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Coronavirus: important updates for IDP students

Keep up to date about the latest news on the Coronavirus outbreak and how it may impact your studies

As you will be aware, governments around the world have 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 does not spread to New Zealand.

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

Will I be impacted?

Governments are regularly updating information about Coronavirus, so it is important to keep up to date with the latest news from the country you will be studying in.

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 have already arrived in your new destination 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 are 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 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 is 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 the New Zealand Government Ministry of Health website.

Will this impact my university start date?

If you are enrolled in Semester 1 2020 and unable to enter New Zealand due to the travel restrictions, you will need to get in touch with your university or school as soon as possible to discuss your enrolment, even if you are 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.

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 will 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 are 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 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 are required by the New Zealand Ministry of Health to self-isolate for 14 days (2 weeks).

Self-isolating means you are required to stay in your local accommodation. You are 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 are also required to avoid receiving visitors into your home or local accommodation.

If you are starting your studies during the time you are 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 is important to contact Healthline on 0800 611 116 or get in touch with your local doctor.

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

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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