New Zealand student visa for Indian students: All you need to know

Aman Saxena

New Zealand can be a great option for Indian students to get a high quality education, meet new people, and enjoy the beauty of the island.

Learn more about getting a student visa to New Zealand and what to expect from the process.

📝 Table of contents

While this article can guide you through the student visa process, it is not intended to replace professional advice. Each person’s immigration journey is unique and it is best to speak directly with New Zealand immigration authorities, or an immigration specialist for what you and your family may need through this process.

New Zealand student visa application

All Indian students, who are not New Zealand citizens or holders of a New Zealand Resident permit, are required to get a visa to study in New Zealand.

New Zealand has 4 different pathways to study in the country. Here is a quick chart on the different study visa options, if you are above 18 years old.¹

Type of VisaStay in the countryTo qualifyType of ProgramAbility to work
StudentMore than 3 months but up to 4 yearsA minimum of 20 hours of study per weekFull timeDepends on employer
VisitorLess than 3 monthsLess than 20 hours of study per weekPart time or full timeIf you submit an application for a condition to work
Pathway student visaUp to 5 yearsEnrolled or plan to enroll in 3 consecutive programsFull timeDepends on employer
Post study work visa1-3 yearsSuccessfully completed tertiary degree or qualification in New ZealandAllows for a work visa if you apply within 3 months of completing your tertiary degree in New ZealandYes

You will need to be accepted into a program at an approved education provider in New Zealand before you are eligible to apply for the visa. The New Zealand student visa will be issued in the name of the educational institution you will be attending.²

🔎An approved education provider in New Zealand has been granted approval by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, or New Zealand Ministry of Education to host international students. It can be a primary, secondary or tertiary school or educational institution.

New Zealand makes the student visa application process streamlined and clear for international students. You can apply for a New Zealand student visa directly online through the RealMe system on the New Zealand government website.

In addition to submitting the online application, Indian students will need to mail their passports to the applicable Visa Application Center for their region in India. VFS Global, a third party visa processing firm, handles the student visa registration and information for New Zealand in India. You can check using the Visa Information Tool to identify your center details in India, organized by the nearest Tier 1 or Tier 2 city.

✅ Tip: the New Zealand immigration department would ideally like to see 4 main points come across when they review your application for approval. They want to see that³:

  1. You are a genuine applicant
  2. You will not stay beyond the time the student visa dictates
  3. You will not break the conditions of your visa
  4. You intend to return home if you don’t get another visa to stay in New Zealand

If you would like to bring family members or your children along with you to New Zealand when you study, you will need to complete separate visa application forms for each of them.

Let’s break down the student visa process into steps.

✔️ New Zealand student visa process

The New Zealand student visa process is straightforward and completely online. But you will need to make sure you have your acceptance in order and the necessary documents updated and valid before you start. Here is how to apply for a student visa in New Zealand.⁴

  1. Be accepted into a qualifying educational provider in New Zealand
  2. Research and identify your budget and ability to pay your expenses
  3. Gather all your necessary records and documents, such as health exam and financial statements
  4. Create an account online through the New Zealand government RealMe system
  5. Complete the online application for a student visa
  6. Upload all the documents
  7. Pay the application fee online
  8. Send your passport to the receiving Visa Application Centre (VAC) for processing
  9. Pay the passport processing fee at the VAC
  10. Await and track your application through your online account

Most Indian students will qualify under the “Fee Paying Student Visa” application option. This is different from other options where the fee is different for exchange students, partners of student visa applicants or foreign government supported students. But more on fees later.

There are additional documents that Indian students may need to provide with a New Zealand student application. Read on to learn more.

New Zealand student visa requirements for Indian students

To meet the requirements to be eligible for a New Zealand student visa, you must⁵:

  • Provide a proof of identity
  • Be in good health
  • Be of good character
  • Have genuine intentions to follow your visa rules
  • Have an offer in place to study at an institution in New Zealand
  • Have enough money to pay your tuition fees
  • Have enough money to live off of during your stay in New Zealand
  • Have Medical and travel insurance for your stay in New Zealand
  • Have a ticket to leave New Zealand or ample funds to purchase one

Let’s go deeper into each.

🏦 New Zealand student visa financial requirements

You will need to show proof that you can pay your tuition fees and living expenses for one year in New Zealand. The immigration authorities want to verify that the source and evidence of funds is genuine, that you can support yourself while you’re in the country, and confirm your access to the funds during your stay.

While tuition fees will vary from university to university, the New Zealand government wants to see that you have, or have access to, NZ$ 15,000 per year, or NZ$ 1,250 per month for a year, to cover your living expenses while you are in the country.

Type of studentMinimum income to show for 12 months
All Fee Paying Student VIsasNZ$ 15,000/ ₹7,87,526*

*All INR prices shown are converted at the mid-market exchange rate of NZ$1 = ₹52.50 as of May 20, 2021

👪 If Indian students, or other South Asian applicants, plan to be supported financially by their family back home, then they must show evidence of financial support by immediate family members only. New Zealand categorizes immediate family members as:

  • Partner or spouse
  • Parents or in-laws
  • Siblings
  • Grandparents

So financial support from uncles, aunts, cousins or extended family members will not qualify. Also if you are having your immediate family members support you financially, you will need to show evidence of the relationship.

