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How to clear your New Zealand student visa interview

Learn easy tips to clear your New Zealand student visa.

Caution: Visa processing for applications from outside New Zealand has been temporarily suspended from 10 August 2020 due to the pandemic. You cannot apply for a student visa from outside the country unless you are exempt.

In this article we will go over:

What is a New Zealand student visa interview?

A visa interview is the last step before getting your New Zealand student visa. After finishing your application, you need to go to your nearest New Zealand visa processing centre in person to verify your documents and answer a few questions.

What is asked in a New Zealand student visa interview? (With sample Q&As) 

The visa interview's primary purpose is verification. All the questions will be about you, the details you mentioned in your application, and your reasons for choosing New Zealand as your study destination.

Example Questions:

Note that these questions are just samples. Please use them for practice but remember that there can be other questions around the same topics. 

Where are you going to study?

I am going to study at the University of X.

Why did you choose this course/university?

Computer science is my passion. After completing my bachelor's degree, I worked for one year and realised that I needed to upskill. So, I started researching study destinations and universities with the best master's course in this subject area, and X university was at the top of my list. 

How are you going to support yourself while studying?

My parents have agreed to support me financially for the duration of my studies.

Where do you plan to stay in New Zealand?

I have decided to stay on campus at my university since I want the complete university experience in New Zealand.

5 tips to prepare for your New Zealand student visa interview:

  1. Read up on New Zealand and your university. The visa officer might ask you why you chose this country/university. Answering with facts that impressed you and helped you make your decision will make you seem more prepared and genuine. 
  2. Go through your course's curriculum. It is vital that you know complete details about your course, what you are going to learn, and how you will benefit from it. Knowing this will help you show that you are serious about your education.
  3. Look back at your profile and all the information that you mentioned in your application. Personal questions about your passport, educational background, financial plan, or work experience will definitely be a part of your visa interview; not knowing answers to such questions will make you look unprepared.
  4. Work on your language. The visa officers need to know that you can go to New Zealand, a primarily English speaking country and manage to communicate understandably. They also need to ensure that you will be able to comprehend your lectures and course materials. So, practise by talking to your friends and family in English and reading English newspapers and books to polish your language fluency.
  5. Lastly, confidence and body language matters. Try talking in front of a mirror and notice your gestures, posture and facial expressions. Ask one of your friends or family members to interview you and give their input. Practise regularly to improve your body language and build confidence.

10 tips for doing well in your New Zealand student visa interview:

  • Dress professionally. Wear a neatly ironed formal outfit. Avoid many large accessories, strong perfumes/deodorants and flashy makeup.
  • Bring all the required original documents along with a set of copies.
  • Be early for your visa interview appointment, as tardiness is noted.
  • Don't attempt to speak in a forced accent, as it might come across as fake. A clear, understandable neutral English accent should be fine.
  • Be pleasant and greet your visa officer with a smile and introduce yourself.
  • Listen to the questions carefully and answer clearly.
  • Remember to keep your answers to the point and straightforward.
  • If you have any problems, let the visa officer know politely and ask for help. Do not argue.
  • Do not lie. If you do not know the answer to a particular question, admit it.
  • Show your willingness to come back to your home country after finishing your education while answering your questions.