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Apply for a student visa

You can apply online or use a printed form. Make sure you apply at least 8 weeks before you plan to come to New Zealand.

  1. 1

    Gather your supporting documents

    You’re likely to get a quicker decision if you supply all the information Immigration New Zealand (INZ) needs when you apply.

    Before you apply for a student visa

    If you apply online you’ll need to scan your documents before you upload them.

  2. 2

    Decide how to apply

    Most people find it easier to apply online.

    Applying for your visa online

    You can also apply using a printed form, but it takes longer to process your application. You need to use the printed form if, for example, you don’t have regular access to a computer​.

  3. 3

    Find out what it costs

    The application fees you pay depend on how you apply and where you’re applying from.

    Fees, decision times and where to apply

    Note: You will not get a refund of your fees if your application is turned down.
  4. 4

    Apply online

    When you make an online application you have to set up a New Zealand Government RealMe account.

    What is RealMe?

    Before you start your application, have all your supporting documents ready to upload.

    Apply for a visa

    Apply using a printed form

    Download the Student Visa Application form (INZ 1012) and guidance to help you complete it.

    Student visa application form

    Student visa guidance

  5. 5

    Submit your application

    Even if you apply online, you may need to send your passport to INZ — they’ll let you know if you do. It will be posted back to you once your application is finalised.

    Sending your passport

    If you apply using the printed application form, check where you need to send it and your supporting documents.

    Fees, decision times and where to apply

  6. 6

    Wait for a decision

    Most applications are processed in a month. If INZ needs more information they’ll contact you to ask for it. 

    Application processing times

    You can check the progress of your application.

    Checking your visa application status

  7. 7

    When you get your visa

    If you apply online, you’ll usually get an eVisa. Print it out or keep it on your mobile phone so, if you need to, you can show it at the border when you arrive. You can ask INZ to put a label in your passport, but you have to pay for this service.


    Get help to plan your trip and find out more about life as a student in New Zealand.

    Get ready for NZ

    Everyday student life

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