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Become a New Zealand Citizen

Citizenship is different to permanent residency. Do you want to become a New Zealand Citizen? 


There are four ways of becoming a New Zealand citizen:

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.

3.Adoption

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

Citizenship ceremony

If your application for citizenship is successful, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony and take an oath or affirmation in English.

Citizenship certificate

You will get your certificate of citizenship at the ceremony.

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.

Die Beibehaltungsgenehmigung

This is the German term for the permission to remain a German citizen when applying for New Zealand citizenship.

If a German citizen qualifies for New Zealand citizenship, a Beibehaltungsgenehmigung has to be obtained by the German state before an application for New Zealand citizenship can be lodged, in order to allow dual citizenship. Ask us how we can help you with your Beibehaltungsgenehmigung.

 

Are you eligible for a resident visa under Skilled Migrant Category? Find out by using our Quick Self-Check Guide!

 

Read more about becoming a New Zealand resident through the Skilled Migrant Category:

 

Ask our Licensed Immigration Adviser

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