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Only 135 out of 1,000 Allowed International Students Landed in NZ After 6 Months

Only 135 out of 1,000 Allowed International Students Landed in NZ After 6 Months

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Six months after New Zealand made provisions to allow 1,000 international students to enter the country, only 135 have landed in the country.

According to Te Herenga Waka-Victoria University vice-chancellor Grant Guilford, this was mainly due to the government’s reluctance to approve more students to enter the borders until all spaces in the managed isolation were filled. Most universities believe that a drawn-out visa application process, miscommunication, and lack of spaces in MIQ contributed to the slow down of international student reentry.

Rebecca Walkinton of the University of Auckland said that international students need to arrive in New Zealand by July 4 to complete MIQ before the second semester starts. However, this deadline can be pretty challenging for all international students because there are no spaces available to accommodate them. One of the biggest concerns is that students can only secure a student visa if they can prove they have booked MIQ space before entry. Unfortunately, with the limited availability, this option isn’t possible. Another issue is that honours students could not enter the country because the extension of their bachelors was seen as a change in the programme. 

Belinda Himiona from the Ministry of Education said there had been an increase in demand for students seeking nominations, as well as visa application approvals. Of all 985 students nominated to come back to New Zealand, 691 have applied for visas, and 523 were approved.

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