Do you want to become a New Zealand Citizen?
In recent years the number of citizens wanting to move to New Zealand from all over the world has increased considerably.
If you are interested in moving to New Zealand you’re probably looking for a relaxed pace of life, in an unspoiled country where people are friendly and look out for each other.
There are a number of pathways to becoming a New Zealand citizen, but most migrants will become a New Zealand citizen by grant.
The first step of the process involves a visa application which will allow you to live in New Zealand indefinitely.
If you want to find out if you qualify to become a New Zealand citizen, send us an application for a Free Professional Assessment and our Licensed Immigration Advisers will evaluate your chances and explain to you how you can become a citizen of New Zealand.
If you want to read more about the technicalities of becoming a New Zealand citizen, please read on.
There are four ways of becoming a New Zealand citizen, only one of them is relevant for migrants.
1.Citizenship by birth in New Zealand
You are a New Zealand citizen by birth if you were born in New Zealand before 1 January 2006. If you are born here on or after 1 January 2006, you are a citizen only if at least one parent is a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.
2.Citizenship by descent
You are a New Zealand citizen if you are born overseas to a mother or father who is a New Zealand citizen otherwise than by descent, or if a mother or father is a New Zealand citizen by descent and you would otherwise by stateless.
You are a New Zealand citizen if you are legally adopted by a New Zealand citizen.
4.Citizenship by grant
You can apply to the New Zealand government to be granted citizenship.
Once you are a New Zealand citizen, you can live in New Zealand indefinitely, travel on a New Zealand passport and stand for parliament.
Become an New Zealand citizen by grant
You will have to meet the following criteria to be granted citizenship:
- you already have the right to be in NZ indefinitely (you're a permanent resident of NZ or Australia, or you’re Australian)
- you’ve lived here for at least the last 5 years
- you intend to keep living here
- you speak English, and
- you're of good character
Please note that citizenship is different to permanent residence. You can ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers if you are unsure about the process of becoming a New Zealand citizen.
If your application for citizenship is successful, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony and take an oath or affirmation in English, at the ceremony you will get your certificate of citizenship.
New Zealand passport
You don't automatically get a New Zealand passport when you are made a citizen, but you can apply for one after you have received your citizenship certificate.
Can you have dual citizenship?
Dual citizenship is available in New Zealand, but whether or not it is applicable in your particular case will depend on the law of your home country.
If you are a German citizen and want to apply for New Zealand citizenship you might lose your German citizenship. A Beibehaltungsgenehmigung has to be obtained from the German state before an application for New Zealand citizenship can be lodged, to ensure that you will be allowed to remain a German citizen. Ask us how we can help you with your Beibehaltungsgenehmigung: Email Dr.Carsten Hallwass.
Are you eligible for New Zealand citizenship via the Skilled Migrant Category? Find out by using our Quick Self-Check Guide!
If you want to read more about American citizens moving to New Zealand, we recommend this website: New Zealand Now.
Read more about becoming a New Zealand citizen through the Skilled Migrant Category:
- Will you be able to claim points for your qualifications?
- Will you be able to claim points for your professional expertise?
- Is your profession on one of the Skill Shortages Lists?
- Do you have to be registered in New Zealand?
- Will you meet the English language requirements?
Ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers
If you want to find out more about obtaining the right visa for New Zealand, contact Julia Cooke, Licensed Immigration Adviser at NZIC.Ask Julia for a Free Assessment