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.

Processing times can vary

We are committed to delivering the fastest possible service for visa applicants. How long it takes us to process your application depends on how complex it is. We consider every application separately to make sure it aligns with New Zealand's immigration policy and regulations.

Allow more time during busy months

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.

Check your status online

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

Checking your application status

Average processing times

Find out how many calendar days it has taken us to process applications for our most common visas in the 3 months to 1 March 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 your application is taking longer to process than the normal time frame for that type of visa, you can contact us.

Visitor visa

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within: 95% of applications completed within:
Visitor (holiday) 20 days 34 days 53 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 28 days 54 days 72 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 18 days 32 days 45 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 77 days 3 months 4 months
Partner of a New Zealander 56 days 80 days 4 months
Partner of student 54 days 85 days 3 months
Partner of worker 51 days 82 days 3 months
Post-study work visa 26 days 31 days 38 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 9 days 19 days 27 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 7 months 10 months 12 months
Permanent Resident Visa 20 days 30 days 38 days
Skilled Migrant 7 months 10 months 13 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 12 days 17 days 21 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 24 days 32 days 42 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply