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New Zealand to review pregnant student visa restriction

by | Nov 3, 2011

New Zealand is reviewing the policy that prevents pregnant women from getting or renewing an international student visa. New Zealand Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman has told Radio New Zealand that the current policy on prospective international students who are pregnant is ‘outdated’ and that the Government will be reviewing its position. Under legislation introduced in 2008, pregnant international students are unable to be granted a New Zealand visa – or a visa renewal – for study. At the time, the Government argued that foreign students giving birth in New Zealand is an unnecessary strain on the public health system. The news that the Government will review the policy has been praised by the NZ Union of Students’ Associations, who argue that the policy is archaic and puts a lot of pressure on students. ‘The policy, while it only affects a very small number of people, really has had the affect of unduly disrupting students’ studies, meaning some people just can’t complete their study in New Zealand’, said organisation spokesperson David Do. ‘In the past there have been cases where students have offered to pay all the medical costs associated with giving birth and still being declined (their visa) which seems quite unreasonable.’

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