Can a visa application be prioritised?

9 February 2023

Knowledge base articles

Visa applications are generally processed according to the date they are received. Processing times are available on the Immigration New Zealand website.

How long it takes to process a visa application

Some applications are quicker to process than others as they do not require as much verification. For instance, applicant is offered a role on one of our skill shortage lists and they meets the criteria for the list, the Immigration Officer processing the application will not need to assess the availability of New Zealand citizens or resident to do the work. This should reduce the processing time.

Skill shortage list checker

If you have an employer-specific visa application in process, you can request priority allocation through our Employment Visa Escalations (EVE) process. The processing office will then assess if priority should or can be given to the application.  

Changes to temporary work visas

Employment Visa Escalations (EVE)

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has updated its process to respond to escalation requests for urgent allocation for employment related visas (and associated family members) for both Temporary Work Visas and Skilled Resident Visas.

This includes all employment related products held at the Manukau, Christchurch and Porirua excluding specific business products processed by the business team in Porirua.

A mailbox will be monitored and actioned by a team of dedicated senior immigration staff who will assess these requests for escalation. A request for escalation will be considered against the following criteria:

  • compelling personal circumstances
  • humanitarian factors, and
  • matters of national interest.

INZ will respond to all requests within five working days to confirm if the application will be prioritised for urgent allocation or not. The EVE Immigration Manager’s determination of any request for escalation is final and they will not respond to further communication about the request and justification around the decision.

All requests for priority allocation of employment related visa applications should be forwarded to the EVE mailbox.