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Make your New Zealand Visa Process Effortless
Learn everything you need to know about New Zealand Student Visa and get end to end expert guidance from us.

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New Zealand Student Visa for Sri Lankan Students

New Zealand is one of the top study destinations among international students, especially because of the variety of courses and programs the country offers. Several universities in New Zealand are listed in top positions in the QS World University Rankings 2023. It is ranked as the 2nd safest country in the world, encouraging students worldwide to gravitate towards an opportunity to study in New Zealand according to Global Peace Index for 2022. One of the biggest considerations in front of an international student planning to study abroad is the student visa. It is essential to get the right guidance to study in New Zealand so that you make no mistakes in your application. It takes around 30 weekdays for your New Zealand student visa application to be processed. As such, it is important to plan and apply early. You can read further to get detailed information on obtaining a New Zealand student visa for Sri Lankan students.


New Zealand Student Visa Latest News

  • It is important to learn about the latest news regarding New Zealand student visa so that you do not make any mistakes while applying for the same. We have provided a few latest updates below for your reference.

  • Revised post-study work rights: There are a few changes made to the post-study work rights. Though there are no changes for degree-level students, non-degree students can now work in the country only if their qualification is one that falls under the Greens List; that is, those included in the labour market skill shortage. These include Electronics and Telecommunications, Primary Industries and Science, ICT, Construction, Health and Social Services, and Engineering. The post-study work period for graduates is three years. Additionally, you cannot apply for a second permit.
  • More financial resources required: International students must have NZD 15,000 in their bank account to study in New Zealand earlier. According to the new law, all higher education and English-language students need NZD 20,000, and primary and secondary students need NZD 17,000. You must show an additional NZD 5000 if you apply for a work permit. You should also show your full first-year tuition fee upfront.
  • Better work opportunities: New Zealand has decreased the number of low-skilled migrant workers shifting to the country. This would increase the chances of skilled graduates getting jobs in the country.

Types of New Zealand Student Visa

There are a few types of New Zealand student visas for Sri Lankan students. It is important for you to understand them so that you know which visa to apply for. We have tabulated them below.

Types of Student Visa


Duration of Stay

Exchange Student Visa

It is for those selected for the student exchange scheme & study full-time courses in a school-to-school exchange, tertiary exchange or an exchange program organisation scheme

Up to 4 years

Pathway Student Visa

With this, you can study three consecutive courses with a single student visa & work part-time

Up to 5 years

Fee-Paying Student Visa

This is a full-time visa where you have to pay the full study cost

Up to 4 years

Foreign Government Supported Student Visa

It is for those who have a foreign loan or scholarship

Up to 4 years


New Zealand Student Visa Fees

You can apply for a student visa both online and offline. The application fee varies according to the mode of application as the immigration cost and receiving centre fee depend on it. We have given the approximate cost in the table below.

Type of Submission

Application Cost (approx.)

Receiving Centre Fee (approx.)


LKR 1,10,885

LKR 8357


LKR 1,14,421

LKR 9965


New Zealand Student Visa IELTS Requirements

All international students are required to submit their English proficiency test scores when they apply for admission to any university abroad. IELTS is the most popular test that is accepted by almost all universities in all countries worldwide. However, the minimum IELTS score required for Sri Lankan students for admission is subject to vary based on the university, country, course, and program. We have given below the score that you may need to have.

  1. For a Bachelor’s program, you may need at least 5.5 in all bands and an overall score of 6.0.
  2. For a Master’s program, you may need at least 6.0 in all bands and an overall score of 6.5.
  3. For a degree in Teaching or Education Studies and Engineering, you may need a per band and an overall score of 7.0.

Documents Required for New Zealand Student Visa

You will need to submit a few documents when you apply for a New Zealand student visa from Sri Lanka. They are given below.

  1. Passport
  2. Letter of acceptance from a recognised New Zealand university that states the minimum course duration, total tuition fee, and whether the tuition fee is in domestic or foreign currency. The course should be one that the New Zealand Qualifications Authority approves.
  3. A written guarantee that the university will offer you accommodation if you are under 18 years of age.
  4. An accommodation offer letter from your university.
  5. A return air ticket to your home country or proof of sufficient funds for it.
  6. Proof of visa application fee payment.
  7. All academic documents.
  8. Student visa application form.
  9. Passport-size photographs.
  10. Receipt of tuition fee payment.

Level of study

English skill level


TOEFL: 60-80, IELTS: 6.0-7.0


TOEFL: 80-100, IELTS: 6.5-7.5


TOEFL: 90-110, IELTS: 7.0-8.0


New Zealand Visa Process

As mentioned previously, you can apply for a student visa both online and offline. The steps to be followed are different, and both of them are discussed below.

The steps to be followed for online visa application are as follows.

  • Create an account: You need to create an account at the New Zealand Immigration Online at their official website.
  • Fill out the application form: You can then fill up the application form. Always ensure that you do not make any mistakes.
  • Have all the documents handy: It is essential to arrange all the documents and have them handy so that you can upload them easily.
  • Upload your photograph: You should upload your photograph and other necessary documents.
  • Complete the application: You can follow the next steps and complete the application.
  • Pay the fee & submit the application: You can finally pay the application fee and submit the application.

The steps to be followed for offline visa application are as follows.

  • Download the application form: You can download the application form from the official website.
  • Fill out the application form: You can fill up the application form. This should be done with great care. You should not make any mistakes while filling out the application.
  • Get the supporting documents: You should arrange all the necessary documents and have them handy so there is no need to rush last minute.
  • Get passport-size photographs: You should have recent passport-size photographs ready, which should be submitted along with the application.
  • Keep the application fee ready: You can check the mode of fee payment and have the amount ready beforehand. 

Submit the application: You can submit your application at the Immigration New Zealand Office or visa centre.


New Zealand Visa Processing Time

The processing time for a New Zealand visa is 30 weekdays, excluding public holidays. On an average level, visa applications get processed within 18 weekdays. Also, 90% of student visa applications are processed within 50 weekdays. Thus, it is essential that you plan and apply early so that nothing gets delayed. Though the New Zealand Immigration Department tries to process all applications quickly, you should plan in advance and apply early so that the delay in obtaining your study visa does not affect your university application and admission.

How to Check My Visa Status?

You can use your RealMe account and log in and check the application status. RealMe account is a government authentication and identity verification service. If it shows “Submitted”, it means that your application is ready for processing. The New Zealand Immigration authorities usually try to process your application at the earliest. If it is taking longer than expected, you can also contact them.


What to do if my Visa Application is Rejected?

If your application is rejected, you can reapply for the New Zealand student visa soon after. However, it is better to look at the reason for the rejection because if you do not address the issue and make the necessary changes, there are chances of your application getting rejected again. For instance, if your application got rejected because of the lack of proper documentation, you should arrange the necessary documents before you apply again.

How AECC Helps to Get New Zealand Student Visa

If you wish to study in New Zealand from Sri Lanka, AECC has a team of trained counsellors who can help you get updated information, including the latest news and updates. We can help you arrange all the documents and apply easily. This will also ensure that you apply at the right time without making any mistakes. The best part is that all our services are offered for free.

AECC helps aspiring students to study abroad from Sri Lanka. We have trained professionals and experienced counsellors to guide you throughout your university application process. Don’t hesitate to contact us for FREE assistance!

Frequently asked questions

How can I get a New Zealand student visa in Sri Lanka?

You can get a New Zealand student visa from Sri Lanka by applying both online and offline. The steps to be followed for both are mentioned above. You can refer to them to get detailed information.

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