The pilot allows students to apply for a single visa to cover up to three consecutive programmes of study, over a period of up to 5 years, with one or more of the qualifying New Zealand education providers.
For example, if you take an English language course, transfer to a year-long foundation programme, and then move onto a degree course, all three courses are included on the one visa. Or if you’re completing secondary school studies in New Zealand, you could get one visa to cover the length of your studies, rather than reapply each year.
What are the benefits?
1. You only have to apply once
One visa will cover up to three courses, over a maximum period of five years.
2. You’ll have a seamless study experience
Your study will be mapped out from the start, making the transition between courses (and providers) much smoother – allowing you to focus on your studies.
3. Your education providers will support you throughout your studies
Participating providers must agree to support you throughout your studies. If your pathway includes more than one participating institution, then the providers must have a formal agreement to manage your care and education while you’re in New Zealand.
4. You may be able to work while you study
Some courses allow you to work for up to 20 hours each week and full-time during scheduled breaks and/or the summer vacation period. You can find out about the work rights criteria here.
If your first course qualifies for work rights, then you’ll be granted the ability to work for the duration of your visa. If only your second or subsequent programme of study is eligible, you’ll need to apply to Immigration New Zealand for a variation of conditions before you can start working.
The Pathway Student Visa Pilot began in December 2015 and will continue until June 2017.
Visit Immigration New Zealand’s website to find out more.