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Are you planning to study in New Zealand and need assistance understanding the visa options available to you? As a new student, applying for a visa can seem like a daunting task, but with the right information, you can navigate the process smoothly. Here’s a breakdown of the different visa categories to help you choose the one that best fits your situation:

Group of students working together

1. Pathway Student Visa

If you intend to pursue multiple courses, such as Academic English or Foundation Studies followed by a degree-level program at a university, the Pathway Student Visa might be the right choice for you. This visa allows you to transition seamlessly between different levels of study.

2. Exchange Student Visa

If you are coming to New Zealand as part of an exchange program from an overseas university, you will need to apply for an Exchange Student Visa. Not sure if you qualify as an exchange student? Check your Offer of Place for confirmation.

3. MFAT-funded NZ Scholarship Student Visa

Students who are recipients of New Zealand Scholarships funded by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) will need to apply for this specific visa category.

4. Fee-Paying Student Visa

The Fee-Paying Student Visa is the most common visa category for international students in New Zealand. Whether you are pursuing a degree, diploma, or certificate program, this visa allows you to study at approved institutions in the country.

Remember, having a valid student visa is essential for studying in New Zealand, unless you are a citizen of New Zealand or Australia or a permanent resident. Additionally, if you plan to bring your family with you, each family member will also need a visa. The type of visa they can obtain will depend on your study program and your ability to support them financially.

Before applying for a visa, ensure that you have received an Offer of Place from your chosen institution and that you meet all the requirements set by Immigration New Zealand. It’s also a good idea to start the application process well in advance to allow for any unexpected delays.

Applying for your student visa in New Zealand

New and returning students must apply for student visas well in advance of the course start date. We recommend applying at least two months before your course starts or your current visa expires if you are a returning student. You will need to make sure that you are meeting all requirements for a student visa which is where Woburn International can help.

Contact us to find out how we can help you move to New Zealand

Biggest hurdles to gaining a student visa

Back view of a group of young students writing during a lesson in the classroom

1. Choosing the Right Course and Institution

Having an Offer of Place for an acceptable course is essential for a student visa. With numerous options available, it’s crucial to ensure that you enrol in a course that meets Immigration New Zealand’s requirements. Research thoroughly and choose a reputable institution that offers the program best suited to your academic and career goals.

2. Demonstrating Genuine Intentions to Study

Immigration New Zealand assesses whether applicants have genuine intentions to study and intend to return home after completing their studies. To address this, provide clear and compelling evidence of your commitment to studying in New Zealand, such as academic transcripts, letters of recommendation, and a well-articulated statement of purpose outlining your educational objectives and career aspirations.

3. Proving Financial Capability

Demonstrating sufficient funds to support your stay in New Zealand is another crucial aspect of the visa application process. Prepare a detailed financial plan showing the source of funds for your tuition fees, living expenses, and other associated costs. Ensure that your funds are genuinely obtained and readily available by providing bank statements, sponsorship letters, or scholarship awards.

Many applicants struggle to navigate the complexities of the visa application process on their own. Consider seeking assistance from reputable immigration consultants or agencies. We, at Woburn International, specialise in student visa applications. We can help you compile a comprehensive application package and address any concerns raised by immigration authorities.

How can Woburn help?

Studying in New Zealand is an exciting opportunity, and obtaining the right visa is the first step towards realising your educational goals in this beautiful country. With the information provided here, you can make informed decisions and embark on your academic journey with confidence. Good luck!

Contact us

Feel free to reach out to us with any questions or inquiries you may have. Simply send us an email to, and our dedicated team will be happy to assist you.

Woburn International is New Zealand’s leading specialist in NZ immigration, skilled migrant placements, relocation, emigration, international remuneration and cultural awareness. Contact us to find out how we can help you move to New Zealand.

Contact us to find out how we can help you move to New Zealand

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