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Thread: Studying in NZ - Visas etc

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    jaycee is offline Junior Member
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    Default Studying in NZ - Visas etc

    Hi, I'm new here, but have been reading some of the other NZ forums for a while. I am intending to go to NZ next year to study for a degree, as a mature student. I would love to be able to talk to anyone else who has done this or is considering it, as it seems most people on the forums are the lucky ones who are trying to get PR!

    I started out on this four years ago and was offered a place at uni, but couldn't go in the end because my house sale fell through, so I've already done heaps of research and may be able to help someone?

    At the moment I'm stuck with a query about the student visa, (despite having emailed NZIS and read their entire website and Operations Manual!) and it would be great to hear from someone who has actually done it.

    My query is about the length of the visa - NZIS say they will only grant one for the length of time tuition fees have been paid (normally Feb-Dec), yet there are several mentions in their documentation of visas being valid until the end of March the following year, if your course is ongoing.

    That makes the situation different, as you need the medical done if your visa is for more than 12 months. Now, I want a visa for more than 12 months - do you reckon if I send in my application with a completed medical they'd give me a visa for 14 months, or would I be wasting my time and money?

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    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Default Studying in NZ - Visas etc

    Jaycee. Welcome aboard.

    I'm not going to be much help, although I've had a good hunt around looking for an answer to your question. All I could find about Student Visas was this:

    Study Visas

    If you are intending on studying in New Zealand and your course is longer than 3 months duration, then you will have to obtain a study visa. Before making your application, you will need to have proof of your acceptance into a New Zealand education institution. Financial capacity to pay course fees, living expenses, air tickets and so on must also be demonstrated before the visa is granted. Usually, the visa will expire soon after the end of the nominated course.

    For applicants wishing to study part-time and for a longer period than 3 months, they will have to apply to NZIS (the Immigration department) for a ?Variation of Conditions? to their work or visitor visa. Success is dependent upon variant factors for each applicant
    .

    The way it talks about 'Usually, the visa will expire soon after the end of the nominated course' implies that you can get a visa to last for the duration of your course, which sounds reasonable enough if it were the case as a student wouldn't really want to be half-way through a course and then find out their visa had expired. There must either be some way of extending or renewing it. Most of what I've been reading about students and universities seems to assume you're already in NZ.

    The NZIS' site , which no doubt you have thoroughly investigated, talks about visas from 6 months to 2 years so it must be possible to get extended visas. It also implies that you need to submit everything with your application, so that would include any medical certificates/X-rays etc. as well as your fees. I tried to delve further into some of the links, particularly the Guide, but they wouldn't open for me.

    Let's hope someone else knows the answer or knows someone who does.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

  3. #3
    MotherBear's Avatar
    MotherBear is offline The missing link
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    Default Studying in NZ - Visas etc

    Finally got the NZIS webpage for the Guide to Studying in NZ to open up for me.

    Under 'How do I apply' on page 4 it mentions that, if you study with certain education providers, renewing visas is made less difficult as you can apply on campus. I take it this is confirmation that you can get an original student visa, then renew it as necessary, presumably without having to go through the rigmarole of medical certificates or police checks again.
    Mother Bear

    Try to bloom wherever you are planted.

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    jaycee is offline Junior Member
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    Default Studying in NZ - Visas etc

    Mother Bear, thank you for your time and for the big HELLO! :)

    Yes, you can renew the visa. Also, there are educational institutions which have an agreement with NZIS to offer course-length visas - however these are only available for renewals, not first application, so they are really 'remainder-of-course-length'.

    But in case you hadn't guessed, my reason for wanting a visa for more than 12 months in the first instance is to avoid paying customs charges on some stuff I want to bring! If I have to pay up, then so be it, I'm not trying to circumvent the law, just want to know - and budget - sooner rather than later.

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