Under sections 52(4A)(b) and 53(4A)(b) of the Immigration Act 2009 (“Act”), by special direction, I vary the conditions of the visas held by the following class of people:
Every person who is in New Zealand on the date this special direction is signed and holds a visitor visa.
The condition of their visas imposed by paragraphs U2.5(c) and V2.35 of immigration instructions is varied so that:
- paragraph V2.35(a) reads: Visitor visa holders can study without the need to obtain a student visa or a variation of conditions if they attend primary, intermediate, secondary or composite school for up to six months per calendar year (whether in a single or multiple periods of study). The single period or multiple periods of study must start and finish within a calendar year; and
- the reference in paragraph V2.35(b) to “a single period of study” is now a reference to “a single period or multiple periods of study”.
The condition of their visas imposed by paragraph U2.5(b) of immigration instructions is varied so that the holder may undertake one or more programmes of study of not more than six calendar months’ duration in total per 12-month period.
All other requirements of paragraphs U2.5 and V2.35 are unchanged.
I am satisfied that the making of this special direction is reasonably necessary to manage the effects, or deal with the consequences, of measures taken under the Act or any other enactment in New Zealand, and other measures taken elsewhere, to contain or mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 or its effects. This special direction manages the short to medium-term effects of border restrictions by allowing visitors who are unsure when they will be able to leave New Zealand due to limited flight availability greater flexibility to take up study or attend school. It also provides support for the international education industry while it is unable to recruit new students from offshore due to the border closure.
I am satisfied that this special direction does not materially disadvantage the class of persons involved.
Dated this 11th day of September 2020.
Hon KRIS FA’AFOI, Minister of Immigration.
The effect of this special direction is to increase the amount of time that visitor visa holders (who are in New Zealand when this special direction is signed) can study or attend school on that visitor visa from up to three months per year, to up to six months per year. Visitor visa holders will now also be able to attend primary, intermediate, secondary or composite school in more than one single period in each calendar year and will be able to attend one of these schools in term 1 even if they had attended one of these schools in term 4 of the previous year.