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How long will my visa take to process?

We get asked this a lot by our clients and other enquirers.

Visa processing times are beyond our control and depend on Immigration New Zealand (INZ)’s workload and processes.

Recent processing times (for the last three months April-June 2018) for some of the most common applications are shown below.

We recommend getting your documents to us and applications in well before your visa expires or you a due to start a job. While we understand your employer may want you to start as soon as possible, generally it will not make a difference or be grounds to process your application any sooner as INZ needs to be fair to all applicants and generally assess them in the order received.

From INZ’s recent table below, it appears most work visa applications are decided between 44-84 days (6 weeks to about 3 months). Post study employer-assisted and partnership work visas take longer, usually 2-3 months.

Visitor visas take shorter time but still 2-4 weeks.

Student visas are currently taking around 3-7 weeks, though variation of conditions to them can be processed in less than 2 weeks. This may be longer in busy processing times such as in the months  before a semester starts.

Skilled migrant residence visa applications take around a year to process. This is from the time the full application documents are lodged after Invitation to Apply.

Further details are given in the table below as shown on INZ’s website here

These times describe the number of calendar days between an application being received by INZ and being completed.

This helps provide an estimate of the time it will take for INZ to process your application. Individual processing times will depend on the complexity of an application, on the need for further information, and on the number of other applications received.

 

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Essentials Skills 44 days 67 days 84 days
Partner of a New Zealander 62 days 82 days 3 months
Partner of student 28 days 52 days 76 days
Partner of worker 56 days 75 days 87 days
Post-study work visa – employer assisted 42 days 60 days 74 days
Post-study work visa – open 25 days 46 days 62 days
Variation of conditions on a work visa 37 days 49 days 62 days

 

Visitor Visas

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Visitor (General) 11 days 19 days 28 days

 

Student Visas

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Fee Paying Student 21 days 35 days 49 days
Variation of conditions on a student visa 11 days 17 days 24 days

 

Residence

Visa 75% of applications completed within: 90% of applications completed within:  95% of applications completed within:
Partner of a New Zealander 7 months 10 months 12 months
Permanent Resident Visa 12 days 16 days 19 days
Skilled Migrant 7 months 10 months 15 months
Transfer of visa to new passport 12 days 15 days 17 days
Variation of travel conditions on a resident visa 8 days 16 days 23 days