The Minister of Immigration has increased the length of time visitors can study here without needing to apply for a ‘variation of conditions’ to their visa or a student visa.
People who held a valid visitor visa on Friday 11 September 2020, and are in New Zealand now, can now study for up to six months in a year. This gives them an extra three months on top of the usual three months they are allowed on a visitor visa.
This change also applies to school-age children attending school and people studying short courses with tertiary education providers.
People granted visitor visas after 11 September 2020 will have the standard visa condition allowing three months of study only.
Benefits of this change for visa holders
This change will benefit people who wish to continue studying from week to week while they wait for flights to depart New Zealand. For example, people studying in English language courses.
School-age children will also benefit as they will be able to study for more than one term as a visitor. They can also now study in Term 1 of a calendar year, even if they studied in Term 4 of the previous year. If they meet the definition of domestic student as defined by the Ministry of Education, they will not need to pay international fees.
INZ will let eligible visa holders know
INZ are in the process of notifying people who are eligible to study for a longer period while holding a visitor visa.
Q and A
What fees will they pay? Will they pay domestic or international study fees?
Most people studying at tertiary-level are required to pay full international fees for study in New Zealand.
On 10 September, the Government announced that school-aged children from overseas who are unable to leave New Zealand due to COVID-19 will be allowed to go to local schools as temporary domestic students for the rest of 2020 if they meet certain criteria (such as not having previously been enrolled as international students). If they meet the definition of domestic student as defined by the Ministry of Education, they will not need to pay international fees.