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Domestic tertiary student eligibility change

Domestic tertiary student eligibility change for dependent children of migrants applying for 2021 Resident Visa

9 December 2021
2 minute read

The Government announced on 29 September a one-off residency pathway for migrants holding an eligible work visa in New Zealand to transition to residency.

The pathway will provide certainty for migrants to plan their future, and is expected to benefit around 165,000 people.

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.

2021 Resident Visa

Apply for a Dependent Child Tertiary Student Visa

Domestic students︱ Ministry of Education

This means that the definition of a domestic tertiary student for the 2022 and 2023 academic years has been expanded to include people who are:

  1. residing in New Zealand; and
  2. 25 years of age or under on 1 January 2022; and
  • Dependent children of those who are on eligible work visas for the 2021 Resident Visa and:
  • held that visa on 29 September 2021; or
  • holds a critical worker visa that was granted prior to 31 July 2022.

Eligible students will need to hold a student visa with conditions that allow them to study as domestic tertiary students.

Dependent children will be able to apply for a student visa from 10 January 2022. These visas will be granted with an expiry date that either aligns with the expiry date of their parent’s visa or 31 December 2023, whichever is sooner.

This student category is a one-off, like the 2021 Resident Visa.

Further information on the process to apply for this student visa will be provided on the Immigration New Zealand website in the next few weeks.

For Ministry of Education information regarding the initiative, visit their website:

Ministry of Education

22 December 2021: Updated to include application date.
28 February 2022: Updated to include link to application page.