How to Get the Short-Term Language Learner Visa for New Zealand?

New Zealand is one of the most attractive places on earth to learn, visit, and work in. You’ve probably already marvelled at the scenic beauty of the country’s landscape without knowing it, as many places in New Zealand are popular filming locations.

No wonder internationals from all over the world jump at the opportunity to study and improve their language skills in New Zealand. In recent years, New Zealand welcomed an increasing number of international students, whether they enrolled for an English preparation course or a study degree.

If you’d like to enhance your English proficiency, you’ll find several English language schools and even universities in New Zealand that provide special exam preparation courses for tests like TOEFL, IELTS or Cambridge advanced. These are the most common English tests universities require to international students when enrolling for an English-taught degree.

Find 17 English pathway courses in New Zealand

However, even if you decide for a short English course, you will need a visa. Check below the basic information you need to know regarding visa application for language learners in New Zealand.

Plenty of English language courses to choose from

You’ll get the best quality learning standards thanks to government-approved language schools by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) ensuring you get an international education that can compete with any other destination in the world.

English language training in New Zealand is often called ESOL training (English for Speakers of Other Languages). Make sure you search for the ESOL course that suits your needs best. English learning courses in New Zealand specialise in English for general use, academic English to meet study requirements, or business English for better employment opportunities.

Do I need a visa?

Make sure you need a visa for New Zealand before applying.

Here is a list of countries exempted from visa.

What type of visa should I apply to?

1. If you plan on taking an English language course at a school for less than 6 months, you can apply for the Visitor Visa.

2. If you plan on learning English in New Zealand and also studying in a university and want to complete up to three consecutive degree programmes in the country, you should choose the Pathway Student Visa.

With the Pathway Student Visa, you can undertake up to three consecutive academic or language learning programmes offered by education providers as well as their partners.

The main benefit of this visa:

  • it has a longer period of validity (maximum 5 years)
  • you don’t have to apply for a new visa or renew if you want to enrol in an additional course

3. For other types of degree studies, you can also choose the Fee Paying Student Visa.

English schools in New Zealand.jpg

What do I need to apply for a short-term visa?

Here are the main conditions for applying for the Pathway student visa:

  • You have to be accepted by an approved English language learning school in New Zealand;
  • The language course must take more than 3 months to complete;
  • You need proof you can support yourself during studies;
  • Attend the language school full time;
  • You must maintain your medical and travel insurance for the duration of studying in New Zealand;
  • If you’re sponsored by someone, your sponsor must make sure your needs for maintenance are met;
  • To get the visa, you might need to meet a minimum English skill level.
What am I allowed to do with the short-term visa?
  • Part-time work

With the Pathway Student Visa, you are allowed to work part-time, up to 20 hours a week during your English course or studies and full-time during holidays.

  • Bring your family

You are allowed to bring your partner and dependents with you; they can join you without meeting the minimum English language requirements by pre-purchasing English language classes. If you have pre-purchased English language classes with your visa you can access approved English courses at no further cost.

Check out English preparation courses in New Zealand

How do I apply for a visa?
  1. You can apply online, on the official New Zealand government website.
  2. Upload all required documents.
How to avoid language learner visa rejection?

The Immigration Department of New Zealand doesn’t reject a visa application without giving you a chance to explain your situation. As long as you are able to explain clearly why you have chosen a particular language course or degree, there is no danger of not getting the New Zealand visa.

A well written 'Statement of Purpose' can go a long way to convince the visa to give you a favourable decision.

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