A family member that is supporting you for your stay and studies is called a guarantor. The statements and names do need to match throughout the application and supporting evidence.

🧾 To meet the financial requirements of NZ$ 15,000 per year or NZ$ 1,250 per month for a year, you can show:

  • Your or your immediate family bank statements for the past 6 months
  • Fixed deposit statements more than 6 months old
  • Copies of a bank deposit certificate or statement
  • Scholarship or loan letter with details
  • Income from employment

💰 If the funds have recently been moved to a bank account as a result of a sale of an asset like stocks, investment or property, you will need to show evidence of the sale. Additionally, a provident fund can be shown meeting the financial requirements as long as it is supported with an income tax return.

🚫 There are certain items that the authorities find difficult to verify and it is recommended not to use for evidence of meeting the financial requirements. The following is advisable not to use⁶:

  • Gold loans
  • Kisan Credit Card (KCC) loans
  • Post office of cooperative society funds
  • Mutual funds
  • Bonds
  • Agricultural income

If you are staying more than 12 months in New Zealand, you will need to indicate the payment plan or evidence to support your access to additional funds beyond the first year.

📎 Documents required for New Zealand student visa

In addition to the application, you will need to attach documents to support your case. These include:

  • Confirmation of enrolment or acceptance at the New Zealand institution
  • A statement of purpose or cover letter stating why you have selected New Zealand, and the specific program and institution you have chosen.
  • A copy of each page of your passport with a stamp, or a record of your international travel history
  • An academic transcript or qualification certificate
  • Evidence of any work experience or employment
  • Evidence of tuition payment
  • Evidence of financial support for living expenses
  • Copy of the financial guarantor’s identity document and their relationship with the applicant
  • Evidence of a ticket to return home from New Zealand or finances to be able to do so
  • Evidence showing meeting the English language requirements
  • A medical chest x ray certificate for Indian students

Indian students can provide a copy of their PAN card or Aadhaar card to verify their identity. Indian voter ID, Ration cards, driving license and academic documents do not qualify as identity proof. ⁷

If you intend to stay in New Zealand more than 24 months, you may be asked to submit a police certificate to show evidence of good character.

⌛ New Zealand student visa processing time

A New Zealand student visa can typically take up to 8 weeks to process. Currently for Indian student applications the processing time is 32 days. However, if your application is incomplete or there is a need for more documents, it can take longer.

It is advised not to make travel plans or purchase travel tickets until your visa has been approved. ⁸

📋 New Zealand student visa checklist

If you are applying for a New Zealand student visa, here is a checklist to make sure you have covered all your bases:

  • Online application
  • Copy of a valid passport
  • Passport photos to upload
  • Acceptance or offer of study in New Zealand
  • Payment of tuition fees
  • Evidence of meeting the financial requirements
  • Copy of guarantor’s identifications and relationship with applicant
  • Academic qualifications and certificates
  • Medical and/or police certificate if needed
  • Statement of Purpose
  • Payment of application fee
  • Submission of your passport to the VAC

You may be asked for additional information and documents as you submit your application. You can also take a look at the first time application guide for student visas for additional information.

💳 New Zealand student visa fees

A New Zealand student visa fee is NZ$ 330 per application for a fee-paying student visa. Other visas to study while in New Zealand range between NZ$ 246-$495. This is the cost from the New Zealand government to review and process your application. The application fee is non-refundable, even if your application is rejected.

Additionally, Indian students will have to pay ₹784 to the Visa Application Centre (VAC) in India. This can be paid in person through demand draft or credit card by Visa or Mastercard.⁹

New Zealand student visa fees in Indian Rupees

So how much will a New Zealand student visa cost you in India rupees? Let’s take a look:

Application Fee in New Zealand DollarsApplication Fee in Indian Rupees*Passport Receiving Fee in Indian RupeesTotal
Fee Paying Student VisaNZ$ 330₹17,326₹ 784₹18,110
Pathway Student VisaNZ$ 295₹15,488₹ 784₹16,272
Post Study Work VisaNZ$ 495₹25,988₹ 784₹26,772
Visitor VisaNZ$ 246₹12,915₹ 784₹13,699

*All INR prices shown are converted at the mid-market exchange rate of NZ$1 = ₹52.50 as of May 20, 2021

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  1. New Zealand Student Visa
  2. New Zealand Student application guide
  3. New Zealand Student Visa application
  4. Steps for a student visa
  5. Eligibility for an application
  6. New Zealand financial requirements
  7. Document checklist
  8. Visa processing time
  9. Fees

All sources checked as of May 20, 2021

This publication is provided for general information purposes only and is not intended to cover every aspect of the topics with which it deals. It is not intended to amount to advice on which you should rely. You must obtain professional or specialist advice before taking, or refraining from, any action on the basis of the content in this publication. The information in this publication does not constitute legal, tax or other professional advice from Wise Payments Limited or its affiliates. Prior results do not guarantee a similar outcome. We make no representations, warranties or guarantees, whether express or implied, that the content in the publication is accurate, complete or up to date.

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