How long it takes to process your visa application

We process applications as soon as we can. To avoid delaying your application, check that your information is complete and correct.

Recent processing times1 for some of our most common applications are described below. These times describe the number of calendar days between an application being received and being completed.

These times may help you to estimate the time needed to complete your application. Individual processing times will depend on the complexity of an application, on the need for further information, and on the number of other applications we have received.

Visitor Visa

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Visitor (General) 10 days 17 days 25 days

Find recent timeframes for other visitor visas :

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Student Visa

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Fee Paying Student 20 days 31 days 40 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 11 days 20 days 21 days

Find recent timeframes for other student visas:

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Work Visa

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Essentials Skills 39 days 58 days 80 days
Partner of a New Zealander 47 days 76 days 3 months
Partner of student 27 days 45 days 64 days
Partner of worker 40 days 68 days 84 days
Post-study work visa - employer assisted 27 days 37 days 50 days
Post-study work visa - open 16 days 26 days 37 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 32 days 43 days 56 days

Find recent timeframes for other work visas:

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Residence Visa

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Partner of a New Zealander 6 months 9 months 11 months
Permanent Resident Visa 14 days 21 days 27 days
Skilled Migrant 7 months 11 months 17 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 8 days 15 days 18 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 11 days 17 days 21 days

Find recent timeframes for other residence visas:

Fees, decision times & where to apply

  1. These processing times are for applications completed in the 3 months to 1 September, 2018. Where the number of days is greater than 90, the days have been divided by 30 and rounded to the nearest month to provide a timeframe in months.