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New Zealand Student Visa

A student visa is one of the very important documents you must have to study abroad. You have to satisfy a few criteria to be eligible to get a visa. It is estimated that around 90,000 New Zealand student visas are issued every year. Compared to August 2022, the rate of New Zealand student visas has increased by 98% up to March 2023, which throws light on the fact that the country has become a preferred study abroad destination for several international students. Additionally, the New Zealand student visa takes approximately 8-10 weeks to be processed. As such, you should apply early for your visa so there is enough time to get admission and plan your journey.

The New Zealand Immigration Department has revealed that there has been a 10% rejection rate in student visa applications. Between July 2019 and February 2020, over 17,000 student visa applications were rejected. This is especially owing to New Zealand’s International Education Strategy 2018-2030, which ensures that only genuine applicants get admission. This rejection rate, however, is due to a lack of proper knowledge of the application process, among other things. It is at this point where the importance of expert consultants like THINK BIG GLOBAL comes into picture. If you contact experts, you will find it easier to arrange all the necessary documents, which will, in turn, make it easier to get your New Zealand student visa from India approved.

Latest Updates for New Zealand Student Visas from India

June 2023: As per the data for March 2023, New Zealand has witnessed a whopping 98% of student visa approval for international students alone. This is the biggest number since the opening of borders after the Covid-19 pandemic. Additionally, this number is expected to increase with the upcoming admissions.

5 December 2022: Up to November 19, 2022, more than 12,000 student visa applications have come since New Zealand opened its borders on July 31, 2022. 

Types of New Zealand Student Visa for Indian Students

If you are above 18 years of age and plan to study in New Zealand for more than six months, you are required to obtain a student visa. There are five types of visas, and you can apply for the one to which you seem eligible. We have tabulated the details below for your easy reference and understanding.

Types of Student Visas


Duration of Stay

Fee-Paying Student Visa

With this visa, you will be able to study in New Zealand for up to four years and also work part-time

4 years

Foreign Government Supported Student Visa

You can study full-time for up to four years on a foreign government loan or scholarship

4 years

Exchange Student Visa

If you study full-time in New Zealand for up to four years for an approved student exchange program, you can apply for this visa

4 years

Pathway Student Visa

You can apply for this visa if you have to study for up to five years for three consecutive courses on a single student visa and work part-time

5 years

How Much Does A New Zealand Student Visa Cost from India?

You can apply for a New Zealand student visa both online and offline. It will be beneficial for you to know the New Zealand student visa application fee. As such, we have tabulated the application fee for all types of student visas below. It should be noted that the student visa fee includes the application cost and visa handling fee.

The visa handling fee for Indian students is NZD 14.

Type of Visa

Application Fee (in NZD)

Fee-Paying Student Visa

NZD 330

Foreign Government Supported Student Visa

NZD 330

Exchange Student Visa

NZD 330

Pathway Student Visa

NZD 295

New Zealand Student Visa Requirements for Indian Students

If you plan to study in New Zealand,you will need to learn about the visa requirements. We have given below the criteria you need to satisfy to be granted a student visa. It is also advisable to visit the official website to get updated information.
  1. A valid passport.
  2. Documents of travel history.
  3. Letter of Acceptance from a recognised New Zealand university.
  4. All academic documents.
  5. Application fee payment receipt.
  6. Tuition fee payment receipt.
  7. Passport-size photographs.
  8. Fully-filled student visa application form.

English Proficiency Tests for New Zealand Student Visa for Indian Students

All international students who wish to pursue their studies abroad will have to prove their proficiency in the English language. This requirement remains for most countries, and New Zealand is no exception. You have to attempt English proficiency tests like IELTS and get an acceptable score. The IELTS (International English Language Testing System) is one of the most preferred English proficiency tests, the score of which is accepted by all institutions worldwide. The IELTS test, taken for study, work and migration purposes, is accepted by around 140 countries. You need a minimum band score of 5.5 in each IELTS test section to obtain a New Zealand student visa.

English Proficiency Test

Minimum Score Required







Which Documents are Required for New Zealand Student Visa for Indian Students?

You will be asked to submit a few documents when you apply for the New Zealand student visa. It is essential that you have a clear idea about these documents so that you can apply easily when you arrange all of them beforehand. We have provided a list of documents below. You should also refer to the official website to ensure whether you need to submit all of them or add more.

  • A valid passport that has a validity of at least three months beyond your period of stay.
  • Receipt of application fee payment.
  • Health and Character certificates.
  • A duly filled out student visa application form.
  • Offer of Acceptance from a recognised New Zealand university.
  • Health insurance receipt.
  • Passport-size photographs.
  • Academic documents.
  • English proficiency test scorecards.
  • Proof of sufficient funds in the home country.

How to Apply for a Student Visa to New Zealand from India?

We know that it will be beneficial for you to learn about the application process for the New Zealand student visa. If you submit your application online, you can visit the official website of NZ Immigration Online and submit your application. If you wish to submit your application offline, you can send the same through post. The steps to be followed for applying for the New Zealand student visa are outlined below.

  • Apply for your preferred course at your favourite university and get admission.
  • Get a medical fitness certificate and a clean criminal record certificate.
  • Submit the application online/offline.
  • Pay the tuition fee for your first year.
  • Wait for the final outcome.

