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Covid-19 and Border update 

2 August 2021

Otago Polytechnic acknowledges that the international educational sector has been significantly affected by Covid-19 and that the sector is keen to get international students back to New Zealand as soon as possible.

However, the border remains closed to all but New Zealand citizens, residents and those granted a border exception.

 

For international students currently offshore

Student Visa processing

Immigration New Zealand  (INZ) has suspended visa processing to 6 February 2022. The suspension can be lifted if the border restrictions change.

There have been some international students who have been granted a border exception to return to New Zealand in 2021. The criteria for the next cohort of international is yet to be established and will most probably occur in 2022.

 

International students who have already made applications for 2022

New international students will not be able to enter New Zealand to start studies in February 2022. 

If you have applied for February 2022, your application will be deferred to the next available block or semester starting July 2022 or February 2023. 

 

Offers of Place to start studies in February 2022

Some students may have received Offers of Place to start studies in February 2022. These offers will no longer be valid. These offers shall be deferred to the next available block or semester.

 

Course / tuition fee refunds

Some students will have paid their tuition fees on receiving their offer of place. 

If the student wishes to obtain a refund of their course / tuition fees, they should mail international@op.ac.nz who will be able to arrange for a refund.  Please indicate ‘Refund’ in the subject line.

 

International students who have made visa applications

Immigration New Zealand will be refunding application fees and levies for temporary visa applications that cannot be processed due to New Zealand’s current border restrictions.

Students who applied for a temporary visa from outside New Zealand before 10 August 2020 will have their application lapsed and be refunded.

Students who applied for a temporary visa from outside New Zealand after 10 August 2020, when offshore applications were suspended, will have their application returned and be refunded.

More information can be found on the following link.

At the time their refund is being processed, INZ will contact the student. They will not contact the student ahead of the refund. 

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will be in touch with the student via the email address provided in the application.

For applications that were submitted and paid online, the refund will be made to the credit card that paid for the application fee. This may not be the student’s credit card but could be that of the agent or advisor. It is then the agent or advisors’ job to refund the student. 

Lapsing and refunding of the student’s application will have no impact on the ability of the student to apply for a visa in the future when the border restriction lifts.

 

Online learning

A selection of programmes that would normally only be delivered on-campus face to face is now available online.  

You do not require a visa to commence studies online.

 

Study Abroad & Exchange programme - Inbound

Immigration New Zealand  (INZ) has suspended visa processing to 6 February 2022. The suspension can be lifted if the border restrictions change. New international students will not be able to enter New Zealand to start studies in February 2022.

A decision has been made to cancel the Semester 1, 2022 Study Abroad and Exchange Programme that would have started in February 2022.  For more information, please contact studyabroad@op.ac.nz