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New Zealand: Latest News

New Zealand launches pathways visa amid growth

The number of international student visas in New Zealand has increased and the government has launched a pathways visa, meaning numbers are likely to grow even further

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The latest government data has revealed that New Zealand experienced strong growth in international student numbers in 2015. This announcement comes as the government introduces a new pathways visa that will allow international students to study for three consecutive programmes over a five-year period.


ENZ’s full-year Student Visa Dashboard for 2015 has revealed that New Zealand experienced a 13% year-on-year increase in total student visa approvals in 2015, or 10,407 more visas than in 2014.


While more international students are flocking to the country, the introduction of the pathways visa, which also allows students to work during their studies, is set to make the country even more attractive.


The new visa is part of an 18-month trial which will allow students to pursue a pathway of language and academic programmes at pilot-eligible education institutions. 


The ENZ data is also consistent with Hotcourses Insights data on international student searches. Hotcourses Director of Insights, Aaron Porter, noted that the company's figures suggest interest in New Zealand is growing. 


Mr Porter said: “In a basket with the USA, UK and Australia, New Zealand has managed to increase its share of prospective international students from 6% to 6.6% when you compare a 19 week period in 2014-15 to the same period in 2015-16.


“Growth from prospective students in Indonesia and Saudi Arabia looking at New Zealand in particular has been strong, reaching 9.1% and 7.8% of the market share respectively.”



1 Nov 2014 – 11 March 2015 1 Nov 2015 – 11 March 2016
USA 39.5% USA 40.6%
UK 34.1% UK 30.1%
Australia 20.5% Australia 22.7%
New Zealand 6% New Zealand 6.6%