Applying for a visa

If you plan to study at SIT as an international student, you will need to ensure you are on the appropriate visa. There are a range of visas that allow you to study in New Zealand.  You can read more on the Immigration New Zealand website.

Student visa

A student visa from Immigration New Zealand means you can study with SIT in New Zealand for a set time period as a full-time student. You can find out more about student visas, advice on rights to employment while studying and reporting requirements from Immigration New ZealandThis link is to an external site and opens in a new window.

Application timeframes

It is important to apply for your student visa as soon as possible, as in some cases the application process may take a number of weeks.

  • For offshore applicants / outside of New Zealand: 90% of applications are currently completed within the timeframe given on the Immigration New Zealand website. Timeframes are in weekdays. This category has only recently reopened, and times may change as Immigration New Zealand receive and process more applications.
  • For onshore applicants / already in New Zealand: Please process your student visa application as soon as you can. As an onshore student visa applicant, please remember to submit your international fee receipt with your student application to Immigration New Zealand.

How to apply

Go to the Immigration New Zealand website and follow all their instructions to apply for your Student Visa online:

You can find some helpful checklists there too to guide you in preparing your supporting documents:

Your responsibilities on a student visa

It is important you meet the conditions of your student visa.  While in New Zealand it is your responsibility to keep this visa valid.  If your visa expires, you could be asked to leave the country.

You must not start a course other than that stated on your visa without the permission of your institution and Immigration NZ.  You must also advise Immigration NZ if you change your address or course of study, or if there is any other change in your circumstances.

Post-study Work Visa

If you are a SIT international student and have completed the qualification indicated on your student visa, you can apply for a Post-study work visa, provided the qualification meets the Immigration New Zealand requirements.

Go to the Immigration New Zealand website and follow all their instructions to apply for your Post Study work visa online:


Your travel and medical insurance is automatically covered when you enrol in a mainstream programme with SIT. Simply pay your fees, tell us when you will arrive, and we will book your insurance for you. If you are studying English language, you can pay a little extra for the same cover. Easy!

When you attend one of our international orientations, we will give you information on your insurance policy, including information on coverage, insurance policy number and how to claim.

You need insurance in case anything goes wrong while you are travelling to or living in New Zealand. This may include losing personal effects or requiring medical care.
As long as you hold a current student visa to study at SIT, you will be automatically covered by our insurance. If your student visa has finished, you will need to purchase insurance.

If you are bringing family members with you to New Zealand, you will need to purchase travel and medical insurance coverage for them.

The team at SIT International can recommend appropriate insurance providers for your family members.

Getting Here

It may take a few hours to get to New Zealand, but the experience while you’re here more than makes up for it.  Simply fly into Christchurch or Auckland airports and catch a domestic Air New Zealand flight.This link is to an external site and opens in a new window

You can catch a number of flights into Auckland Airport. From there it’s just an hour and a bit to fly to our Christchurch, Queenstown or Invercargill campuses.

If you’re studying at our Christchurch campus, welcome!  If not, you can easily catch a connecting flight to our Queenstown or Invercargill campuses.

You can fly into Christchurch Airport via Air New Zealand, Fiji Airways, Emirates, Jet Star, Qantas, Singapore Airlines and Virgin Australia.

You can reach SIT’s Queenstown campus by flying from another New Zealand airport or from Australia.

Air New Zealand, Jet Star, Virgin Australia and Qantas fly to Queenstown Airport from Australia.

There are a number of daily Air New Zealand flights between Invercargill and New Zealand’s other cities.  Invercargill Airport is just a five-minute drive to the centre of the city, so it won’t be long before you are settled into your new accommodation.

One of the benefits you will enjoy at SIT as an international student is a complimentary airport pickup. A SIT representative will meet you at the local airport to take you to your accommodation. Once you have booked your flights, simply let us know when you will be arriving. Please make sure you give us at least several days advance notice.
On arrival we will give you two weeks accommodation. In Invercargill, you will be accommodated at the SIT Apartments or at a Kiwi Homestay. It’s just another way we make you feel welcome in your new home.