19 December 2018

High numbers of student and visitor visa applications

Immigration New Zealand (INZ) is currently experiencing high volumes of visitor and student visa applications and is encouraging applications to be lodged promptly.

Jeannie Melville, INZ’s Assistant General Manager, Visa Services says this is typical for this time of year and will likely continue until March 2019.

“Due to the high application volumes currently being received, we strongly recommend that visitor and student visa applications are submitted as early as possible.

“Student visas should be submitted at least eight weeks ahead of their intended travel date, while visitor visas should be submitted as soon as possible in advance of travel. This gives INZ time to assess the application and gather more information from the applicant if needed.”

The fastest and easiest way to apply for a visa is to use the Immigration Online system via the INZ website, where applicants can upload supporting documents, photographs and pay for their application.

While INZ makes every effort to streamline assessment of applications, applicants may experience longer timeframes if they do not supply all required information (including translations) when they submit their application. If they do not supply the correct information this could hold up the processing of their visa.

INZ does not advise purchase of travel before an application is completed as the grant of a visa is not guaranteed. In particular, assessment of visitor visa applications will not be prioritised if the sole reason is that the applicant has pre-purchased travel.

Education providers can refer students to the INZ website for visa processing timeframes, which applicants should take into account when applying for their visa and planning their travel.

What's in it for me?