About New Zealand Citizenship Application

Beginning the journey to become a New Zealand citizen is a big deal, showing a strong commitment to this wonderful country. Becoming a citizen means more than just getting a passport; it’s about being part of New Zealand’s special culture, embracing its values, and being a valuable member of society. As a citizen, you get to be fully involved in everything New Zealand, like voting and representing the country internationally.


The New Zealand Citizenship Application process is for people who’ve already made New Zealand their home and want to make it official by becoming citizens. It’s like moving up from being a permanent resident to being a full-fledged member of the New Zealand family, with all the rights and duties that come with citizenship.

Benefits of New Zealand Citizenship

  • Full Civic Rights: The right to vote, stand for public office, and a New Zealand passport.
  • Sense of Belonging: A deeper connection with New Zealand’s culture and community.
  • Ease of Travel: Access to visa-free travel to numerous countries and consular protection overseas.
  • Family Inclusion: Easier pathways for family members to join and live in New Zealand.

Note: The cost and availability of New Zealand visas can change because of decisions made by the New Zealand Immigration authorities.

Reach out to us today, to find out how we can assist you in reaching your immigration goals.

Types of New Zealand Citizenships

Here are the 3 Ways to Get New Zealand Citizenship:

1. Citizenship by Birth

– Born in NZ Before Jan 1, 2006: You’re automatically a citizen.
– Born in NZ After Jan 1, 2006: You get citizenship if at least one parent is a Kiwi citizen or has a residency visa.

2. Citizenship by Descent

– Born Outside NZ: If one of your parents was a Kiwi citizen when you were born, you might qualify.
– You need to register to make it official and get a passport.

3. Citizenship by Grant

– Born Outside NZ or After Jan 1, 2006: If your parents weren’t Kiwi citizens or residents, you can apply for citizenship.

Criteria for New Zealand Citizenship Application

A comprehensive list of criteria needed for your application to be a good fit to obtain the New Zealand Citizenship.

Verify Your Citizenship

Make sure you qualify for New Zealand citizenship by completing the necessary verification steps.

Eligibility Criteria

Permanent Residency: You must have lived in New Zealand as a permanent resident for a certain period.
Good Character: Show that you’re a law-abiding citizen with no serious criminal history.
Basic English Skills: Demonstrate that you can communicate in English.
Knowledge of NZ: Understand the country’s culture, history, and how society works.

Required Documents

Identity Papers: Birth certificate, current passport, and proof of residency.
Character References: Police reports and sometimes extra character references.
Language Skills Proof: Provide evidence of your English language abilities if needed.

Other Things to Consider

Oath of Allegiance: Agree to pledge your loyalty to New Zealand.
Dual Citizenship: While New Zealand allows it, your home country might have rules against it.

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What is the Application Process?

Follow the below steps to become a New Zealand Citizen.

Step 1: Learn About the Types of Citizenship

New Zealand offers citizenship through three ways: by birth, descent, or grant.

Step 2: Check if You’re Eligible

Use the self-check tool to see if you qualify for New Zealand citizenship.

Step 3: Gather Your Documents

For citizenship by grant, collect important papers like your birth certificate and passport. You might need extra documents too. Plus, you’ll need someone to vouch for you.

Step 4: Apply and Pay

Submit your citizenship application online, in person, or by mail. The fee is:
– $470.20 for adults (16 and older)
– $235.10 for kids (15 and under).

Step 5: Wait for Approval

Your citizenship application usually takes 3 to 14 months to process.

Step 6: Attend a Citizenship Ceremony

Once approved, attend a ceremony to officially become a New Zealand citizen.

Step 7: Get Your Passport

After becoming a citizen, you can apply for a New Zealand passport separately.

Get Your Citizenship by Descent and Passport

If you’re a citizen by descent, you need to register your citizenship before getting a New Zealand passport.

Processing Time

It usually takes about 30 working days for descent registration and passport application. However, sometimes extra checks are needed, which might delay the process by a few months. We’ll keep you updated if this happens.

