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New Zealand Student Visa: Your Questions Answered!
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Once you contact us on the phone or on the web to request information for one of our services we will provide you with a free eligibility assessment which will determine the most appropriate visa for you. The assessment will include preliminary information on the visa conditions and how you meet the eligibility requirements. Once you agree to use our service we will process your visa application through to completion. Our service covers the checking of your documents and personal details for correctness before we lodge your application with the relevant Government/Embassy. In the event that we spot any missing information/documents from your application we will follow up by giving you a phone call or sending you an email to request the necessary details.

Thousands of customers choose Visa First to organise their working holiday visas every year because:

  • We make getting the visa you need fast and hassle-free.
  • We provide a free initial assessment on the process.
  • We developed the unique online visa status engine which allows you to check the status of your visa 24/7. Check your status now.
  • We're visa experts and have organised over 130,000 visas for people like you.
  • We have a price and service promise to you to ensure a low cost effective service.
  • We offer a step-by-step consultation as we do the visa.
  • We provide an end-to-end service from assessment, through gathering and processing the documents till visa grant.
  • We have local offices supporting the visa process.



Most overseas students need a visa or permit to study full-time in New Zealand. You only considered a domestic student who does not need a student visa or permit if one of the following applies to you:

  • You are a New Zealand citizen
  • You hold a New Zealand residence permit
  • You are an Australian citizen
  • You hold a current Australian permanent residence visa or a current Australian resident return visa

Apply for your student visa for New Zealand today.

We define full-time study as:

  • attending a private training establishment (PTE) for at least 20 hours each week
  • studying at least three papers, or the equivalent, each semester at a tertiary institution other than a PTE
  • attending a primary, intermediate, or secondary school for at least one school term

To be eligible for an NZ Student Visa your course of study and education provider must be approved by the Ministry of Education to offer places to overseas students. You can find out from the education provider whether they and their courses are approved.

A visa allows a person to travel to the New Zealand border and a permit allows them to remain in the country. If someone has a visa they are usually issued with a permit at the border.

You may be allowed to work for up to 20 hours each week during the academic year. You may also be allowed to work full-time during the Christmas and New Year holiday period at the end of each academic year. To work you will need to apply for a variation of conditions to your student permit. You can apply for a variation of conditions as part of your application for a student visa or permit, by ticking the option at E2. You can also apply for a variation of conditions at a later date, as long as your student permit is valid.

You do not need to have a job offer when applying for a variation of condition to your student permit to allow you to work during the academic year, but you must be enrolled in a full-time course of study that meets one of the criteria listed below:

  • The course is at least two years long and you are studying at a private training establishment or tertiary institution;
  • The course leads to a New Zealand qualification that qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant Category of Immigration New Zealand’s Residence Policy;
  • The course is at least one academic year long and you are taking part in an approved tertiary exchange scheme;
  • You are studying in Year 12 or Year 13 and you have written permission from your school and your parents;
  • The course is at a private training establishment or tertiary institution, and the main purpose of the course is to develop English language skills. You must also have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 5.0 or above in the general academic module.

You cannot include anyone else on your application form. If your partner, your children, your parent/legal guardian, or anyone else will accompany you to New Zealand, they must apply separately for the type of visa or permit they require.

If you are aged 17 or under you may have to be accompanied by your parent or legal guardian.

Student permit holders are not generally eligible for publicly-funded health and disability services. People covered by New Zealand’s reciprocal health agreements with Australia and the United Kingdom are entitled to publicly-funded health care for immediately necessary medical treatment only. If you seek health care when you are in New Zealand you should carry your passport so that health providers can check whether you are eligible for publicly-funded health care. We strongly recommend that you arrange comprehensive health insurance for your stay in New Zealand.

You may be eligible to work in New Zealand once you have completed your studies. You will need to apply for a New Zealand Work Permit.

If you do not yet have a job offer, you may apply for a visa/permit under the Graduate Job Search Work Policy. Permits granted under this policy are valid for up to 12 months and allow you to work in a temporary job while you look for a job in your field. To be eligible for a work permit under our Graduate Job Search Policy you must:

  • have successfully completed a New Zealand qualification that qualifies for points under the Skilled Migrant Category of Immigration New Zealand’s Residence Policy;
  • have recently finished your qualification, and apply no later than three months after the end date of your student permit for that qualification;
  • show that you have at least NZ$2,100 to support yourself financially;

Visa First is the only company with an online visa status engine through which you can check the status of your New Zealand Visa application 24/7. Check your visa status here.

Visa First makes sure you can start working and getting paid as soon as you get to New Zealand. Our partner Traveltowork can start organising your New Zealand bank account before you leave home which means you can transfer money in advance and access it as soon as you arrive. Apply for your NZ bank account today.

It depends on the processing Immigration branch.
London Branch - 15 days (average)

At Visa First we do everything we can to make sure you receive the best possible service. If you feel that we have not achieved this goal we have set up a complaints handling process:

Complaints Process:
  1. Where an official complaint is received by Visa First, the company will record the nature of the complaint and issue an acknowledgement email to the client within 5 business days of receiving the complaint. The acknowledgement will provide the client with the contact name who is responsible for dealing with the complaint. The official complaint must be made by email (you may also write, although this will slow down the process), and confirm that the client wishes to enter this process. Please email your complaint to complaints@visafirst.com
  2. Visa First will investigate the complaint as swiftly as possible and where applicable, the complainant will receive a regular written update on the progress of the investigation at intervals of not more than 20 business days.
  3. Visa First will try to resolve the complaint within 40 business days of having received the complaint. If the complaint cannot be resolved within 40 business days, the Firm will write to the complainant notifying them of the anticipated timeframe for the conclusion of the investigation.
  4. Within 5 business days of the conclusion of the investigation of the complaint, Visa First will issue a resolution letter detailing the outcome of the investigation. This letter will include, if applicable, an explanation of the terms of any offer that the company is prepared to make in settlement of the complaint.

Occupationgross salary $net salary $
Chef de Partie $36,400 - 40,000 $31,010 - 33,980
Primary School Teacher $46,000 - 72,000 $38,930 - 57,320
Carpenter $37,500 - 60,500 $31,917 - 49,330
Registered Nurse $47,000 - 64,000 $39,755 - 51,780
Accountant $45,100 - 81,000 $38,187 - 63,350
Diesel mechanic $46,700 - 79,000 $39,507 - 62,010

Auckland-$460; Bay of plenty-$330; Canterbury-$470; West Coast-$250; Otago-$295; Southland-$225

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