New Zealand is attracting tens of thousands of international students from all over the world who are looking for something different – a good education in a laidback, peaceful, South Pacific paradise. As the New York Times (April 2, 2012) pointed out, with so many students arriving in New Zealand from around the world, international education has become the second largest export for New Zealand, bringing in $2 billion US Dollars (2.5 billion New Zealand Dollars) for New Zealand’s economy each year. In a very real sense, the international education “industry” in New Zealand has essentially combined education with tourism to establish an exciting synergy that attracts thousands of people from all points on the planet. Thus, foreign students have eight excellent universities and many other educational programs to choose from in New Zealand, as well as countless outdoor activities and other enjoyable experiences that collectively create a pleasurable learning environment. New Zealand’s philosophy (also implemented through government policy) of making guests feel welcome in the country certainly contributes to this attractive educational atmosphere. It is not surprising, therefore, that one out of five foreign students who receives an education in New Zealand ultimately goes on to become a legal resident of New Zealand!
New Zealand Student Visa Requirements
If you are interested in becoming a “Kiwi” (either short-term as an international student or, perhaps, long-term as a legal resident after you graduate), you will need to fulfill various New Zealand student visa requirements. First, it should be noted that some people do not need a student visa to attend school in New Zealand, such as those who travel to New Zealand to study for less than three months (although different travel documents may be required). Others who do not need to meet New Zealand student visa requirements include: New Zealand citizens; Australian citizens; individuals issued a New Zealand residence-class visa; people possessing a valid Australian permanent resident or resident return visa. Everyone else who wants to travel to New Zealand to participate in an educational program will be required to receive a student visa granted by the New Zealand government.
To be issued a student visa to New Zealand, you must submit a completed application form for a student visa to the New Zealand government and pay the student visa application fee. New Zealand student visa requirements also state that you will need to have an acceptance letter (“offer of place”) filled out correctly with all of the necessary information from an educational institution in New Zealand that has been registered with the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA). Another requirement is to prove that you have the financial resources necessary to support yourself and any eligible family members while living in New Zealand, including being able to pay for living and educational expenses. New Zealand student visa requirements demand that you possess a passport which will still be valid at least 90 days beyond the time when your planned stay in New Zealand will be over. International students must also be in good health and possess health insurance while living in New Zealand. You should be a person of “good character” and may be required to submit a police certificate to substantiate your good character if you will be staying in New Zealand for 2 years or more. Finally, you will need to offer evidence of your intention and ability to leave New Zealand when your educational program is completed (such as a return airline ticket for you and any family members with you or having enough money deposited in New Zealand above what will be required to live on that would enable you and any family members with you to depart New Zealand).
As an AbroadEd client, our legal team can evaluate which international educational program you are best suited to apply for in this amazing country and whether you meet the different New Zealand student visa requirements. If you qualify, our legal team also offers personalized professional assistance through each stage of the process until the student visa is granted. Therefore, if you want to enjoy spectacular sunsets on beautiful beaches; observe the majesty of mighty snow-capped mountain peaks set against the backdrop of the scenic South Pacific; experience the diverse and interesting activities offered by New Zealand’s incredible cities and towns; or feel the warm welcome that “Kiwis” are famous for around the world – and receive a top-notch education at the same time – then the adventure of a lifetime awaits you in New Zealand!
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