Assessment timeframes

Find out how long it will take us to assess your application and the factors that may slow this down.

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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.

Timeframes by pathway

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
Fishing quota 200
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

How assessment timeframes work

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.

Read more about OIO fees and penalties

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.

What may extend your application time


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.

How to ensure a smooth application process

Pre-application meeting

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.

Read more about arranging a pre-application meeting

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.

Assessment timeframes for all applications

History of OIO application work-in-progress numbers as at end of each month

Report to 31 October 2022

Graph showing the assessment times for OIO applications over the past 12 months
Graph showing the assessment times for OIO applications over the past 12 months

History of WIP numbers

View as a table

Month ending

Classic applications

Residential forestry

One home to live in

















































31/10/2022 28 29 4

Requests for urgency

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.

Lapsing an application

We may lapse your application if you do not provide requested information in a timely manner.

Our requests for further information 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 organise a time extension with us before the timeframe expires. The extension can be negotiated by mutual agreement.

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 meet the consent criteria. We will normally give you a warning before this occurs.

Where an application has been lapsed on this basis and you wish to continue with the proposed investment you will need to:

  • re-apply, and
  • pay a new application fee.
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