Student  visa

New Zealand is the premier choice for thousands of migrants each year to wish to study abroad. There are multiple course opportunities and desirable post study visa options. At the heart of New Zealand’s education system sits the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) governed by New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). This includes both secondary and tertiary qualifications. NZQA is the government agency responsible for New Zealand qualifications, and for assessing qualifications gained overseas to determine the equivalent level in New Zealand terms.

Covid19 has presented unique opportunities for many migrants and Kiwis to return to studying in search of better and more resilient career options. We are well positioned to assist potential new and returning students in mapping their study and career pathways. Whether they choose to upskill or retrain due to employment impacts of Covid19 or naturally progress in their chosen field of study, we enable students and professionals to work through options and make a fully informed decision. We are able to deliver this for our clients through extensive partnerships with key education institutes around New Zealand. 

What should I study in New Zealand?

Depending on the course of study, you can also work while you are studying, and potentially be granted an open work visa at conclusion of your studies so you can then actively seek full time work in New Zealand.

Different study pathways

There are many different pathways on which courses to study in New Zealand and the visas available to you and your family. At New Zealand Shores, we will ensure you are advised of the best pathway for you and your family to meet your long-term goals. We offer a complete end-to-end service for Students, from selection of an appropriate course, offer of place through to approval of your Student Visa and your family visas.

Authorised Agents

We are trusted authorised agents for some leading New Zealand Tertiary Institutes. Our staff are also licensed immigration advisers, so we know what it takes to have your Student Visa application approved by Immigration New Zealand. Contact us now to discuss your International Study options in New Zealand and the Student Visa options available to you.

Browse this section for more information, check international students’ work rights , find out how to bring your family over, or  how to work in New Zealand after studying .

Studying in New Zealand is a fantastic pathway that will bring certainty to your migration plans. Find out how you can work during and after your studies, bring your family with you, and open work rights after your complete your New Zealand qualification.

Are you eligible for a student visa? Take our assessment!

You will be assigned a personal licensed advisor to assess your eligibility for a visa, and provide you with a roadmap to success containing which qualifications are the best to achieve your migration plans and which  New Zealand visas  you will need along the way.

We know international students’ expectations and their migration endeavours. This is why we recommend courses that best suit your circumstances and your goals. Our team has a wealth of experience in managing student visa applications through to approval and we can provide a personalised service to you and your family.

Assistance we provide

  • Communication via phone, email, Skype or Zoom
  • We propose the right courses for you, aligned to your background
  • We highlight potential issues with your application and provide advice on the best way to achieve a successful visa outcome
  • We facilitate the entire process from course enrolment to visa application lodgement
  • We provide tips and advice on interviews with Immigration New Zealand
  • We can manage your  family temporary visas  (for your partner and dependent children)
  • We can support you during your settlement into New Zealand
  • We work with only reputable tertiary education providers, colleges, and universities in New Zealand

It’s important that you understand whether you are allowed to work or not, otherwise you may be in breach of your  student visa  conditions. Note also that under no circumstances can you be self-employed

International, tertiary students

You can work part-time for up to 20 hours per week if your full-time programme of study meet certain requirements. The most common are:

  • Studying for at least two years between level 4-6 course or one year course of level 7 or higher, or;
  • Studying for at least one year as part of an approved student exchange programme, or;
  • The study leads to a NZ qualification that gains points for residence under the  Skilled Migrant Category, or;

You may work full-time during all vacations during study of at least one academic year, if:

  • you are studying full-time for at least 1 year, and;
  • your course is for at least 120 credits, and;
  • your course is over at least 8 months or 2 semesters

You can work full-time over the Christmas and New Year holiday period if studying for at least eight months course that has minimum of two semesters.

If you are enrolled in Masters by research or doctoral degree programmes awarded by a New Zealand tertiary institution, there are no restrictions on the hours you can work while studying. There are unlimited work rights for PhD and Masters research students.

English language students

If certain criteria are met, you may be allowed to work while studying English in New Zealand. You must meet all of these:

Courses of at least 24 weeks

  • your study is full-time, and;
  • your programme of study is at least 24 teaching weeks, and;
  • you can show that the main purpose of your study is to improve your English, and;
  • you have an acceptable English language test result that is no more than 2 years old (IELTS 5.0 or over)

Courses of at least 14 weeks

  • your study is full-time, and;
  • your study is for at least 14 consecutive weeks, and;
  • you are studying English language, and;
  • your study is with a university, or an education provider that has been assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as a Category 1 provider.

Shorter English language courses may qualify if they can be counted towards the 14 consecutive weeks and with the same education provider.

Secondary school students

If you are at least 16, and enrolled in year 12 or 13 at a secondary school, you may be allowed to work part-time during school terms, and full time during the Christmas break.You may require your parents’ and the school Principal’s authorisation in writing before you can vary the conditions of your dependent child student visa, to be allowed to work part-time.


International Full Fee Paying

These include both first-time offshore students and onshore returning students. Not every institute can provide offers of place to international students. Only those education providers that are signatories to the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 can do so. This visa allows the holder to study full time with part-time work rights (full-time during holidays) in most cases. The student visa granted is normally for the same length of time as the study paid for. For these applications, a person’s bona fide (genuine intentions) and funds are very closely assessed. Immigration officers want to know why a particular course has been chosen, how this aligns to a person’s profile and that there is a genuine intent to study the course. Funds must be from a genuine source and are genuinely available to the student.

Dependent Student Visas

Dependent children of certain kinds of work and student visa holders can apply for a student visa to allow them to go school while their parents work or study in New Zealand. These students are treated as domestic students and do not require to pay international tuition fees. However, it is critical that applicants are aware of the cut-off age for dependency for temporary visas. Children aged 20 or over are not eligible to file a visa based on the relationship with their parents, but can file a visa in their own right. This age group will no longer be eligible for dependent student visas. To support an dependent student visa, a parent on Essential Skills Work Visa must earn atleast $43,322.76 pa before tax.

Get In Touch With Us For Personalised Service And Assistance

+64 22 399 4114


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