Bureaucracy slashed for visiting academics

  • Jonathan Coleman

Barriers to overseas academics visiting New Zealand are being removed with the introduction of a new visitor category, says Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman.

The visiting academics visa allows academics from 50 countries, which New Zealand has special visa waiver arrangements with, to travel here without first obtaining a visa offshore. It comes into effect on April 4.

‘’Even though academics are often here for a short time – for instance to speak at a conference – it’s technically work if they receive any sort of reward, including accommodation or airfares. Previously academics have required a work visa before travelling here,’’ Dr Coleman says.

‘’This deters some from visiting, to New Zealand’s detriment, so from next week academics will be able to get a visiting academic visitor visa on arrival in New Zealand.

‘’This brings New Zealand into line with Canada and the United Kingdom and enhances New Zealand’s attractiveness as a destination for top visiting academic talent.’’

The visiting academic visitor visa will automatically allow them to stay for up to three months, or for a maximum of three months in any one year if they make several trips here. Beyond that period they will still require a work visa.