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04 January 2011
New Zealand's immigration minister has said that overseas students wishing to study in New Zealand will have less red tape to deal with when obtaining a student visa.
Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman recently stated that a new type of student visa will make it considerably easier for foreign students to enter the country.
Recent changes to immigration law have removed certain onerous requirements that student visa applicants had to go through to obtain entry, such as extensive police checks and medical examinations.
Now, interim visas can be issued while a student's application is still being processed. In addition, background checks and medical examination renewals will only now need to be completed every three years instead of every two years.
"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," Coleman 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," he added.
The changes, due to take effect in time for the new school year in February 2011, will be good news to New Zealand educational institutions. The education export industry in New Zealand is a 2 billion dollar a year market.