Applying for a visa 

So you want to visit New Zealand to holiday, study or work? That’s great! Here’s a brief summary of what you need to know about applying for a visa.

How do I apply for a visa?

Once you have an idea how long you plan to stay and why you want to visit (eg for a short holiday, to study, to work), you can visit the Immigration New Zealand website for information about what your visa options are. You can also find out the conditions of your chosen visa, the eligibility criteria, application process and fees.

You can apply for your visa online or by completing the appropriate printed application form and sending it (along with the relevant documents) to the nearest receiving office (eg a Visa Application Centre, if you are applying from overseas).

Who can help me with my visa application?

You can get help from: 

How much will it cost to apply and how long before I know whether my application has been approved?

How much it costs to apply depends on the type of visa you apply for and which country you are applying from. Generally the application fees include a processing fee for Immigration New Zealand and a courier fee. If you have to submit your application to a Visa Application Centre (VAC), then you’ll have to pay a fee to the VAC also.

Read more about visa application fees.

Depending on the kind of visa you’re applying for, and whether you’re applying online or on a printed form, it can take around 20-25 days to process an application for a visitor visa, student visa or work visa, or 3-8 months for one of the other types of visa. More about this is on the Immigration New Zealand website.

How do I check the progress on my application?

If you applied online, you just need to log on to the online service and view the application status.

If you applied through an immigration adviser or a Visa Application Centre (VAC), the immigration adviser or VAC can update you on the progress of your application.

For an application submitted on a paper form within New Zealand, contact the Immigration Contact Centre.

Can I appeal Immigration New Zealand’s decision on my visa application?

If your appeal concerns an Immigration New Zealand decision about an application for a residency class visa, you can apply to the Immigration & Protection Tribunal (IPT). You will need to make your appeal within 42 days of the decision.

If you disagree with an Immigration New Zealand decision about a temporary visa application you can ask Immigration New Zealand to reconsider their decision. However you will have to be in New Zealand lawfully to do this, and need to apply within 14 days of the decision.