Student Visas and Post-Study Work Visa Requirements

By Rita Worner

The New Zealand Student Visa is for International Students who want to study full-time in New Zealand. The below article will be a quick guide on the basics of the fee-paying Student Visa.


For your application, you will need an offer of place from an approved education provider. This should have all relevant details such as the name of the course, its duration, and whether you're studying full-time.

You will also need to prove that you have enough funds to cover your tuition fees or a receipt confirming you’ve already paid. If you're studying for more than one year, you'll also need to show how you'll finance subsequent tuition fees. And don't forget about living costs—you will need evidence that you have access to $20,000 NZD per year or $1,667 per month.

Lastly, you will need to hold travel and medical insurance. This has to cover you from the day you arrive to the day you leave.

There are a lot of finance-related requirements, so you may use a NZ citizen sponsor to help you cover the costs.

Many international students are worried about whether English language ability is a requirement of the visa. It technically isn’t, but it may be a prerequisite for the course you want to take. You should always check the specific requirements of your intended program.

The length of your Student Visa will depend on the length of the course you’re studying, up to a maximum of 4 years.  If you take a 1-year course, you would receive a 1-year visa. It also means that if your course takes longer than 4 years you may need to apply for multiple fee-paying Student Visas.


On a fee-paying Student Visa, you are able to work part-time – this means up to 20 hours a week during the semester and full-time during scheduled holidays. Always make sure to check your visa conditions carefully once your visa has been granted.

Another great benefit to the fee-paying Student Visa, is that upon graduating you may be eligible for a Post-Study Work Visa. This is essentially an “open work visa” which allows you to work in New Zealand after your studies. The length of that visa will depend on which qualification you completed. And for some of the qualifications that aren’t at Degree level – you would only be able to work within the same industry as your qualification. Make sure you know exactly what you’ll be eligible for, before you enrol in your course, so there aren’t any surprises later on. 

It’s a great way to gain some New Zealand based work experience that may allow you to springboard onto other types of work visas or even residency in the future. This is not granted to graduates of all courses, Make sure you know exactly what you’ll be eligible for, before you enrol in your course, so there aren’t any surprises later on. 

Another potential benefit is the ability to bring dependant family members with you for the duration of your Student Visa. Again, this only applies to some qualifications – but you may be able to bring your Partner and Dependent Children to New Zealand for the same length as your qualification.

If you want to find out what courses that allow Post-Study Work Visas, please check out our YouTube video linked below.

Each application is unique, be sure to get proper immigration advice if you have any concerns that may lead to issues down the track.

We have taken care to ensure that the information given is accurate, however it is intended for general guidance only and it should not be relied upon in individual cases. Professional advice should always be sought before any decision or action is taken.