Preparing to Come to NZ
Congratulations on your offer to study at the University of Waikato. Once you have accepted your offer by paying your tuition fees, you will need to plan and prepare your move to New Zealand, there are some vital steps that you will need to complete, including applying for your student visa, arranging your accommodation and organising your medical and travel insurance.
We are committed to helping you throughout your journey, we recommend you download and read our pre-arrival guide.
Step 1. Apply for your student visa
Obtaining a New Zealand student visa is an essential part of preparing to come to New Zealand. You must have a student visa to study in New Zealand, and to complete your enrolment at the University of Waikato when you arrive on campus. You can apply to Immigration New Zealand (INZ) at Immigration online.
We recommend you obtain your visa before booking your travel to come to New Zealand. INZ strongly discourages entering New Zealand on a visitor visa because that is not your main purpose for coming here. There is no guarantee you will be granted a student visa if you apply after entering the country on a visitor's visa.
How to apply for a New Zealand student visa
Apply directly to Immigration New Zealand at Immigration Online, if you are using a recruitment agent in your home country they may be able to assist you with the application process.
Applying online is the most affordable option when applying for your student visa from outside New Zealand. You will need to upload:
- PDF supporting documents such as a pre-paid tuition receipt for your first course of year of study, and
- Your Offer of Place letter from the University of Waikato
Pathway student visa pilot
The University of Waikato is participating in a Pathway Student Visa pilot with INZ. A pathway student visa may be granted for up to a maximum of five years and allows a student to undertake up to three consecutive programmes of study on a single student visa. The University of Waikato will offer Pathways for all assessed programmes, which excludes General English. Find out more about Pathway Student Visa Pilot.
PhD students – length of course visa
The University of Waikato supports the granting of length of course visas for PhD students. A length of course visa allows you to remain in New Zealand for the full length of your PhD programme (up to a maximum of four years), regardless of the period for which the tuition fees have been paid. To be eligible, you must provide evidence that you can financially support yourself while living in NZ during the four years.
Step 2. Arrange your accommodation
The University has four on-campus accommodation options available to students called Halls of Residence. The University can assist with home-stay living arrangements, or you may choose to find your own accommodation in a nearby residential suburb.
Before you come to New Zealand you need to:
- Decide what accommodation you prefer
- Apply for accommodation with the University (if you are considering a Halls of Residence or home-stay)
- Pay a deposit if required.
Step 3. Complete the arrival form and arrange free transport from the airport
To ensure that we are prepared for your arrival, you will need to complete an arrival form to let University staff know when you are expecting to arrive on campus.
This form also enables you to request to be picked up from Auckland Airport (1.5-2 hours drive from the University of Waikato). If you choose this option, a shuttle bus will be sent to collect you, and take you to your accommodation or to our Student Centre here on campus.
Step 4. Understand your medical and travel insurance obligations
To complete enrolment at the University of Waikato, international students are required to have appropriate medical and travel insurance for the duration of their stay in New Zealand.
These insurance policies must comply with the New Zealand Government Code of Practice for Pastoral Care of International Students which is part of Immigration New Zealand requirements.
The University is responsible for ensuring all international students have insurance at the time of enrolment. We strongly recommend you purchase the Studentsafe Inbound University policy (available through the University of Waikato) as it is an approved insurance policy. You may choose to purchase an alternative approved insurance policy.
If you have any questions or concerns, please contact our dedicated International Student Services team, they will happily assist and guide you with any University questions. You can also check out more information about arriving in New Zealand.