Not a very traditional destination for Indian students, however, recently New Zealand is starting to catch up fiercely with it closest competitors like Australia and the United Kingdom. As a study abroad destination, New Zealand offers top class education matching a premium quality lifestyle with it.
Over 1.25 lakh international students chose to go to New Zealand in 2015, of which a sizeable 30,000 Indian students are currently pursuing multiple levels of education. Those wishing to pursue a higher degree are required to apply for a New Zealand student visa from India. Your counsellor at Mayfair Global Education will assist and provide the visa guidance that you need in order for your visa application to be a successful one.
Step 1 – Get your Acceptance Letter from the University:
Post completion of your admission formalities at your selected New Zealand institution, you need to wait for your Offer Letter to be sent. Once you receive the same, check that the offer letter from the institute has listed the program that you have chosen to pursue with its minimum duration, the tuition fees and if there are any additional applicable fees at either domestic or international rates.
Step 2 – Visa Checklist:
The step post receiving your offer letter from the New Zealand institution is to complete a medical check-up that is carried out by a listed doctor of the New Zealand government. You may book an appointment in order for the medical examination to be done.
For any program that is longer than three months, you will need to apply for a New Zealand student visa from India. A full-time course in New Zealand constitutes a minimum of 20 hours of classes per week. You need to all your documents in place to be able to apply for a student visa. Here is a list that you may refer to:
- You need to complete the designated visa application form.
- You need 2 passport sized photographs which should not be more than 6 months old.
- Ensure that you have a valid passport available at the time of your application. Submit all previous passports with copies of stamped visas to other international destinations along with copies of any visas that may have been rejected, endorsed visas or biometric cards issued to you.
- Proof that you have paid the visa application fees along with VAC service fees.
- Submit a Statement of Purpose of an SOP that clearly states your reasons for choosing you program of study in New Zealand and what you intend to do in the future post completing your degree.
- Include your Offer Letter from the New Zealand institute.
- IELTS, TOEFL, OET, FCE and PTE are acceptable in terms of test scores that prove your proficiency in the English Language. Include any one of these test scores with your application. However, the test score should not be older than 2 years at the time of the visa application.
- You must provide evidence of qualifications by including your transcripts and certificates starting from Year 10 onwards.
- If you have any work experience, then you must provide evidence of the same by submitting your salary account statements, salary slips, employer references, promotion and release letters, Income Tax Returns or copies of the Form 16.
- If you have previously studied in a New Zealand institution, then you must show proof that you made satisfactory progress in your course of study by including relevant academic marksheets or a reference letter from the institution.
- New Zealand requires you to submit a completed Financial Undertaking Form INZ 1014 or a Sponsorship Form for Temporary Entry INZ 1025 if you have any guarantor who is already a resident in New Zealand and wishes to fund you full tuition and living expenses. The category of guarantors can only be your immediate family members including parents, spouse, parents-in-law, grandparents and siblings. Evidence proving your relationship with the guarantor has to be provided. Acceptable ids are copies of the passport, Aadhar Card, birth certificate.
- If your program is more than 9 months in duration, then you have to show that you have NZ$15,000 allocated towards your living expenses. Ideally, funds for the first year should be available to you in the form of liquid cash. You may submit copies of your bank deposit certificate, an approved education loan letter from a public or a private bank in India, security against fixed assets either directly belonging to you or to your sponsor, fixed deposits, public or employee provident fund accounts with supporting documents.
- If you have received a scholarship from the university, then provide the scholarship letter that has detailed information on the same.
- A payment plan should be submitted that must outline how you intend to fund for courses that are of 12 months duration or longer. If you have a sponsor, then submit their tax returns that show their income, saving patterns, EPF / GPF accumulation over one year, any fixed deposits that are due for maturity, savings account statements. If your parents are sponsoring you, then they should provide a letter, outlining their gross annual incomes, individual lengths of employment and designations held in their companies along with their income tax returns. For those parents who are professionals or self-employed, they may submit a copy of their business registration along with their business tax returns and income statements.
