All international students must hold a visa valid for study at the University of Otago.
It is your responsibility to ensure you hold a valid visa and passport.
You must update the University's Student Visa Service (at the International Office) with any new visa or passport received while you are studying in order to maintain access to University resources and services.
To renew your passport, contact authorities in your home country.
To renew or apply for a visa, visit the Immigration New Zealand website:
Applying for a student visa
Information for new and returning students currently in New Zealand
Note: From 16 December 2021 new and returning international students in New Zealand and offshore must apply for student visas online through the Immigration New Zealand website. Student Visa Services will continue to provide assistance and support to students making onshore visa applications as required.
1. Before you submit your visa application
New student visa application
- You must have an unconditional Offer of Place
- You must pay tuition fees confirmed or estimated in your Offer of Place before applying for your student visa.
Returning student visa application
- Select your papers through eVision for the next enrolment period. You must maintain full time enrolment until your final semester of study when part-time enrolment to complete a qualification is acceptable.
- Contact Student Development for course advice
- Submit your papers for course approval.
- Complete the eVision declaration if this is available to you.
- Email email@example.com to request a letter confirming enrolment for your student visa application. (The letter you can download yourself in eVision is not accepted by Immigration New Zealand.)
2. Submitting your visa application
- Create a RealMe account and log in from the Immigration New Zealand homepage
- Once logged into RealMe, select the appropriate category of student visa. Most students must apply for the “Fee Paying Student Visa.” If you're not sure, check with Student Visa Services | Immigration New Zealand
- Complete the application form and scan and upload the required documents. 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
- If you cannot get a General Medical, X-ray or Police Certificate, and you are due to provide one, upload a letter explaining your situation with evidence that you are trying to obtain these documents instead
- Pay the application processing fee online (currently NZ$410) using an approved credit or debit card
- Find out how long it takes to process your visa | Immigration New Zealand
Important: If Immigration New Zealand have not completed processing your visa application before your current visa expires you will be issued with an interim visa.
You will receive confirmation of the interim visa by email.
Forward the email to firstname.lastname@example.org to avoid losing access to University resources.
3. Once your visa application is approved
- Once you have been issued a new student visa, please forward the confirmation email to email@example.com so that we can update our records
- If you have a new passport, you must bring this to the International Office Reception, a witnessed copy will be made to upload to your eVision portal
- Any questions or issues? Contact Student Visa Services for assistance firstname.lastname@example.org
Follow the conditions of your student visa
- You must follow the conditions of your student visa while you are studying in New Zealand. The conditions include:
- attending classes
- making good academic progress
- following all New Zealand laws
- holding medical and travel insurance from the date of your enrolment until your visa expires
- maintaining full time enrolment on the course of study specified on the visa.
- If you break the conditions of your student visa, you could be told to leave New Zealand and may have difficulty applying for other visas in the future
- If you change your course of study you must apply for a Variation of Conditions on your visa
Changing the conditions of a student visa
Student Visa Services can assist you with this application.
Dependent Child Tertiary Student Visa and Dependent of a Worker Student Visa
Dependent children who have a parent who is granted residence under the 2021 Resident Visa, and dependent children of holders of some categories of work visas, may be eligible to apply for one of these visas.
If this is approved before the deadline for Otago's tuition fee payment, holders of these visas are able to access tertiary education at the domestic fee rate. For more information, visit:
Working while studying, and bringing family
Working on a student visa
International students may be able to work while studying. Please check:
Student Visa Services
Monday to Friday 11.00am–3.30pm
University of Otago
University of Otago
PO Box 56