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Changes to study entitlements for temporary permit holders will benefit New Zealand’s export education industry, Immigration Minister Jonathan Coleman says.

Export education already generates over $2 billion a year in foreign exchange for New Zealand’s economy and has been identified as a key sector for future growth, Dr Coleman says.

Under the new changes, all temporary permit holders will be able to study one or more courses for up to three months in total instead of a single course under the current rules. Multi-year temporary permit holders will also be allowed to study for up to three months in each consecutive 12-month period, rather than once only per permit.

Dr Coleman says schools will also benefit from the changes, which will be made in late July. Migrants will be able to study for up to three months in a school, per calendar year, on a visitor’s permit. This means that young migrants will not have to apply for a student visa or permit if their parents want them to have a “taster” experience in a New Zealand school.

Feedback shows that the previous rules posed too many barriers to the export education industry, says Dr Coleman.

“While New Zealand’s student immigration policies already compare favourably with competitor countries, these improvements will create additional opportunities for growth. Making it easier for temporary permit holders to study more while in New Zealand for other purposes is a win-win situation for all concerned.”

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