How long it takes to process a visa application

Immigration New Zealand is operating under Alert Level 3 lockdown requirements, this means our offices are currently closed. Visa processing timeframes will be impacted.

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.

Immigration New Zealand is resuming the processing of residence applications from outside New Zealand that were received before March 2020.

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 January 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

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) 50 days 3 months 7 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 23 days 50 days 3 months
Variation of conditions on a student visa 18 days 28 days 52 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 56 days 90 days 4 months
Essential Skills – Instruction changes from 19 July 2021 15 days 26 days 49 days
Partner of a New Zealander 58 days 3 months 5 months
Partner of student 38 days 71 days 4 months
Partner of worker 43 days 66 days 3 months
Post-study work visa 30 days 62 days 3 months
Variation of conditions on a work visa 29 days 40 days 68 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 4 months 7 months 11 months
Permanent Resident Visa 52 days 4 months 5 months
Skilled Migrant 26 months 28 months 31 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 14 days 23 days 37 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 8 days 26 days 49 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. We apologise for any inconvenience and we are working hard to improve this.

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work processing times

Fees, decision times & where to apply