Visa Crunch

Student visa holders and applicants outside New Zealand in pandemic

Entry in New Zealand is strictly limited; the border is closed for many travellers, including student visa holders. As a result, many aspirants are stuck in limbo. Unfortunate and uncertain circumstances of the pandemic are inevitable.  

However, if the authority considers having a critical purpose of travel, people may travel to New Zealand while the border is stringently restricted. Not only that, by considering the seriousness of academic condition and hopes of students, the immigration authority has given some guidelines. Students, who do not meet the entry-level criteria, not inside New Zealand, will be able to study online with their education provider.

While entries are restricted, students will not be able to travel to New Zealand on their current permit if the ‘first entry before’ date on their visa has passed.

When the border re-opens: As per the guideline, students need to re-confirm their study plan status. Before they can come to New Zealand, they will need to apply for a new student visa.

If they decide on changing or cancelling their study plans, they should contact their respective institutions.

Student visa applicants who are not inside New Zealand are allowed to study remotely without a visa; till the border is closed. Once the border re-opens for traveling purposes, Students can provide evidence of their online study to support their visa application.

If a student chooses the option of remote study in their native country, they will still need to meet standard student visa requirements to grant them a student visa. Such requirements include:

  • Being a genuine student
  • Having sufficient funds for maintenance
  • Being of good health and character.

If students decide to cancel or change their study plans, they can reach out to their education provider. If their visa application is processed, they can contact the immigration authority of New Zealand to withdraw it. The immigration authority will consider requests for visa application fee refunds on a case-by-case basis.

Rushabh Brahmbhatt

Rushabh Brahmbhatt

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