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Announced yesterday by the Minister of Immigration*, Dr Coleman, are new academic visas allowing academics from over 50 countries to visit New Zealand for up to three months without first having to apply for a work visa.

Franz Joseph Glacier  (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Franz Joseph Glacier (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The motivation is explained by Dr Coleman in the press release as

’Even though academics are often here for a short time — for instance to speak at a conference — it’s technically work if they receive any sort of reward, including accommodation or airfares. Previously academics have required a work visa before travelling here,’

(It is usual practice at international meetings to cover the costs of at least the leading speakers.)

These new visas are to be available from Monday April 4th, 2011. Details beyond the initial press release do not yet appear to be available. I imagine the countries covered are the 50+ countries** whose residents are currently able to enter New Zealand for a 3-month visit without requiring a visa or visitor permit. No details on how these are issued (presumably on arrival) or what documentation is required to support them appears to available yet, although the press release does say

The visiting academic visitor visa allows people to stay for up to three months, or for a maximum of three months in any one year if they make several trips here. Beyond that, they will still require a work visa.

Milford Sound (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Milford Sound (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

I have seen comments elsewhere that this has not restricted conference speakers in the past (true?), but I imagine this will still aid conference organisers by simplifying the issue.

Likewise, I imagine this will simplify short-term laboratory visits for exchange of research techniques and so on.

Finally, I’d like to encourage people to visit!

Don’t be put off by the earthquakes in Christchurch. While that city and a few neighbouring towns have a major re-building effort underway, the remainder of the country will be doing it’s usual thing and the airport at Christchurch is open business as usual. As sly encouragement, I’ve included a few photographs of the places in the South Island through the article.

Get amongst it!

Bungy jumping at Queenstown (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Bungy jumping at Queenstown (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Footnotes

* He also holds the portfolios of Health, Tourism and Broadcasting.

** For the lazy–what? – one click is too much work?!–these currently are those listed below.

Actually this just an excuse to stretch this post out so I can include more photographs to the right of the country names…

There are better photographs elsewhere, but sorting out copyright status is a hassle, so I‘ve lumped for those whose copyright status is clear.

Lake Hauroko (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Lake Hauroko (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Countries marked with asterisks have additional requirements. Obviously, check details with Immigration.

Andorra
Andorra
Austria
Bahrain
Belgium
Brazil
Brunei
Bulgaria
Canada

Kea, New Zealand‘s mountain parrot (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Kea, New Zealand‘s mountain parrot (Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Japan
Chile
Cyprus
Czech Republic
Denmark
Estonia***
Finland
France
Germany
Greece***
Hong Kong***
Hungary
Iceland
Ireland
Israel
Italy
Japan
Korea (South)
Kuwait
Latvia***
Liechtenstein
Lithuania***
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Malta
Mexico

Whale watching, Kiakoura (Source: WIkimedia Commons.)

Whale watching, Kiakoura (Source: WIkimedia Commons.)

Monaco
Netherlands
Norway

Oman
Poland
Portugal***
Qatar
Romania
San Marino
Saudi Arabia
Singapore
Slovak Republic
Slovenia
South Africa
Spain

Beach in Abel Tasman area (Near Totaranui. Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Beach in Abel Tasman area (Near Totaranui. Source: Wikimedia Commons.)

Sweden
Switzerland
Taiwan***
United Arab Emirates
United States of America***
Uruguay Argentina
Vatican City


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On alternatives to academic careers and ’letting go’

Find a home for your research paper, authors, related papers — ask Jane

Choosing an algorithm — benchmarking bioinformatics

The mythology of bioinformatics

Scientific article download costs

What is your relationship with your research notebook?