How long it takes to process a visa application

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

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 April 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) 44 days 84 days 5 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 25 days 31 days 46 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 17 days 24 days 30 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 38 days 74 days  5 months
Essential Skills – Lite 45 days 67 days 3 months
Partner of a New Zealander 54 days 3 months 6 months
Partner of student 36 days 62 days 3 months
Partner of worker 57 days 3 months 5 months
Post-study work visa 19 days 42 days 61 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 31 days 48 days 58 days

Find recent processing times for other work visas

Fees, decision times & where to apply

Resident visas

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 76 days 86 days 6 months
Skilled Migrant 29 months 32 months 36 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 7 days 17 days 29 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 19 days 34 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 resident visas.

Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work processing times

Fees, decision times, and where to apply