The Government has approved an exception class for 1000 international tertiary students, degree level and above, who began their study in New Zealand but were caught offshore when border restrictions began.
The exception will allow students to return to New Zealand in stages from April 2021.
The students will return to New Zealand in phases, beginning with a cohort of 300 that will be able to return from April, with the remaining students returning throughout the year as MIQ availability allows.
The return of these students will not affect the ability of Kiwis to return home and it is balanced against the requirement for skilled workers to enter the country.
They will be subject to the same border rules and quarantine regime as all other arrivals – with any additional restrictions depending on where they come from.
“They will need to book their space through the allocation system and will be billed the standard charges for managed isolation. They also need to be able to do more to support themselves in New Zealand, with the living expenses that are required for international students to be granted a visa now raised to $20,000 – up from $15,000," Education Minister Chris Hipkins said.
Border exception details
Students with questions about this border exception should contact their providers. The Ministry of Education will continue to work with tertiary education providers to manage this process.
To be eligible for this border exception, students must
- hold, or have held a visa to study in 2020
- be studying towards a bachelor’s degree level or above qualification
- have studied in New Zealand in 2019 or 2020 toward their current qualification
- be returning to study with their current provider
- need to be in-country to complete their study.
Priority will be given to students who are closest to graduation.