New Zealand amends student visa terms

Hamilton: The immigration department of New Zealand has announced major changes to the conditions for a student visa that would enable the “best students” to stay on and contribute to the country’ skilled workforce and benefit the economy.

The changes to the “Study to Work” visa – that aims to attract students and help them get work and residence – would come into effect from July 25.

New Zealand’s international student population has grown rapidly in recent years. India has overtaken Japan to become New Zealand’s third largest source of international students.

The number of Indian students has increased by almost 350 percent since 2006. Around 11,600 Indian students enrolled in New Zealand in 2010.

After changes, students would need to study in the country for at least two years in order to get the “Study to Work” visa.

Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman said it was important to ensure that students genuinely come to New Zealand to study.

It was also important to enable the best students to stay on and contribute to New Zealand’s economy.

“The majority of people are here to legitimately study, but some just see a student visa as a short cut to gaining access to New Zealand,” Coleman said.

“Some education providers have been enrolling students who are not capable of successfully completing their courses, have poor attendance, and who are recording poor learning outcomes,” he said. By Amandeep Kaur