Identity and Citizenship Verification

You may be required to provide evidence of your identity and citizenship or residency status

If you are new to UC (or studied at UC before 1990), you have changed your name, or you are an international student, you may be asked to provide evidence of your identity and/or citizenship status before you can complete your enrolment.  

This can either be done by presenting your original documents (such as your birth certificate or passport) in person to the Enrolments team at Te Pātaka in the Puaka-James Hight Building or by sending us certified copies of the original documents. 

What documentation will you need to provide?

The documentation you will need to provide depends on your particular situation:

If you are a NZ or Australian citizen and you have never changed your name, you will need to provide one of the following to verify your identity:

  • your official passport (or a certified copy of the photo page of your passport showing your name and other details) or
  • your official citizenship certificate (original or certified copy) or
  • your official birth certificate (original or certified copy)

If you have changed your name, you will also need to provide evidence of the name change. The document should include both your previous name and your new name. Suitable documentation:

  • A new NZ birth certificate that shows your new legal name
  • Marriage or civil union certificate
  • Certificate of dissolution of marriage or civil union
  • Deed poll
  • Statutory declaration issued by Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages

Note: A copy of your driver’s licence will not be accepted as it does not provide evidence of your citizenship or residency status.

 If you are a New Zealand citizen born in the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau, you must supply a New Zealand passport or a birth certificate that meets the following requirements:

  • Cook Islands: your full birth certificate with RG6 shoulder number at top left and place of birth stated as a place in the Cook Islands (original or certified copy)
  • Niue: your full birth certificate with place of birth stated as a place in Niue (original or certified copy)
  • Tokelau: your full birth certificate with place of birth stated as one of the three islands of Tokelau (original or certified copy)

NOTE: A driver's licence is not considered proof of citizenship or residency. 

If you are a New Zealand or Australian permanent resident, and have never changed your name, we will require:

  • your original passport (or a certified hardcopy of the photo page of your passport showing your name and other details) and either
  • A certified hardcopy of your residence visa label or appropriate documentation confirming you have been granted an electronic visa (eVisa) (New Zealand residents only) or
  • A confirmation email sent directly from the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service that you have been granted an electronic visa (eVisa) (Australian permanent residents only).

If you are a NZ residence class visa holder, an Australian citizen or an Australian permanent resident you will be considered a domestic student for tuition fees provided you are residing in New Zealand for the period of your study.

If you hold refugee status, you must provide the original or a certified copy of the letter from the Immigration Service giving you entitlement to reside in New Zealand or Australia.

Note: A copy of your driver’s licence will not be accepted as it does not provide evidence of your citizenship or residency status.

If the name on the National Student Index (NSI), your birth certificate, passport or citizenship certificate differs from your current name, or the name in which you gained any qualifications relevant to your admission, you must also provide a certified copy of one or more of the following as formal evidence of each change:

  • A new NZ birth certificate that shows your new legal name (individuals born in NZ)
  • An official Name Change certificate (individuals not born in NZ)
  • Marriage or civil union certificate
  • Certificate of dissolution of marriage or civil union
  • Deed poll
  • Statutory declaration issued by Registrar of Births, Deaths and Marriages.

Note: Any document containing a change of name must include both your previous name and the new name.

If you initially enrol as an international student at UC and are subsequently granted domestic status (residence class visa and/or citizenship), please provide the relevant evidence outlined below.  Any potential refund of tuition fees due to such a change in status, is guided by Fees and Fines Regulations 5(b).

Change of Status What you will need to provide to UC
Granted NZ Residence Class Visa
  • your original passport (or a certified copy of the photo page of your passport showing your name and other details) and either
  • A certified copy of your residence visa label or
  • Appropriate documentation confirming you have been granted an electronic visa (eVisa) (New Zealand residents only)
Granted NZ Citizenship
  • your official NZ passport (or a certified copy of the photo page of your passport showing your name and other details) or
  • your official NZ citizenship certificate (original or certified copy)
Granted Australian Residence Class Visa
  • your original passport (or a certified copy of the photo page of your passport showing your name and other details) and
  • a confirmation email sent directly from the Visa Entitlement Verification Online (VEVO) service that you have been granted an electronic visa (eVisa) (Australian permanent residents only)
Granted Australian Citizenship
  • your official Australian passport (or a certified copy of the photo page of your passport showing your name and other details) or
  • your official Australian citizenship certificate (original or certified copy)

On campus

If you are a new international student on campus, you will need to bring your passport and e-visa to the Enrolments team at Te Pātaka (Puaka-James Hight Building) to be sighted. Book a time to complete your enrolment once you have your student visa. 

If you are a continuing international student on campus and you have shown your current passport to the Enrolments team before, you can email a copy of your new visa to student-visa@canterbury.ac.nz instead of coming on campus to complete your enrolment.  If you have a new passport you will need to bring this on campus to show the Enrolments team at Te Pātaka (Puaka-James Hight Building).

Off campus

If you are a new international student studying offshore, you will need to upload a scan of your passport in myUC as part of the Application to Enrol process. Your grades for any UC courses you complete offshore will not be available until you provide a certified copy of your passport to the UC Enrolments team. Do not send your original passport. When NZ border restrictions are lifted and you can come to NZ, you will need to provide originals when you arrive on campus. 

How to provide your documentation

You can choose to bring the original documentation (or certified copies) in person to show the Enrolments team or you can send certified copies (NOT ORIGINALS) of all required documentation by post or courier to the addresses provided below.

Who can certify your documents?

If you choose to provide certified copies of your documentation, you will need to take both the original document(s) and a photocopy of the document(s) to have the copy certified by one of the following people:

  • NZ Justice of the Peace (JP)
  • a solicitor
  • a Court Registrar or Deputy Registrar
  • a Notary Public
  • a designated UC staff member
  • your school principal (ONLY if you are a secondary school student)

Outside New Zealand, documents can be certified by the following people:

  • New Zealand Embassy / High Commission / Consulate staff
  • Australian Justices of the Peace
  • a Notary Public
  • an Apostille
  • a Solicitor

A copy will not be accepted as 'certified' if it has been certified by a police officer, a bank manager, WINZ, a legal executive, StudyLink, medical professionals, or your employer. 

Where to send your certified copies

Postal address

UC Enrolments
Student Services
Document Validation
University of Canterbury
Private Bag 4800
Christchurch 8140
New Zealand

Courier address

UC Enrolments
Student Services
University of Canterbury Warehouse
20 Kirkwood Ave
Ilam
Christchurch 8041
New Zealand 
Phone: +64 3 369 4999

REMEMBER: only send certified copies, never originals.

Important notes:

  • We will not return any original documents that you post to us. They will become the property of UC. 
  • A driver's licence is not considered proof of citizenship or residency.
  • Scanned copies and photos of documents (including those uploaded in myUC) are not accepted as certified copies.
  • If English translations are required, the translations must also be certified.
  • If you are studying on campus and do not present your original documents in person or send us approved certified copies, you should expect significant delays in completing your enrolment and starting your studies. 
  • If you are studying offshore and do not send us approved certified copies of the required documents, your grades for any courses you study offshore will be sanctioned. 
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If you have any questions