24 February 2022 at 9:30 am

Fourth cohort of 5,000 international students as a border exception

A new cohort of up to 5,000 international students was announced by the Government on 3 February 2022, as part of a five-step plan to reopen Aotearoa New Zealand’s borders.

Note: The latest information on Cohort 4 is available here.

The students will be able to enter New Zealand from mid-2022 as a border exception, through a centrally managed process.

Student places will be allocated across the sector, based on the proportion of international students who were attending each type of education provider pre-COVID in 2019:

  • University 1,450 
  • Te Pūkenga 700
  • School (year 9 and above) 1,000
  • PTE (including pilot training) 850
  • English Language School 1,000 

ENZ and the Ministry of Education are currently consulting with the peak bodies for universities, Te Pūkenga, PTEs, ELS and schools, on a draft implementation framework. The framework will include information on the allocation of places to providers, criteria for nomination of students to these places and all related processes. If you are an education provider who is not aligned to a peak body, you can request a copy of the draft framework by emailing c4@enz.govt.nz.

The implementation framework is expected to be finalised by 14 March 2022, and more information will then be made available for prospective students and the wider education sector. 

Education providers will be responsible for determining eligible students to fill their allocation of places, and submitting information on these students to education agencies. Education agencies will confirm with providers that the students meet the criteria, and nominate these students to Immigration New Zealand. 

As with previous border exceptions, students who are interested should talk to their prospective education providers and indicate their interest.

Expected timings are as follows:

  • Mid-March 2022 – decisions begin to be communicated about the allocation of places to individual education providers
  • Mid-late March 2022 – education providers begin nominating students 
  • 13 April 2022 – the border exception visa application process opens for cohort 4 students
  • From mid-2022 – students are in New Zealand ready to begin their study.

We appreciate that the timings are tight, and everyone involved will need to work closely together so we can make the most of this opportunity.

Students will need to meet the same living cost requirements as the previous cohort, namely funds of $15,000pa for school students and $20,000pa for other students. 

Students will also need to comply with the vaccination and other health requirements that apply at their time of travel. Read more about travel to New Zealand on the Unite against COVID-19 website: Travel to New Zealand

What's in it for me?