Checking your visa application status

After you submit your visa application — online, using a paper form or through an adviser — you can find out its status and the timeframes for a decision.

How we make decisions

We check your application and supporting documents to make sure you have sent us everything we need to make a decision. The time it takes to process your application depends on the visa you apply for, your circumstances and the information you supply with your application. If your application is not complete you may have to wait longer for a decision about your visa.

You do not need to do anything else once you submit your application. We contact you if for any reason we need further information from you.

How we process applications

If you applied online

When you applied, you set up an online account with us. You can log in to find out if we need more information from you and other information about your application's progress.

Use the login link at the top of any page on this site and then select the type of visa you applied for.

Student, work or visitor visas

Log in using your RealMe® account. If your application's status is 'Submitted' it is ready to be processed. If we need more information, the status says 'Contact us'.

We aim to process applications as soon as possible. At very busy times, such as the end and beginning of the year, it may take longer for us to make a decision about your application.

Working holidays, Silver Fern Job Search

After you have logged in to your account, select 'My application' from the right-hand side of the page. Once you've selected this, the status of your application displays.

If your application shows:

  • Pending — this means we have received it and it is ready to be processed
  • Approved — this means that your application was successful.

Expressions of interest for the Skilled Migrant Category

After you have logged in to your account, select 'My application' from the right-hand side of the page. Once you've selected this, the status of your application displays.

If you applied using a paper form

Check first to see how long it normally takes to process the type of visa you applied for.

Fees, decisions times & where to apply

If your application is taking longer to process than is usual for that type of visa, you can contact us.

If an immigration adviser submitted your application

Get in touch with your immigration adviser to find out the status of your application. We will let them know if we need any more information to support your application.

If you applied at a Visa Application Centre

If the Visa Application Centre (VAC) was outside New Zealand, you can use their online tracking system to find out:

  • the location of your application, including your passport, and
  • whether your documents are ready for you to collect or ready to be sent back to you.

Getting more information

We contact you if we need more information to support your application. We phone, email or notify you on your online account.

If your application is taking longer to process than the normal time frame for that type of visa, you can contact us.

Contact us