Enhancements to Immigration Online

On 31 January 2022, Immigration New Zealand started delivering enhancements to its Immigration Online system. Paperless visa processing technology is being phased in. This will make applying for a visa easier and improve visa processing times.

Changes coming to Immigration Online

Applying made faster and easier

  • Applicants are told what evidence they need to submit at the time of application.
  • Medical certificates are requested, if needed, after an application is made.
  • Visa sponsors and supporting partners can submit declarations online.
  • New tools help ensure correct and complete information is provided, including a global address finder, photo quality checker, and in future a passport eChip verification mobile app.
  • Fewer follow-ups mean an applicant’s visa can be processed more quickly.

New application progress updates and email notifications

  • The online dashboard now shows the status of an application in real-time.
  • Email notifications are now sent to applicants when further action is needed.
  • Applicants can apply for reconsideration or a variation of conditions, if their original application was made through the enhanced Immigration Online system.

New workflow approach for quicker processing

On 31 January 2022, Immigration New Zealand began transitioning to a new processing model.

  • Immigration New Zealand staff from any location can undertake processing tasks for an application made online.
  • Processing starts the moment an online application is submitted.
  • Time is saved through administrative tasks becoming automated.
  • Multiple staff can work on an application at the same time, rather than waiting for tasks to be undertaken one after the other, by one person.
  • More efficient processing means quicker decisions for most applications in the future.


Visa products began moving onto the enhanced Immigration Online system on 31 January 2022. Immigration New Zealand is monitoring external events that may affect this timing, such as changes to the COVID-19 Protection Framework.

Date Visas
31 January 2022 The following visitor visas: Visitor Visa (General)
Academic Visitor Visa
Arts and Music Festival Visitor Visa
Business Visitor Visa
COVID-19 Short-term Visitor Visa
Crew joining a Ship or Plane Visitor Visa
Dismissed Worker Visitor Visa
Escort of Medical Patients Visitor Visa
German Law Student Visitor Visa
Medical Treatment Visitor Visa
Occupational Registration Visitor Visa
Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa
Pitcairn Islander Visitor Visa
Private Yacht or Plane Visitor Visa
Short-term Entertainment Act Visitor Visa
Super Yachts Visitor Visa
Visiting Media Visitor Visa
1 March 2022 Phase 2, 2021 Resident Visa
23 May 2022 Employer accreditation applications for Accredited Employer Work Visas
20 June 2022 Job Check applications for Accredited Employer Work Visa
4 July 2022 Accredited Employer Work Visa
31 July 2022 Culturally Arranged Marriage Visitor Visa
Adoption Visitor Visa
Antarctic Traveller Visitor Visa
2022 and beyond Over time, more visa types can be applied for using the enhanced Immigration Online system

Until all visas are moved to the enhanced system, there will be three systems operating. People will be guided to the right system, depending on the visa they are applying for.

  • Existing Immigration Online system
  • Enhanced Immigration Online system
  • Paper application channels.

Immigration advisers and agents

Features of the enhanced system are designed to support high-volume users of the immigration system like licensed immigration advisers and immigration lawyers.

  • Apply on Behalf feature: Immigration advisers and others exempt from licensing can continue to submit visa applications online on behalf of clients.
  • Sharing feature: Applicants can share their applications with trusted third parties. Trusted third parties can share applications with their clients.
  • Email notifications: Email notifications are sent to the primary contact listed in the application.
  • Networks: Immigration professionals can create a ‘network’, so others in their business can collaborate on applications.


Enhancements to Immigration Online — a guide for users PDF 4MB

Video – Enhancements to Immigration New Zealand’s online application system

Video – Enhancements to Immigration New Zealand’s online application system(2:06)
View transcript

It’s now faster and easier to apply for a visa online, and keep track of your application during processing.

Before you start, you’re told exactly what evidence you need to provide based on your visa type, your nationality and where you’re travelling from. Providing this information helps us to understand what requirements your application must meet.

New online tools help you complete your application form quickly and accurately, so we can make a decision about your application faster.  

