New Zealand launches pathway visa on 18-month trail
New Zealand has launched the new pathway visa for international students on an 18 - month pilot basis. The pathway visa allows students to study with up to three different education providers in New Zealand over a five-year period. The new visa process which started from 7 December, 2015 includes more than 500 primary, secondary, and tertiary institutions across New Zealand.
Another perk of the New Zealand pathway visa is that visa holders also have the opportunity to work during their studies in the country.
The recent step is a reflection that the country is set to expand its foothold in the study abroad market. New Zealand is one of the emerging study abroad destinations for international students, especially, among Indian students. In 2015, for the second year, India was among the countries driving growth in the foreign students’ market in New Zealand with a 49% increase in the international student visas issued by New Zealand government year to date (YTD) September 2015.
Overall, there was a 12% increase in the number of total student visas issued in September, 2015 driven mainly by China, the Philippines, the USA and Colombia besides India.
The international education sector in New Zealand is now valued at NZ$2.85 billion. Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce notes, “The industry and Government believe that Pathway Student Visas will help retain more international students and make New Zealand more competitive with countries such as Australia which already offer pathway programmes”
In order to apply for a pathway visa, students will have to fulfill the following eligibility criteria:
An offer of admission from an institution.
Proof of funds, including tuition fees for the first programme as well as maintenance funds of NZ$15,000 for the first year of study.
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