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Immigration & Visa Information

Students catching up on the Clocktower lawn

Information correct as at July 4, 2016

All international students must have a valid student visa to study at the University of Otago.

When renewing your student visa you can either apply on campus, or send your application to Immigration New Zealand (INZ).


International students currently studying full time at the University of Otago may be eligible to apply for their visa through Student Visa Services on campus. There are a limited number of exceptions where applications need to be directed to Immigration New Zealand (INZ).

Note: We will no longer retain your passport while your application is being processed.

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Who can apply for a Visa-on-Campus

At Otago we are able to process most applications for student visas on campus. There are only a limited number of exceptions, when applications need to be directed to Immigration New Zealand.

We are not able to accept your application for a visa-on-campus if:

  • You do not currently hold a valid visa (study, visit or work).
  • You are not currently, or were not during the last enrolment period, a full-time student, unless you are an undergraduate finalist.
  • You are currently under the University of Otago’s Academic Progress Policy, or under a similar policy on a professional programme.
  • You are here on the Student Exchange Programme.

If you fall into any of the above categories, you need to apply through Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
Please Note: Immigration New Zealand reserves the right to refuse applications submitted on campus and may request that you resubmit your application directly to the Palmerston North Immigration New Zealand branch.

How to apply for a Visa-on-Campus

  • Please download and complete the Visa-on-Campus Application (192KB) form. A hard copy of this form is also available for collection from the International Office.
  • Read the Visa-on-Campus Application Information carefully.
  • Applications may usually be submitted directly to Student Visa Services from Monday to Friday between 10am and 4pm.
  • Make sure you include all required documents. Only complete applications will be accepted.
  • Pay the $220 (subject to change) visa fee at the Fees Office. You will need to present an authorisation slip from the Student Visa Services to make this payment.
  • Once your visa application has been processed and approved by INZ, you will receive an e-mail from Student Visa Services to advise you to collect your passport. Passports can be collected on Wednesdays and Fridays from 10am to 4pm only.

Processing Time for Visa-on-Campus

Most applications will take between five to thirty days to process.

Some of the factors to affect processing time include:

  • Your application is submitted in a busy period (February, March or July).
  • Findings on Medical or Police Certificates that need further assessment.


You might be emailed an interim visa from INZ the day after your current visa expires if your passport hasn’t been returned to you by then.

This email must be forwarded to immediately to avoid losing access to resources.

Please remember:

  • Immigration New Zealand (INZ) holds a record of all previous information and documents supplied by you.
  • It is an offence to provide false or misleading information on your application form.
  • We advise you not to book any overseas travel before your student visa has been issued.

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International students may be able to work while studying. Conditions of eligibility are explained at this link:

For information on your employment rights and responsibilities visit .

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Student Visa Services

Opening Hours

Monday to Friday 10.00am - 4.00pm

Physical Address

International Office
University of Otago
Room G02
Archway West building
Dunedin 9016
New Zealand

Tel 64 3 479 4569
Fax 64 3 479 8367

Postal Address

International Office
University of Otago
PO Box 56
Dunedin 9054
New Zealand

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Apply through Immigration New Zealand (INZ)

Visit for information on requirements and the application process.

Visa applications can be made online or by using the paper form.  To make sure your application is accepted you will need to provide all the information required at the time you submit your application.  If applying in New Zealand please courier your application to:

Immigration New Zealand
Student Processing Unit
State Insurance Building, Level 5
61-75 Rangitikei Street
Palmerston North 4414

Tel: 0508 558 855 (a free number from a landline telephone only)
or 09 914 4100 (a toll number from a mobile telephone)
Fax: 06 952 7758

Once your passport has been returned from INZ with your new visa, please take it to the International Office so that we can update our records.