New Zealand Citizenship Application

New Zealand Citizenship

Obtaining New Zealand permanent residence provides a person with the right to remain living indefinitely in New Zealand with access to all the normal work, business, education, property and health privileges available to New Zealanders.

However, New Zealand citizenship is required to travel on a New Zealand passport, for employment in some public service or Government positions, in order to purchase particular rural and coastal property or to represent New Zealand at the Olympic Games or other international events. In order to access these additional privileges the grant of New Zealand citizenship must be made. A New Zealand passport can be applied for only once New Zealand citizenship has been granted or conferred.

To be eligible for New Zealand citizenship a person must:

· Intend to live permanently in New Zealand

. Have a reasonable understanding of English

· Be of good character· Understand the responsibilities and privileges of citizenship

· Have held New Zealand Permanent Residence for the required period of time:
Currently, if an applicant received permanent residence, or had a successful residence application accepted by Immigration New Zealand, before 21 April 2005, the applicant could be eligible for a grant of citizenship after living in New Zealand for three years. If they applied for and received permanent residence on or after 21 April 2005, they have to be resident in New Zealand for five years before becoming eligible for a grant of citizenship.

One of the requirements for obtaining New Zealand citizenship by grant will change on 21 April 2010.
Applications for Citizenship Received On or After the 21st of April 2010.

All applications received at any of the New Zealand Citizenship offices, including those received in the mail, on or after the 21st of April 2010, will be assessed using the five year residency requirement, no matter when they applied for and obtained permanent residence. The requirement is that the applicant must be physically present in New Zealand for a minimum of 1,350 days with permanent residency during the five years immediately preceding the date of their application, and for at least 240 days with permanent residency in each of those five years. 


The ability to be assessed against the three year residence requirement will no longer exist for new applications received on or after 21 April 2010.

If an applicant received permanent residency or had a successful application accepted by Immigration NZ before 21 April 2005 and they wish to be assessed under the three year residence requirement, their application must be received at any of the New Zealand Citizenship offices before the 21st of April 2010.

Children born in New Zealand on or after 1 January 2006 will automatically be New Zealand citizens only if one of their parents was a New Zealand citizen or held residence status at the time of the birth.

Enquire Now or Call +64 (0)7 834 9222

Citizenship Enquiries

In order to apply for New Zealand citizenship an applicant must meet the above eligibility criteria.
There are a number of policies which apply to specific categories of applicants such as children of New Zealand citizens and PathwaysNZ welcomes enquiries seeking clarification of citizenship matters.

Citizenship applications are made on an individual and not a family basis and a separate application is required for each person in a family.

 All New Zealand citizenship and passport applications are processed by the Department of Internal Affairs.

Citizenship applications presently take around 8-10 months to process while passport applications only take a few days once citizenship is conferred.

Enquire Now or Call +64 (0)7 834 9222

This page was last updated on 18 March 2010