How long it takes to process a visa application

Immigration New Zealand offices in New Zealand are now open. Offices outside New Zealand (except for the Apia branch) are still closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Processing of critical or essential visas related to COVID-19 requests for entry to New Zealand are being prioritised based on the direction of the New Zealand Government.

Information for offshore visa applicants

New Zealand’s border is still closed to everyone but New Zealand citizens and residents. There are some exceptions but the criteria for granting an exception are very strict. This is to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of people already in New Zealand.

Visa processing for offshore applicants is still on hold. This is because people who are not New Zealand citizens or residents are unlikely to meet the current entry requirements. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is not able to legally grant a visa to people who are unlikely to meet the entry requirements.

If you have already submitted a visa application, it will stay in our processing queue. We will process it as soon as border restrictions are lifted. INZ will start deciding visa applications once the border restrictions are lifted. Decision timeframes will depend on how many applications are in the queue. 

Epidemic Management Notice

Border closures and exceptions

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 October 2020. 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.

Note

Due to COVID-19, these processing timeframes only apply to applications submitted in New Zealand that are currently being processed. Applications submitted outside of New Zealand will take longer. Individual processing times may vary.

Visitor visa

Visa 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Visitor (holiday) 6 months 6 months 6 months

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 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Fee Paying Student 12 days 23 days 66 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 16 days 22 days 32 days

Find recent processing times for other student visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply

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

Visa processing times for international students

Work visas

Visa 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Essentials Skills 35 days 81 days 4 months
Partner of a New Zealander 29 days 69 days 6 months
Partner of student 23 days 47 days 4 months
Partner of worker 29 days 56 days 4 months
Post-study work visa 18 days 25 days 36 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 45 days 50 days 58 days

Find recent processing times for other work visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Residence visas

Visa 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Partner of a New Zealander 9 months 10 months 13 months
Permanent Resident Visa 33 days 48 days 74 days
Skilled Migrant 8 months 18 months 21 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 2 days 7 days 28 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 13 days 21 days 36 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work processing times

Fees, decision times & where to apply