How long it takes to process a visa application

New Zealand offices have now reopened. Offices outside New Zealand are still currently closed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Processing of critical or essential visas related to COVID-19 requests for entry to New Zealand are being prioritised based on the direction of the New Zealand Government.

Information for offshore visa applicants

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. This is to help stop the spread of COVID-19 and protect the health of people already in New Zealand.

Visa processing for offshore applicants 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 (INZ) is not able to legally grant a visa to people who are unlikely to meet the entry requirements.

If you have already submitted a visa application, it will stay in our processing queue. We will process it as soon as border restrictions are lifted. INZ will start deciding visa applications once the border restrictions are lifted. Decision timeframes will depend on how many applications are in the queue. 

Epidemic Management Notice

Border closures and exceptions

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 2020. 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

Due to COVID-19, these processing timeframes only apply to applications submitted in New Zealand that are currently being processed. Applications submitted outside of New Zealand will take longer. Individual processing times may vary.

Visitor visa

Visa 50% of applications completed within: 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:
Visitor (holiday) 18 days 33 days 57 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 17 days 47 days 63 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 2 days 10 days 47 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 18 days 37 days 71 days
Partner of a New Zealander 71 days 4 months 7 months
Partner of student 46 days 76 days 4 months
Partner of worker 26 days 58 days 3 months
Post-study work visa 18 days 36 days 48 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 6 days 17 days 47 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 9 months 10 months 12 months
Permanent Resident Visa 7 days 11 days 63 days
Skilled Migrant 6 months 10 months 17 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 1 days 3 days 6 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 7 days 14 days 66 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work processing times

Fees, decision times & where to apply