13 February 2023 at 10:00 am

February update from Immigration New Zealand

The latest information on student visa processing, updates to visa process time reporting, when to apply and Student visa checklists are the topics covered in this month's update from Immigration New Zealand. 

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Update on Student visa processing*  

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. We have decided 17,601 of these applications, with more than half of our decisions made in under four weeks. 

*Figures current as at 10pm on 30 January 2023.  

We have updated our reporting 

INZ is improving the way we publicly report on processing times for different visa categories. We 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 our updated processing times here: How long it takes to process a visa application | Immigration New Zealand 

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.  

We 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. 

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