Emergency Travel Needs

If you urgently need a New Zealand passport for travel, contact the Passport Office:
New Zealand: Call 0800 225050 (NZ only) or +64 4 462 0650
Sydney: Call 1300 559 535 (Australia only) or +61 2 9225 2300
London: Call +44 20 7968 2730

For regular applications, follow the standard process below.


You must register for citizenship by descent before applying for a passport.


For ages 16 and over:
– NZD$204.40 for citizenship registration
– NZD$410.40 for citizenship registration and passport issuance
For ages 15 and under:
– NZD$204.40 for citizenship registration
– NZD$324.40 for citizenship registration and passport issuance

For Applicants Outside New Zealand

You’ll need to pay international courier fees along with your registration and passport application fees.

Application Forms

Use the appropriate form to apply for citizenship by descent and passport:
Adult Application Form
Child Application Form

Upgrade to Citizenship

Did you know? If you have ancestry ties to New Zealand, you might be eligible to upgrade your citizenship through a grant. This allows you to pass on citizenship to children born outside New Zealand. Ready to begin the process? Here’s how ICL Immigration can help:

Step 1: Check Eligibility

We’ll help you understand if you meet the criteria for New Zealand citizenship.

Step 2: Agreement and Support

Engage our expertise for a seamless citizenship application journey.

Step 3: Document Assistance

We’ll assist you in gathering all necessary paperwork for your application.

Step 4: Application Submission

We’ll handle the submission and keep track of its progress.

Step 5: Outcome Advice

Receive guidance on the application’s outcome and what to do next.

Step 6: Ceremony Preparation

Let us assist you in getting ready for your citizenship ceremony.


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What are the key benefits of becoming a New Zealand citizen?

Citizenship offers full civic participation, ease of travel, and a strong sense of belonging.

How long do I need to be a resident before applying for citizenship?

Generally, you need to have been a resident for at least 5 years.

Is proficiency in English required for New Zealand citizenship?

Basic English communication skills are required.

Can family members be included in my citizenship application?

Family members need to apply separately, but your citizenship can make it easier for them to apply.

What is involved in the character check for citizenship?

This includes police clearance and may involve checks into your background.

Are there any age requirements for citizenship applicants?

There are different requirements for adults and children under 16 years.

Do I have to give up my original nationality to become a New Zealand citizen?

New Zealand allows dual citizenship, but you should check the laws of your original country.

What does the citizenship test cover?

New Zealand does not currently have a citizenship test.

How long does the citizenship application process take in New Zealand?

Processing times vary, but it generally takes several months.

What happens at the New Zealand citizenship ceremony?

It's a formal ceremony where you take the Oath of Allegiance and receive your Certificate of Citizenship.

Can my citizenship application be denied?

Yes, if you do not meet the eligibility criteria or if there are issues with your character.

Is travel insurance necessary for citizenship applicants?

Travel insurance is not related to citizenship applications.

Can I still be a New Zealand citizen if I live abroad?

Yes, living abroad does not affect your New Zealand citizenship status.

What are my rights as a New Zealand citizen?

You have the right to vote, live indefinitely in New Zealand, and access New Zealand consular protection overseas.

How can I prove my understanding of New Zealand culture and values?

While there is no formal test, demonstrating integration into New Zealand society and understanding its values is important.

Can I hold public office as a New Zealand citizen?

Yes, citizens can stand for public office in New Zealand.

What if I have dual citizenship and my other country requires military service?

You should seek legal advice as this might have implications for your New Zealand citizenship.

How can I prepare for the citizenship oath?

ICL Immigration can provide guidance on the oath-taking process and what to expect at the ceremony.

Will my children automatically become New Zealand citizens?

Children born to New Zealand citizens in New Zealand are automatically citizens. Those born overseas may need to apply for citizenship by descent.

Is there a residency requirement after becoming a New Zealand citizen?

Once you are a citizen, there is no residency requirement to maintain your citizenship.

Disclaimer: The information provided is subject to change based on New Zealand government policies. For the most current information, please refer to Immigration New Zealand or contact ICL Immigration for updated guidance.

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