Update for NZ Student Visas

The New Zealand Government has approved a further border class exception for 1,000 international tertiary students. The exception will be granted to:

The Ministry of Education will work with government agencies and the international education sector, including Universities New Zealand, Te Pūkenga, Aviation New Zealand and the PTE sector, to identify eligible students. Education providers will be responsible for nominating students who are eligible for the border exception to the Ministry of Education by 2021.

If you are an international student seeking to study in New Zealand under this exception, you will need to confirm that you meet the following requirements:

  • Meet all COVID-19 prevention requirements
  • Have received the full course of an approved vaccine
  • Have evidence that you have at least NZD $20,000 annually for living costs (or NZD $1,667 for each month of study if your programme of study is less than thirty-six weeks)
  • Have evidence that you can pay for managed isolation and quarantine (providers may choose to assist students with some or all costs)
  • Can successfully book an MIQ space timed to your course start date (MIQ places are not guaranteed)
  • Are ‘travel ready’ to arrive in New Zealand from about March to July 2022, including access to flight routes that easily link to New Zealand
  • Can enter NZ and complete 14 days isolation in MIQ. MIQ spaces may not align with programme start dates
  • Agree to your information being shared by government agencies to help you arrive in NZ
  • Be aware that there may be changes to In Study Work Rights and Post Study Work Rights that may be implemented at the time of your application for a visa
  • Demonstrate English competency as per the NZQA requirements. If you have any questions, contact NZQA 
  • Have the support of your family to travel and study in New Zealand.

Students are expected to start arriving to New Zealand under the program by March 2022.

New vaccination requirement for non-citizen travellers to New Zealand

Full vaccination will become a requirement for non-New Zealand citizens arriving into the country from 1 November. Those subject to the requirement who fail to present proof of vaccination may be subject to an infringement notice under the COVID-19 Public Health Response Amendment Act 2020, which under a Bill currently before the House would see infringements carrying a maximum fine of $4000.

Everybody arriving will still be required to complete 14 days in Managed Isolation and Quarantine, and all travellers except those from exempt locations will still need to have evidence of a negative COVID-19 test result from an accredited laboratory within 72 hours of their first scheduled international flight.

Flexible working conditions for international students working in the health sector

Student visa holders employed in a critical health worker role will have flexible visa conditions while their area is in Alert Level 3 or 4.  Visa holders do not need to do anything in order for these flexible working conditions to apply. However, after the area is declared no longer at Alert level 3 or 4, original visa conditions will apply.

Additionally, international students working in COVID-19 testing or vaccination centres may now do so without restriction on their hours. This however, is still contingent on the area of work being at Alert level 3 or 4.

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