How’s your English?
In general a migrant’s successful settlement in New Zealand will be greatly affected by their ability to speak, read and write in English.
It is necessary to show that you and your family have a good standard of English before you can get a visa to move to New Zealand.
You can find information about Immigration New Zealand's English language requirements online.
There are several ways to show that you meet the requirements. These are explained in detail in the information for each visa. There is also a leaflet online that explains all the details including the cost.
There are government funded and private services available for new migrants who want to improve their English language skills. English language training is often called ESOL (English for Speakers of Other Languages) training.
Choosing a course
There are some questions to consider when deciding which course to complete.
What type of language course do I need?
There are three main types of English language courses. Each of these courses can be at a beginner, intermediate or advanced level.
- Academic English will help with further studies or business.
- Workplace English will help to get and keep a job.
- Conversational English will help with daily living.
When are the courses available?
You can choose between many types of course. Courses might
- be full time or part time,
- run for a full year, a semester or for a few weeks,
- take place during the day or the evening.
Can my children be looked after while I am studying?
In some cases childcare may be available for learners. Ask about this and any costs involved before you enrol.
How do I enrol?
The usual way to enrol is to go to the education provider giving the course. They will show you how to enrol. You will need to take your passport and documents from Immigration New Zealand.
How much will I have to pay?
Costs depend on the type and level of the course and your residency status. You will be expected to make payment at the beginning of the course. You will need to take your passport and your receipt from Immigration New Zealand if you have prepaid for English Language tuition. Prepaid tuition should be used within 5 years of arriving in New Zealand
English for Migrants Pre-paid Tuition
The Tertiary Education Commission (TEC) manages the Government’s annual funding for all tertiary education, including the English for Migrants Fund. This fund provides training opportunities for migrants who prepay for their English tuition to meet their visa requirements.
If you have prepaid for your English tuition you can find out about how to access the English for Migrants Fund courses online.
There is a list of answers to common questions about using the fund on the TEC website
You can contact TEC on their free telephone number 0800 601 301
English Language Providers
English Language Partners
English Language Partners run English language programmes for permanent residents in 23 locations in New Zealand. English Language Partners are one of the providers of TEC's English for Migrants programme, and they also run several other programmes. Some of these programmes are available for free.
Check their website to find out more about their programmes. These include home tutoring, English language groups, ESOL-literacy and English for employees. English Language Partners (formerly known as ESOL Home Tutors) also run some social English programmes and events. They have brochures in English, Simplified Chinese, Hindi, Korean, Spanish, Vietnamese, Arabic, Chin-Hakka, Japanese, Nepali, Burmese, Farsi, Khmer and Russian. .
Community English Education
Community Education English courses are available in many parts of the country. You can find a full list by searching for English at the xtend website.