Students outside New Zealand

COVID-19 information for Victoria University of Wellington international students affected by travel restrictions.

This page was last updated on 19 May 2022.

New Zealand closed its border to all non-citizens and non-permanent residents at 11.59 pm on Thursday 19 March 2020. Student visa holders cannot currently enter New Zealand unless they are approved as part of the New Zealand Government's border exemption scheme.

This page contains information for prospective or enrolled international students who are affected by the COVID-19 New Zealand border restrictions. If you're already in New Zealand, you can find information on this page.

New Zealand’s current COVID-19 situation

At 11.59 pm on Thursday 2 December 2021, the COVID-19 protection framework, known as the ‘traffic light system’, took effect for all of New Zealand. On 13 April 2022, all of New Zealand moved to the ‘orange’ setting of the COVID-19 protection framework.

You can find the latest updates about how the University is operating on our COVID-19 information site, and in Whītiki, the newsletter emailed to current students. The University is currently working through preliminary guidance from the Ministry of Education to determine if changes are required to University operations under the framework.

Most courses in 2022 will be offered in a way that supports both in-person and online study.

Border reopening in 2022

The New Zealand Government has announced the New Zealand border will re-open on 31 July 2022. This is two months earlier than the October re-opening date previously announced.

For our international students, this means that visa processing will begin from the end of July. International students will need to wait until their student visa has been approved before they can arrive in New Zealand to study.

International student support

The International Student Support team at Victoria University of Wellington continues to support international students, both those overseas and in New Zealand.

Enrolled students can contact the team by email at for information, advice, or guidance on visas, insurance, referrals, and other wellbeing and support needs. One-on-one appointments by phone or Zoom can be requested through email.

New students interested in studying at Victoria University of Wellington can contact the team.

Who to contact for enrolled students

Your faculty is responsible for communication with you regarding your programme of study, course selection, and degree progression. For academic-related queries, contact your faculty directly.

Starting online then switching to on-campus when the border is open

Many courses can be started online then switched to on-campus if the person studying is able to travel.

Find out more about qualifications you can begin online.

Read information from Student Learning about how to study successfully online.

Fees are the same for online and on-campus studies.

You will need to apply for a student visa to travel to New Zealand when the border opens in the future. All international students must have a valid visa to study on campus.

Go to Immigration New Zealand for the latest student visa advice.

Travelling to New Zealand

Travel into New Zealand

The New Zealand border is reopening in stages throughout 2022. Student visa processing will resume from 11:59 pm on 31 July 2022 when the border opens to international students.

Anyone who enters New Zealand will need to be tested for COVID-19 on Day 0/1 and again on Day 5/6. If you return a positive test, you will need to self-isolate for a period of 7 days.

If you have an Offer of Place for a future trimester, we will let you know as soon as we have any new information about New Zealand’s border restrictions and how they will impact student visa holders.


Immigration New Zealand will begin accepting visa applications from students outside New Zealand from 11:59 pm on 31 July 2022. Find out how to apply for a visa or ask the team for help by contacting us directly.

Also be sure to check Immigration New Zealand's website for the latest information on visas.


All non-citizens and residents need proof of vaccination against COVID-19 to enter New Zealand and travel around the country. You'll need to show proof of vaccination at the border, otherwise you will be unable to enter the country.

The Ministry of Health has approved several vaccines that can be entered into the COVID Immunisation Register (CIR) when you are entering New Zealand, as well as vaccines that can be entered on your COVID vaccination certificate for travel around New Zealand. The full list of these approved vaccines is available on the Ministry of Health's website.

While New Zealand no longer has a vaccine mandate in place, some businesses may require you show proof of vaccination in order to enter. You will be able to request a My Vaccine Pass for use within Aotearoa New Zealand. For more information on how to apply for the Pass, please read this guide.


All international students must have medical and travel insurance while studying in New Zealand. To find out more about insurance options and what to do before you depart for New Zealand, visit our Insurance page.

To discuss your options with one of the team, contact


The University can provide you with safe, comfortable, and convenient accommodation in our halls of residence. There are other options for accommodation as well, such as homestays and private accommodation in flats.

Visit our Accommodation page for more information, or contact the Accommodation Service if you have any questions.

Studying online

Available online courses

In 2022, most courses will be offered either in-person or fully online, with some exceptions. The University’s courses will be taught through Blackboard, the University’s system. Go to our online study page for more information, including online study options for 2022.

Online course delivery

When you study online, you will be part of our wider university community, and receive our regular student newsletter Whītiki. Our student services also offer online support and resources.

Classes are taught by distance through Blackboard, the University’s online content system, with opportunities to connect remotely with your lecturers and tutors. All lectures in 2022 will be recorded and uploaded to Blackboard, livestreamed, or alternative pre-recorded videos covering the same material will be available via Vstream on Blackboard.

Digital learning hub

Online tutorial delivery

This will vary from course to course. Details will be given on Blackboard.

Options include:

  • discussion board through Zoom (online seminar software)
  • no tutorials
  • additional onsite tutorials to allow students to catch up once they have arrived on campus.
Technology for studying online

You will need access to Blackboard. All information about other course requirements will be available on the course pages of Blackboard.

Outside New Zealand, the connection works best with a VPN (virtual private network) on any device, or if you don’t have a VPN, on a Windows operating system.

Additional resources to support your studies
Post-study work visa

To be eligible for the post-study work visa, students must study on campus in New Zealand for at least 30 weeks.

Any study you complete online will not contribute to your post-study work rights.

Go to Immigration New Zealand for more information about post-study work rights.

Offshore student support

Staff at the University are here to ensure you are well supported while studying overseas. For advice, academic support, and student services, you can access the international offshore student support page.

Prospective students

Applications for future intakes

Our international admissions team is continuing to receive and process applications for future trimester intakes.

Flexibility with documentation

Where possible we will consider applications where the applicant is unable to provide their full documentation or English-language test results with their application due to restrictions in their previous country of study.

If you have any questions about how to provide your application documents, contact us at

Apply to study

If you are applying for the English Proficiency Programme or an undergraduate degree, you can apply online OR apply using an approved education agent. If you are unsure you can contact us and tell us where you are from, what you want to study, and where you have studied previously. We will advise you on your application options.

There is an opportunity for some first-year students to study at an institution associated with the University Consortium UK for a year before coming to New Zealand universities to continue their studies when circumstances allow. If you want to learn more about this, contact

Further information on how to apply for undergraduate and postgraduate study.

Get application documents verified

If you are unable to access services because of COVID-19, you do not need to post or verify your documents for the initial assessment of your application.

Our international admissions team will let you know if you need to post or verify your documents at a later stage. If you have any questions about this, contact our team at

Apply to study during COVID-19—PhD

To apply for a PhD, you must apply through the Wellington Faculty of Graduate Research. Before you start your application, make sure you meet the entry requirements, check the application and start dates, and check your fees and costs on the degree or programme page.

Due to the COVID-19 situation, the University is temporarily allowing international students who have an Offer of Place to enrol from overseas and begin their PhD studies from a distance.

Further information on how to apply for PhD study.

Defer your Offer of Place

To defer your Offer of Place to the next available trimester start, visit our website and follow the instructions to defer your offer.

If you have any questions about deferring your Offer of Place, contact us at