Wellington, March 31, 2020
International students are a valued part of New Zealand’s education system and of our community. New Zealand provides quality education to many thousands of international students each year, and we want that to continue.
The New Zealand Government’s number one priority is the health of people in New Zealand and the Pacific Islands.
Our message to students is that your health and safety is our number one priority. You are not alone, and the New Zealand community is here to support you.
Access to information, help
New Zealand is committed to ensuring that international students have ready access to the information, support and care they need.
Temporary visa holders including student visa holders can no longer enter New Zealand.
Only residents and citizens can enter, and they must isolate themselves for 14 days upon arrival.
All educational facilities are closed and should provide distance learning where this can be reasonably managed by staff working from home
Businesses closed except for essential services and lifeline utilities.
Travel is severely limited and the government re-prioritised health services.
School holidays advanced
From March 24, 2020, early learning services, schools and kura were closed for most students.
School holidays started early from March 30, 2020 to April 14, 2020.
During the holiday break, the Ministry of Education will support schools to develop e-learning and other distance learning options for Term 2.
Tertiary providers are moving to full distance learning as quickly as possible.
The official New Zealand Government source of information is website covid19.govt.nz with information on (a) The symptoms of COVID-19 and how to seek medical help (b) How to protect your mental wellbeing (c) Self-isolation and (d) Content for speakers of other languages.
Call Healthline for health-related calls about COVID-19 on 0800-3585453; calls from overseas to +64-9-3585453. You can talk with a member of the National Telehealth Service and interpreters will be on hand. The number is staffed by nurses, paramedics and health advisors.
For international students
The Ministry of Education website is the official source of information for New Zealand’s education sector during the COVID-19 outbreak.
It has advice and information for students and their families including in simplified Chinese.
It also has information for education providers and homestay families.
For any other information that your tertiary education provider is unable to help with, please call the Tertiary Education Commission on 0800-123797.
Immigration and insurance information
The New Zealand Government’s Epidemic Management Notice relating to immigration matters comes into effect on Thursday April 2, 2020.
People with a temporary (work, student, visitor, interim and limited) visa expiring before April 1, 2020 who are unable to leave New Zealand must apply online for a new visa.
An interim visa will be issued.
People with a temporary visa due to expire between April 1 and July 9, 2020 will have their visas extended to late September.
Confirmation of extensions will be emailed to all visa holders.
Immigration New Zealand has set up a dedicated web page for student visa holders.
This will provide you will the latest information and advice on COVID-19 related visa queries
You can also call the Immigration Contact Centre on 0508-225288 (within New Zealand) or +64-9- 9521679 (from overseas).
The National Health Coordination Centre, which is part of the Ministry of Health, has confirmed that “people who have or who are suspected of having an infectious and/or quarantinable disease are eligible for publicly funded health services to address the risks to other people.”
Further information is available on the Ministry’s website.
New Zealand Qualifications Authority advises international students to contact their insurance provider directly for up-to-date advice on any changes to their cover as a result of the COVID-19 outbreak, and to then consider their options, and take the course of action that is in their best interests.
For education providers
New Zealand Qualifications Authority has developed information and advice for providers who, as Code signatories, have important responsibilities to international students.
Information for travellers
Only residents and citizens can enter New Zealand.
Residents and citizens entering New Zealand should check the Ministry of Health information for travellers webpage
You can find out more about self-isolation on the Ministry of Health’s website.
People who have recently returned to New Zealand and who develop symptoms of fever, cough or shortness of breath should seek medical advice – phone Healthline’s dedicated COVID-19 number 0800 358 5453 or contact your GP, including phoning ahead of your visit.
For updates, please visit www.covid-19.govt.nz
Information for New Zealand citizens and permanent residents returning to New Zealand is available on the Immigration New Zealand website.