New Zealand citizenship is divided into three categories: Birth, Descent, and Grant

The sort of citizenship you can acquire is determined by your circumstances.

Citizenship by birth.

If you were born in New Zealand before January 1, 2006,

you are a naturalised New Zealand citizen.

If you were born in New Zealand on or after January 1, 2006,

you are only a citizen if at least one of your parents was:

  • a New Zealand citizen or
  • had a visa allowing them to stay in New Zealand permanently

Your children’s citizenship — if you are a permanent resident

  • Your children born in New Zealand instantly become New Zealand citizens. When you register your baby’s birth, you also register your children’s citizenship.
  • Your children born outside of New Zealand are eligible to enrol as citizens by descent.

 

Citizenship by descent

If you meet the following criteria, you may be eligible for citizenship by descent:

  • were born overseas, and
  • have at least one parent who was a New Zealand citizen by birth or grant at the time of your birth

Register your citizenship

If you are a citizen by descent, you must register your citizenship in order to obtain a passport.

Citizenship for your children – if you are a citizen through descent

  • Your children born in New Zealand instantly become New Zealand citizens. When you register your baby’s birth, you also register your children’s citizenship.
  • Children born outside of New Zealand cannot be given citizenship. They will need to apply for grant citizenship in New Zealand.
  • You can apply for citizenship by grant if you are a citizen by descent. If you are successful, any future children born outside of New Zealand will be able to register as citizens by descent.

 

Citizenship by grant

If you were born in the following years, you may be eligible for citizenship by grant:

  • outside New Zealand, or
  • Born in New Zealand on or after 1 January 2006 to non-New Zealand citizens or permanent residents.

Citizenship for your children – if you are a citizen by grant

  • Your children born in New Zealand instantly become New Zealand citizens. When you register your baby’s birth, you also register your children’s citizenship.
  • Your children born outside of New Zealand have the right to register as citizens by descent.

 

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Requirements for New Zealand citizenship

You must verify that you have been physically present in New Zealand for a specified period of time and that you want to continue living here.

 

What are the presence requirements?
  • You have been a New Zealand resident for at least 5 years.
  • If you have held more than one form of visa or permission in the last five years,

If you are a citizen or permanent resident of Australia.

  • If you have resided in New Zealand for at least 5 years, you can petition for citizenship.
  1. You have spent enough time in New Zealand in the previous five years.

You must have physically resided in New Zealand for a certain period of time during the past five years. The 5 years begin on the day you seek for citizenship and are counted backwards.

To achieve this condition, you must have spent the following time in New Zealand:

  • each 12-month period must include at least 240 days, and
  • Over the course of five years, 1,350 days pass.

You may not fulfil these criteria if you have spent more than four months outside of New Zealand in any 12-month period. This might be a single long trip or a series of shorter excursions.

 

How to Apply for New Zealand Citizenship

 

When applying for New Zealand citizenship, follow these procedures.

1) Recognize the many categories of citizenship

New Zealand citizenship is divided into three categories. The type you can acquire is determined on your circumstances.

2) Check that you can meet with the requirements.

Find out if you are eligible to become a citizen of New Zealand and if so, how to apply.

3) Prepare your documents.

When applying for New Zealand citizenship by grant, you must supply identification papers such as:

  • your birth certificate or birth record
  • your passport or travel document.

You may be need to provide extra documentation depending on your case.

You must also secure an identity referee or witness to back up your application.

4) Submit an application and make a payment.

Grants for citizenship applications:

  • $470.20 for adults aged 16 and over
  • $235.10 for children aged 15 and under.

5) Wait to see if your application has been approved.

It takes around 12 months to learn whether your application to become a New Zealand citizen has been granted.

6) Receive your certificate of citizenship

If your New Zealand citizenship application is granted, you may be required to attend a citizenship ceremony.

7) Get your New Zealand passport.

To apply for a passport, you must be a New Zealand citizen.

You can apply for a New Zealand passport once you have become a citizen. This is a separate procedure.

 

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