Market intelligence for international student recruitment from ICEF
Help shape the future of international education at the ICEF Monitor Global Summit London, September 23rd 2024
28th Feb 2018

New Zealand: Updated visa rejection rates will influence English requirements for 2018

New visa acceptance data from Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will help inform the English proficiency requirements for student visa applicants in 2018. Under rules established in 2015, INZ produces an annual summary of visa rejection rates for applicants from markets around the world. The full-year data for 2017 was released on 24 January. Aside from providing an interesting window into visa processing in New Zealand, the significance of this data is that it relates directly to the types of evidence of English language proficiency that education providers can accept from potential students. In short: applicants from countries where the visa rejection rate is 20% or higher have fewer options for demonstrating English proficiency and will more often require a standardised English test score, such as IELTS or TOEFL. This provision pertains for students applying for programmes other than language studies, and the full requirements are detailed in Rule 18 of the New Zealand Qualification Authority’s NZQF Programme Approval and Accreditation Rules. The Rule 18 guidelines include specific test benchmarks for various levels of study in New Zealand.

The 20% club

The latest INZ data release reveals that some of the world’s major growth markets for student recruitment have rejection rates that exceeded the 20% threshold in 2017. These include Bangladesh (68% rejection rate), India (32%), Iran (36%), Nepal (52%), Nigeria (61%), Pakistan (35%), Philippines (26%), Sri Lanka (32%), Turkey (79%), and Vietnam (24%). The highest-volume sender – and largest market – within this group is of course India. But also of note here is that the volume of visa applications from India dropped appreciably in 2017. New Zealand received nearly 9,500 applications from Indian students last year, but this was down from nearly 16,500 in 2016 and the almost 26,000 visa applications from Indian students received in 2015. The rejection rate of 32% for Indian applicants last year was also down considerably from 2015 and 2016, when it stood at 51% and 54% respectively. Speaking to media in New Zealand, INZ spokesperson Marc Piercey said student visa approval rates for India had "traditionally been lower than elsewhere" due to market complexities and a "high incidence" of fraud. He added, ”The lower number of applications and higher approval rates in the past few months indicates that the overall quality of applicants has increased and the majority of providers are heeding advice about the need for higher quality applications."

Agent performance reported as well

Also of note with the latest INZ data is that the ministry is now publishing performance data for education agencies in Vietnam and the Philippines to accompany similar reports that have been available for India since 2016. These additional reports provide details of 2017 visa acceptance rates for student files handled by 27 agencies in Vietnam, 22 in the Philippines, and 196 in India. For additional background, please see:

Most Recent

  • Australia: Study visa grants down nearly a third through April 2024 Read More
  • Study maps employment pathways for international graduates in US; calls for expanded career services Read More
  • Home Office data confirms downturn in UK visa issuances through Q1 2024 Read More

Most Popular

  • Comparing student visa proof of funds requirements across 20 study destinations Read More
  • Canada: More provincial cap numbers announced; IRCC moves up end date for post-graduate work for partnership programmes Read More
  • Lessons from Denmark: The downside of limiting international student flows Read More

Because you found this article interesting

Australia: Study visa grants down nearly a third through April 2024 Data from Australia’s Department of Home Affairs shows that study visa grants are down significantly for the first...
Read more
Study maps employment pathways for international graduates in US; calls for expanded career services Career motivations are consistently revealed in major global research studies to be a primary driver of the choices...
Read more
Home Office data confirms downturn in UK visa issuances through Q1 2024 A 13 June data release from the UK Home Office confirms a decrease in student visa issuances for...
Read more
Australia moves to curtail onshore “visa hopping” Australia’s Minister for Home Affairs Clare O’Neil announced today the next phase of implementation in the package of...
Read more
ICEF Podcast: The outlook for international education in the USA – live from NAFSA Listen in as ICEF’s Craig Riggs and Martijn van de Veen recap some recent industry news, including an...
Read more
Canada’s Immigration Minister signals that changes are coming to post-study work rights For more than 15 years now, international students have been able to come to Canada, complete any type...
Read more
IDP investor guidance warns of market downturn through 2025 IDP Education is one the largest service providers in international education. As a publicly traded company on the...
Read more
US launches new market diversification dashboard Given the need for new and better ways to collect and interpret data on international student movement, we...
Read more
What are you looking for?
Quick Links