Changes to immigration settings for future international students

The Government has announced that, from 31 July 2022, New Zealand’s borders will fully reopen.

From that date, all international students with a valid visa can enter New Zealand. New students eyeing New Zealand as their preferred study destination can progress their study plans with their chosen providers. The reopening also means that more New Zealand students can now enjoy more study opportunities worldwide, and so become better connected global citizens.

International education makes an important contribution to many New Zealand education providers, to our economy, and to the perspectives of many of our students. It introduces people throughout the world to our cultures and way of life. It can add to our skills base, and strengthens our connections, reputation, diplomacy, and trade.

To coincide with the reopening, the Government has made some immigration changes. Some of these affect international students. Most notably, the placing of some limitations on the eligibility for post-study work visas of some students studying at Level 7 and below (excluding bachelor’s degrees), changes to the length of some post-study work visas and the raising of the funding that all prospective international student visa applicants will need to show before studying in New Zealand.

These changes will take effect between 11 May and 31 July 2022. They do not apply to students studying in New Zealand under the current settings, student visas granted from applications submitted before these dates, or students entering New Zealand under a border class exemption. No changes have been made to the in-study work rights of international students, including for those studying at level 7 and below.

Under the changes, international tertiary students will continue to be very welcome to study in New Zealand at all levels. Many will still be able to work while studying. These students can also still apply for another visa after their student visa if they are eligible – including by being paid median wage or more in most cases.

You can find out more information on Immigration Rebalance: International Education Sector [PDF, 169KB] - link)

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