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 February 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 29 days 42 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 31 days 53 days 68 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 16 days 26 days 35 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 69 days 90 days 3 months
Partner of a New Zealander 47 days 71 days 3 months
Partner of student 47 days 74 days 3 months
Partner of worker 48 days 76 days 3 months
Post-study work visa 29 days 33 days 42 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 12 days 25 days 34 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 18 days 27 days 36 days
Skilled Migrant 7 months 9 months 11 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 11 days 16 days 20 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 20 days 30 days 40 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply