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How to open a Bank Account in New Zealand as an International Student?

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  • By:CANAM Group
  • Updated On:Oct 16,2023 12:39 PM IST

New Zealand has a safe and efficient banking system with a full range of accounts and banking services available. It is recommended to start the process in advance of arriving as it is taking a longer period to open a bank account than in previous years. This blog will discuss opening a New Zealand bank account as an international student.

How to open a Bank Account in New Zealand as an International Student.webpNew Zealand offers the ultimate experience for any expat, with a laid-back lifestyle, vibrant culture and awe-inspiring nature. It is certainly beneficial to open a bank account in New Zealand once one arrives rather than carry around large amounts of cash. Opening a bank account from abroad is one of the main concerns of international students. Some banks do not offer full account functionality until students have moved to New Zealand and confirmed their local address with them.
International students planning to live in New Zealand for a few years may require a bank account for local and international transactions, from paying rent to transferring funds to and from their home country. 

Why to open a bank account in New Zealand?

Among various things to know when planning to study in New Zealand, one is certainly about opening a local bank account in New Zealand.  International students in New Zealand will need money for their daily living expenses and also need a bank account to manage their money, as it is inconvenient to carry cash in hand. One can use their native country’s bank account, but they need to check international services provided by their bank.

Also, they are charged a certain amount on every transaction. It is advisable to open a bank account in New Zealand for the following reasons.

• One can avoid international transaction fee while making debit/credit card payments for everyday activities like shopping and eating out. 
• Money withdrawal is convenient due to the abundance of ATMs. 
• One can manage money transfers between their home country and New Zealand easily. 
• Students will need a New Zealand bank account to get paid if they decide to work while studying. 
• It will be easier for visa processing officers to check proof of funds if one holds an account in a New Zealand bank. 

How to open a student bank account in New Zealand? Types of bank accounts?

There are various types of bank accounts for different purposes. It helps to have a clearer understanding of each account type to choose the one that best suits one’s specific needs. 

International Student Bank account

As an international student, it is a good idea to opt for an international student bank account, which gives one access to exclusive perks meant only for international students. 

Student Bank Account

One of the top perks of studying in New Zealand is that several banks offer student-specific bank accounts, which come with special perks. One of the key features is not having any transaction fees or charges for extra services, which can potentially add up to hundreds of dollars a year. 

Current account

It is designed for everyday use, and the current account enables one to securely deposit money into the bank and access it whenever necessary. It comes with a debit card that one can use to make payments in stores or withdraw money from ATMs. 

Savings account

If one has access to larger sums of money, it is a good idea to set up a savings account as it comes with higher interest rates, which means earning more on what one deposits. It could get one into the good habit of setting aside cash to put into savings and also be the account for salary to get credited to if working. 


Some banks have packages on offer that include both a current account and a savings account, which are great options if one needs to set things up in a hurry. They also have added perks, such as a lower fee to maintain both accounts. 

The Process of opening a bank account in New Zealand

As International students identify New Zealand as an emerging education destination, more and more students are studying in New Zealand. There are a few important things to be done before reaching their study destination, like choosing a university, courses, a place to stay, and opening a local bank account in New Zealand. Several points are to be kept in mind to go through a smooth process of opening a bank account in New Zealand as an international student. Opening a bank account in New Zealand is relatively easy.
• Some banks in New Zealand let students open a bank account online before they arrive. 
• Some banks will only open a bank account with students who have a student visa that is valid for six months or longer. 
• Interest-free overdrafts- When a bank account comes with an interest-free overdraft, it means the bank will let the students spend more money than they have up to a certain amount without charging any fee. It’s a great perk that many students use, but they should remember that if they choose one, it still isn’t free money and should ideally only be used in emergencies. 
• Students will usually have to pay it back shortly after they graduate, when they will have to start paying the interest fee. 

Students need to provide following identification and information to open a bank account.

• Passport details
• Proof that they are enrolled students in New Zealand, such as their place offer or student identity card.
• Proof of student’s address in New Zealand, like a tenancy agreement or utility bill. 
• Student’s Tax Identification Number from their home country, IRD- Inland Revenue Department Number is required.  
• Complete assistance on every step can be received from Canam Consultants for the smooth functioning of the Process of opening a bank account in New Zealand. 

How to open a bank account in New Zealand as an International Student?

There are some student bank accounts for international students, which can be found in some of the Great New Zealand banks. Some come with high interest-free overdrafts, others with low fee, and a few come with other excellent perks.

Westpac, Student Pac

Westpac’s Student Pac offers students a current account with a low fee, a debit card, and a save-and-win account, which will allow them to win monthly cash prizes. Students will also get access to online and mobile banking. 

ANZ, International Student Package

If students opt for ANZ’s International Student Package, they will get a current account with no monthly account or transaction fee and a savings account of their choice. The bank will also waive their annual ANZ Visa Debit card fee if it’s linked to their current account. 

ABS, Tertiary Account

With the ABS Tertiary Account, students can get interest-free over draft is only up to $1000 in the first year and $2000 in the following years.  They will also get great extra perks when they use their debit card to buy something. 

Bank Opening Hours

Students can find bank branches in all major cities and most towns. Most universities will have bank branches on campus. Banks are usually open Monday to Friday, from 9 am to 4:30 pm and also Saturday mornings in some large cities. 24-hour ATM machines are linked to these banks everywhere, including universities, airports and shopping centres. 

For more detailed information on opening a bank account in New Zealand as an international Student, contact Canam Consultants. 


There are ample reasons to study in New Zealand, including globally accredited universities and courses, a vibrant culture, and a comprehensible banking system assisting international students to deal flawlessly with financial transactions while away from home. New Zealand has plenty of local banks to choose from. After opening an account, students can get full access to their new bank account in New Zealand. 

Connect with Canam Consultants to get assistance to study in New Zealand


National identity card, valid passport, Resident identity card, or current overseas driving license issued by an overseas government agency that contains the student’s current resident address. 
Proof of address can be one of the following documents: water, electricity, gas, telephone, or internet bill, credit bill or statement. 
New Zealand’s banking market is dominated by four major players- ANZ, Westpac, the NAB-owned Bank of New Zealand, and CBA-owned ASB Bank. 
Student account transactions provide per day cash withdrawal limit of Rs. 25,000 and an online transaction/purchase limit of Rs. 30,000 (subject to change). 
One benefit that a student bank account offers is a large interest-free overdraft facility, which a standard current account does not offer. An overdraft allows students to borrow money from their bank through their current account if it’s at zero. 

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