Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is unable to grant visas to individuals who are unlikely to meet current entry requirements, due to COVID-19. It is therefore unfair to accept applications if they are not able to be processed.
The New Zealand Government first suspended offshore visa processing in August 2020 and this has been extended to February 2021.
This decision was also made in the interest of students – INZ wants to make sure students do not incur the costs associated with a visa application while no applications can be processed.
In addition, INZ advises that many of the documents required as part of the visa process would quickly become out of date if INZ continued to accept applications but not process them. This means students would face additional effort and costs to update essential information (for example, the chest X-rays which are required where there is a tuberculosis risk) once processing resumed.
Some students may have been hoping to apply in order to be first in the line for when borders open. However, INZ cannot guarantee that applications will be processed in date order as they will process in accordance with Government priorities.
The health, safety and wellbeing of everyone currently in New Zealand remains the Government’s top priority. New Zealand and New Zealanders look forward to welcoming you here when the time is right.
The Minister of Education announced on 12 October 2020 that the government has approved the entry of 250 postgraduate and research students into the country. New Zealand universities (and other tertiary providers) are currently in the process of selecting the students who will be able to travel here and they will contact the nominated students. There is no student application process for this group of students.
Until the New Zealand borders open, there are other ways to begin your study in New Zealand. Contact your place of study to see whether are offering online courses or social events for their international students. Education New Zealand will also share more information on opportunities as they become available.
If you’re a student at tertiary level, please also note that currently, study outside of New Zealand does not count towards post-study work eligibility.
More information is available on INZ’s COVID-19 webpage for students.