Additional advice for international students

Additional advice for international students

In usual circumstances, international students are required to have supports in place during their study. However, we want to make sure that you have access to the essential services that can provide for your basic needs.

My Vaccine Pass information for international tertiary students

The My Vaccine Pass (MVP) is an official record of your COVID-19 vaccination status for use within Aotearoa New Zealand. Some events, venues, or businesses may require you to display your MVP as proof of your vaccination status before you enter their premises.

Although the Government does not require the use of MVPs in any setting, some tertiary education providers and businesses may continue to use this system. You can find more information about My Vaccine Pass at My Vaccine Pass — covid19.govt.nz.

For students who have received overseas vaccines, these will need to be loaded into the COVID Immunisation Register (CIR) before a pass can be generated. Information on CIR application and requirements can be found on the Ministry of Health website: COVID-19 overseas vaccinations and certificates — health.govt.nz.

Three options to apply for the My Vaccine Pass

Operators will verify your identity via verbal verification. You will likely be required to provide:

  • your full name, email address, mobile number, NHI number,
  • you may be asked to provide passport or other verification ID information, so be sure to have these available when you call
    Call centres now have extended hours, and are currently open from 8am – 8pm, 7 days a week. 

My Covid Record Helpline 0800 222 478

A verified RealMe account is different to an ordinary RealMe account that may have been used to register for courses or for immigration purposes. Ensure you get your RealMe account verified before registering for an account on the My Covid Record website.

Participating pharmacies will be able to help you request and print your My Vaccine Pass. 

  • Make sure you have your NHI number with you. 
  • A list of participating pharmacies can be found on COVID-19 Vaccination — healthpoint.co.nz.
  • Your My Vaccine Pass can also now be mailed to your residential address.

For students who have received overseas vaccines, these will need to be loaded into the COVID Immunisation Register (CIR) before a pass can be generated. Information on CIR application and requirements can be found on COVID Immunisation Register (CIR) privacy statement — health.govt.nz.

New Zealand has approved 35 overseas vaccines that allow for entry into the country, however only 10 vaccines are listed under New Zealand ‘Fully Vaccinated’ definitions which will allow you to receive a My Vaccine Pass.

Vaccination requirements for travel to New Zealand | Unite against COVID-19 — covid19.govt.nz

COVID-19: Overseas vaccinations and certificates — health.govt.nz

If you have received a vaccine that does not fall under the 10 vaccinations that are required for a My Vaccine Pass, these will need to be registered and loaded into the CIR. The process will take around 14 days. Note that this process does not guarantee that you will be recognised as fully vaccinated in New Zealand.

Further advice can be found on COVID-19 vaccines — health.govt.nz.

International students applying for border class exception

Comprehensive advice on Cohort 3, the border class exception for 1000 international tertiary students, including vaccination requirements, financial requirements, and the nomination process can be found on Border class exception for 1,000 international tertiary students.

Comprehensive advice on Cohort 4, the border class exception for 5000 international students, including vaccination requirements, financial requirements, and the nomination process can be found on Border class exception for 5,000 international students.

Health and wellbeing support for international tertiary students

The health and wellbeing of international students remains a top priority. Mental health services and wellbeing resources can be found in the compiled list below. International students are required to have financial support in place during their study. However, we want to make sure that you have access to the essential services that can provide for your basic needs, if required.

If you are in urgent need of essentials like food, medicine or cleaning products, here are some places that can help.

Your place of study

Under the Education (Pastoral Care of Tertiary and International Learners) Code of Practice 2021, your place of study has an important responsibility for your health and wellbeing. Contact the international office (or your usual contact) in the first instance to see if they can help you.

Embassies

You can contact your home country’s embassy in New Zealand. 

Find the list of embassies in New Zealand on the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade website.

Embassies — mfat.govt.nz

Local groups, community, faith-based and cultural groups provide support to those in need

To find out what is available in your area, contact Citizen’s Advice Bureau on Contact us  — cab.org.nz or phone 0800 367 222.

Foodbanks

If you are in urgent need of food or other essentials, you can get a free food parcel from a foodbank in your region on the New Zealand Foodbanks website. 

Find a Foodbank - foodbank.co.nz

We suggest you have your student ID with you when you call.

NauMai NZ also has information for international students to help you understand what is happening in New Zealand in response to the global COVID-19 pandemic.

Visa-related questions

Temporary restrictions on travel remain in place as a precautionary measure.

The New Zealand Government has announced the next steps for Reconnecting New Zealanders to the world: Reconnecting New Zealand — the next steps | Unite against COVID-19 — covid19.govt.nz.

Providers or students with visa-related questions should contact Immigration New Zealand or check their website for general information about student visas relating to COVID-19: 

COVID-19 — immigration.govt.nz

Use the student change notification form if you need to notify Immigration New Zealand of changes to an international student’s circumstances as a result of COVID-19:

COVID-19: Student change notification form — immigration.govt.nz

International students and insurance coverage

Code signatories have an important responsibility to ensure students are well informed, safe and properly cared for. This includes ensuring international students have the appropriate insurance in place.

NZQA advises Code signatories and international students to contact their insurance provider directly for up-to-date advice on any possible claims as a result of COVID-19. Providers may also choose to make financial aid available to students, and/or additional provision for students affected by COVID-19 and the related travel restrictions and self-isolation.

Signatories enrolling international students with exclusions on their insurance policies will need to weigh up all factors and the available information. There is an expectation that signatories ensure, as far as practicable, that the risks outlined in Clause 44 of the Code are covered. 

Supporting international students to self-isolate in tertiary accommodation

International students may be required to self-isolate if they become a confirmed COVID-19 Case, or if they are a household contact of a confirmed Case. If an international student is required to self-isolate, accommodation providers must comply with the requirements in the Code of Practice by:

  • ensuring that students aged under 18 are living with their parents or a residential caregiver who has been subject to safety checks; and
  • ensuring that accommodation arranged by the signatory for students aged 18 and over is safe and in acceptable condition and that effective communication is maintained with these students; and
  • ensuring that other students aged 18 and over are directed to relevant advice and information that will enable the student to understand their rights and obligations as a tenant in New Zealand.

More information can be found on Tertiary and International Learners Code of Practice » NZQA.

Safety and wellbeing support for international students in schools

The COVID-19 response has changed the education and experience for international students, and many may find the situation challenging. Schools should ensure that students and their residential caregivers have the additional support they may need. 

More information can be found on Tertiary and International Learners Code of Practice » NZQA.

You can also read our advice for schools with international students, including guidance on responding to accommodation issues that arise during the COVID-19 response.

Advice for schools with international students