Smart forms mean we only ask you relevant questions, based on the answers you give and the visa you’re applying for.

Then, all you need to submit your online application is a passport-style photo and a credit or debit card.

You don’t need to provide a medical certificate upfront anymore. Once you’ve submitted your application, we’ll assess whether any health evidence is required and we’ll check this against any records you might have provided to us as part of a previous application. If we need new or updated health evidence, we’ll request this from you. No more guesswork.

While you’re waiting for a decision on your application, you can check its status on your Immigration Online dashboard.

And don’t worry, we’ll send you an email notification if anything changes, or if we need more information from you.

It’s also easy to share your online application with someone else if you need a little help. Some organisations, or a friend or family member, can help you to complete the online form. Or you can get immigration advice from an immigration lawyer or licensed adviser.

And it’s not just visas. Employers can apply for accreditation and job checks using Immigration Online too. 

Online enhancements also mean multiple Immigration New Zealand case officers may be working to process your application at the same time. This will speed things up, meaning you’ll receive a decision sooner. 

To get started, visit immigration.govt.nz today.

Video – Demonstration of INZ’s enhancements to Immigration Online

Video – Demonstration of INZ’s enhancements to Immigration Online(5:11)
View transcript

In the enhanced Immigration Online system, people can quickly and easily apply for and manage their applications.

Maria needs to apply for a visa.

On the Immigration New Zealand website, she can click the ‘I want to’ options to guide her to the right smart application form. Or she can log into her Immigration Online dashboard, using her RealMe login.

Maria can easily follow this link to create a RealMe account if she doesn’t have one. Her account doesn’t need to be verified so she can get started on her application straight away.

Once logged in, Maria is taken to her dashboard.

Maria has a unique sharing ID. She can use this to share her application with others, like a friend or family member, or a professional like an immigration adviser.

Professionals like immigration advisers can use networks to share applications with others in their organisation, and collaborate on applications.

Maria clicks ‘My Visas’ to start her application.

These are all the applications Maria has made, including those that are in draft or submitted, and any visas issued.

Maria clicks here to apply for a visa.

Maria is applying for a Visitor Visa. Answering these questions before she starts her application helps her check she’s picked the right visa type and will minimise any potential delays when INZ starts processing her application.

Maria is the principal applicant so these are her details. She can add her partner or children, if the visa type allows.

This is the first page of the smart application form.

First, Maria must complete her identity details. After that she can move around the application using the progress bar.

Not all tabs, sections and fields will appear for all applicants. For example, the purpose of visit tab only appears for the principal applicant. Some appear or disappear depending on the previous responses.

If Maria is working with a licensed immigration adviser or an exempt person, they will need to state they are providing immigration advice in the ‘immigration assistance’ tab. Licensed advisers will need to provide their licence number.

If Maria had any help completing her application, she will need to complete a declaration form which authorises for someone to assist her. This will need to be uploaded under the ‘supporting documents’ tab.

When the application is complete, including all mandatory fields, the progress bar turns dark blue.

The form lets Maria know if she’s missed a mandatory field or made a mistake when she clicked submit. This means Maria can feel confident she has provided everything required. Her application will be ready for assessment and reduce the likelihood of INZ asking for further information.

When Maria submits her application, she’s prompted to pay a fee and the application enters the system for processing.

Once submitted, Maria can keep an eye on her application’s progress in her dashboard. She can also view a summary of her application – or of any other application she has submitted.

If Maria needs to provide further information to INZ, she will receive an email telling her to log into her account.

Maria can click to read the letter, which outlines what she needs to provide. She can then upload her evidence by clicking ‘respond’.

Once Maria’s application has been fully assessed, she will receive an email to let her know if her visa has been approved. She can log into her dashboard and check the ‘My Visas’ section to view her issued visa.

That’s the end of the application process. It gives Maria an easy to use form where she always knows where she’s at in the process. And it gives INZ assessment ready applications that are complete and correct, and should reduce the need for customers to call our contact centre.