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  • New Zealand’s borders will fully reopen to international students as of 31 July 2022

  • Government and industry stakeholders are moving to a more active recruiting posture with the goal of rebuilding the country’s foreign enrolment

  • A number of new immigration measures affecting international students have been announced

  • Education New Zealand is in the process of creating a new international education strategy for the balance of this decade, one that imagines a more diverse enrolment for New Zealand educators and greater emphasis on remote and offshore delivery.


Following a limited opening of its border this quarter, New Zealand will resume processing for student and visitor visas as of 31 July 2022. This, the government has explained previously, essentially signals “the full resumption of international education.”

Bringing forward the reopening to all international students shows the Government’s strong commitment to them, and to rebuild high-quality, world-class, New Zealand international education.

The government announcement detailed wide-ranging immigration reforms, including several measures affecting foreign students.

More specifically:

  • Students in non-degree level courses will no longer be eligible for post-study work rights, except in cases where they are studying and then working in specified shortage and skilled occupations.

  • For degree-level and other eligible international students the length of time they can work after their studies will be equivalent to their term of study in New Zealand.

  • Masters and PhD students will retain the right to work in New Zealand for up to three years after their studies.

  • Students will no longer be able to apply for a second post-study visa in New Zealand.

The government has also announced that there will be no change to the ability of international students to enrol in New Zealand primary and intermediate schools.

Educational costs (as per 2022):

Bachelor's degree             $20,000 to $40,000, with higher fees for subjects such as medicine and veterinary science. Many bachelor’s degrees can be completed in three years.


Postgraduate degree       $20,000 to $40,000, with higher fees for subjects such as medicine and veterinary science.

PhD                                    International PhD students pay the same as New Zealand PhD students, which is about $6,500 to $7,500 per year for most subjects. 

Cost of living (as per 2022):

Living costs will depend on your lifestyle and which part of the country you live in. It may be cheaper to live in a small town than a big city for example, because of lower housing and transport costs.

As an example of how much to budget for, Victoria University of Wellington and the University of Auckland estimate living costs to be around $20,000-$27,000 each year, and the University of Otago (based in Dunedin) estimates $18,000-$21,000.

When applying for a student visa, you’ll be required to provide evidence that you have at least NZ$20,000 (or NZ$17,000 for school years 1-13) to cover your living expenses for your first year of study. The funds required will be lower for shorter lengths of study.

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