New Zealand Government undertakes immigration rebalance for students

As of that date, all international students with valid visas can enter the country, and new students considering New Zealand as their study destination can begin planning and preparing with their chosen providers.

Staff ReporterUpdated: Monday, May 16, 2022, 05:53 PM IST
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University of Auckland

New Zealand: A consultation on a refreshed International Education Strategy for 2022-30 has been launched by Minister of Education Chris Hipkins. New Zealand's borders will be fully open from 31 July 2022 as announced by the Prime Minister on 11 May. The opening date for student visa categories has been pushed forward from October to now. The government has already approved a border class exception for 5,000 international students, which will enable them to enter New Zealand once their visas are granted.

As of that date, all international students with valid visas can enter the country, and new students considering New Zealand as their study destination can begin planning and preparing with their chosen providers.

There are two phases to the draft Strategy: one is focused on providers rebuilding their onshore study bases, and the second is on student wellbeing and attracting students seeking internationally recognized qualifications.

This consultation also seeks the sector and the public’s views on the actions to prioritize in the Strategy and the final strategy is expected to be available later in 2022.

The launch of the refreshed Strategy coincides with a major rebalancing of New Zealand’s immigration settings. Some of these new settings impact the post-study work rights of international students. The changes also increase the fund's international students' need to have to support themselves while studying.

If a student has studied full-time in New Zealand for 30 weeks and is studying for a bachelor's degree or a qualification above it, they will continue to be eligible for post-study work rights. There have been changes to post-study work visa settings, which will apply to any student visa applications received on or after 11 May 2022 that are not covered by transitional arrangements. There are 20 roles on the Green List that have direct pathways from Level 7 and below level qualifications like Construction Project Manager; Project Builder; 12 specific engineering roles; Civil Engineering Technician; Electrical Engineering Technician; Secondary School teacher; Early Childhood (Pre-primary School) Teacher; Automotive Electrician; Diesel Motor Mechanic.

When it comes to the living costs of migrant students, From 31 July 2022, fund requirements will increase from $15,000 to $20,000 per annum for prospective tertiary student visa applicants and to $17,000 for prospective international school students. International students will still be welcome to study at non-degree levels in New Zealand and many can work while studying. They can also still apply for another visa after their student visa, such as the Accredited Employer Work Visa, if they are eligible.

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