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student applying for a visa online

Visa suspensions: the fair thing to do

The New Zealand Government has announced the suspension of visa applications from students based outside of the country.

This decision was made in the interest of students – it is simply not fair for them to incur the costs associated with a visa application while no applications can be processed.

New Zealand and New Zealanders look forward to welcoming you here when it is safe to do so. 

However, while cases of Covid-19 continue to rise across the world, New Zealand’s border remains its first line of protection. The border currently remains closed to visitors, including students.

The Minister of Education recently confirmed that no more international students will be able to enter New Zealand this year. The government is looking at options that would enable small groups to enter New Zealand, but no decisions have been made yet.

A number of students have already applied for visas to enter New Zealand. However, these applications cannot be processed while the border is closed. 

In addition, Immigration New Zealand advises that many of the documents required as part of the visa process will quickly become out of date if an application is delayed. 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). 

Some students may have been applying to be first in the line for when borders open. Unfortunately, this is not always how Immigration New Zealand works. They cannot guarantee that applications will be processed in date order when processing resumes, and reserve the right to change the order in which applications are prioritised and processed.

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.

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.

Annabella Gamboni Study in New Zealand blog2

By Annabella GamboniCommunications Advisor

Updated 10 months ago

Annabella Gamboni is a member of the communications team at Education New Zealand. At high school, she spent three months in Germany as an exchange student, and later, spent a semester at a UK university.

*Views expressed are the blogger's own


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