08 May 2012

Authorities reach New Zealand visa agreement to boost student numbers

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Educational and immigration authorities have reached an agreement to speed up New Zealand visa processing times in an effort to boost international student numbers.

New Zealand visa

Increased cooperation between the two governmental agencies is hoped to increased New Zealand visa numbers for international students.

Immigration New Zealand and Education New Zealand have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) in order to reduce New Zealand visa processing times for international students to as little as 10 days in the hope that the ease of application will tempt more international students to the country.

As well having reduced processing times for visa applications, international students will also have a dedicated points of contact within both New Zealand immigration and education government bodies to assist with any difficulties that may arise.

The MoU has been hailed as a significant example of government agencies working together in order to benefit the country.

"The international education industry is worth just over NZ$2 billion [£970 million] to New Zealand's economy," said Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce.

"It is a bridge between New Zealand and the world. We want to double the economic and social benefits that international education brings over the next 15 years.

"Only by the government working closely with the [education] sector, and developing initiatives such as this that support growth will we achieve that goal."

Mr Joyce's praise for the scheme has been echoed by Immigration Minister Nathan Guy, who says the MoU will mean more involvement in the education industry for immigration authorities.

"Immigration New Zealand plays a key role in facilitating the entry of around 100,000 international students who come here each year," said Mr Guy.

The New Zealand Visa Bureau is an independent migration consultancy that specialises in helping people apply for a New Zealand Working Holiday Visa.

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