Eligibility criteria and information for 2021 will be available in November 2020.

Please read the below and input your NSN number into the NSN checker on the homepage to determine your eligibility status.

View the provider-based study eligibility criteria if you are studying at any one of the following:

  • New Zealand Institute of Skills and Technology
  • private training establishment
  • university
  • wānanga.

View the industry-based training eligibility criteria if you are doing work-based training or an apprenticeship through an industry training organisation.

Provider-based study

Learner criteria

To be eligible for Fees Free, you need to meet the residency and prior study and training criteria below.

Residency criteria

You must be one of the following:

  1. a New Zealand citizen, or
  2. ordinarily resident in New Zealand and;
    1. have been living in New Zealand for at least 3 years while holding a residence class visa, or
    2. a refugee or protected person, or
    3. sponsored into New Zealand by someone in their family who, at the time of sponsorship, was a refugee or protected person; or
    4. a holder of the Christchurch Response (2019) Permanent Resident Visa; or
    5. a holder of a residence class visa who would have been eligible for the Christchurch Response (2019) Permanent Resident Visa.

Prior study and training criteria

  1. You must have been enrolled in a school in or after 2017, other than as an adult learner, or
  2. You must have not undertaken more than half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education (0.5 equivalent full-time student (EFTS) or 60 credits) at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), including tertiary education at an equivalent level undertaken in any country.

The following does not count as prior study or training:

  1. Tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in school prior to 1 January 2019 (except for tertiary education undertaken as an adult learner).
  2. Tertiary courses undertaken as part of your school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme on or after 1 January 2019.
  3. Credits achieved as part of any industry training programme that consists of fewer than 120 credits that are reported after 1 January 2018.
  4. Tertiary education undertaken as part of the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF).
  5. Tertiary education undertaken through the Youth Guarantee programme after 1 July 2020.
  6. Tertiary education undertaken through the Maori and Pasifica Trades Training programme after 1 July 2020.

Click here to learn more about prior study and training.

Contact us at 0800 601 301 or [email protected] if you have questions about your eligibility, including prior study or training.

Course criteria

To be eligible for Fees Free, your course must also meet the below criteria:

  1. be funded by the Tertiary Education Commission from either:
    1. the Student Achievement Component level 3 and above fund, or
    2. grants under s321 of the Education Act 1989 for tertiary provision that is part of a qualification or training scheme on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF) at level 3 or above, and
  2. not be part of a school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme.

Please contact your tertiary education organisation if you are not sure about your course eligibility.

Next steps

To confirm your eligibility status, please use the NSN checker on the homepage.

Industry-based training

Learner criteria

To be eligible for Fees Free, you need to meet the residency and prior study and training criteria below.

Residency criteria

You must be legally entitled to reside and work in New Zealand.

Prior study and training criteria

  1. You must have been enrolled in a school in or after 2017, other than as an adult learner,
    or
  2. You must have not undertaken more than half a year of equivalent full-time tertiary education (0.5 equivalent full-time student (EFTS) or 60 credits) at level 3 or above on the New Zealand Qualifications Framework (NZQF), including tertiary education at an equivalent level undertaken in any country.

The following does not count as prior study or training:

  1. Tertiary education undertaken while enrolled in school prior to 1 January 2019 (except for tertiary education undertaken as an adult learner).
  2. Tertiary courses undertaken as part of your school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme on or after 1 January 2019.
  3. Credits achieved as part of any industry training programme that consists of fewer than 120 credits that are reported after 1 January 2018.
  4. Tertiary education undertaken as part of the Targeted Training and Apprenticeships Fund (TTAF).
  5. Tertiary education undertaken through the Youth Guarantee programme after 1 July 2020.
  6. Tertiary education undertaken through the Maori and Pasifica Trades Training programme after 1 July 2020.

Click here to learn more about prior study and training.

Contact us at 0800 601 301 or [email protected] if you have questions about your eligibility, including prior study or training.

Programme criteria

To be eligible for Fees Free, a programme must:

  1. be at NZQF level 3 or above, and
  2. be approved by the New Zealand Qualifications Authority, and
  3. comprise of at least 120 credits, and
  4. not be part of a school learning programme or secondary-tertiary programme.

Please contact your industry training organisation if you are not sure about your programme eligibility.

Next steps

To confirm your eligibility status, please use the NSN checker on the homepage.