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 December 2018. 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) 18 days 24 days 31 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 49 days 62 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 12 days 18 days 22 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 55 days 73 days 86 days
Partner of a New Zealander 33 days 59 days 88 days
Partner of student 35 days 65 days 84 days
Partner of worker 44 days 66 days 84 days
Post-study work visa 19 days 38 days 53 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 32 days 39 days 48 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 11 months
Permanent Resident Visa 14 days 21 days 26 days
Skilled Migrant 6 months 9 months 12 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 7 days 12 days 15 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 18 days 24 days 30 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply