No end in sight for offshore student visa applications
There’s still no set timeframe for processing offshore student visa applications, the NZ Government has recently confirmed.
All temporary entry visa applications were put on hold in August 2020, and international students waiting for this suspension to be lifted got another ‘cold shower’ last week. Only 250 PhD and post-graduate students, and a further 1,000 returning bachelor and post-graduate students, have been allowed entry into New Zealand over recent months, but for most applicants no border exceptions are available.
The current visa freeze is set to remain in place until at least May 2021. Some NZ education providers are offering distance learning, which doesn’t require a visa. However, being enrolled doesn’t automatically give offshore students a priority pass for a student visa. Plus, offshore study will not be counted towards post-study work visa criteria: to be eligible, students at a bachelor degree level or above still need to complete 30 weeks of full-time study in New Zealand, or 60 weeks for qualifications below this level.