Update on the Reconnecting NZ Announcement and what it means for international students

The New Zealand Government has announced a 3-step Reconnecting NZ plan for entering NZ with self-isolation rather than MIQ in 2022. 

International students who have been nominated under a border class exception for international students will be classified as eligible travellers under “Step 2.” from 11:59pm on Sunday 13 February 2022. 

Other fully vaccinated foreign nationals will follow from April 2022 onwards, however, the Government is yet to confirm whether this will be phased by visa category. 

Pending further announcements, the current border settings will remain in place, including the suspension of offshore student visa applications. The suspension may be lifted at any time, as Reconnecting NZ decisions are made on the possible phasing of step 3. 

This means that international students offshore currently cannot apply for student visas (apart from students who have been contacted by their education providers to enter New Zealand through a border exception class). 

The government may lift this suspension, in whole or in part, as further decisions are made on the staged border reopening. This information will be updated on the Immigration New Zealand website. 

We encourage providers and students to wait for certainty on border entry conditions before making any commitments.

International Education Strategy 2018-2030

International Education Strategy 2018-2030

International Students and visitors

Definition of a domestic student in New Zealand

International student visitors

Education in New Zealand

International Student Wellbeing

New Zealand wants every international student to do well in New Zealand.

We want to ensure that every international student who comes to New Zealand to study feels welcome, safe and supported and gets the most of their studies and their stay.

We also want international students to feel they belong in New Zealand. This especially includes young students because for many, it may be their first trip overseas.

Students are from diverse cultures, living away from their families, communities and social networks, often for the first time and so it is important that we provide the right type of support.

International Student Wellbeing Strategy

To support the wellbeing of international students, New Zealand education agencies have committed to the International Student Wellbeing Strategy.

The ISWS supports four types of wellbeing:

  • economic wellbeing
  • education outcomes
  • health and wellbeing
  • inclusion.

The ISWS is designed to coordinate government and non-government stakeholders in the international education sector and International Students to identify priorities and work together on solutions.

Through the International Student Wellbeing Strategy, a variety of wellbeing projects have been funded, which have produced wellbeing resources to share.

International Student Wellbeing resources

ISWS Funding

Within the ISWS, the Ministry of Education manages funding for wellbeing initiatives that deliver on the outcomes of the Wellbeing Strategy.

From 2017/18, up to $750,000 has been allocated annually from the Export Education Levy (EEL) as funding to support the implementation of the Wellbeing Strategy.

The goal of the ISWS funding is to create a tool box of wellbeing resources (programmes, models, events and initiatives), building a community of support for international students.

Exchange students and programmes

Student exchanges are reciprocal programmes providing an opportunity for students to live and study in another country.

Setting up secondary school exchanges

Regulations to support international students

The Education (Pastoral Care of International Students) Code Of Practice 2016 replaces the existing Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students on 1 July 2016.

A new International Student Contract Dispute Resolution Scheme (DRS) will resolve contractual and financial disputes between international students and education providers. Both will better support and care for international students in New Zealand.

Regulations to better support international students

Export Education Levy

The Education Export Levy has been suspended until 2023.

Export Education Levy suspended for 2022 calendar year


Research publications — Education Counts website(external link)

Statistics — Education Counts website(external link)

International education links and resources

Education New Zealand (ENZ) website(external link)

English New Zealand website(external link)

Fulbright New Zealand Aotearoa website(external link)

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) website(external link)

ISANA: International Education Association website(external link)

New Zealand Educated website(external link)

New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) website(external link) (external link)

New Zealand Qualifications Authority (NZQA) website(external link)

New Zealand Trade & Enterprise (NZTE) website(external link)

Universities New Zealand — Te Pōkai Tara website(external link)

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