Visa conditions

If you are granted a visa, there are conditions that you must meet. These visa conditions are described below.

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing an arrival card, which you’ll be given on the way to New Zealand.

You can be refused entry permission if:

  • you don’t meet our character requirements
  • your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
  • you refuse to let us take your photo or to provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if asked for them
  • you’re unable to provide evidence of any onward travel or funds required by the conditions of your visa.

Travelling to and arriving in New Zealand


If you want to travel in and out of New Zealand, you must have valid multiple entry travel conditions to return to New Zealand.

Your travel conditions will be explained on your visa label or visa letter.

Onward travel

You must have a travel ticket or a guarantee from your New Zealand Student Exchange Scheme organiser that they’ll arrange for you to leave at the end of your stay.

You may be asked for evidence of your travel arrangements when you check in or arrive in New Zealand.  If you’re not required to provide evidence, we’ll record it in your visa label or visa letter.


If your student exchange scheme is for one academic year or more, you can work part-time for up to 20 hours a week and full-time during all scheduled holidays.

If you’re 16 or 17, or in year 12 or 13 at secondary school, you must have written permission to work from your parents, school and Exchange Provider Organisation. If you’re 18 or over you don’t need permission to work in the summer holidays.

Practical experience

You’re allowed to work, to meet a requirement of practical experience for your programme of study in New Zealand, if practical experience is a course requirement.

When you have a job in New Zealand, you have to pay tax on your earnings. You’ll need to have a New Zealand bank account and an IRD number to do this.

For an IRD number, contact Inland Revenue

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You aren’t allowed to be self-employed. You have to work as an employee with an employment agreement and not as an independent contractor.

You can’t provide commercial sexual services or operate a business that provides these services.

We won’t grant work rights to children under 16 who have a Student Visa.

Attendance and progress

You must study full-time and attend your course at the approved education provider noted on your visa, unless you have a reasonable excuse for absences.

You must make satisfactory progress on your course.

Visa expiry

You can stay in New Zealand until your visa expires.

If you want a holiday in New Zealand after your exchange, you can apply for a Visitor Visa to stay  another 3 months as a tourist.

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