expires (unless you’re a PhD student or part of the New Zealand Aid Programme). 

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

Working while you study

Most full-time international students can work part time while studying. Take a look at the Immigration New Zealand Study + Work website to learn about work rules for international students and your working rights.

Visas for your partner and family

Your partner can apply for a work visa through the Family Stream if you’re:

  • a postgraduate student, and your spouse or partner is applying for a work visa for the same period as your student visa
  • an undergraduate student, your spouse or partner is applying for a work visa if you are studying for a qualification in an area of absolute skill shortage, as specified in the ‘Long Term Skill Shortage List’.

You can find full details on the Immigration New Zealand website about the Family Stream work visa as well as more general information in the section Joining my family. If you’re not sure which type of visa to apply for, contact Immigration New Zealand.

Read more about bringing your family to New Zealand.

Changing your visa status

If you are granted a Resident Visa or Permanent Resident Visa during your studies, it is your responsibility to let Victoria International know immediately about this.

Changing to a resident class visa has implications for your status as an international student and may affect your eligibility for insurance.

If you are insured with Studentsafe Inbound University insurance through Victoria, your cover will automatically expire 21 days after your Resident or Permanent Resident visa has been issued and you can no longer renew this insurance.