Covid-19 INZ Update (Application Priority Levels – 17 April)

Immigration New Zealand has just published the order it will prioritise applications. If you’re worried about processing times for your visa, this information is for you.


  • Visas and Variation of Condition (VOC) requests for critical workers to support the COVID-19 response, including:
    • Offshore/Onshore workers and visitors who work in essential health services
    • Designated onshore workers who work in essential services
    • Other onshore workers in essential services
  • Urgent/Humanitarian applications and VOC requests:
    • Visas for victims of domestic violence
    • Visitor visas and VOCs for Tongan/Samoan citizens who require urgent and essential travel
    • Visitor visas for the immediate family of NZ citizens and residents (particularly if travelling with the NZ family member on the same flight!)
    • Visitor visas for the immediate family of temporary visa holders who normally live in NZ
  • Residence class visas for Australian citizens/residents who live in NZ


  • Applicants whose visa applications would not normally be affected by the government’s COVID-19 response, including:
    • Student visas for international students
    • Partnership Work and Visitor visas
    • Dependent Child Student and Visitor visas for the children of work/student visa holders
    • Visitor visas for the dependent children of NZ citizens or residents
    • Post-Study Work Visas


  • Essential Skills Work visas for other workers (ie. not working in an essential service like healthcare)
  • All other Work and Student visas (onshore)
  • All other VOC requests (onshore and offshore)
  • Permanent Resident visas and Second/Subsequent Resident Visas


  • All other visa applications
  • NZeTA requests

We hope this update provides some clarity on what to expect for processing times. We are regrettably unable to confirm specific or even rough dates for when your visa will be approved, but like you we are looking forward to visa processing getting back to normal in future.

Keep safe, Keep strong, Keep in touch!

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