How long it takes to process a visa application

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

Find out how many calendar days it has taken us to process applications for our most common visas in the 3 months to 1 January 2019. For applications that take more than 90 days we have rounded that number to the nearest month. For example, if applications take 110 days, we say it takes 4 months.

If you applied online, you can check the status of your application and find out if we need more information from you.

We receive high numbers of applications between November and March. This means it may take us longer to process your visa application during this time. Submit your application as early as possible to allow enough time for your application to be processed before the date you intend to travel.

Checking your visa application status

Visitor visa

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Visitor (holiday) 20 days 27 days 36 days

Find recent processing times for other types of visitor visa, for example business and group visitor visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Student visas

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within: 95% of applications completed within:
Fee Paying Student 29 days 49 days 63 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 13 days 19 days 24 days

Find recent processing times for other student visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Work visas

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within: 95% of applications completed within:
Essentials Skills 59 days 79 days 3 months
Partner of a New Zealander 37 days 62 days 3 months
Partner of student 38 days 71 days 3 months
Partner of worker 46 days 70 days 84 days
Post-study work visa 14 days 27 days 45 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 18 days 31 days 37 days

Find recent processing times for other work visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Residence visas

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 10 months
Permanent Resident Visa 17 days 22 days 29 days
Skilled Migrant 6 months 9 months 12 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 8 days 13 days 17 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 20 days 25 days 35 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply