How long it takes to process a visa application

Immigration New Zealand offices in New Zealand and processing offices outside New Zealand are open — except for offices in the UK, US and India. 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.

Information for visa applicants outside of New Zealand

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 strict.

Visa processing for most 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 is not able to legally grant a visa to people who are unlikely to meet the entry requirements.

You want to enter New Zealand

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 February 2021. 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.

Warning

Due to COVID-19, these processing timeframes only apply to applications submitted in New Zealand that are currently being processed. 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) 64 days 4 months 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 14 days 31 days 55 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 10 days 14 days 22 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 22 days 38 days 59 days
Partner of a New Zealander 66 days 4 months 6 months
Partner of student 40 days 68 days 3 months
Partner of worker 46 days 68 days 3 months
Post-study work visa 10 days 20 days 35 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 20 days 30 days 36 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 6 months 9 months 13 months
Permanent Resident Visa 11 days 30 days 69 days
Skilled Migrant 20 months 22 months 23 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 2 days 3 days 8 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 7 days 21 days 69 days

Find recent processing times for other residence visas.

Skilled Migrant and Residence from Work processing times

Fees, decision times & where to apply