Visa processing times for international students

Find out how long it has taken us to process some student visa applications for international students. Results vary depending on the type of education provider.

Processing times by education provider

Find out how long it takes us to process student visas. The wait times on this page are based on applications decided in June 2024.

These processing times show the combined time for the most common student visas used by international students. They are:

  • Fee Paying Student Visa — including English language students
  • Pathway Student Visa
  • MFAT-funded NZ Scholarship Student Visa, and
  • Exchange Student Visa.

The processing time is broken down by the type of education provider:

  • universities
  • Te Pūkenga
  • Private Training Establishments (PTE), and
  • schools.

We recommend that you apply at least 3 months before your study is due to start.

This is due to it being difficult to predict the volume of applicants we will receive for the study peaks at the start of the year and mid-year. This is when the majority of study begins in New Zealand.

Education provider Wait time
Te Pūkenga 7 weeks
PTEs 6 weeks
Universities 6 weeks
Schools 3 weeks

Most visas are processed within these times. Your visa application may take longer than what is shown here.

Find other visa wait times

To find the wait time for a visa that is not listed on this page you can use our fees, decision times and where to apply tool.

Fees, decision times and where to apply

Check your application status

To find out information on your visa application you can log in to your Immigration Online account and check your visa status.

Checking your visa application status

Some applications can take longer to process

Some visa applications may take longer to process than others. If your application is taking longer than what is shown on this page you can find out what factors may affect visa wait times.

Why some visa applications take longer to process than others