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.

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 September 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 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Visitor (holiday) 7 days 12 days 20 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 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Fee Paying Student 17 days 46 days 4 months
Variation of conditions on a student visa 13 days 19 days 23 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 36 days 76 days 3 months
Partner of a New Zealander 28 days 79 days 5 months
Partner of student 35 days 3 months 6 months
Partner of worker 29 days 61 days 3 months
Post-study work visa 13 days 23 days 37 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 20 days 32 days 46 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 7 months 9 months 13 months
Permanent Resident Visa 24 days 33 days 49 days
Skilled Migrant 5 months 8 months 11 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 9 days 14 days 20 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 16 days 34 days 51 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Fees, decision times & where to apply