Dependents of 2021 Resident Visa Holders Now Eligible for Tertiary Study

A recent rule change to the immigration policy has introduced a new domestic tertiary student pathway for dependent children of work visa holders.

As part of the Government’s one-off 2021 Resident Visa, dependent children of eligible migrants will be able to access tertiary education as domestic students while their family’s 2021 Resident Visa is processed.

This solves a problem created by Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) inability to process Residence from Work and Skilled Migrant Category residence applications in a timely manner.

Previously, dependent children of work visa holders could study as domestic students until they needed to start tertiary studies. If by this time they had not acquired residence through their parents, they had to become an international student paying anywhere up to $60,000 or more per year in tuition fees. That is unaffordable for most parents.

The onset of significant delays in processing residence applications from 2018 onwards saw many thousands of tertiary-age dependent children of work visa holders sitting at home doing nothing – unable to engage in part-time employment or study.

That has compromised the educational development of those young adults and had a significant psychological impact on them and their parents. Despite loud calls for many years trying to prompt the minister into action, Mr Faafoi chose to do nothing until the pressure obviously became too great.

When you read the criteria for this visa, you can’t help but get a bit angry. The solution was so simple and could have been implemented years ago when the delays in the processing of residence cases became apparent.

One has to question the moral compass of the current minister and INZ when it is prepared to compromise the wellbeing of so many young people in terms of their learning, motivation, and mental health for so long. These young people represent the future of New Zealand. They will eventually chart the destiny of our country and be responsible for businesses, policies, institutions, and government programs. What message has the current Government sent them about how to value people?

  • Find out more about the Dependent Child Tertiary Student Visa eligibility here.
  • Find out more about 2021 Resident Visa eligibility here.
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