Border class exception for 1,000 international tertiary students

A border class exception for 1,000 international tertiary students was approved by the Government for the following international students in 2021:

  • 400 pilot trainees
  • 300 students at degree level and above, and
  • 300 students at the sub-degree level.

Education providers are in the process of nominating eligible students to this border exception. These students are expected to arrive in New Zealand from March 2022. Nominations for this border class exception (Cohort 3) are expected to close in April 2022.

The Ministry of Education has worked with the education sector to define the categories of students eligible for this exception.

Information for prospective international students

Education providers will supply relevant information to prospective students.

Travel Ready Checklist

You will need to confirm you can meet the following requirements:

  • Meet all COVID-19 prevention requirements.
  • Have received the full course of an approved vaccine.(external link) You can read more at: New vaccination requirement for non-citizen travellers to New Zealand - link)(external link)
  • Have evidence that you have at least NZD $20,000 annually for living costs (or NZD $1,667 for each month of study if your programme of study is less than thirty-six weeks).
  • Are ‘travel ready’ to arrive in New Zealand from between March and July 2022, including access to flight routes that easily link to New Zealand.
  • Agree to your information being shared by government agencies to help you arrive in New Zealand.
  • Be aware that there may be changes to In Study Work Rights and Post Study Work Rights that may be implemented at the time of your application for a visa.
  • Demonstrate English competency as per the NZQA requirements. If you have any questions, contact NZQA.(external link)


How will the 1,000 students be selected?

The Ministry of Education will work with government agencies and the international education sector, including Universities New Zealand, Te Pūkenga, Aviation New Zealand and the PTE sector, to identify eligible students. Providers will be in touch with nominated students. 

How will I know if I can be nominated?

At the right time, your education provider will contact you to discuss your eligibility. You may contact your preferred education provider to signal your interest to study in New Zealand in 2022.

Do I need to be fully vaccinated?

Yes. Anyone entering New Zealand (17 years and older), who is not a New Zealand citizen, will require a full course of the COVID-19 vaccines approved by a government or approval authority and received your last dose at least 14 days prior to arrival in New Zealand. Vaccination details will need to be confirmed prior to travel. See: Proof of vaccination for travel to New Zealand | Unite against COVID-19 ( link)

Am I eligible for a scholarship?

General information about scholarships for international students is available at Find a scholarship - link) and Scholarships and financial help.

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