The New Zealand government announced changes to its border reopening plan on Dec. 21 to reduce the potential of community transmission of the omicron strain of COVID-19 in the country.
COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins said that they are delaying the start of non-MIQ (managed isolation and quarantine) travel until the end of February 2022 in order to slow the quick spread they have seen elsewhere.
- To reduce the potential of community spread of the omicron strain, the New Zealand government made changes to its border reopening plan.
- COVID-19 Response Minister Chris Hipkins announced that non-MIQ travel will be delayed until the end of February 2022.
- The government has yet to say when certain groups of foreign nationals, such as international students, will be able to visit New Zealand or apply for visas.
The Cabinet has agreed on a series of safeguards to keep omicron out of the community for as long as feasible.
With omicron instances reported in over 70 nations around the world and its high transmissibility, the government’s strategy is to get as prepared as possible by speeding up boosters and hardening their border to keep Omicron out of the community.
The government has yet to announce when any specific category of foreign nationals, such as international students, will be eligible to travel to New Zealand or apply for visas.
New Zealand’s present border settings will remain in place until then. Unless they have a border exception, most people from outside New Zealand are unable to apply for a visa.
Students can enter New Zealand if they are eligible for one of the following border exceptions: 1,000 new and returning students, 1,000 returning bachelor’s degree and postgraduate students, and 250 new and returning Ph.D. and postgraduate students.
Before seeking to travel to New Zealand, students must be nominated by their education provider and the Ministry of Education.
They must still meet the standards of the student visa category they apply for in order to be awarded a visa if they are nominated.
Students must meet the border entry requirements of New Zealand. On arriving in New Zealand, this includes completing any obligatory stays in controlled isolation or quarantine, as well as a period of self-isolation.
Most offshore visa applications were suspended in August 2020, and the suspension is presently in effect until August 2022.
In keeping with its choices on the stages of the border reopening, the government may decide to withdraw the suspension, in whole or in part, before August 2022.
If international students who are currently studying in New Zealand leave now, they will most likely not be able to return for the start of the 2022 academic year. They will have to wait until the government provides dates for them to apply for visas and travel to New Zealand.
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