Visa compliance

Immigration New Zealand requires all enrolled international students to hold a valid study visa for their entire enrolment period. We are required to hold a record of your study visa to maintain your enrolment. Please see student visas for details about how to apply for your visa.

New international students must provide their study visa details to us before the start of their programme of study.

Returning students are required to provide their study visa details within one week of visa approval and before each expiry date to remain enrolled.

Please send your e-visa to us at issal@massey.ac.nz. You can also email us if you need help or advice. 

Students who do not hold a valid visa cannot continue to be enrolled. We are required to notify Immigration New Zealand if students are in breach of their visa conditions.

What is a valid study visa?

A valid study visa is a visa that allows an international student to study a specific programme at a Massey campus.

Full-time study

If you are enrolled for full-time study (ie at least 3 internal or block mode courses per semester - a minimum of 45 credits), you are eligible to apply for a student visa.

Part-time study

If you are enrolled for part-time study in a programme that is more than 3 months, you need to apply for a Variation of Condition to study on a work visa or a visitor visa.

If you have a visitor’s visa or a work visa you will need to apply for a Variation of Condition to your current visa to enable you to study part-time. Please contact Immigration New Zealand.

You must apply for your study visa early, so that you have an approved study visa to present to us before semester starts.

What happens if my study situation changes?

You are responsible to inform Immigration New Zealand of any changes to your study situation as this may have an impact on your student visa.

Please contact us before you decide on the changes so that we can advise you on the appropriate course of action. For further information see Immigration New Zealand website - student varying the conditions of a student visa. You will need to complete an Application for a Variation of Conditions (INZ 1020) form.

Some examples of changes are as follows:

(a) Changing a programme of study

If you are changing your programme of study, your visa must match the programme of study that you are enrolled in.

For example, if you are changing from a Bachelor of Science (BSc) to a Bachelor of Business (BBus) and your student visa states that you may study the BSc, you need to apply for a Variation of Conditions to have your visa details changed to allow you to study the BBus before the start of semester.

If your new qualification is at a lower level, you need to apply for a new student visa eg changing a programme from a Master of Management to a Postgraduate Diploma in Business.

Students will not be eligible to apply for a post-study work visa upon completion of their studies if their programme of study does not match the programme as stated on their student visa.

(b) Transferring to another campus 

If you are changing your campus of study but are still enrolled in the same programme, you must apply for a Variation of Conditions before the start of semester. The campus of study on your student visa must match the campus you are enrolled in eg if you are changing your study location from Manawatū to Auckland campus.

(c) Enrolling for part-time study

International students are required to be enrolled for full-time study in each semester. Part-time students may be considered as full-time if they are in their final semester of a programme of study AND have not previously been granted a student visa as a part-time student.

If you are currently holding a student visa and have subsequently changed your enrolment to part-time study, Immigration New Zealand must be informed of the change. Apply for a visitor visa with a Variation of Condition to allow you to study on a part-time basis.

(d) Deferring or withdrawing from your studies

International students who are on a student visa must be enrolled for the period of which the visa has been granted for. If you intend to take a break from studying in New Zealand, you must apply for another type of visa to remain legal in New Zealand. Immigration New Zealand will be advised that you are not enrolled and your student visa will be cancelled. 

Interim visa

An Interim Visa allows you to stay in New Zealand while waiting for the decision of your next visa application. You must apply for another student visa before your previous visa expires and Immigration New Zealand may grant you an interim visa while your visa is being decided. You must provide your interim visa with study condition to us before your current visa expires to remain enrolled.

Once a decision has been made on your visa application, your interim visa is no longer valid, therefore it is important that you provide us with your approved student visa within one week of notification from Immigration New Zealand.

Visitor visa

Students who hold a visitors visa:

  • Can study part-time but must apply for a Variation of Conditions.
  • May be enrolled in a programme of study for less than 3 months. However, most programmes at Massey are more than three months. Students who intend to study full-time in a programme of 3 months or more cannot do so on a visitors visa and must obtain a student visa. 

Work visa

Students who hold a work visa may study part-time (less than 45 credits per semester) if they have been granted a Variation of Conditions, unless they are studying a programme of study which does not exceed the 3 month timeframe. Your Variation of Conditions must be provided to us before the start of semester to remain enrolled.

If you intend to study full-time, you must change your work visa to a student visa before the start of semester.

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