When you choose to study in New Zealand, you’re guaranteed a world-class education. Your surroundings can’t be beat either. New Zealand is considered to be one of the most beautiful countries in the world.
It’s no surprise more than 60 000 international students chose to further their education in New Zealand in 2017.
More than 500 learning institutions
New Zealand has 8 universities, all of which are in the top 3% of the world.
New Zealand also has Institutes of Technologies and Polytechnics, Private Training Establishments and English language schools.
Qualifications are offered at every level – certificates, diplomas, graduate and post-graduate degrees.
New Zealand universities offer a broad range of subjects for undergraduates, as well as Masters and Doctoral degrees in commerce, science, and the humanities. Some universities also offer degrees in specialist fields such as medicine and engineering.
You’ll find that many New Zealand universities have more than one campus, often in different cities too.
Institutes of Technologies and Polytechnics (ITPs)
Institutes of Technologies and Polytechnics, or ITPs as they’re commonly known, offer professional and vocational education and training. While the emphasis is on practical experience and application to work situations, an ITP degree has equal status with a university degree.
Many of New Zealand’s 16 ITPs also offer English Language courses and post-graduate options, including up to doctoral level.
Private Training Institutions and English language schools
New Zealand has about 550 registered Private Training Establishments (PTEs). PTE courses are generally specific to English language learning or niche occupations such as travel and tourism, design, and ICT.
Most PTEs provide certificate and diploma level qualifications, but some also offer Bachelor and Masters degrees.
You’re guaranteed a quality education
New Zealand’s education standards are high and regulated with strong quality assurance systems:
- Universities New Zealand (UNZ): UNZ is responsible for monitoring and maintaining standards at universities and approving qualifications.
- New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA): NZQA monitor education standards at ITPs and TEPs.
This approach has paid off, as New Zealand universities often rank among the best in the world. In 2018, eight top universities in New Zealand are included among the world’s best in the QS World University Rankings. Five of these universities are in the global top 300.
New Zealand has also made sure that a New Zealand qualification is recognized by schools and universities world-wide, by participating in the Lisbon Recognition Convention and other inter-governmental agreements.
New Zealand takes care of its international students
When you study in New Zealand, you are protected by a Code of Practice. This Code sets the standards every institution must meet in supporting its international students.
You’ll also get support in the form of advice and guidance from live-in wardens at residences and hostels. All institutions hosting international students has staff dedicated to ensuring your time in New Zealand is successful and stress free.
Visas to study
You won’t require a student visa in all instances:
- Is your course three months or less? You’ll only need a visitor visa.
- Are you planning on studying full time for more than three months? You’ll need a student visa.
New Zealand student visa
The New Zealand student visa allows for a maximum stay of up to four years. To apply for a visa, you must have been offered a place at an appropriate New Zealand education provider. You must also be able to prove that you can support yourself financially for the duration of your course.
Please go to our student visa page for the full details and all requirements.
Partners and children are welcome
Your spouse or life partner and dependent children can join you in New Zealand while you study.
Partners can apply for a Partner of a Student Visitor visa, while dependent children can apply for a Child of a Student Visitor visa.
When granted, these visas will be valid for as long as your student visa. No other activities, apart from three months of studying, is possible though. If your partner or children would like to study for longer, they’d have to apply for student visas. Similarly, your partner would have to apply for another visa if they’d like to work.
How much does it cost to study in New Zealand?
Just like elsewhere in the world, fees vary depending on the course and the institution. The cost of living is similar to other OECD countries. As discussed, international students have to prove the financial means to support themselves for the duration of the course. For this reason, let’s take a look at the fees you can expect to pay, as well as New Zealand living costs:
The New Zealand Education Department gives the following costs to guide you:
Diplomas and certificates:
- Engineering: NZ$18,500 for a two-year diploma.
- Computing: NZ$12,425 for a one-term certificate.
Fees range from about NZ$22,000 to NZ$32,000. Subjects such medicine and veterinary science have higher fees.
You can expect to pay between NZ$26,000 to NZ$37,000 for postgraduate degrees. Again, subjects such as medicine and veterinary science have higher fees.
International PhD students pay the same as New Zealand PhD students, which is about NZ$6,500 to NZ$9,000 per year for most subjects.
English Language Courses:
The fees for English Language courses range from NZ$300 per week for a general course to NZ$5,100 for a Cambridge English exam course of 12 weeks.
Important to note:
Students with domestic status, i.e. citizens and holders of resident visas, have their fees subsidized by the government. These students contribute about 30% of the cost of their course.
