Border exception for 1,000 international students

The New Zealand Government has announced that it has approved a border class exception for 1,000 international students to travel into the country.

Of the 1,000 eligible students, 400 will be pilot trainees, 300 will be students at degree level and above, and 300 sub-degree level students will also be allowed entry.

The Ministry of Education says it expects students to start arriving from mid-2022.

“We are working with other government agencies and the international education sector to bring international students back into the country,” the MoE announced on Friday.

“We will engage with education sector representatives to finalise the allocation of places within each of the three groups and confirm student nominations. Education providers will be responsible for nominating students who are eligible for border exception to the Ministry of Education by December 2021. The Ministry of Education will be responsible for confirming students are eligible for the border exception by January 2022.”

Key dates

October 2021 Allocation of places and criteria for nominations from providers confirmed.
November 2021 Providers communicate with potential students
December 2021 Nominations open with the Ministry of Education
January 2022 Successful nominated students to begin visa process
March 2022 Likely first student arrivals to New Zealand

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. 

Do international students need to be fully vaccinated?

Yes. As of 1 November 2021, anyone entering New Zealand (17 years and older), who is not a New Zealand citizen, will require a full course of any of the 22 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. You can find information on eligible vaccines at Vaccines – COVID19 Vaccine Tracker ( link).

Can students apply for a nomination with more than one education provider?

Ideally students will approach one preferred education provider who they already have a relationship with. Providers and government agencies will be working together to support the nomination process. 

School News

School News is not affiliated with any government agency, body or political party. We are an independently owned, family-operated magazine.
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Joidene Preston
Joidene Preston
2 years ago

Can we please just focus on our own kids here in Aotearoa first! We have got thousands of our own tamariki that will be behind academically because of lockdowns. Give us time to get our own students up to speed before opening up the gates to exchange students.

Please do not rush back into this!

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