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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:

New Zealand visas | Immigration New Zealand

Applying for a student visa

Information for new and returning students currently in New Zealand

Visa application process | Immigration New Zealand

Student Visa Services provides assistance and support to students making onshore and offshore visa applications.

1. Before you submit your visa application

New student visa application
  1. You must have an unconditional Offer of Place
  2. If you are in New Zealand when you apply for your student visa you must pay tuition fees before submitting the application.  If you are outside New Zealand you may pay your tuition fees after your visa has been Approved in Principle (AIP), however this may delay processing of your student visa application, so is not recommended.

Immigration New Zealand new student visa application information sheet (PDF)

Returning student visa application
  1. 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.
  2. Contact Student Development for course advice
  3. Submit your papers for course approval.
  4. Complete the eVision declaration if this is available to you.
  5. Email 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.)

Immigration New Zealand returning student visa application information sheet (PDF)

2. Submitting your visa application

  1. Create a RealMe account and log in from the Immigration New Zealand homepage.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Pay the application processing fee online (currently NZ$410) using an approved credit or debit card.
  6. Find out how long it takes to process your visa | Immigration New Zealand
Interim visa

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.

Interim Visa | Immigration New Zealand

You will receive confirmation of the interim visa by email.

Forward the email to to avoid losing access to University resources.

3. Once your visa application is approved

  1. Once you have been issued a new student visa, please forward the confirmation email to  so that we can update our records
  2. If you have a new passport, you may bring this to the International Office Reception or send a high-quality scan of the bio page and facing page, in pdf format, to
  3. Any questions or issues? Contact Student Visa Services for assistance

Follow the conditions of your student visa

  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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

Changing the conditions of a student visa | Immigration New Zealand

Student Visa Services can assist you with this application.

Working while studying, and bringing family

Working on a student visa

International students may be able to work while studying. Please check:

Bringing family

Join or bring family to New Zealand | Immigration New Zealand

Student Visa Services

Opening hours

Monday to Friday 11.00am–3.30pm

Physical address

International Office
Clocktower Building
Room G01
University of Otago
Dunedin 9016
New Zealand

Tel +64 3 479 4569

Postal address

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

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