How long are the visa processing times?

How long are the visa processing times?

Once we have lodged your visa application it will be processed by Immigration New Zealand.

The processing times at Immigration New Zealand are different for each visa type.


Currently INZ is anticipating the following processing times:


Temporary visa applications

Visitor visas 20 days
Student visas 20 days
Work visas 23 days


Resident visa applications

Skilled Migrant Category Resident Visa 6 months
Partnership Resident Visa 4 months
Dependent Child Resident Visa 3 months
Parent Resident Visa 7 months
Investor Plus (1)
Investor 2

90 days
8 months

Residence from Work visas :

  • Talent (Accredited Employer) Resident Visa
  • Talent (Arts, Culture and Sports) Resident Visa
  • Long Term Skills Shortage List Resident Visa
3 months
Other 6 months



Can you influence the processing time of your visa application?

To understand what you can do to speed up your application,  it is important to look at the process:


1. Submission of visa application

After you have submitted your application it will be scanned by a receiving officer, who will check whether all documents have been submitted in the prescribed manner.

Delays will occur if your documents are not complete and your application is returned to you as a consequence.


2. Lodgement and allocation of visa application

Once your application has been formally accepted, it is lodged and allocated to an immigration case officer who will be in charge of deciding whether you will be granted the visa. 


3. Eligibility Check and Verification of visa application

The case officer will assess your eligibility and determine whether you have proven that you are in fact eligible for the specific visa type you have applied for. 

If applicable the case officer will also confirm the details you have given about your partner and/or children. 

If the your case officer questions your eligibility under the policy you have chosen or is not convinced that you have provided sufficient evidence for meeting all the criteria of that policy,  you will be given a chance to explain yourself and submit further documents.

Over the years we have seen major delays when important documents, for example police certificates and qualification or work related documents were not at hand when requested by Immigration New Zealand. 

In many cases documents have to be obtained from the migrant's home countries which can be difficult and very time consuming. 

Any request for further information or evidence will delay your process for several weeks. 

It is needless to say that requests for clarification and verification will not only cause delays but also increase your stress levels. 


What can you do to speed up your visa process?  

Choosing the right visa type right from the start and submitting a complete visa application will be your best way to speed up your visa application process. 

We have  seen work visas issued within a couple of days, much to the delight of our clients and their new employers of course!


Competent visa advice and careful preparation are the key to a smooth visa application process, regardless of which type of visa you are applying for.  



Read more about the duration of your migration process:

How long until I have PR? 

How long will it take to migrate? 



Are you eligible for a Resident Visa under the Skilled Migrant Category? Find out by using our Quick Self-Check Guide

Read more about becoming a New Zealand resident through the Skilled Migrant Category:

Ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers

If you want to find out more about obtaining the right visa for New Zealand, contact Julia Cooke, Licensed Immigration Adviser at NZIC.

Ask Julia for a Free Assessment