- To give an overview of the nature and resources of funding available for your program of study in New Zealand, you need to provide a covering letter. If you have any sponsors or guarantors, then you need to clearly state the nature of your relationship with them.
- An eMedical chest x-ray certificate is a mandatory requirement by one of New Zealand’s listed doctors if your course duration is longer than 6 months. The x-ray should be less than 3 months old.
- Lastly, you need a police certificate from all your countries of citizenship or from countries where you may have lived for more than five years or more from age 17 onwards. This is applicable if your course duration is longer than 24 months.
Step 3 – Where to Apply:
There are two ways in which you may apply for a student visa to New Zealand from India – a paper or an online application. Paper forms are available from the Mayfair Global Education office. If you wish to go the online way, then you may access the form here.
Post submitting your visa application, an AIP or Approval in Principle will be sent to you from New Zealand immigration. At this point, you need to pay the tuition fees for the first year to your chosen institution in New Zealand.
We strongly recommend that you utilise the benefits of the FTS of the Funds Transfer Scheme offered by ANZ Bank where you can transfer your tuition fee and living expenses for up to one year to a ANZ bank account in New Zealand. The advantage for doing this is once the funds have been transferred, it will be locked in your name for the next 12 months and will be allocated to you on a pre-arranged basis – either monthly, quarterly, etc. This is applicable for both paper and online applications.
For paper applications, you may lodge your application with the nearest Visa Application Centre. There are 9 centres located in New Delhi, Mumbai, Kolkata, Ahmedabad, Cochin, Bangalore, Chandigarh, Hyderabad and Chennai. If you need any further information, then you may contact:
- Immigration New Zealand (INZ), New Delhi Centre
Telephone: +91 11 4259 6300
Fax: +91 11 4761 2990
- New Zealand High Commission: Sir Edmund Hillary Marg, Chanakyapuri, New Delhi 110 021
Telephone: 0091-11-4688 3170
Fax: 0091-11-4688 3165
Step 4 – Visa Fee:
The Visa fee for online application is US$ 270. There is an immigration levy that is payable and is included in the application fee. Along with this there is an additional Passport Fee in the range of Rs. 690 - Rs. 1,540 which is a processing fee for VAC to receive and handle your passport.
For the paper application, the visa fee is US$ 215 that also includes the immigration levy. The VAC processing fees for the paper visa application ranges between Rs. 1,038 – Rs. 1,840.
Step 5 – Personal Interview:
In the rarest of cases, you may be asked to appear for a personal interview if New Zealand immigration feels that there must be further verifications made in your visa application. You will have to book an appointment for the same at your nearest New Zealand embassy or consulate.
Step 6 – Visa Processing Time:
80% of the student visa applications are processed within 34 days of submission.
Post filing you application with the VAC, they will send you or your representative a confirmation of successful submission of your application. You will be able monitor status updates between the VAC and New Zealand immigration. Post a decision has been made on your visa application, you will be notified of the outcome via email.
Step 7 – Arriving in New Zealand:
Once you step into New Zealand, you will need an entry permission to enter the country from an immigration officer at the airport. The officer will verify your completed landing card along with checking that you have the appropriate visa stamped on a valid passport. The immigration officer may see a need to ask you some more questions before giving you permission to enter New Zealand. Remember to answer these questions truthfully.
Step 8 – Working in New Zealand as a Student:
As an international student from India, you are eligible to work for 20 hours a week in a part-time position during term time. For all calendar holidays, vacations and semester breaks, you may work full-time. Even as an international student working in New Zealand, you are liable to pay tax. Get your IRD number from Inland Revenue.
The student visa for New Zealand does not provide with automatic working rights. In order to work, you will have to apply for a variation of the terms and conditions stated in the student visa. You can do this making a separate application anytime during the validity of your student visa.