How long it takes to process a visa application

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.

Information for visa applicants outside of New Zealand

Visa processing for most applicants outside of New Zealand 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 is not able to legally grant a visa to people who are unlikely to meet the entry requirements.

You want to enter New Zealand

Note

Timeframes on this page reflect average processing times of the past 3 months.

If you are travelling from a quarantine-free travel zone the processing of your application will be prioritised.

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 May 2021. 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

Most visa processing for applicants outside New Zealand is on hold due to Covid 19.

Processing times for visas we are considering varies for each visa.

Visitor visa

Visa 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Visitor (holiday) 54 days 7 months 8 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 11 days 18 days 32 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 10 days 13 days 19 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 21 days 40 days 67 days
Partner of a New Zealander 43 days 3 months 6 months
Partner of student 25 days 50 days 84 days
Partner of worker 29 days 48 days 75 days
Post-study work visa 9 days 17 days 33 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 14 days 20 days 26 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 5 months 7 months 12 months
Permanent Resident Visa 17 days 33 days 61 days
Skilled Migrant 21 months 23 months 25 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 1 day 3 days 8 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 7 days 14 days 21 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work processing times

Fees, decision times & where to apply