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Exchange Student Visa

An individual who lives outside New Zealand and has been accepted into an approved student exchange scheme can study full-time in New Zealand. During their stay here they can avail New Zealand’s high-quality teaching standards and gain internationally recognised qualifications.

Visa Eligibility:

  • An exchange student
  • Meets the character requirements

What this visa allows for:

  • Study full-time in New Zealand in a school-to-school exchange, an exchange programme organisation scheme or a tertiary exchange.
  • Work part-time up to 20 hours a week while studying or full-time in the holidays, depending on the age and how long the study is for.

Things to note:

  • An individual can only apply if they’re outside of New Zealand.
  • They don’t have to pay tuition fees, as they’re considered a domestic student.
  • Student exchange schemes may include school-to-school (or sister school exchanges), exchanges organised by exchange programme organisations and tertiary exchanges.

Visa conditions:

If an individual is granted this visa, there are certain conditions that are described below that they must meet

Entry permission – The individual must apply for entry permission when they arrive in New Zealand. They can do this by completing an arrival card, which they’ll be given on the way to New Zealand.

They individual can be refused entry permission if:

  • They do not meet the character requirements
  • Their circumstances have changed since they were granted a visa
  • They refuse to let their photo be taken or to provide their fingerprints or an iris scan when asked to do so.
  • They’re unable to provide evidence of any onward travel or funds required by the conditions of their visa.

Travel –  If an individual wants to travel in and out of New Zealand, they must have valid multiple entry travel conditions to return to New Zealand.

Their travel conditions will be explained on their visa label or visa letter.

Onward travel – They must have a travel ticket or a guarantee from their New Zealand Student Exchange Scheme organizer that they’ll arrange for them to leave at the end of their stay.

They may be asked for evidence of their travel arrangements when they check in or arrive in New Zealand.  If they’re not required to provide evidence, It’ll be recorded in their visa label or visa letter.

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

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


Practical Experience:

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

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

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

They can’t provide commercial sexual services or operate a business that provides these services. Children under 16 who have a Student Visa will not be granted work rights

Attendance and Progress- They must study full-time and attend their course at the approved education provider noted on their visa unless they have a reasonable excuse for absences.

They must make satisfactory progress on their course.

Visa expiry:

They can stay in New Zealand until their visa expires. If they want a holiday in New Zealand after their exchange, they can apply for a Visitor Visa to stay for another 3 months as a tourist.

In addition to the above-mentioned conditions, there are other factors and criteria to be taken into consideration.

For more information and eligibility requirement please Contact us or complete the Assessment Form and email us.