In what order are visa applications processed?

In alert level 2 Immigration New Zealand has changed its rules on this question.

:new_zealand: RESIDENCE

  1. Onshore applications will be prioritised over offshore, no matter what other factors are involved.
  2. Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) and Residence from Work (RfW) applications will be prioritised if applicants earn at or above $51 per hour, or $106,080 per year
  3. SMC and RfW applications will be prioritised for occupations that require registration (eg. nurses, electricians)

:new_zealand: TEMPORARY VISAS
Top to bottom priority is as follows:

:one: FIRST PRIORITY (temporary visas)

  1. Visas and Variation of Conditions (VOC) for workers in essential services
  2. Visas and VOC which involve urgent humanitarian circumstances (victims of domestic violence, exemptions to the border restriction)
  3. Other temporary visas where the applicant is in New Zealand

:two: SECOND PRIORITY (temporary visas)
All offshore temporary visas

We note that other than this, visa processing is handled in a โ€œfirst come, first serveโ€ manner. Therefore, we highly encourage all applicants - no matter what their circumstances - to get their place in the queue as early as possible. Donโ€™t wait until the border reopens, or you could find yourself waiting many months after that to get a decision!