The first step towards student re-entry in New Zealand

New Delhi: The Minister of Education announced the border exception for 250 postgraduate international students two weeks ago. Work is well underway to put in place a new system to allow this cohort of students to enter New Zealand.

For students, there is no rush to apply for these limited spaces. PhD and postgraduate students who hold or held a visa for 2020 will be selected by education providers and offered a place in this first cohort.

The initial student selection process is being finalized by education providers and government agencies, who are also planning the support students will require on their journey to resume their study in New Zealand. Students are expected to start arriving from November, with most arriving after Christmas.

Eligible students will hold or have held a visa to study in 2020 but have been unable to enter New Zealand due to COVID-19, with priority given first to those who must be in New Zealand to complete practical components of their research and study.Students will need to comply with New Zealand’s COVID-19 regulations, including a 14-day managed isolation period, and payment of the isolation charges. Their arrival remains subject to the availability of these facilities, to avoid preventing New Zealand citizens and residents from returning home, or essential skilled workers from entering the country.


Education New Zealand has been working with the Ministry of Education and other Government agencies and the education sector in building the student re-entry approach. In announcing this decision on 12 October, Minister Chris Hipkins emphasised the importance of international education to New Zealand’s recovery and rebuild from the pandemic.


“We have been glad to see this initial announcement has been well-received by both the New Zealand public and the education sector,” ENZ General Manager – Stakeholders & Communications, John Goulter, says. “This group of 250 represents only a fraction of our usual international student intake. By keeping this first cohort of international students small, we can all work to make sure students have a great experience – and that they are welcomed and supported by New Zealanders.”