Red tape cut for international students

  • Nathan Guy

Minister of Immigration Nathan Guy has announced changes to health screening rules which will reduce red tape for international students and other migrants, while protecting the public health system.

“From July this year, international students will no longer need to supply full medicals. Unless they have other health conditions, they will only need to be screened for tuberculosis.

“This will greatly reduce the cost and hassle for around 62,800 students who will save around $17 million a year in medical costs.

“We are also requiring international students to hold health insurance as a condition of their visa. This will not be an issue for most students, as they are ineligible for health services in New Zealand and education providers are required to ensure they hold insurance.

“International education is worth $2.3 billion to the economy a year, and indirectly supports around 32,000 jobs. These changes will make it easier for low-risk, high-value students to come to New Zealand.”

Changes to health screening for other visa categories include:

  • Previously submitted medical records will be able to be re-used, provided they are less than 36 months old and there are no clear risk factors.
  • For the partners and dependent children of New Zealand citizens and residents, screening will be limited to serious conditions which could disqualify them.
  • Tests and requirements will also be updated to ensure that the latest developments in high-cost health conditions are taken into account.

“These changes show that the Government is serious about tackling red-tape and attracting migrants who can make a contribution to New Zealand. At the same time, we are making sure that applicants have an acceptable standard of health,” says Mr Guy.

Further information is available at: