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All our students must have a valid visa for the full length of their course. This is a compulsory requirement, and they will not be able to study in New Zealand unless they hold the right visa.

If you are a future student and you do not have a valid visa, it is important that you decide which visa you need to apply for. The type of visa will depend on your plans, your country of origin, and the length you are planning to study.

We recommend that you check Immigration New Zealand’s website carefully for more information:

The most common visas for our students are Visitor, Student and Working Holiday Visas.

NOTE: The information below might vary with policy changes. Please check the Immigration New Zealand website to find the most up to date and accurate information:


If you need personalised immigration advice or you are uncertain on how to apply for a visa, you can look for a licensed Immigration adviser:

Visitor Visa

Length of stay in New Zealand: Up to 9 months

Can I study? Yes, up to 3 months

Can I work? No.

Countries: Any country. If you are visiting for less than 3 months and you are from a Visa Waiver country, consider applying for a NZeTA (see above)

Apply on:

Student Visa

Length of stay in New Zealand: The length of your course.

Can I study? Yes.

Can I work? Southern Lakes English College is an NZQA Category 1 school, so when you enrol for a minimum of 14 weeks on a full time course you can get permission to work 20 hours per week.


Countries: Any country.

Apply on:

Working Holiday Visa

Length of stay in New Zealand: Up to 12 months (24 for some countries)

Can I study? Yes, for up to 6 months.

Can I work? Yes, check the conditions of your visa as they might have specifications depending on the country.


Countries: See the list of countries and more information on

Apply on:

Other Visas

If you are planning to apply for a different visa, please find more information on the Immigration New Zealand website.

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