What Student Visa holders need to know about Insurance?
Overseas students excluding PhD and NZ Aid Programme supported students are required to hold an acceptable insurance policy. To check whether you are eligible for publically funded health services in NZ please click on the following link
The term acceptable means that the insurance policy that they hold should comply with the requirements of the code of practice for the pastoral care of international students as well as being acceptable to the education provider. Immigration New Zealand does not prescribe a particular insurer or policy but it issues certain guidelines and beyond that, it lets it be a business decision taken by the education provider.
Please click this link for the code of practice for the pastoral care of international students
From an Immigration point of view, international students are only required to declare that they have suitable insurance on their student visa application.
Agree to arrange and hold insurance that their education provider considers acceptable, from the period of their enrolment until the expiry of their student visa, unless they depart NZ earlier and
Understand that holding insurance will be a condition of their visa and they may become liable for deportation if they do not hold insurance, from the period of their enrolment until their visa expires, unless they depart NZ earlier.
A student may be required to provide details of their insurance policy with their next visa application if an immigration officer has reason to believe that the student has not continued to hold insurance during the validity of their visa.
The term period of their enrolment in the aforementioned declaration (INZ 1012 form) refers to the time period starting from the point when the overseas students finalise their enrollment process with their education provider and not the date that their visa is granted. This may be the date when the students attends their first orientation meeting or class with their education provider i.e. basically confirmation of enrolment information in person and it may end at the time the course concludes.
Being insured beyond the “period of enrolment” say after the student is in NZ on a valid student visa after the course has ended or during holiday is the responsibility of the student. As an overseas student you need to check that your insurance covers not only the period of enrolment but also the time beyond that i.e. the period of validity of the visa. If you are not insured for the complete duration of your visa, you are in breach of your visa condition and risk deportation.
I would like to mention that as an overseas student you need to take responsibility of your insurance yourself and not depend upon the education provider. INZ only issues guidelines to the education providers who arrange for insurance only to cover you during the “period of enrolment” the aforementioned “period of enrolment” may not necessarily coincide with the “duration of your visa” especially if you decide to stay here for a bit longer, change course or are on holiday.
You need to be insured for “duration of visa” to be compliant with INZ conditions of visa.