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How long it takes to process a visa application

Average processing times for visitor, student, work and residence visas.

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 June 2022. 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

Current visitor visa application processing times are based on onshore (people within New Zealand) visitor visa applications for further visas which are often complicated to assess. These issues can lengthen processing time.

Offshore applications for visitor visas open on 31 July 2022. Processing times for these applications are expected to be significantly shorter than current visitor visa processing times.

Visitor visa

Visa 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Visitor (holiday) 5 days 20 days 71 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 27 days 42 days 63 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 17 days 24 days 37 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 0 days 16 days  52 days
Essential Skills – Lite 49 days 77 days 3 months
Partner of a New Zealander 0 days 30.5 days 85 days
Partner of student 35 days 52 days 85 days
Partner of worker 13 days 50 days 4 months
Post Study Work Visa 0 days 0 days 15 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 20 days 25 days 32 days

Find recent processing times for other work visas

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Note

Visa processing timeframes for Essential Skills, Partner of a New Zealander and Post Study Work Visa have been impacted by visas automatically granted as a result of the Special Direction on 6 May 2022.

Special direction – Grant of temporary visas to classes of people to manage effects and deal with consequences of measures taken to contain or mitigate the outbreak of COVID-19 or its effects PDF 152KB

Visa 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Partner of a New Zealander 6 months 9 months 13 months
Permanent Resident Visa 82 days 3 months 5 months
Skilled Migrant 34 months 42 months 47 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 8 days 11 days 14 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 13 days 22 days 31 days
Note

Due to the impacts of COVID-19 we are experiencing delays in the processing of Permanent Resident Visas and Transfer of Visas to new passports. Transfer of Visas to new passports may take longer than indicated above. We apologise for any inconvenience and we are working hard to improve this.

Find recent processing times for other resident visas.

Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work processing times

Fees, decision times, and where to apply