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Citizenship - Raraunga

Requirements for New Zealand Citizenship

New Zealand Citizenship by Descent

General Requirements for a Grant of New Zealand Citizenship

Grants of New Zealand Citizenship in Other Situations

How to Apply For Grant of New Zealand Citizenship

Approved Translation Agencies

Citizenship Ceremonies

Citizenship by Grant Frequently Asked Questions

Denial and Confirmation of New Zealand Citizenship

Citizenship Application Fees and Forms

Important Notices

Citizenship Grants Policy Manual

How to Contact Us

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Citizenship by Grant Frequently Asked Questions

For all queries regarding immigrating to New Zealand or obtaining a New Zealand visa or residency, please contact the New Zealand Immigration Service.


How long does a Grant of New Zealand Citizenship take to process?
  • It will usually take eight months from the time you send us your application, to the time you are advised of the outcome of your application.

Where can I get an application form?

Why are my documents not required at the time of applying?
  • There has been a significant increase in the number of applications for the grant of citizenship resulting in eight months processing time for applications. The Citizenship Office wants to ensure we have your personal and valuable documents only for the length of time required to establish whether you are eligible for the grant of citizenship.

What happens once you have received my application?
  • Once your application has been received you will be sent a letter acknowledging receipt of your application. The Citizenship Office will complete initial processing and prepare your application for a Case Officer.

When will you require my documents?
  • The Citizenship Office will write to you requesting your documents when your application has been assigned to a Case Office. A prepaid courier pack will be enclosed with the letter for this purpose.

After I apply, when will my documents be returned to me?

If I move after I apply, how do I change my address with the Citizenship Office?
  • A change of address for a Citizenship by Grant application may be taken by phone or email from the applicant, consenting parent or agent. Please contact us with the following information:
    • Your full name/name of applicant(s)
    • Your date of birth/applicant(s) date of birth
    • Application number(s) (if known)
    • New address
    • New phone number (if applicable)
    • Date of move/intended move

Can I apply for citizenship early (i.e. before the three or five year period of residency is up)?
  • It is unlikely that a grant of New Zealand citizenship would be approved if the applicant has not already met the Ordinary Residency requirements. However, there are some exceptions to this. Please contact the Citizenship Office for more information.

Can I submit photocopies of my documents?
  • The Citizenship Office requires that all documents be originals. These will be returned to you.

Will applying for New Zealand citizenship affect my current citizenship?
  • New Zealand allows its citizens to hold multiple citizenships. However, some other countries do not allow this. You should check with the authorities of the country(ies) for which you currently hold citizenship before applying for New Zealand citizenship.

Can I leave New Zealand while my application is being processed?
  • Yes, although this may affect the processing of your application, so you must notify the Citizenship Office of your departure date and expected return date before you leave.

Can I apply from overseas?
  • Yes. However, applicants are expected to meet the residency requirements outlined in the application guide.


How long do I need to have lived in New Zealand for?

How good does my English have to be?
  • To become a New Zealand citizen you are usually expected to know enough English to be able to deal with everyday situations such as shopping or banking.

What does it mean to be 'of good character'?
  • Things such as traffic offences, benefit fraud or any court conviction may affect your good character eligibility to become a New Zealand citizen. Please contact us for more information.

What are the responsibilities and privileges of New Zealand citizenship?

  • To obey and promote the laws of New Zealand (this includes registration as a voter and fulfilment of tax obligations).
  • Not to act in a way that is against the interests of New Zealand.
  • Foreign travel and freedom to return to New Zealand on a New Zealand passport.
  • Full economic rights;
    • Some public service positions may only be held by New Zealand citizens;
    • Ownership of rural land is difficult for people who are not New Zealand citizens.
  • Full access to education;
    • Only New Zealand citizens qualify for;
      1. subsidised fees;
      2. some scholarships and awards;
      3. financial assistance from some overseas universities.
  • Access to international sport;
    • Some sports require that international players are citizens of the country they represent.

The Interview

Do I have to attend an interview?
  • The Citizenship Office reserves the right to interview all applicants. Most applicants will not be interviewed as part of the citizenship process.

Where will the interview be?
  • If you apply from Auckland, Manukau, Wellington or Christchurch, you will be expected to attend an interview at our office. Applicants living outside of these areas will be contacted by a Citizenship Officer to make other arrangements.

What questions will be asked during the interview?
  • The questions asked will be used to confirm your personal details and your ability to meet the requirements of New Zealand citizenship.

How long will the interview take?
  • Citizenship interviews are usually one hour long.

Do I have to bring anything with me?
  • Your Case Officer will contact you if they require you to bring anything to the interview.

Can I bring a friend or family member to my interview?
  • You are welcome to bring a support person to the interview. However, you will be expected to answer all questions yourself.

The Citizenship Ceremony

Do I have to attend a ceremony?
  • All applicants are required to attend a citizenship ceremony to be granted citizenship. The exception to this, who can choose whether they attend a ceremony are:
    • Applicants aged under 14.
    • Applicants who are already New Zealand citizens by descent.
    • People who are granted New Zealand Citizenship through their mother being a New Zealand citizen.

When will my ceremony be?
  • You will be contacted in writing by the Citizenship Office once you have been placed in a ceremony. You must attend a ceremony within 12 months of your citizenship being approved, or your citizenship application may lapse and you will have to make a new application.

Where will my ceremony be?
  • Applicants are usually required to attend a ceremony in the area that they live.

Benefits of Citizenship by Grant Over Citizenship by Descent

What are the benefits of claiming a grant of citizenship instead of citizenship by descent?

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Last updated: 30/05/2006