New Zealand to Reopen Borders for International Students in 2022, Good News for Students

The NZ Government has declared a faster timeline for reopening the border and reconnecting New Zealand with the world. New Zealand’s border will now be fully reopened from July 22nd – three months earlier than originally planned.

Tourists from Pacific Island Forum countries (excluding Australia) will be able to apply for visas from Sixteen May as entry to New Zealand from the Pacific is a Government priority. From 4th July, all work visa categories will be open for applications, including the Accredited Employer Work Visa, and from 31st July, all student and visitor visa categories will reopen. The maritime border will also reopen on 31st July.

Moreover, most Works to Residence visa holders who were onshore on 9th May and whose visas are expiring on or before 31st December have had their visa extended by six months. Again, two-year open work visas have been granted to Essential Skills, Post-Study Work, and Partner of a New Zealander work visa holders who were also onshore on 9th May, and whose visas are expiring on or before 31st December.

From 4th July

The Accredited Employer Work Visa will contain a median wage threshold.

A green list will make it easier for employers to employ and attract migrants for high-skilled, hard-to-fill positions.

From September 2022

Streamlined pathways to residence for migrants in green list employment or paid twice the median wage.

From December 2022

Most partners of provisional migrant employees will need to qualify for an Accredited Employer Work Visa in their own right instead of automatically getting an Open Work Visa.

Other changes

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There are changes to Post-Study Work rights and cost-of-living requirements for future students.

In 2023, a new provision will come into effect requiring employers to be accredited to employ any migrant.