Navigating the Maze of Visa Processing Times for International Students in New Zealand

Navigating the Maze of Visa Processing Times for International Students in New Zealand

New Zealand, with its high-quality education system, has become a preferred destination for international students. However, the process of understanding visa processing times can be a bit perplexing. This blog post aims to demystify this process, making your journey to studying in New Zealand smoother.

Types of Student Visas

The Immigration New Zealand website provides an in-depth analysis of visa processing times for international students. These times pertain to the most frequently applied student visas, namely the Fee Paying Student Visa, Pathway Student Visa, MFAT-funded NZ Scholarship Student Visa, and Exchange Student Visa.

Processing Times by Education Provider

The processing times are further divided based on the type of education provider. These include universities, Te Pūkenga (a consortium of vocational education providers), Private Training Establishments (PTEs), and schools.

Understanding the Information

To comprehend these processing times, it’s crucial to know that they are based on applications that have been decided (either approved or declined). The data provided on the website is from applications decided in April 2023, and it includes applications received since each visa category reopened.
The term ‘weekdays’ refers to Monday to Friday, and the median value is used to calculate the average processing time. Here’s a brief overview of the average processing times and the time within which 90% of the applications are processed:
  • Te Pūkenga: Average processing time is 58 weekdays, with 90% of applications completed within 78 weekdays.
  • PTEs: Average processing time is 21 weekdays, with 90% of applications completed within 70 weekdays.
  • Universities: Average processing time is 18 weekdays, with 90% of applications completed within 47 weekdays.
  • Schools: Average processing time is 13 weekdays, with 90% of applications completed within 25 weekdays.

Variations in Processing Times

While these figures provide a general understanding, it’s essential to realize that processing times can fluctuate. Immigration New Zealand is dedicated to providing the quickest possible service for visa applicants. However, each application is evaluated individually to ensure it complies with New Zealand’s immigration policy and regulations.
The duration it takes to process an application depends on its complexity. While the type of education provider is a factor that influences processing times, it’s not the sole determinant. There are several other factors that could potentially affect the processing time of an application.


Understanding visa processing times is a vital part of planning your educational journey in New Zealand. It’s important to take these times into account when applying for your student visa. Patience is key, and while the process may seem overwhelming, the end result is certainly worth the wait. New Zealand offers a diverse and inclusive learning environment, making it a perfect destination for international students.

We hope this guide has given you a better understanding of visa processing times for international students in New Zealand. If you have any further queries, don’t hesitate to contact the relevant authorities or seek advice from a trusted immigration consultant. Happy planning, and we wish you the best in your educational endeavors in New Zealand!

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