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Immigration and Visa information

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

It is your responsibility to ensure you hold a valid visa and passport.

Visa options to study:

Explore visa options to study | Immigration New Zealand

To renew your passport, contact authorities in your home country.

Applying for a student visa if you are NOT currently in New Zealand

Due to the COVID-19 situation, students who are not currently in New Zealand can only apply for a student visa if they meet all eligibility criteria for an exemption to border restrictions:

You want to study in New Zealand | Immigration New Zealand

For more information visit:

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Applying for a student visa

Information for new and returning students currently in New Zealand

The full application process on Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website.

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
  1. You must have an unconditional Offer of Place
  2. You must pay tuition fees confirmed or estimated in your Offer of Place before applying for your student visa.

Immigration New Zealand new student visa application checklist (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 student.visa@otago.ac.nz 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 checklist (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$310) 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 student.visa@otago.ac.nz 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 student.visa@otago.ac.nz  so that we can update our records
  2. 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
  3. Any questions or issues? Contact Student Visa Services for assistance student.visa@otago.ac.nz
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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.

2021 Resident Visa and Dependent Child Tertiary Student Visa

If your parents are eligible to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa, you may be eligible for the Dependent Child Tertiary Student Visa. This visa allows international students to access tertiary studies at the domestic fee rate.

Learn more about the Dependent Child Tertiary Student Visa

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

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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
Email student.visa@otago.ac.nz

Postal address

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

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