Visa implications when changing the programme of study

If you are thinking about changing your study programme as an international student it will impact your student visa. Ensure you understand the process outlined on this page

Before applying for a change of programme

If you are thinking about changing your study program as an international student, keep these points in mind:

  • Changing your programme means you will need a new student visa that matches the new programme you want to study (e.g. from a Bachelor of Science to a Bachelor of Arts)
  • You can only start your new programme after your new student visa is approved, so consider the time needed for this: Visa processing times for international students
  • Changing programmes during the semester is not recommended for international students as it can result in programme withdrawal due to visa compliance concerns
  • If your new programme is at a lower level than your current one, it may raise concerns with Immigration New Zealand, and you will need to explain your study plan and Immigration New Zealand must be satisfied with the plan before granting the visa for the new programme

Before you decide, visit your nearest Student Hub for guidance. They can guide you through the process and discuss your options. Please refer to How to Apply to change your programme

You have decided to change your programme - What's next?

Once you are certain about the programme change after considering all factors, then follow the steps:

  1. Apply for admission to the new programme. Find instructions in our How to apply for admission guide
  2. After receiving and accepting an unconditional offer for the new programme, apply for a new student visa. Check Visa Information for details
  3. Begin your new programme once the new student visa is approved
  4. Once the new student visa is approved, withdraw from the old programme or apply for the discontinuation of the programme if you consider applying for Reassign courses from one programme to another through SSO. Please note that not all your completed courses may be reassigned to the new programme. You can request to discontinue your programme as part of this process. If you have not done this as part of the self-service reassignment, and all your courses are dropped, marked as withdrawn, or reassigned, you must request a programme discontinuation. To do so, please email
  5. Once you receive your new student visa, ensure you submit a copy to the University as we are legally required to hold a record of your visa status.

If you need further assistance, please contact us at