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Coronavirus: important updates for IDP students

As you will be aware, New Zealand has introduced health and safety measures and travel restrictions to prevent the spread of the novel Coronavirus.

Although no cases of the virus have been identified in New Zealand, the Government is taking preventative steps to ensure the Coronavirus doesn't spread to New Zealand.

We understand this may be confusing if you're commencing your studies, so read the below information to find out if you're impacted by the changes, and where you can go for support.

Will I be impacted?

Information about Coronavirus is updated regularly, so it's important to keep up to date with the latest news from New Zealand

If you have travelled from mainland China or have had recent contact with someone who is suspected to have the virus, then you will likely be impacted by the recent changes.

If you've already arrived in New Zealand from mainland China, please seek medical advice from a local doctor as early as possible. Your university or school will be able to connect you to a medical professional. You can also contact your local IDP office for advice.

For any students who have booked flights from China to New Zealand, or if you're travelling to China, your flight arrangement might be impacted by the travel restrictions. It is important to check your airline’s website or contact the airline directly for any changes to your flight.

Visit the World Health Organizaton: WHO website for information on protecting yourself from Coronavirus.

Students travelling from China to New Zealand

As of 2 February 2020, the New Zealand Government will be refusing entry to any travellers arriving or transited from any part of mainland China, with the exceptions of New Zealand citizens, permanent residents, Australian citizens who live in New Zealand and any immediate family members.

The travel restrictions will be in place for up to 14 days and will be reviewed every 48 hours. For the latest news on New Zealand’s travel restrictions, visit the New Zealand Immigration website

If you have flight arrangements in place, your plans may be affected by the travel restrictions. Air New Zealand and many major airlines are cancelling or restricting flights to and from China. It's important to check your airline’s website or contact the airline directly for any changes to your flight.

For the latest information about the Coronavirus in New Zealand, visit these websites:

New Zealand Government Ministry of Health

New Zealand Government Ministry of Education

Safetravel

Will this impact my university start date?

If you're enrolled in Semester 1 2020 and unable to enter New Zealand due to the travel restrictions, you'll need to get in touch with your university or school as soon as possible to discuss your enrolment, even if you're not able to enter New Zealand.

Many New Zealand universities have put in place changes to assist international students who have been impacted by the recent travel restrictions.

We recommend you contact your university or school as soon as possible to discuss your possible study options or deferring your studies to start in Semester 2 2020.

If you would like more information or support, you can also contact your IDP Counsellor or local IDP office

You can check out the following websites for current advice and information that may assist you:

Auckland University of Technology

Massey University

The University of Auckland

The University of Waikato

University of Canterbury

University of Otago

Victoria University of Wellington

Will this impact my student visa?

If you have been approved for a student visa but cannot travel before the ‘first entry date’ due to the travel ban, then you'll need to apply for a new student visa.

We recommend you contact your university or school to organise alternative arrangements or a Semester 2 2020 start date.

You can also get in touch with New Zealand Immigration or your local IDP office for any questions about your student visa.

Changes to student accommodation

If you're travelling to New Zealand or have recently arrived in New Zealand from mainland China, then it is vital you check in with your student accommodation provider prior to your arrival.

Some student accommodation providers may require you to provide additional information or may change, cancel or delay your accommodation arrangements if you are deemed at-risk of the Coronavirus.

International students in New Zealand

If you are an international student who has returned from Hubai Province from 2 February 2020, or if you have travelled from Hubai Province in the last 14 days, then you're required by the New Zealand Ministry of Health to self-isolate for 14 days (2 weeks).

Self-isolating means you're required to stay in your local accommodation. You're required to avoid going out into public spaces such as restaurants, supermarkets, workplaces, universities and any other public places that you will come into contact with people. You're also required to avoid receiving visitors into your home or local accommodation.

If you're starting your studies during the time you're required to self-isolate, contact your school or university to discuss your study options. Many universities have put in place measures to assist students who are required to self-isolate.

If you, or any friends and family start showing flu-like symptoms such as a cough, fever, sore throat or shortness of breath, it's important to contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 or get in touch with your local doctor.

If you're visiting a local doctor, please make sure you call before you visit and explain your symptoms and travel history to ensure they're prepared to receive you.

These measures are put in place to limit the possibility of spreading the Coronavirus to the general population.

Coronavirus-related immigration queries helpline

If you have any questions or want to know more, the New Zealand Government have created a dedicated contact centre for any coronavirus-related immigration enquiries.

You can contact them toll-free from New Zealand landlines on 508 225 288 or from overseas on +64 9 952 1679.

If you already have a student visa, or have applied for one, make sure you have your client number, application number and passport number ready.

For the latest news and updates on the Coronavirus for travellers, visit the New Zealand Immigration website. 

International students in other countries

For the latest information about how other countries are responding to the Coronavirus, visit the country’s government websites.

United Kingdom: National Health Service 

Australia: Department of Home Affairs 

Canada: Government of Canada 

United States: Centres for Disease Control and Prevention 

Ireland: Department of Foreign Affairs and Trade

Changes to IELTS testing

There are currently changes being made to IELTS testing. Visit the IELTS website to find out if the changes will affect you.

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