13 October 2020

Certain international students added to border exception list

The latest set of border exceptions was announced by the Government yesterday, this time targeting the international education sector, in recognition of the important role international education will play in New Zealand’s COVID recovery plan.


The scope of this exception is however very limited, and it is not intended to allow entry to the usual number of international students seeking to enter New Zealand each year.  For now, just 250 students will be able to enter under this category, and they must be PhD or Masters students who already hold or held student visas for 2020, and whose long-term commitment to study here was disrupted by COVID-19. Within these, priority will be given to those who need to be present in New Zealand in order to carry out practical work here towards their research and study.


These students will begin arriving in New Zealand next month, however the majority are set to arrive in the new year.


Similarly to how the ‘other critical worker’ border exceptions require the government to liaise with industry bodies to determine which workers will be eligible to enter as a critical worker, the Ministry of Education will work in conjunction with tertiary education organisations to identify students who will be eligible for this exception. As such, student visa holders should contact their education providers in the first instance to establish whether they will meet the criteria for entry to New Zealand. For any other queries about studying or working in New Zealand, or about the process of applying for entry permission or a visa, contact us.