Changes to Immigration New Zealand requirements for first-time student visa applications

Two students attending university in New Zealand

Immigration New Zealand has recently made some changes to how a student can prove their affordability to study in New Zealand.

Evidence you have enough money to live on and proof of where this money has come from

The money must be genuinely available for a student to pay the tuition fees and to pay the living costs while they are in New Zealand and be from a source that INZ can confirm. Students would need NZD 20,000 per year if they are studying a tertiary program in New Zealand. They have to show these funds for the entire duration of the program.

  • Evidence must be in the name of the student or the name of the financial guarantor or sponsor.
  • Education Loans: INZ can accept education loans as evidence of money, but only if they are from nationalised or multi-national banks with security against fixed assets that belong to a student or the financial guarantor or sponsor. Provide evidence of how the student will repay the loan, and a loan sanction letter that states the security, moratorium period, interest payable, repayments, and details of the security accepted for the loan.
  • Payment Plan: Applicants who intend to study a multi-year course in New Zealand need to demonstrate they hold accessible liquid funds to cover tuition fees and living costs for their first year of study. INZ also wants to see a credible plan for funding the remaining years of study. These would include regular and steady employment by parents, where employment history and salary information are provided to show that they can continue to fund while still covering their expenses; and assets that can be liquidated without impacting your sponsor or family’s life (for example, multiple rental properties owned).
  • Fixed Deposits: Certificates for fixed deposits that have been held for at least three months (if there is a longer history, please provide this).
  • Statement of Purpose: Students should mention they would be using the post-study work visa for practical experience in New Zealand if they genuinely plan to stay back.

Changes to Student Visa Policies across the globe that makes New Zealand attractive

Indian students are flocking to international study programmes which have undergone significant changes in visa requirements. Check out these updates in top destinations like the Canada, UK, Australia, and more.


The financial requirement for studying in Canada has undergone a significant alteration, doubling the amount students must demonstrate in their accounts. This adjustment is in response to the increased cost of living in the country.

Canada has recently announced a twoyear cap on new international student visas amid an escalating housing crisis.

New Zealand on the other hand has no such limitation on number of students and is looking to bring in more students to the country to fill areas of skilled migrant shortage. These include programs on the Green List.

United Kingdom

In a move to reduce immigration, the UK also banned students from bringing families and dependents on a student visa. Also, the median wage to apply for further immigration pathways has been increased significantly, creating a roadblock for students who wish to settle in UK.

New Zealand allows dependants to travel with the student if they are applying for a Master degree program, giving full time work rights to the spouse.


Australia raised English proficiency test score requirements as well as the savings requirement for student visas. Moreover scrutiny of student visa applications has intensified.

New Zealand has announced a clear pathway to residence making it easier for students to study, work and live in New Zealand

Things to remember

Examples of some funds that do not generally meet the INZ threshold as genuine and accessible are: credit cards, cash or photos of cash, gold or loans against gold, jewellery valuation certificates, loans from NBFCs/Companies/Institutions or loans from cooperative banks, Post Office held funds, volatility/mutual funds, funds from co-operative societies, bonds, property sales or statements stating a property may be sold to finance study, agricultural income, a bank balance without supporting three-month transaction history.

Application for the intakes June – November are now open and we would recommend everyone to apply for offers at the earliest, to ensure the visas are processed in time. Currently, INZ is taking 7 weeks minimum to process student visas.

Student visa applications where students pay the tuition fee in advance will take less time to process as compared to students who would pay the fee after getting the AIP. Would request everyone to motivate students to pay the fee upfront.