Govt raises bar for migrant kids
By Lincoln Tan
4:00 AM Tuesday Nov 17, 2009

Work-permit-holders in the lower income bracket will find it a lot tougher to put their children in New Zealand schools from next month.

Immigration policy changes taking effect on November 30 will mean children of work-permit- holders under the essential-skills policy who earn $33,675 or less will no longer be considered as domestic students. Parents will therefore have to pay international-student fees if they want their children to study in local schools.

Domestic students enjoy free education, but international students have to pay fees of between $10,000 and $15,000 per child annually to study at primary, intermediate and high schools.

"The minimum income threshold must be met and maintained wholly by the salary or wages of a parent or parents holding the work permit," Immigration New Zealand said in a circular distributed to immigration advisers.

"This is to ensure that the children have an appropriate level of financial support, given that these families are not eligible for state-funded income support."

More here.