Are you confused about New Zealand student visa IELTS requirements? Well, you are not alone. The internet has multiple stories on the required IELTS score for New Zealand student visa, and it is hard to know what to believe.
What are the English language requirements for New Zealand student visa?
None, as far as INZ (Immigration New Zealand) is concerned.
Yes, you read it right – INZ does not place any restrictions on your English language proficiency to qualify for a student visa. Check the official INZ website by visiting INZ language requirements for New Zealand visas if you don’t believe us.
Given that IELTS is a test of speaking, listening, reading and writing in the English language, this means that there is no requirement of a minimum IELTS score for New Zealand student visa.
Then why is the internet so full of information around New Zealand student visa IELTS requirements? Here is where the story gets interesting.
Though INZ may not ask for your IELTS score before issuing you a student visa, most education providers will need you to have a minimum level of proficiency in the English language before offering you a place – and IELTS is the most accepted form of certification to establish this.
If you do not meet the minimum IELTS score requirements laid down by the school for the course you want to take, you will be refused admission – this means you will not be able to get your New Zealand student visa. Why? Because INZ will not find you eligible for a student visa unless you produce an admission letter issued by an approved educational institution.
In essence, the school you want to attend decides the New Zealand student visa IELTS requirements that you will need to satisfy to seek admission before you approach INZ for your student visa.
Do you absolutely need an IELTS score for New Zealand student visa?
No, you do not.
You can find New Zealand educational institutes that do not require an IELTS score before offering you a seat. In such cases, this translates to “no” New Zealand student visa IELTS requirements to be met.
Also, some universities will exempt you from producing an IELTS score if you have attended an English-medium school through 8-12 grades. Another set of criteria applied by a few colleges to excuse you from IELTS is having 5 years of English-medium education through 1-5 grades, or 3 years during your higher secondary school.
NZQA (New Zealand Qualifications Authority) also allows exemptions from IELTS for particular non-university educational providers offering tertiary education.
Some institutions adopt their own mechanisms to analyse English competency levels of the students applying to their courses, which means you do not have to meet any New Zealand student visa IELTS requirements to gain admission to such schools.
However, note that INZ may interview you to gauge your English language skills and your lack of proficiency in this area my raise red flags – which may lead to delay or denial of your student visa.
Immigration Advisers NZ has the best immigration professionals in the industry working at our Auckland office. Our immigration advisers have extensive experience in the New Zealand Study Visa process. Book an absolutely free consultation session with our highly qualified immigration consultants to seek expert guidance.