Exchange Student Visa

Students who intend to travel to New Zealand as part of a school or tertiary education exchange programme may be eligible for an Exchange Student Visa.

Who can apply for an Exchange Student Visa?

In order to qualify for an Exchange Student Visa, you must:

  • either:
    • have been accepted onto an approved student exchange scheme; or
    • have an ‘offer of place’ as an exchange student from an approved education provider in New Zealand
  • demonstrate (through a travel ticket, funds or sponsorship) that you have the means to leave New Zealand when or before your visa expires
  • be outside New Zealand when you submit your visa application
  • meet standard health and good character requirements for New Zealand visas

Exchange students are considered ‘domestic students’ and therefore do not have to pay tuition fees as a prerequisite for obtaining this visa.

What does an Exchange Student Visa offer?

An Exchange Student Visa gives its holder permission to:

  • live and study in New Zealand for the duration of their exchange programme, up to a maximum duration of four years
  • work up to a maximum of 20 hours per week during your studies, and full-time during scheduled academic holidays, providing that they are aged 16 or over and their exchange lasts at least one academic year
    • those aged 16 or 17 must have written permission from their parent/guardian and education provider/exchange provider in order to work
  • travel to and from New Zealand freely, providing their visa has ‘multiple entry travel conditions’
    • NB: check your travel conditions carefully before leaving New Zealand. Your visa may expire if you leave the country without the appropriate travel conditions, regardless of the expiry date of the visa.

How do I apply for an Exchange Student Visa?

Applications for an Exchange Student Visa can be submitted online or on paper, but only from outside New Zealand. Applications should be submitted once acceptance onto the student exchange has been confirmed, but not earlier than 60 days before it is due to begin.

The fee to apply for this visa depends on your nationality and where you are applying from, and ranges from NZD $35 to around NZD $430.

80% of applications for this visa are processed within three weeks.

Mohamed Anas Sirajur Raheem

BA (Political Studies), LLB (VUW)

Mohamed is an enrolled Barrister and Solicitor of the High Court of New Zealand, specializing in immigration law.

He is a former New Zealand Immigration Officer (Visa Services) and Border Officer at Auckland International Airport. He has several years of experience working in various Government Departments in New Zealand and has also worked as a Licensed Immigration Adviser at a prominent New Zealand Immigration firm.

His areas of expertise and interest are in the fields of General Skilled Migration, Temporary Work (Long and Short Stay), Business visas, Partner, Parent and Child Visa streams.

Mohamed was inspired to pursue a career in immigration by his own migration experiences. Over the years he has assisted individuals, families, large corporations, Professional sportspeople, and Entertainers (singers, speakers, and actors) to come to New Zealand.

Book appointment