As a wanna be New Zealand migrant you want to know how long it will be before you will have your desired visa in your hands. As a Licensed Immigration Adviser I know that the actual visa application process is only the last part of a visa application process. However, it is the part that is the easiest to translate in to a number. I have found two articles that give an insight in visa application processing times.

The first article, titled “How long it takes to process your visa application” by Immigration New Zealand shows the time frames specific visa types are processed within once an application is lodged. Visitor and Student visas take around 20 days and work visas take a little longer: 23 days. Resident visas take considerably more time. The most popular categories, being Skilled Migrant Category and Partnership take 6 and 4 months respectively.

The second article is a collection of forum posts from ENZ. These are actual people who submitted an application and provide their experiences. The consensus is that processing times vary wildly. A Partnership application took less than a month with one person while it took over 6 months with another. Skilled Migrant Category applications show a similar trend; some are approved within 2 months while other may take up to 12 months. There is much less variation in temporary applications. Most of them seem to be processed within a maximum of 4-5 weeks.

Drawing on these two articles and my own experience as an Immigration Consultant, I have listed three tips I can recommend to make sure your visa application is processed as quickly as possible and stays within the timeframes mentioned in article one.

Prepare – gather all the information and documents you need for your application before you start your visa application.

Include All Documents – include all the supporting documentation that is asked for or even more so Immigration New Zealand does not have to ask for additional information.

Choose the Right Visa – Avoid unnecessary delays by applying for the wrong visa for your situation. Starting today, you need to start to plan and prepare your visa application properly so you know which visa to apply for and which information and documents you need to avoid delays further down the track.

Feija van Bokhoven is the Managing Director of Experienz Immigration. In her capacity of Licensed Immigration Adviser for New Zealand she has helped numerous clients obtain a visa for New Zealand and helped them fulfill their dream of living in New Zealand.