Your living costs will depend on your lifestyle as well as on where you live in New Zealand.
With that said, the New Zealand Education Department shares the following estimated living costs recommended by universities:
- Victoria University: NZ$18,000 – NZ$27,000 per year.
- University of Auckland: NZ$20,000 – NZ$25,000 per year.
- University of Otago: NZ$15,000 – NZ$17,000 per year.
- Massey University: NZ$15,000 – NZ$17,000 each year.
Can you work while studying?
The New Zealand student visa allows you to work for up to 20 hours per week during terms and full-time during holidays. This could help you offset living costs and gain New Zealand work experience.
Note there are no restrictions for PhD and Masters research students.
Working in New Zealand after studying
New Zealand offers a post-study work pathway to international students with a New Zealand qualification. This pathway lets you find a job in New Zealand and gain work experience. It’s an attractive pathway for many students, as it could make it easier to apply for residence.
The pathway is a two-part process:
- Post-study work visa (Open): This visa gives you 12 months to find a job that’s relevant to your studies.
- Post-study work visa (Employer Assisted): Once you have found a job, this visa lets you work in that specific job. You’ll be allowed to work for two years.
Read more about these visas here.
Need help with a student visa?
If it’s your goal to study in New Zealand, let us help you apply for a student visa. The first step is doing an immigration assessment to see if you do qualify for this visa. If you do, our team will guide you through the emigration process from start to finish.
Immigration New Zealand implemented three changes to New Zealand’s immigration procedures and rules in July 2018. It’s important to know about these changes, as they may affect your visa application or eligibility.
1. Minimum income thresholds
Please note that this threshold is different to the skill-band remuneration rates for Essential Skills work visas. Feel free to contact us should you have questions around these rates and minimum income thresholds.
2. Online visa application for dependents
Partners or dependent children are now able to apply online for a visitor, student, work or resident visa based on the immigration status of the supporting family member.
This means applications can now be submitted as a family group together with the main applicant, i.e. the supporting family members, and applicants can upload documents to a portal instead of sending in original documents.
The main applicant must be either a:
- New Zealand citizen; or
- New Zealand visa holder (resident, work or student); or
- Visa applicant.
3. No more visa labels
Physical visa labels are no longer issued by Immigration New Zealand, unless specifically requested by an applicant.
INZ now only issues eVisas, which visa holders must print and carry with the physical passport for international travelling. eVisas can be used immediately after issue and passports no longer have to be submitted for label endorsement.
The only exception is for students using Provider Direct. INZ will review the use of labels for this students using this online service next year.
Stay up to date with future changes
Sign up for our monthly newsletter – it’s free – or follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn to be the first to know about Immigration New Zealand’s changes to New Zealand’s rules, regulations and procedures. We’ll always let you know as soon as anything changes.
The New Zealand entrepreneur visa, a New Zealand work visa, is ideal for anyone who prefers to run the show instead of reporting to a boss.
That’s because, as the name suggests, this visa enables holders to either buy into or establish a new business in New Zealand.
Sounds like the emigration route for you? Then continue reading, as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the entrepreneur visa.
Does the entrepreneur visa offer permanent residency?
Yes, it does, in a two-part process:
- Entrepreneur work visa.
- Entrepreneur residency visa.
How long is the entrepreneur work visa valid for?
The entrepreneur work visa is a 3-year visa that’s split into two stages:
- The Start-up Stage: This is an initial 1-year period during which you have to set up or buy into a New Zealand business.
- The Balance Stage: This is a further 2-year period that’s granted, provided you can prove that you’ve established your business.
What are the requirements for an entrepreneur work visa?
You must be able to show four important things to be eligible for a New Zealand entrepreneur work visa:
- Capital: You must have a minimum of NZ$100,000 to invest in your business, which excludes working capital. Should your business be in the IT or science sectors, you may apply for a waiver.
- Business plan: You must submit a comprehensive business plan with your application to Immigration New Zealand that your business can succeed and will add value to New Zealand.
- Good business character: Immigration New Zealand will review any instances of business failure, fraud, and bankruptcy in your past to determine the standard of your business character.
- Points: You must score at least 120 points in your assessment.
Can my family join me in New Zealand?
Yes, accompanying family members, i.e. your partner as well as dependent children, aged 19 and younger, can be included in your New Zealand entrepreneur visa application.
It’s important to note here that everyone included in the application must be able to meet New Zealand’s health, character and English language requirements.
When can I apply for residency?
