You must have a valid student visa to study in New Zealand—unless you are a New Zealand or Australian citizen, or a permanent resident. Your student visa must name the University of Waikato as your place of study.
If you are a new student applying for a visa for the first time, please use the INZ checklist to make sure you have completed everything.
There are different visa categories depending on what you are studying. Visit the Immigration New Zealand website to explore all your visa options.
- If you’re taking several courses- for example Academic English and/or Foundation Studies followed by a degree programme at the University, you should apply for a Pathway Student Visa.
- If you’re an exchange student from an overseas university, you should apply for an Exchange visa. If you’re unsure whether you’re an exchange student or Study Abroad student, please check your Offer of Place.
- If you’re a New Zealand Scholarship student, you should apply for the MFAT-funded NZ Scholarship Student Visa.
- Most other international students, including Study Abroad students and PhD students with scholarships, should apply for the Fee Paying Student Visa.
If you are bringing your family with you, each family member will also need a visa. You need to apply for your family members’ visas directly through Immigration New Zealand. Find out more about visas for your partner and family.
Applying for your student visa in New Zealand
New and returning students must apply for student visas through Immigration New Zealand. We recommend submitting your application at least one month before your current visa expires. To find out immigration’s current student visa processing times
Please visit Immigration New Zealand
Apply for your visa online
- Create a RealMe before you start your application and login from the Immigration NZ webpage
- Complete the INZ online application form.
- Upload your supporting documentation.
The processing fee for most students applying directly to Immigration New Zealand is NZ$410.
Refer to visa fees on Immigration New Zealand website.
Support documentation required
You will need to have the following documents
- Proof of payment of fees: log onto MyWaikato, go to Finance tab and select ‘View my Receipts’
- Attendance record: Attendance is recorded for students enrolled in English Language programmes and Foundation Studies only. Please contact the College for your attendance record
- Academic record: please log onto MyWaikato, go to Results tab and ‘Request your academic record’
- Offer of Place and Enrolment Agreement : You can access both of these documents from your emails
Your passport must be valid for at least three months after the expected end date of the visa that is being applied for. If your passport expires before your course end date, then it is your responsibility to renew your passport and re-apply for a new visa, before your current visa expires
You must submit a national police certificate from your home country every 36 months. Police certificates must be submitted to Immigration New Zealand within 6 months from the date of issue.
For more information on obtaining a police certificate, please visit How to obtain a Police certificate on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Medical certificates and chest x-rays
Medical certificates and chest x-rays must be submitted every 36 months. There are some circumstances where Immigration New Zealand will require you to submit a new medical or chest x-ray within this time.
Medical certificates and chest x-rays must be submitted to Immigration New Zealand within 3 months from the date of issue. For more information on obtaining a medical certificate or chest x-ray, please visit Getting an x-ray or medical examination on the Immigration New Zealand website.
Email your updated visa to us
For returning students, once you have been issued a new visa, please immediately send a copy to [email protected] so that we can update our records to maintain your enrolment. If you have a new passport you will need to bring this to the Student Centre in Hamilton or the Hub in Tauranga
For new students: please ensure you provide evidence of your visa and your passport to the student centre before the start of your programme of study.
Conditions of your student visa
You must follow the conditions of your student visa while you are studying in New Zealand.
- Being enrolled in full- time study
- Attending classes
- Making good academic progress
- Holding approved insurance from the date of your enrolment until your visa expires (unless you are a PhD student).
Changes to your visa status
If you are granted a resident visa or a permanent resident visa while studying at the University of Waikato, you will need to bring your residency certificate to the administration desk on Level 2 of the Student Centre in order to have your status updated.
Your Studentsafe insurance will expire 21 days from the date your resident or permanent resident visa has been issued. As a resident or permanent resident you are eligible for publicly-funded healthcare in New Zealand.
Post-study work visas
Once you have completed your studies you may be eligible for a post-study work visa.
Applications for post-study work visas must be made directly through Immigration New Zealand. More information can be found on the Post-study work visa page on the Immigration New Zealand website
Student visa support
If you have any questions about renewing your student visa please email [email protected]
Student visa services are located at:
Level 2, Student Centre
University of Waikato
If I am studying outside New Zealand, do I need a student visa and should I be enrolled full-time?
You are not required to hold a student visa while you are studying overseas and there is no requirement for you to be enrolled full-time (i.e. at least 3 papers per semester).
What happens if I am in New Zealand and have already submitted my visa application but it is not issued by the time my current visa expires?
What happens to my student visa if I withdraw or drop my enrolment this semester?
If you are no longer enrolled, the university is required to notify Immigration NZ and your student visa will be terminated. You should contact New Zealand to check if you can apply for an alternative visa if you are staying in the country.
Am I required to be enrolled in full-time study if I hold a student visa and I am in New Zealand?
You are required to study full-time ( that is at least 3 papers per semester). An exception to this is if you are in the final semester of your programme of study and may have only one or two papers to complete your programme.
I hold a visa to study at another institute, however, I would like to study at the University of Waikato. Do I need to change my student visa?
Yes you can vary the conditions of your student visa or apply for a new student visa. Your visa must reflect your programme of study and the education provider you are studying at. If you hold a high-school visa, you must also change your visa.
I hold a student visa in NZ and would like to study online, can I do this?
Please speak to Immigration NZ or contact the International Student Services Office
I need to undertake an internship as part of my programme. Am I allowed to work while on my student visa?
Please check with Immigration NZ before you undertake your internship. Your student visa may allow you to work while you study. Most full-time international students can work part-time while studying and full time during University holidays.
What should I do if my visa has expired?
You need to submit a visa request under Section 61 through Immigration New Zealand if your visa has expired. If you are unlawfully in New Zealand you are you are not allowed to work or study.
What should I do if I want to change my programme of study?
If you wish to change your programme of study, your education provider and/or the location of your study, you must first obtain a variation of conditions (or a further student visa). You must contact Immigration New Zealand to make an application or contact INZ on 0508 558 855 to discuss your situation. You may be required to provide evidence to demonstrate that you continue to meet student instructions.