The General Frustration of Students for Losing Time Due to NZ Residence Visa Processing Times – An Overview

General Frustration of Students for Losing Time Due to NZ Residence Visa
Many migrant students, workers, and other essential service workers in New Zealand say they feel trapped and helpless because they cannot work, study, or volunteer to do anything else as there is a continued delay in residence visa or other visa processing by Immigration New Zealand. The bureaucratic complexities, tedious process of following up status, and other work processes have left several people perplexed. The International student community in New Zealand is perhaps the worst-hit due to this situation.

Constant delays in the affirmation process have not made things any better. Cases of family residence visas, partnership visas, or other delayed visas are cropping up in large numbers and putting immense strain on people, disrupting their lives. Book a consultation with our highly-qualified immigration experts to get a detailed insight about the reasons for the delay in NZ Residence Visa processing. They have years of experience under their belt and can give you active counsel about your next steps in this unexpected situation.

Delay in Residence Visa Processing Time NZ

Due to the aftermath of the COVID-19 outbreak, the entire visa application process has taken a backseat. Previous applications are also taking time to process, which means many people in New Zealand are stuck in this COVID-19 situation without their family, partner or other safeguards.
One visa has been accepted in many cases, and the other relevant visas have not- rendering the whole process unworkable. Many students who were granted a spot to study in various educational institutes before the pandemic said they could not travel as they cannot afford the hefty fees as international students.

For them, volunteering is not an option as that would be considered as gaining work experience. They can now only work part-time because of their student visa requirements. For most of the students stuck in New Zealand during this second wave, the situation is pretty hopeless.

One particular person from the African continent currently living in New Zealand comments that by the time his family gets their residency, he would have had a gap of almost three years.
The situation is more or less the same for the scattered International student community in New Zealand who wish that the Immigration NZ sort out the delay process, make available a lockdown scheme/package or allow domestic fees for International Students stuck in the pandemic.

Can Domestic Fees for Students Stuck in NZ Be a Solution?

Amidst the second wave of Coronavirus and its adverse effect on the world travel restrictions and other economic sectors, there has been a reverberating call from the International Student communities in NZ and other political, social circles to introduce domestic fees for students stuck in NZ. At the same time, they have asked the Immigration NZ to process their visa applications and other relevant documents, paperworks, etc.

The general view is that students stuck in such trying times should be allowed to work for a period of time while waiting for their parents /partner residency or partnership visa or other such schemes to go through. Also, during the time which is being taken to process the application, International Students in NZ feel that domestic fees should apply for their community as they have many economic restrictions imposed on them.

How Can the NZ Government Help Students Stuck in NZ Due to COVID-19?

Reports from NZ reveal that there are two possible solutions to the existing problems. One should be focused on short term measures to have in place with Immigration NZ, which will allow them to process residency applications faster. The other solution hints towards a more long term planned process. However, since the problems have amounted in large numbers and varying degrees, the short term solution should be prioritized.
Many associations and organizations have been tirelessly keeping in touch with families of students, and they feel that the ministers and the Government should immediately announce some schemes considering the plight of the situation and take them into confidence by giving public assurance of treatment of home students while their parents or their residency application or other applications are being processed.

Steps by Immigration NZ to Solve the Problem

With increasing anger and frustration among the students stuck in NZ, the NZ government has already started to undertake steps to solve this problem. The country has already seen specific government-approved cohorts that enabled select groups of students to return to New Zealand to continue their educational programs that were delayed or cut short due to the COVID-19 outbreak in 2020.
However, at this point, it seems highly unlikely that there will be a further cohort in 2021. The offshore visa application processing has been kept on hold till February 2022 without further notice. It will create an unfortunate situation where the international students might not make it for Semester 1 in February 2022 to start their on-campus studies in New Zealand.

To alleviate the woes of the students, the country and its Immigration authority are doing their best. With border restrictions still on, except permanent residents, particular border exemptions and the Trans-Tasman Bubble, the situation is quite complicated.

  • INZ’s role is to process and approve residence visa applications in line with the New Zealand Residence Programme (NZRP) set by the Government. INZ is resourced in line with the NZRP, not in line with the number of residence applications received.
  • The finalization of the new NZRP is yet to be completed. So, the problem technically lies in processing applications in a huge volume under a limited level of resourcing allowed under the previous NZRP. Problems could be solved with the introduction of the new NZRP.
  • Also the Honorable Immigration minister of NZ- Kris Faafoi, has revealed that while people are waiting for resident visa applications to be processed, they will be subjected to temporary work visa conditions under the review. It is a step that is meant to alleviate some of their woes while they continue to stay and earn in New Zealand.
  • This would also include access to domestic study rates for primary and secondary education but not tertiary. It is another essential step that will try to resolve the problems of the student community in New Zealand that has been adversely affected due to the COVID-19 aftermath.


The discontent and frustration among the International students in NZ have led the Immigration head to take serious steps to mitigate the current problems. Moreover, the COVID-19 pandemic has posed a bigger threat that has eventually delayed the Residence Visa processing time. People are voicing their opinions that the NZ Government should solve the problems associated with the Residence Visa NZ very fast or should economically compensate the International student community that has suffered due to the COVID-19 outbreak.

Book a consultation with our immigration experts and experienced advisors to know more about steps initiated by the NZ government to combat visa-related issues. Our experts are highly qualified about the matters related to the immigration procedures in New Zealand and have facilitated the international student community for long by providing active counsel. They will help you get a clear picture about the current situation and the steps you need to undertake.