Timeframes apply to the assessment of all overseas investment applications. The timeframes vary for each application pathway and include:
- time with the applicant
- time other agencies are providing requested information
- time with Ministers (if required) to consider their decision.
The timeframes will be challenging to meet and require process changes. There will likely be a phasing in period to allow time for the improvements to happen.
We will keep you informed of the progress of your application.
Note that all timeframes apart from 'One home to live in' include a 15-day initial assessment period. All timeframes are in working days.
|Application type||Total working days|
|Benefit to New Zealand test – farm land||100|
|Benefit to New Zealand test – general and forestry||70|
|Intention to reside||55|
|National interest assessment*||55|
|One home to live in – residential only||10|
|One home to live in – residential and otherwise sensitive land||30|
|Residential land development||55|
|Significant business assets||35|
|Special forestry test – one off consent||55|
|Standing consent – forestry or residential||100|
|Standing consent – residential land development||100|
|Standalone investor test||30|
|Variations and exemptions||Total working days|
|Exemption – farm land advertising||30|
|Exemption – all others||55|
|Variation of consent conditions – extension of time to fulfil consent conditions||30|
|Variation of consent conditions – all others||70|
*For where the overall assessment timeframe is shorter than 55 working days.
Applications of more than just one type
When your application is of two or more types, the longest timeframe applies.
|Type||Fishing quota and national interest||Significant business asset and national interest assessment|
|Reason||A fishing quota application that requires a national interest assessment under section 20A||A significant business asset application that requires a national interest assessment under section 20A|
|Timeframes||Fishing quota = 200 working days|
National interest = 55 working days
|Significant business asset = 35 working days|
National interest = 55 working days
|Timeframe used||Fishing quota = 200 working days||National interest = 55 working days|
When the timeframe starts
The timeframe starts when the office has received your application and the applicable fee. The following working day is then counted as day one.
If your application requires a lodgement fee you need to request an invoice from us prior to submitting your application and you need to provide proof of payment with your application.
Fifteen-day initial assessment period
The 15-day initial assessment period is to ensure that the application is complete, and it begins on day one.
These 15 days provide time for the office to ensure it has all the information it requires and request any additional information. The clock will stop (pause) when the additional information is requested, and it will be started again when it is received.
At the completion of the 15 days the substantive assessment period begins.
The office can apply a pause to the timeframe during the 15-day initial assessment. It may occur multiple times within this 15-day period. Multiple requests may be made concurrently with the clock remaining paused until the final request is answered.
This pause is applied during the initial assessment when:
- a request is made for additional information from the applicant
- fulfilment of the application requirements must be met in relation to the application, or
- payment of a fee is outstanding.
A pause can also be applied by the office during the substantive assessment period when an information request is made to an applicant and they fail to respond within the requested time. In this case, the timeframe will pause from the point the applicant exceeds the timeframe for responding to the request.
Only when the information, requirements, or fees are received does the pause end. The office starts the timeframe again on the next working day.
An application’s total timeframe may be extended by 30 days if any of the following actions need to be taken to:
- consider significant new information gained after the initial 15-day assessment
- carry out third party consultation, or to consider third party submissions
- consider an application of significant complexity
- enable Ministers to:
- obtain and consider information about a delegated application
- call in and decide a delegated decision
- enable the Minister to consider an application that is called in for a national interest assessment under section 20B of the Act.
If any of these circumstances apply we will let you know if an extension is likely to be used for the assessment of your application.
There may be times when an exception to the specified timeframe will apply, for example:
- by mutual agreement, a longer time frame is arranged between the office and the applicant
- the office is investigating/enforcing the conduct of the applicant, or another person relevant to the application, where they may be, or are, in breach of the Act.
Arrange a pre-application meeting with us, particularly if your application is complex or if the process is new to you. We can provide advice on what a quality application looks like and highlight any issues or matters that may need to be addressed in your application.
The meeting will allow you to:
- ask questions about the process
- understand what information you need to gather and provide
- understand which third parties you may need to consult with
- ensure your application is complete
- ensure you understand the fee structure and when your fees are payable.
If you want to book a meeting email the OIO with a brief description of your intended investment, your meeting attendees, and a proposed agenda. We will organise a time to meet with you in-person or online.
Ensure you provide all requested information
Ensure you are providing all the information requested about the proposed investor and investment, and that it is of high-quality. Your application timeframe will be paused if we need to request missing information from you.
History of overseas investment application work-in-progress numbers as at end of each month
Report to 30 November 2023
View as a table
|Month Ending||OHTLI apps||Other consent apps||Exemption and Variation apps|
It is your responsibility to ensure that:
- any relevant commercial agreements allow enough time for the OIO to assess the application, and
- the application is lodged in a timely manner.
We do not give priority to individual applications except in exceptional circumstances, such as to accommodate other statutory timeframes (for example, those under the Takeovers Code).
Any request for urgency must:
- address whether the application was submitted promptly after the need for consent was identified
- provide confirmation that you will keep the OIO updated on commercial deadlines that relate to the investment and the need for urgency (if the urgency falls away you must tell us immediately), and
- acknowledge that the OIO may shorten the usual timeframe for you to respond to information requests, and the application may be deprioritised if these timeframes are not complied with.
We may lapse your application if you do not provide requested information or documentation in a timely manner.
Our requests for further information or documentation will normally include a date by which you should provide the information.
If you are unable to provide the requested information within the relevant timeframe, you must advise us of why before the timeframe expires. Generally, a short time extension for provision of this information may be able to be agreed with us.
If you don’t provide the information within the relevant timeframe, we may lapse the application on the basis that insufficient information has been provided to enable us to assess whether the application meets the consent criteria. We will send you a letter informing you before this occurs and will write to you to advise you once an application has been lapsed.
We will refund any monitoring fees paid on a lapsed application but any lodgement and assessment fees paid will not be refunded.
Where an application has been lapsed and you wish to continue with the proposed investment, you will need to:
- re-apply, and
- pay new lodgement, application and monitoring fees.