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International students to be offered faster New Zealand visa process

(Xinhua)

14:14, May 09, 2012

WELLINGTON, May 8 (Xinhua) -- Overseas students wanting to study in New Zealand are to have their visa applications streamlined under a new system to help boost the country's education industry.

Government agencies Immigration New Zealand and Education New Zealand had signed an agreement to enable international students using a New Zealand Specialist Agent (NZSA) to have their visa applications processed within 10 working days, said Tertiary Education, Skills and Employment Minister Steven Joyce on Tuesday.

Education agents recognized as New Zealand education specialists would also provide a point of contact within Immigration New Zealand branches for NZSA members.

"The international education industry is worth just over 2 billion NZ dollars (1.57 billion U.S. dollars) to New Zealand's economy. It is a bridge between New Zealand and the world. We want to double the economic and social benefits that international education brings over the next 15 years," Joyce said in a statement.

"Only by the government working closely with the sector, and developing initiatives such as this that support growth, will we achieve that goal."

Immigration Minister Nathan Guy said in the statement that Immigration New Zealand played a key role in facilitating the entry of around 100,000 international students who came to New Zealand each year.

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