How to Apply for a Student Visa Online?

The New Zealand student visa application can be submitted both online and offline. The online method is preferred as it is less time-consuming and inexpensive. You should have scanned copies of all the documents in PDF format. Also, the file size should be within the prescribed limit. You can submit the application using NZ Immigration Online

Processing Time for the New Zealand Student Visa

The average time taken to process the New Zealand student visa application is 8-10 weeks or 63 calendar days. As such, it is essential that you arrange all the documents beforehand and apply early. You should apply for the visa at least three months before the commencement date of your study program. We have attached a table below that helps you get a rough idea of how long it takes to get your student visa application processed.

Education Provider

50% of Applications Completed Within

75% of Applications Completed Within

90% of Applications Completed Within

Institutes of Technology & Polytechnics (ITPs)

29 days

52 days

4 months

Private Training Establishments (PTEs)

24 days

45 days

70 days


10 days

17 days

28 days


15 days

28 days

50 days

How to Write an SOP for New Zealand Student Visa from India?

A Statement Of Purpose (SOP) is one of the important documents that you need to submit when you apply for a New Zealand student visa. It is essential to have a well-written SOP so that your application stands out from the rest of the students. It is ideal to finish your essay within two pages. We thought it would be helpful for you to get a rough idea of how to write an SOP for a New Zealand student visa. We have given the same below. You can take reference from it and prepare a good SOP.

  • Start with an introduction.
  • Explain your academic, professional and family background.
  • Write the reason behind your choosing the particular course.
  • Explain why you chose to study in New Zealand.
  • State the reasons behind your choice of the particular university.
  • Explain your career goals and professional plans.
  • Mention your financial capabilities in your home country.
  • End with a conclusion.


New Zealand Student Visa Rejection Rate for Indian Students

The overall acceptance rate of the New Zealand student visa has increased recently from 85% to 88%. Though this is a positive change, there are reasons for your application getting rejected as well. The ultimate decision on the same will be taken by the New Zealand Immigration office and your university. It is essential that you apply the right way so that there is no chance of rejection. A few common reasons for visa rejections are given below.

  1. Not preparing well for the interview.
  2. Not having good English proficiency test scores.
  3. Having low academic grades.
  4. Not having a strong financial backup.
  5. Having an invalid or damaged passport.

However, you need not worry, as your application will definitely be accepted if you apply right.

Renewal of New Zealand Student Visa for Indian Students

In most cases, you will be required to renew your student visa. This can be done online or by paper. Before you apply for this renewal, you must show evidence of the following.

  1. The progress you made while studying.
  2. Your academic performance.
  3. Your attending of classes regularly.

The process of renewing a student visa is the same as applying for a new student visa. The only exception to this is for the Pathway Student Visa. With the Pathway Student Visa, you can study for up to five years and study three different courses, one after the other. You need not renew your visa if you meet all the requirements of the course you are pursuing.

How Can THINKBIG Help in Your Visa Application?

THINKBIG can be your perfect companion to help you study in New Zealand from India. We can assist you in the following ways.

  1. THINK BIG GLOBAL can give you free counselling to clear all your doubts related to studying abroad.
  2. THINKBIG offers IELTS coaching at nominal fees, and the classes are handled by experts in the field.
  3. You can get free guidance on applying for a New Zealand student visa.
  4. You can get recommendations on the best courses you can choose based on your academic record.

You would, by now, have gathered at least a rough idea of the application process, visa rejection, processing time etc., of the New Zealand student visa. If you need further clarification on it, you can contact THINKBIG so that our counsellors can guide you through the process for FREE.


The application fee for a New Zealand student visa differs based on the type of visa you are applying for. However, the general amount you can expect to pay for the New Zealand student visa is NZD 330.

Yes, New Zealand Immigration accepts PTE scores for student visas. You may need to have an overall score of at least 58 on the test.

It is compulsory to take an English proficiency test when you apply for a New Zealand student visa. If you are not interested in taking IELTS, you can either attempt TOEFL or PTE.

It takes around 8-10 weeks to get your New Zealand student visa processed. As such, it is essential that you apply early; you can apply at least three months before the commencement date of your course.

Yes, you can get a PR in New Zealand after completing your studies there, depending on your satisfying on the eligibility criteria. There is more than one pathway to obtaining a Permanent Residency, including a Work to Residence Visa or Skilled Migrant Category Visa.


You can apply for a student visa any day throughout the year. There is no opening or closing date for New Zealand student visa applications.


You can apply for a student visa any day throughout the year. There is no opening or closing date for New Zealand student visa applications.


Yes, you are required to attend the visa interview if you have to get your New Zealand student visa approved.

Yes, New Zealand Immigration will accept a study gap while applying for a student visa if you have a valid reason for it.

If your student visa expires before you complete your studies, you will need to apply for a new student visa. For this, you will be required to provide additional evidence of your financial status and English proficiency.


Yes, you can work part-time during your semester and full-time during your semester breaks while you study in New Zealand. However, there will be restrictions on the jobs you can do. The rules regarding the same can be obtained from your student visa.


Turn your Study Abroad Dream to Degrees abroad in New Zealand

Embark on your study abroad journey  with THINK BIG GLOBAL as your trusted partner. Contact us today to take the first step toward realising your educational aspirations.