24 November 2022 at 10:30 am

November update from Immigration New Zealand

The latest information on student visa processing, how to get applications processed faster, contacting INZ, Pathway Student Visas, and visas for family travelling with students are the topics covered in this month's update from Immigration New Zealand. 

INZ logo 2

Update on Student Visa processing*  

Since New Zealand’s international borders reopened in August 2022, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has received 12,259 student visa applications from international students outside New Zealand. We have decided 7,731 of these applications, with more than half of our decisions made in under four weeks and almost all decisions (95%) made within eight weeks.   

*Figures current as at 10pm on 19 November 2022.  

Help us process student visa applications quickly 

There are common mistakes which can slow down student visa processing. Please make sure applicants supply all required documents when they submit their online visa applications. Checklists on the INZ website the INZ website can help students gather all the information they need for their application.  

All documents should be: 

  • clear scans (not blurry or missing text) 
  • uploaded separately and under the correct category.  

Also, a reminder that overseas applicants do not need to use the Approval in Principle process. Their applications are processed faster if they pay their tuition fees upfront and include the provider’s receipt with their applications.   

Contacting us  

Our immigration officers are processing visa applications as quickly as possible. Students and their representatives should only contact individual immigration officers when their application is being assessed and pending a decision.  

For any questions not about a specific in progress application, there are other ways to find the information you are looking for. Check the INZ website first as it has a lot of useful information, including the student checklists. Education providers and licensed immigration advisors can also contact INZ through their established email channels.  

Pathway visas  

An increasing number of people are incorrectly applying for Pathway Student Visas, which can cause processing delays.  

A Pathway Student Visa is for international students who want to study up to three consecutive programmes of study with pathway visa approved education providers on a single visa, or they wish to study a multi-year programme with a pathway visa approved education provider.  

Students should only apply for a Pathway Visa if they: 

  • have a letter of support from a Pathway education provider (or joint letter if their study is with more than one provider) stating they support the student’s pathway application  
  • have an offer of place for each programme of study, and 
  • can demonstrate they have sufficient and readily available maintenance funds for their first year on the intended pathway and that they can fund any further years of study as per their intended study path; and 
  • have paid (or have sufficient funds to pay) for a minimum of the first year or first programme tuition fees, whichever is applicable. 

Applicants should only answer ‘Yes’ to the online student visa application form question “Are you applying for a Pathway Student Visa?” if they meet the criteria for a Pathway Student Visa. If they are unsure whether a course meets these requirements, they should talk to their education provider(s). 

A screenshot of the student visa application form Pathway Student Visa question 


If students apply for a Pathway Student Visa incorrectly, their applications will take longer to process as there will be additional tasks for the immigration officer assessing their application.

Pathway visas | Immigration New Zealand

Family travelling with a student

If family members (such as  parents)  intend to visit New Zealand briefly to help a student settle into their life and study here, they may need to apply for an NZeTA (if from a visa waiver country) or a General Visitor Visa (if they are from a visa required country).

Currently there is high demand for General Visitor Visas to travel to New Zealand. If a General Visitor Visa is needed for travel in early 2023, we encourage people to apply for this as soon as possible. Applicants should state in the “Purpose of visit” section of their application that they wish to travel with the student to New Zealand and include the name of the student.

Visit New Zealand | Immigration New Zealand


Our next E-News update from INZ will be in 2023, we wish everyone a happy holiday season.






What's in it for me?