Student Visas

You will need a valid student visa if you are studying in New Zealand as an international student

Applying for your student visa

Apply for your student visa on the Immigration New Zealand website. You will normally need to provide the following documents with your student visa application:

  • An Offer of Place from UC for full-time study (this will be in your Document Library in myUC)
  • Evidence that you have paid your tuition fees in full (e.g. a receipt)
  • Your passport and acceptable passport-style photos
  • Proof of funds ($20,000 per year) to cover your living expenses
  • A copy of your air ticket home, or proof that you have enough money to buy one
  • (If you're under 18, an accommodation guarantee)
  • Your visa application fee
  • You may also be asked to provide a chest x-ray or medical certificate. You can normally submit your application for a student visa without these but your application will not progress until you have provided the required documentation. More information on getting a chest x-ray or medical examination is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Current visa processing times can be found on the Immigration New Zealand website

Currently offshore?

Applications are now open for offshore students intending to travel to New Zealand to study. Contact Immigration New Zealand if you are unsure of when you should apply for your visa. 

If you have been studying online with UC while outside New Zealand, you can provide evidence of your online study to support your visa application. Note: time spent studying online while outside NZ does not count towards the study requirements for a post-study work visa. 

If you are granted a student visa and arrive on campus mid-semester, please visit the Enrolments team in Te Pātaka to have your enrolment and contact details updated and insurance arranged. You will need to take your passport and visa with you. 

Currently on campus? 

If you are a continuing UC student on campus (in New Zealand) and have a student visa due to expire in three months or less, you should prepare your visa application documentation and submit your visa application at least one month before your visa expiry date. Immigration New Zealand closes over the Christmas break so you are encouraged to apply early to allow plenty of time for your visa application to be processed. 

A new Offer of Place for 2023 study will be created for you when you have submitted an application to enrol in myUC. Email student-visa@canterbury.ac.nz if you have any problems. 

Please note: if you travel overseas for the summer break, make sure your current visa is valid on the date you return to NZ. If you have an interim visa you will need to wait until your new visa is approved to re-enter NZ. 

Coming from a NZ high school?

Ask your school for proof of attendance before it closes for the summer break to include with your student visa application. You will receive an Offer of Place once your NCEA results are available and your admission to UC is confirmed.

Change of study

If your study plans change and you no longer meet the requirements of your student visa, you are required to notify Immigration New Zealand of the changes. You may be required to apply for a Variation of Conditions.

Visa application guides and checklists

A number of helpful guides and checklists are available on the Immigration New Zealand website:

If you have any questions about applying for a student visa

chat loading...