You can apply for an Entrepreneur residency visa if and when you have:
- Completed 6 months of self-employment in New Zealand; or
- Operated a business for two years on another visa that allows self-employment.
What are the requirements for residency?
You’ll again have to meet capital, business plan, and business character requirements:
- Capital: The capital invested must be at least equal to that stated in your business plan. If you have not completed two years self-employment, the requirement would be a NZ$500,00 investment as well as three jobs created.
- Business plan: You must be able to demonstrate that your submitted business plan has achieved the benefits it outlined.
- Business character: You must have a 25% shareholding in a profitable business, running for at least 6 months, which was set up or purchased by you.
In addition, since you have now been running a business for some time, you must be able to prove that your business has been contributing to New Zealand’s economy in the following ways:
- Introduced or enhanced new technology, management or technical skills.
- Introduced or enhanced new products or services.
- Created or expanded export markets.
- Created at least one full-time job for a New Zealander, or three jobs if you’ve been in business for less than 2 years.
- Provided new skills, networks, management capability and/or capital and, as a result, increased an existing business’s financial performance.
What requirements should my family meet?
You and your family must again be able to meet Immigration New Zealand’s health, character and English language requirements.
How do I know if I qualify for a New Zealand entrepreneur visa?
This is the most important question to ask since you won’t be able to lodge an application without those 120 points we mentioned.
You could do an online assessment yourself, but we suggest working with a licensed immigration adviser – especially for this visa.
Want to work with us? Then book a consultation call today. Our licensed advisor will get in touch to explain the process to you. Good luck!
Why are so many people emigrating from South Africa to New Zealand?
We’re guessing it’s because New Zealand has proven to be one of the safest countries in the world with world-class healthcare and education standards.
The only downside, it seems, is the regular rain on the South Island. Let’s be honest though – it’s a small price to pay, considering all of the above.
Let’s hear from some South African expats
The best way to get information on any topic is to go straight to the source. What better source on emigrating from South Africa to New Zealand than people who’ve already done it?
The Du Plooy family
Sarahann and Andries du Plooy, who told their story to Oamaru Mail, moved from Johannesburg to Oamaru, a small North Otago town. While they miss their home and loved ones, ‘In South Africa, it’s hard to get what you want. It’s a fight. There is a lot of restrictions and red tape’.
The Du Plooys love their new life. They say, “It’s exciting. There’s a lot of fresh stuff happening in Oamaru.” There are no regrets. The couple now lives a slower lifestyle and is loving it.
Grant Marshall moved to New Zealand with his family 15 years ago. In his piece for Stuff New Zealand, Grant writes that New Zealand seemed like paradise for his family. The family was tired of the crime, corruption, and lack of opportunity in South Africa.
Today Grant considers himself a Kiwi. He’s found New Zealand to be ‘a place of great opportunity, beauty, and freedom’, and ‘wouldn’t want to live anywhere else’.
Is emigrating from South Africa to New Zealand your dream too?
If you’re reading this and your heart is set on moving to New Zealand, you should absolutely do these three things first:
1. Find out if you qualify
This is always worth repeating – you have to start your emigration by doing an assessment to find out if you qualify to live and work in Australia.
It’s only after you’ve completed an assessment with a licensed adviser that you’ll know which, if any, migration pathways are open to you.
The benefit of that? You can set yourself up for success and you don’t spend money on an unreachable dream.
2. Decide if you want to go it alone or with the help of an adviser
Immigration assessments should be non-obligatory, giving you the option of shopping around or deciding to apply for your visa on your own.
Our advice is to always choose the adviser route. Ensure it’s a licensed adviser! Such a person does hundreds of applications each month and is well-versed in what’s required as well as up to date on immigration developments. You’ll give yourself the best shot of getting your application correct the first time!
3. Find a job
While emigrating to Australia without a job is possible, it’s near impossible to move to New Zealand without a job offer.
Luckily for you, we’ve written extensively on the job search process for New Zealand:
- How to get a job in New Zealand.
- Tips for applying for a job in New Zealand.
- Ace your New Zealand job interview.
- Interview tips.
Don’t forget to keep an eye on Find a Job New Zealand’s job section too. This is where our recruitment partner regularly posts available positions. However, if you’d like the jobs to come to you, do follow us on Facebook or sign up for our newsletter.
New Zealand makes regular changes to their immigration laws, so it’s always better to start an emigration sooner rather than later. You don’t want to wait for ages, only to find out that you are now too old or will earn too little for permanent residency. It’s happened to too many people – trust us!