New Zealand is competing with other developed countries for the same pool of potential migrants, students and visitors. Our economic future depends in part on the continued success of our education, tourism and other export sectors. These changes are designed to make it easier for low-risk, high-value migrants to come to New Zealand. Export education is our fifth largest export industry, worth $2.3 billion to the economy, and these changes will make it easier for students to come here.
Changes to immigration health screening will be made in late July 2012. This means that visa applications lodged up until the changes are made will be subject to the current immigration instructions.
International fee paying students will not need to provide full medical certificates, unless there are reasons that INZ may require them to, regardless of the length of their stay. We will continue to screen for TB. This is a major change and a positive move that will benefit students and the education sector. To mitigate any impact on health services, INZ will require the student to hold appropriate medical insurance. This will be a visa condition.
Reasons may include INZ being aware of an applicant’s medical condition through prior interactions or the applicant self-declaring a medical condition.
International students are already required by the Ministry of Education's Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students to have appropriate insurance. INZ will merely be reflecting this in our immigration instructions.
INZ is currently consulting with the education sector on the implementation of this requirement. Further detail has yet to be developed.
Students are generally young and because they are ineligible for publicly funded health care, the risk of them imposing health costs on New Zealand is low. INZ wants to support the growth of the export education industry in New Zealand, and reducing health screening for fee paying international students does this. Screening for TB will still be undertaken and INZ will retain the ability to request medical certificates from students where risk factors indicate this is appropriate. Requiring students to hold acceptable insurance will also mitigate costs on the public health system.
Yes. This is because they are not covered by the Ministry of Education's Code of Practice for the Pastoral Care of International Students and are not required to hold medical insurance. Many of them may also be eligible for publicly-funded health services. However, these types of students still benefit from an extension in the validity of their medical certificates. Instead of being valid for 24 months, from July their medical certificates will be valid for 36 months,
All other temporary entry visa applicants which includes; domestic students, visitors, workers, limited visa and resident visa applicants, will be able to re-use medical certificates which have been submitted within 36 months of their latest application. This is a change from the current validity period of 24 months for temporary entry visa applicants and 3 months for resident visa applicants.
Changes to immigration health screening will not be implemented until late July 2012. Until that time the current rules apply around the validity of medical certificates.
Evidence suggests that migrant’s health outcomes are generally good and that immigration has a positive fiscal impact. Updated medical certificates can still be requested where risk factors indicate this is necessary. A regular data-matching and analysis exercise with the Ministry of Health is also being established to review the take-up of health services by temporary and permanent migrants.
Partners and dependent children of New Zealanders have strong links to New Zealand via their partner or parent. Asylum claimants have met a high threshold of proof in order to have been recognised as a refugee or protected person by New Zealand. The number of people who benefit from this change is expected to be small.
We are currently reviewing the tests and requirements of INZ’s health screening process. Once this review is complete there will be more detail available. The conditions that currently disqualify a partner or dependent child from consideration of a medical waiver, are those where the applicant: