How To Get New Zealand Citizenship After Residency?


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Although gaining Permanent Residency in New Zealand is many a migrant’s ultimate goal, some will eventually proceed to a citizenship application and get a New Zealand passport. So, what is the process from permanent residency to citizenship?

Check the different steps

How can I get New Zealand citizenship?

To apply for citizenship, you must have been a resident for at least 5 years, and only travelled out of New Zealand for a short amount of time each year. You must therefore have been present in New Zealand with a Resident visa for a total of at least 1,350 days and for at least 240 days in each of those 5 years. You must also be able to understand and speak English and meet character requirements.

Citizenship applications are assessed by the Department of Internal Affairs, not Immigration New Zealand. These involve an application in the prescribed manner, followed by an official ceremony where the applicant takes an oath or affirmation of allegiance to New Zealand. Once you get your certificate of citizenship, usually during the ceremony itself, you may then apply for a New Zealand passport.

How do I get residence in New Zealand?

There are several ways you can gain residence in New Zealand, many of which start with a temporary visa to allow you to work or do business here. The residence process can be quite long, from a few weeks to 18+ months, and this is why in many instances, you will enter New Zealand on a temporary visa.

Most New Zealand citizens can also live and work in Australia: see this link for more details.

Can I get dual citizenship?

While New Zealand allows dual/multiple citizenship, your country of origin may not. This would mean you might have to renounce your citizenship of birth in order to become a New Zealand citizen.

Each person's situation is different. Discuss you case with a Licensed Immigration Adviser today.

Different steps

In most cases, people will become New Zealand citizens through several steps:

  • A temporary (work) visa
  • A resident visa
  • A permanent resident visa after 2 years as a resident
  • Eventually apply for New Zealand citizenship after 5 years on a New Zealand resident visa.

Access your eligibility for a visa today