Since New Zealand’s international borders reopened in August 2022, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has received 25,471 student visa applications from international students outside of New Zealand. INZ has decided 17,601 of these applications, with more than half of decisions made in under four weeks. (Figures current as at 10pm on 30 January 2023)
INZ is improving the way it publicly reports on processing times for different visa categories. They now publish the processing times for applications decided in the previous month, instead of the previous three months.
The website illustrates the median number of days, along with the actual number of days it takes to process 90% of applications. These new metrics give a good indication of what customers can expect, regardless of the complexity of their application.
Check out the updated processing times here: How long it takes to process a visa application HERE
Apply for visas at least 8 weeks ahead of intended travel date
New Zealand is in the middle of our student processing peak period. You can apply up to three or four months ahead of intended travel if you wish, however please ensure that applications are applied for at a minimum of 8 weeks ahead of intended travel date.
INZ generally processes applications in date order and the course start date is also taken into consideration.
INZ appreciate that students are keen to have their travel bookings confirmed given the cost of flights and flight route limitations, however INZ recommends that students do not confirm travel bookings until a visa has been granted. If students still wish to book travel ahead of a visa decision, we recommend that they explore flexi travel dates or refundable tickets.
Student visa checklists
The student visa checklist is key to submitting a complete student visa application that has the information we need to make a decision. We update the visa checklists regularly, so be sure to use the web link rather than download the checklist. The first time international students visa checklist was last updated in December 2022.
Source: INZ website