Immigration laws cut red tape for foreign students

Wellington, Dec 15 NZPA - International students will be fighting less red tape to study in New Zealand under new immigrations laws, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

The new Immigration Act, which came into effect last month, allows interim visas to be granted to students while their applications are being processed.

It also extends the frequency for when police and medical certificates have to be provided.

Dr Coleman said the changes, which begin in February, would help boost the export education market.

"Interim visas mean students can still study here lawfully while their application is being processed, provided that they are lawfully in New Zealand when they apply," he said

"They'll still have to meet all our standard criteria, but the visa provides peace of mind for students and makes the enrolment process smoother for education providers."

Fee-paying foreign students would only have to provide police and medical certificates every three years, rather than every two years currently.

"These certificates can be expensive for students to obtain, and sometimes applications are returned because certificates have expired. This change will make it that bit easier and cheaper," Dr Coleman said.

"Now a student studying for a Bachelor's degree at university will only have to provide one medical certificate at the beginning, rather than a second one part way through their study."

In 2009/10 Immigration New Zealand approved nearly 94,000 student visa applications, 65,500 of which were for full fee-paying international students.

- Content provided to you by NZPA



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