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The New Zealand government has finally rolled out dates for reopening its borders for citizens, travellers, and international students in a five-step process starting February. After largely remaining closed for 2 years in the wake of the Covid-19 pandemic, PM Jacinda Ardern announced the reopening of borders on Friday.

In the five-step plan, the country will initially reopen its borders to fully vaccinated NZ citizens and residents and eventually to 5,000 international students from April 12, 2022. Although the normal visa processing will resume in October this year, on-campus studies won’t be possible for all international students until 2023.

It is going to be the first time New Zealand will open its borders since 2020. The country has also set a date to recommence normal visa processing for all visa categories starting October 2022. The news has surely come out at the right time for international students looking to start their on-campus studies in 2023.

The New Zealand government plans to welcome visitors and students following a 5-step plan that includes:

  1. Allowing entry to fully vaccinated New Zealand citizens and residents from Australia starting Feb.27, 2022
  2. Allowing entry to fully vaccinated citizens worldwide from March 13, 2022
  3. Allowing entry of up to 5,000 international students from April 12, 2022
  4. Allowing entry of fully vaccinated Australians and all other visitors who can normally travel visa-free to New Zealand from July 2022
  5. Allowing entry to all visa categories, including visitor and student visas from October 2022.

Further, international students will no longer have to register for government-managed isolation (MIQ) spots and will have the option of self-isolating at home (which is capped at 10 days for now). While unvaccinated students, who do not meet New Zealand’s vaccination requirements and are eligible to enter New Zealand will still have to continue to enter MIQ.

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