Please note that the visa application process and the list of the required documents may change at any time. Make sure to get the latest information on the New Zealand visa regulations and your eligibility for the correct type of visa directly on Immigration New Zealand’s website.

Getting a visa to a foreign country should never be taken for granted and cannot be guaranteed by in any way. Please also refer to our terms and conditions.

All students accepted to study at least one semester abroad at Institute of the Pacific United New Zealand (IPU New Zealand) need to acquire a student visa. We recommend you to start the application process for the visa as soon as you get the required documents.

NOTE! If you will be studying in New Zealand less than 3 months (Summer Term), you are eligible to apply for a Visitor Visa instead of the Student Visa or if you come from a visa waiver country, no visa application is needed (find out more about the nationalities eligible for the visa waiver). You will only need to show that you are a genuine visitor, have enough money for your stay and a travel ticket out of New Zealand to a country you are allowed to enter.

Applying for a student visa

In New Zealand, the student visa needed for studying at the Institute of Pacific United (IPU) belongs to the Fee-Paying Student Visa category. Although New Zealand Visa Application Centres grant Fee-Paying Student visas for the purpose of studying in New Zealand by paper submission as well, it’s usually cheaper and more convenient to submit an online application on Immigration New Zealand’s website.

The Fee-Paying Student Visa is usually granted for the duration of the studies the student has paid fees for. If you wish to continue your studies in New Zealand or work in New Zealand after finishing your studies and the expiration of your first student visa, you are eligible for applying for a new student visa or a work visa.

Required documents

  • Application form. You can find detailed instructions on how to fill the application form on pages 11-16 of this document.
  • Two passport photographs. These need to be original and taken within the last six months. The size should be about 45 mm by 35 mm and in good-quality color (not black and white)
  • Offer of Place from the Institute of Pacific United New Zealand (IPU New Zealand)
  • Receipt of paid tuition fee (sent by IPU to Immigration New Zealand) or proof of sufficient funds to pay the tuition fee. Acceptable proof: The tuition fee will be covered by 1) a foreign government loan 2) a foreign government scholarship 3) a study abroad or non-award scheme 4) a New Zealand Aid Programme scholarship 5) other funds
  • Proof of funds for living costs. Acceptable proof: 1) enough money to support yourself (bank statement in your name, going back at least six months) 2) Financial undertaking by a non-New Zealand family member, a friend or an organization (completion and submission of Financial Undertaking for a student INZ1014 -form and providing six months’ bank statements required) or sponsorship by a New-Zealand family member, a friend or an organization (completion and submission of Sponsorship for Temporary Entry INZ1025 -form required) 3) a foreign government loan 4) full financial support from a foreign government 4) a New-Zealand Aid Programme scholarship. If you will be studying in New Zealand for less than 36 weeks, you need to provide proof of funds at least NZ $1250 for each month of study
  • Proof of outward travel. Acceptable proof: 1) fully paid travel ticket out of New Zealand 2) sufficient funds to purchase a travel ticket out of New Zealand 3) a guarantor’s or a sponsor’s agreement to pay you a travel ticket out of New Zealand
  • Proof of an insurance that complies with the insurance requirements of the Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code of Practice 2016 and is acceptable to your education provider. You do not need to provide proof of the insurance with the visa application but you are required to declare in your application that you will make the necessary arrangements to meet this condition
  • Students of certain nationalities are required to send their passport to the nearest New Zealand Visa Application Centre. You will be notified of the fee and where to send the passport either already when checking for the relevant fees and receiving center or by email after applying for your visa. Even if you come from a visa waiver country or China, you might receive a request to send your passport the nearest New Zealand Visa Application Centre. In that case, it should be done within 20 days of the request and might result in a handling fee that can be found on the nearest VAC website

Please note that your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after leaving New Zealand.

If you already hold a student visa for New Zealand and are applying for a further one, the requirements are a bit different. You are then also required to prove your previous study attendance and performance.

You can find further information in the Student Visa Guide.

Schedule for applying, Visa fees and timeframe for Visa processing

We recommend applying for your visa after you have received the Offer of Place from IPU and have been notified that IPU has received your tuition fee payment (approximately 1,5 – 2 months before the beginning of the semester). Make sure that your application has the required information and documents, especially if you’re in a hurry to get your application processed. You may provide copies of the documents unless original or certified copies are specified. If your application is missing any required information or documents, it will not be processed. You will either be informed of this by email or the application will be returned to you by post.

The visa fees and the time frame for processing the visa depend on the method of submission and the nationality and country of residence of the student. Most nationalities can apply for the visa online and for most European nationalities the fee is NZ$ 270 (around 160 EUR). Usually, the processing time is approximately 20-34 days.

If you apply for the visa by paper submission, you will need to send the application and the required documents to the nearest Immigration New Zealand Receiving Centre and pay VAC Service Fees and Courier Fees of around GBP 25-70 / USD 66-96 on top of the visa fee. The processing time is approximately 25-34 days. You can check your fees and the nearest receiving centre here.

If you apply online, the visa will most probably be granted as an electronic visa (eVISA) that you’ll need to print out and bring to New Zealand with you. You will be notified by email when a decision has been made about your visa. You can see the decision on your Immigration Online account, where you can then print out the visa.

You can find more information about eVISAs here.

After receiving your visa

Make sure your visa has the following information:

  • Period of validity of the visa
  • The correct spelling of your surname and name
  • Series and number of the passport

Usually the visa also has the following information:

  • Name of the program you are allowed to study in
  • Name of the educational provider (Institute of the Pacific United) and their New Zealand location

Working while studying

With Fee-Paying Student Visa you are allowed to work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying, required that you meet at least one of the criteria mentioned on page 7 in the Student Visa Guide, and full-time during the holidays scheduled by your education provider if you are undertaking a full-time program of study of at least one academic year’s duration and of a minimum of 60 ECTS earned credits. If you are planning to work in New Zealand while studying, you will need an IRD number. This is administered by Inland Revenue, New Zealand’s tax service.

Read more about working while studying in New Zealand here.

Frequently asked questions

What type of visa do I need to have in order to study in New Zealand? 

You will need to apply for a Fee-Paying Student Visa from Immigration New Zealand. Most nationalities can apply online. If you study only the summer term and come from a visa waiver country, no visa is needed.

When can I apply for my visa?

You can apply for your visa after you have paid your tuition fee and IPU New Zealand fees and received confirmation of those. This will happen approximately 1,5 months before the semester starts.

Can I travel outside of New Zealand during the semester?

Most likely your visa will be single entry so it is not possible to travel outside of New Zealand during your semester. We recommend travelling outside New Zealand before or after your semester.

When do I have to pay the tuition fee?

Tuition fees should be paid according to the due date on the invoice. Also keep in mind that you need the proof of payment in order to apply for your student visa

Do I have to pay accommodation and text book fees before I can apply for the visa?

IPU only requires you to pay for your accommodation at the campus and the text book fees before the semester starts. Usually immigration will not ask for proof of accommodation paid during the application process, but it depends on the case and the officer. So the immigration would have the right to ask for it, even though it is not common.

How much earlier can I enter New Zealand before the semester starts?

As soon as your visa is granted, you will know the validity dates. Usually student visas are issued about 1 month before the semester starts.

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