How long it takes to process a visa application

Processing times for visitor, student, work and other visas.

Many visas have only recently reopened. This means it may take some time to build an accurate picture of processing times. To provide clearer information, we are improving the way we publish processing times, and the frequency at which we update them. 

We advise travellers not to book travel until their visa has been approved. 

How to understand this information

Our processing times are based on applications we have decided (approved or declined).

The processing times in this page are based on applications decided in the four weeks before 27 October 2022. We are reporting on applications received since each visa reopened.

We use the median value to determine the average.

‘Weekdays’ means Monday to Friday.

Accredited Employer Work Visas

Employer accreditation 

We aim to process straightforward applications for employer accreditation in 10 weekdays, excluding public holidays. 

On average, we process employer accreditation applications in 3 weekdays. 90% of applications are processed within 12 weekdays. 

Once approved, accreditation lasts for between 12 and 24 months.

Job Checks 

We aim to process straightforward applications for Job Checks in 10 weekdays, excluding public holidays. 

On average, we process Job Check applications in 3 weekdays. 90% of applications are processed within 14 weekdays. 

Accredited Employer Work Visas (AEWV)

We aim to process straightforward AEWV applications in 20 weekdays, excluding public holidays. 

On average, we process AEWV applications in 20 weekdays. 90% of applications are processed within 34 weekdays.

NOTE

These processing times are based on applications we have decided, so do not include applications being processed. As applications have only recently opened, these times will change as more visa applications are decided. 

Why some applications are processed faster than others

Visitor visas

We aim to process visitor visa applications in 20 weekdays, excluding public holidays. 

On average, we process visitor visa applications in 13 weekdays. 90% of applications are processed within 44 weekdays.  

These times are for all the visitor visas we are processing. To see the timeframes for a specific visa:

Search for a visa

NOTE

As applications have only recently opened, these times will change as more visa applications are decided. Some applications received in early August 2022 are still being processed, and deciding these applications is a priority.

Why some applications are processed faster than others

Student visas

We aim to process straightforward applications for student visas in 30 weekdays, excluding public holidays.

On average, we process student visa applications in 18 weekdays. 90% of applications are processed within 40 weekdays.

NOTE

These processing times are based on applications we have decided, so do not include applications being processed. As applications have only recently opened, these times will change as more visa applications are decided. 

Why some applications are processed faster than others

You can also find out online how long it takes to process visas for international students depending on the type of education provider.

Visa processing times for international students

Working holiday visas

On average, we process working holiday visa applications in 3 weekdays. 90% of applications are processed within 16 weekdays.

Why some applications are processed faster than others

NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority)

Some visitors and transit passengers can travel to New Zealand without a visa if they get an NZeTA (New Zealand Electronic Travel Authority) before travel. 

Allow 72 hours for your NZeTA request to be processed. Many requests will be processed more quickly.

Other visas and applications

Below are the number of calendar days it has taken us to process other types of visa applications in the 3 months before 1 August 2022.

Visa 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Partner of a New Zealander 6 months 8 months 13 months
Permanent Resident Visa 77 days 3 months 5 months
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 12 days 20 days 34 days

Skilled Migrant Category 

The Skilled Migrant Category reopened on 11 November 2022. We are reviewing processing times and will update the timeframes as soon as we can.

Transfer of visa to new passport

The processing timeframe for transfers of a visa to a new passport is 4 to 6 weeks.

Other resident visas

Find recent processing times for other resident visas.

Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work processing times

Fees, decision times, and where to apply