New information following the change in COVID-19 alert levels.

Visa Compliance

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) requires all enrolled international students to hold a valid study visa for the entire enrolment period. Massey University is required to hold a record of your study visa to maintain your enrolment.

New international students must provide their study visa details to Massey University 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.

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 campus at Massey University.

Full-time study

If you are enrolled for full time study ie. at least 3 internal or block mode courses per semester (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 (VoC) to study on a Work Visa or a Visitor Visa. What happens if I do not have a valid study visa?

Before the start of semester, you can contact the International Student Support (ISS) team at your campus if you require any advice on which study visa is suitable for you. INZ’s website provides information about applying for a visa. You must apply for your study visa early so that you have an approved study visa to present to Massey University before semester starts.

Once we have identified that your visa has expired or you have not presented a valid study visa, you will receive a warning request to provide it within 2 working days before your enrolment is withdrawn.

What happens if my study situation changed?

International students are responsible to inform INZ of any changes to their study situation as this may have an impact on their student visa. Please contact your ISS Advisor before you decide on the changes so that we can advise you on the appropriate cause of action. You can view INZ’s website on information relating to changes to your study situation.

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 VoC 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 of Study

If you are changing your campus of study but are still enrolled in the same programme, you must apply for a VoC 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 Manawatu 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, INZ 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. INZ 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 INZ may grant you an Interim Visa while your visa is being decided. You must provide your Interim Visa with study condition to Massey University 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 Massey University with your approved student visa within one week.

Visitor Visa

Students who are enrolled in a programme of study that is no longer than 3 months in a 12 months period may study on a Visitor Visa (eg. Certificate in Intensive English).

Students who are enrolled in a programme of study that is longer than 3 months (e.g. Postgraduate Diploma or Bachelor degree) must apply for a Student Visa. They are also required to be in full-time study (at least 45 credits of internal or block mode per semester).

Students who are enrolled in less than 45 credits end up in part-time study and must apply for a visitor visa with a variation of condition.

Work Visa

Students who hold a Work Visa may study part-time (less than 45 credits) if they have been granted a VoC unless they are studying a programme of study which does not exceed the 3 month timeframe. Your VoC must be provided to Massey University before the start of semester to remain enrolled.

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


Immigration New Zealand will be notified if students are in breach of their visa condition and they cannot apply for their next visa on campus.

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