International students must enrol for a full-time programme of study as a condition of their student visa and remain enrolled full-time. Students must not drop to part-time when completing a change of enrolment.
Student visa requirements consist of:
- An offer of place from an educational institution approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority
- A written guarantee from an institution or person that suitable accommodation is available to you in New Zealand
- Evidence of sufficient funds to live on while you are studying
- Passport validity for at least 3months and a few empty pages
- A return air ticket to your country, or evidence of sufficient funds to buy one
The changes announced on 10th October 2013 will make it easier for international students to work while studying and will give education providers more say in visa decisions. The changes will take effect from January 2014. What do the changes include?
- Allowing more English language students to work part-time
- Providing full-time work rights for students during all scheduled vacations
- Giving unlimited work rights for PhD and Masters by research students.
- Visas will no longer be granted to students seeking to enrol at the few providers assessed by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority as Category 4, the lowest ranking under the external evaluation and review (EER).
- Streamlined and prioritised visa processing for education providers that are part of the industry partnership initiative
Working while studying:
You can work part time while studying full time, under certain circumstances:
- to meet course requirements for practical work experience, or
- during the Christmas and New Year holiday period if you are in a full-time course of study lasting 12 months or longer, and/or
- for up to 20 hours in any given week during the academic year if you are in full-time study:
- at a private training establishment or tertiary institution and taking at least two academic years to complete, or
- culminating in a New Zealand qualification that would qualify for points under the Skilled Migrant Category, or
- at a secondary school full year course of study in years 12 or 13, provided you have written permission from your school and written consent from your parent, or
- in a full-time study course lasting at least six months, at a private training establishment or tertiary institution. Your immigration officer has to be satisfied that the main purpose of your course is to develop English language skills and you have an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) overall band score of 5.0 or above (General or Academic Module), or
- at a tertiary level of at least one academic year duration as part of an approved tertiary student exchange scheme.