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Posted on December 21 2015

Five-year student visas launched

By  Editor
Updated April 03 2023
Early this week, New Zealand introduced a pathway student visa pilot—valid up to a maximum of five years—that will allow international students to undertake a progression of up to three consecutive programmes of study with education providers on a single visa. Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce and Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse announced that the visa will be implemented on December 7 for an initial pilot period of 18 months and will cover more than 500 primary, secondary and tertiary institutions. This 18-month pilot has been designed to make New Zealand more competitive for international students. “The international education industry is already worth $2.85 billion dollars in foreign exchange each year, and pathway student visas are an important initiative that will help us in our goal to double the value of international education to New Zealand by 2025,” said Mr Joyce. The key features of the visa are:
  • Education providers will be required to have a 90% global student visa approval rate for entry into the pilot
  • Providers will enter into a formal agreement between themselves to manage pastoral care and education progress
  • Qualifying education providers participating in the pilot will be published on the INZ (Immigration New Zealand) website
  • Students will provide an offer of place and paid tuition fees for the first programme of study/year and conditional offers for subsequent programmes of study
  • Students will provide evidence of maintenance funds for the first year of study
  • Work rights will be granted for the visa duration if the first programme of study qualifies for work rights under existing immigration instructions
Mr Woodhouse said, “The 18-month period will enable INZ to evaluate outcomes of the pathway student visa pilot programme such as student transition rates from the first and the second programme of study and how well the arrangements between providers are working. “They will also lead to efficiency gains for Immigration New Zealand and the industry as students will not need to apply for as many visas.”



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