In order to obtain a student visa, you have to be able to show that you have funding available so that you can meet your living costs while you are there. There are a number of ways that you can do this, but here are some of the most common ways for you to prove that you have funding for your educational endeavors. All of the numbers in this section are in New Zealand dollars (NZ$) and can be converted using any online conversion tool.
If you are staying for 9 months or less (one full university term), then you need to have at least $1,250 per month that you are staying in the country. If you are staying longer than one full university term (more than 9 months), then you need to have $15000 per year in order to cover the expenses. Here are some of the ways that you can prove that you have this income in your possession.
- If you have money in New Zealand, either in a bank or being held for you by a representative. This can include scholarship funding as well, as long as you are able to show the government the paperwork that states that you have received the scholarships.
- A financial undertaking, such as a job, that gives you enough income in order to cover your costs of living. This could include contact information for your employer in the country. If you are granted a student visa, you are allowed to work approximately 20 hours per week during the semester, and 40 hours per week during any breaks. We discuss this more in our working while studying section. It could also include receiving enough credit to cover the costs listed above.
- Sponsorship from someone who can cover your accommodation and living costs. This could include parents, guardians, or someone in charge of an estate that is taking care of distributing money for educational costs.
- Any loans or financial assistance that you have been given through a government agency of any type. There are plenty of aid programs available for international students; you just have to prove that you have been approved for the aid in question. You may get this aid from your country of origin, from the secondary school you attended, scholarships, or a number of other sources. Your university can help you find the aid that you need in order to attend university.
Note: If you have prepaid for any of your accommodations (housing deposit for a hall of residence, etc), you can deduct that from the amount of money that you need to have on hand; just make sure that you have all applicable receipts in order to do so. Your landlord or the university should be able to provide you the receipts that you need, or they may even be able to send it to the government on your behalf. This can reduce the amount of paperwork that you need to do and/or the money that you need to save.
Getting your evidence of funding can take a little bit of time and organization, but the reason that the Immigration Department requires it is because, otherwise, you would be a burden on the welfare system and on the country as a whole. They want to ensure that anyone who comes in the country to study is well-taken care of, and that they have the resources to be able to take care of themselves while they are residing in New Zealand. As you would expect, the New Zealand government acts just like those who live there; they care about your overall well-being and want to make sure that you can enjoy your time in the country without being stressed about money.
If you have any questions about evidence of funds, you can contact the Immigration Department or the international affairs office at your university. Both of those sources will be able to help you determine what you need to do in order to get the funding for your education in New Zealand.