Domestic tertiary student eligibility change for dependent children of migrants applying for 2021 Resident Visa

Domestic student eligibility in tertiary institutions

Along with the one-off resident visa and the one-off 12 months interim visa, the Government has announced a one-off tertiary student visa that may enable certain non-resident dependent children to study at tertiary level as domestic students (no international student fees) from 1st January 2022, and for the 2022 and 2023 academic years.

What is a domestic student?

Traditionally, a domestic student is a New Zealand resident or citizens, and pays 1/2 to 1/3 of the fees charged to an international student, for the same course. Non-residents would normally require an offer of place, and an international student visa, to study at tertiary level at universities, polytechnics and institutes of technology, wānanga and private training establishments.

What changes and who is eligible?

The definition of a domestic tertiary student (for the 2022 and 2023 academic years only) has been expanded to include people who are:

  1. currently in New Zealand and,
  2. 25 or under as at 1 January 2022 and,
    1. the child of a person who held one of the following visa types as at 29 September 2021:
      • Essential Skills Work Visa
      • Approval in Principle
      • Work to Residence (all categories)
      • Skilled Migrant Category Job Search
      • Religious Worker
      • Post Study Work Visa
      • Work Visa granted under section 61 of the Immigration Act 2009 (provided the applicant held another eligible visa type within 6 months of being granted a visa under section 61)
      • Special work visa for victims of people trafficking
      • Migrant Exploitation Protection
      • Special work visa for victims of family violence
      • Silver Fern Practical Experience
      • Other Critical Workers visitor visas (provided the visa was granted for a minimum of 6 months)
      • Critical Health Workers visitor visa (provided the visa was granted for a minimum of 6 months ); or
    1. the child of a person who was granted a visa between 30 September 2021 and 31 July 2022 if it is:

In other words, if you have a 2021 resident visa application currently in process or are eligible to apply, your dependent child aged 25 or under can commence their studies at tertiary level, before you/they become a New Zealand resident.

What is the process?

Eligible applicants will require a new student visa with conditions that allow them to study as domestic tertiary students and will be able to apply from 1 January 2022. These visas will be granted with an expiry date that either aligns with the expiry date of their parent’s visa or 31 December 2023, whichever is sooner.

Can the child work on this visa?

You may seek a Variation of Conditions on the visa to allow work rights up to 20 hours per week. You will need evidence of enrollment for this.