If New Zealand is your preferred study destination, that’s a solid decision. New Zealand is one of the top study destinations and is globally recognized for its high standards in education. However, for you to move to New Zealand and study, you need a study visa, which means you will pass through an interview. In this post, we will talk about New Zealand student visa interview questions and answers that will help you to succeed.
There are lots of uncertainties about the New Zealand student visa approval rate in 2024 but it’s generally between 80% and 96% depending on your country. This is a good number, which means that the rejection rate is low. The main reason for the student visa interview is to check if you really want to study in New Zealand or have any other ulterior motives. They’ll ask you several questions to see if your plan to go to New Zealand is honest.
New Zealand Student Visa Interview Questions
I have been able to compile the common questions students are frequently being asked when moving to New Zealand. The trick that will help you outsmart the visa officer is to research, give unscripted answers, and be natural in your responses. Let’s get right into these questions you should expect at the interview.
1. What course do you plan to study in New Zealand?
One question might be about your course. The officer may ask what course you want to study in New Zealand. You need to know a lot about your course. For example, if you plan to study Engineering, you should know exactly what kind of engineering course you are taking, like a diploma in civil engineering or a bachelor’s in civil engineering. Be clear about the specific course you want to study in New Zealand. This is why you really need to know a lot about your course.
2. How much do you know about the course you want to study?
As part of the New Zealand student visa interview questions, you will be asked about what you know regarding the course. You should be well-informed about the content of the course you want to study in New Zealand. This is important because the visa officer will judge your intentions by your answers. You are planning to spend a lot of money on your education in New Zealand, so the embassy or consulate officer will expect you to have researched your course thoroughly. A lot of students who get rejected fail to be knowledgeable and confident about their course. Don’t be like that. You have to show that you have seriously looked into your future studies and know what you are going into.
3. Why do you want to study this course?
The third question might be about why you want to study this particular course. You need to be clear about your reasons for choosing this course. It could be because the course is a suitable and logical step after your previous education or work experience, and that it will add to your academic background. For instance, if you have completed your 12th grade in a non-medical stream and now want to pursue an engineering program in New Zealand, like a Bachelor of Engineering, it shows a logical and relevant progression from your past studies.
4. What are your career goals?
As part of the New Zealand student visa interview questions and answers, we will look at this one about your career goals. This question focuses on your career goals. The consular officer might ask what career outcomes you expect after you successfully finish your course. Considering you are investing a significant amount of your family’s income and savings in your studies in New Zealand, it’s expected that you know what you want to achieve after completing the course. So, you should really research this and be able to answer confidently.
5. Why did you choose to study at this university?
You might also be asked why you chose a specific university or college. In New Zealand, many colleges and universities offer similar programs. The case officer will be curious to know why you picked this particular university or college. Here, you should be able to list the benefits and reasons why you chose that specific university or college.
6. There are many other destinations; why did you choose to study in New Zealand?
The next question might be about why you are interested in studying in New Zealand. You can talk about various reasons, such as having family or friends in New Zealand, hearing good things about their education system, or liking the atmosphere there. Be sure to mention what specifically motivated you to pick New Zealand as your place to study abroad. You can just say that you prefer New Zealand because they are currently one of the best in the world right now. According to Times Higher Education, New Zealand universities rank in the top 150 in the world, with the leading name being the University of Auckland. You can let the consular officer know that you have an idea of Australia. For example, Australia is Earth’s smallest country and continent.
7. How do you plan to fund your education?
The New Zealand student visa interview questions about funding are usually the reason a lot of students get rejected. New Zealand might be doing well as a country but they are not looking to add any financial strain on the economy. This is why the country prioritizes students who can take care of themselves financially. If your parents are covering your expenses or a bank through a student loan, make sure to submit the necessary documents as proof of sufficient funds. You can also talk about your occupation or the occupation of your sponsor. They will ask you about it, so have an idea of what it is.
8. Do you have any relatives or friends in New Zealand?
You will be asked about any relatives you may have in New Zealand. If any, talk about your relationship with them. You can also mention any friends you have there, and how you know them. It doesn’t matter if you don’t know anyone.
9. Do you plan to work in New Zealand?
This is a trick question that causes many applicants to get rejected. The consular knows that some people use student visas as a route to migrate to New Zealand, so they ask this question to know your ulterior motive. If your study visa is only for studies, just say that you are going to Australia to study and not work.
New Zealand Student Visa Interview Process
When you arrive at the interview location, typically the Immigration New Zealand (INZ) office, you are required to show a valid form of identification. Depending on the office’s location, a security check may also be necessary.
After completing any security checks, applicants are generally guided to a waiting area. Arrive early for your appointment, but also be prepared for a possible wait, as officers might be engaged in interviews with other candidates.
Interview Room Entrance
An immigration officer will invite you into the interview room. This area is designed to be private and confidential. Just greet the officer politely, with a handshake or a simple greeting like “hello”. The interview begins with the officers introducing themselves and explaining the interview’s purpose. They will describe the interview’s structure, which typically starts with New Zealand student visa interview questions about personal identification and application details.
New Zealand Student Visa Interview Questions
This is the central part of the interview. The consular officer will ask questions about your reasons for wanting to study in New Zealand. During the interview, the officer may request specific documents to verify your information. This is why you should have your documents well-organized and accessible.
End of the Session
In the final part of the interview, the officer may ask if you have any questions. See this as an opportunity to clarify any doubts about the information discussed earlier.
Helpful Tips During New Zealand Student Visa Interview
- Know How to Speak English – English is the most common spoken language in Aotearoa New Zealand. If English is not your first language, then make sure you practice your English language skills with friends/family well in advance.
- Do Not Rush with Your Responses – Do not be in a hurry to answer the question. Take your time to understand what the Immigration officer is asking, and if required seek clarification. Before responding, first gather your thoughts or what you would like to say in response and then articulate your response. If you don’t understand the question, ask the officer to rephrase the question instead of giving an incorrect answer. Understand the questions and answer to the point. Do not go into a very long-drawn-out explanation.
- Be Honest and Natural – The immigration officer seeks genuine students committed to studying in New Zealand. Be honest and open in your responses, and avoid giving generic or rehearsed answers. The more genuine and authentic you are in your responses, the more likely the immigration officer will be convinced of your intentions to study in Zealand.
- Don’t Give Scripted Answers – It is good to be prepared but avoid memorizing the answers. Let your answers flow naturally.
- Dress Appropriately and Arrive Early – Try to make a good first impression during the student visa interview. Dress appropriately and professionally, and arrive early to avoid any last-minute stress. Show up early to show the immigration officer that you take the process seriously.
- Do Not Panic – Do not panic when you receive the interview call. Try to be calm. If you are outdoors or in a noisy room, ask the officer to give you a minute to find a quiet corner to talk to, or you can request the officer to call back later if you are in a crowded place. Never make the mistake of not answering the call. Remember that Immigration New Zealand has offices outside of New Zealand; therefore, you can expect to receive a call from an INZ office closer to you.
So, we have been able to cover the common New Zealand student visa interview questions and answers. Just make sure not to sound scripted when answering the questions. Be natural throughout. If you do your research and practice before the visa interview, your chance of success will be higher.