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New Zealand student visa – Get your answers to COVID-19 related concerns

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As all of you are aware, due to the circumstances arising out of Covid-19, New Zealand is now in a state of National Emergency, and at Alert Level 4. The country has shut down, apart from essential services.
Given these unprecedented circumstances, we have been flooded with questions relating to various aspects of student visa. To assist you in gaining clarity, we have prepared a list of such FAQ’s:

Question 1. I was thinking about studying in New Zealand before the current situation unfolded. Can I carry on with my research as I still plan to study after a few months?
Answer- Yes, you can still carry on with your plans and use this time to do a thorough research. The admission team for most education providers is working remotely to process offers, and we are also here to answer your queries and address your concerns.
Question 2. I have applied for an Offer of Place to the education provider, and I am awaiting a response. Are the education providers still issuing offer letters?
Answer- Yes, the admission teams for most education providers are working remotely to process requests for offer letters; however, the intake may get delayed due to the current situation.
Question 3. When is the next available intake? Is there any intake before July 2020?
Answer- As of now, the next earliest available intake is expected to be in July 2020.
Question 4. I have my offer of place, but my student visa application has not been submitted yet. Can I apply for my student visa during the shutdown period?
Answer- Yes, currently the applications can be lodged online and are being accepted for processing by Immigration New Zealand (INZ).
Question 5. My Student Visa application is currently under process, and I did not receive my E-visa before the shutdown happened. Will my admission get automatically deferred to the next available intake?
Answer- No, the admission will not automatically be deferred. You would be required to submit the revised offer letter after your application is approved in principle by INZ. You are not required to take any action till then.
Question 6. My student visa application was approved in principle (AIP); however, I was unable to fulfil the AIP requirements before the shutdown happened. Will my AIP requirement date be extended automatically, or do I have to request for an extension?
Answer- The AIP requirement date would not be extended automatically, and you are required to upload a request for extension online. Considering the current situation, INZ is most likely to approve this request.
Question 7. My student visa application was approved in principle (AIP), should I complete the requirements such as transfer of fees, or should I wait for the shutdown period to get over?
Answer- You must try to complete the AIP requirements if you can or else request for an extension by providing reasons for the delay. The financial institutions are still operational, and you should be able to transfer your fees to the education provider.
Question 8. I have completed the AIP requirements, but my intake is now delayed, should I upload the revised offer, or will my education provider inform INZ directly.
Answer- The onus is on the applicant to inform INZ about the change in circumstances; hence, you would be required to send the revised offer letter to INZ to ensure the visa validity is in line with your course duration.
Question 9. I have got my E – Visa but I am unable to travel, how do I extend the first entry date?
Answer- As per the last communication received from INZ, an extension could be requested; however, we are still awaiting clarity and further information on the process to request such extensions. As soon as we receive further information on this we will share it with you.
Question 10. My first entry date on my E – Visa has expired, what should I do now?
Answer- As per the last communication received from INZ, an extension could be requested; however, we are still awaiting clarity and further information on the process to request such extensions. As soon as we receive further information on this we will share it with you.
Question 11. I have travelled to New Zealand, and am currently under self – quarantine, what should I do and who should I inform, and keep in touch with?
Answer- You must be in touch with your education provider, who would ensure your wellbeing is taken care of. The education providers in New Zealand are required to follow a code of practice for the pastoral care of international students.
Question 12. I am in New Zealand and am unable to get my bank account opened/get my Fund Transfer Scheme (FTS) account verified. I am, therefore unable to access my bank account. I am running short of money, what should I do?
Answer- You can contact your education provider for assistance.
Question 13. I am under self-quarantine, and I am unable to attend classes due to the poor or no internet connectivity, will it have an impact on my visa? Am I in breach of my visa conditions?
Answer- You should contact your education provider to discuss your situation. If the reason for non-attendance is beyond your control, this would not be considered as an intentional breach. The important thing is to make your education provider aware of your circumstances.
Question 14. My education provider has deferred my intake after arrival into New Zealand, what are my obligations, and what should I do now to ensure that I do not breach my visa conditions?
Answer- Please ensure you immediately inform INZ of the change in your circumstances. If you are unable to get through to INZ, you can also get in touch with your education provider to assist you.

We are aware that despite our efforts to cover all possible FAQ’s here, there may be more questions or elaborations which you may like to ask.

Please feel free to contact us on [email protected] or +64 9 379 0219 and get your queries answered.

Author Details

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Vandana Rai

(LIA 201400900)

Vandana Rai is a Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser and has built a reputation around her rare set of skills, which could be considered ideal for her legal profession.

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