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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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Important Notices



Proposed Fees for Citizenship Services
The Government is proposing minor technical adjustments to fees for some citizenship services. The proposals will change the fees that apply to some citizenship services and will introduce new fees for other services. There is no proposal to change the application fee for the grant of New Zealand citizenship.

For further information please see Consultation on Proposed Fees for Citizenship and Birth Certificates.


Processing Times for the Grant of Citizenship
Due to high demand for the grant of citizenship, processing times are longer than normal. Currently, it is taking approximately 8 months from the time you send us your application, to the time you are advised of the outcome. For further information see Frequently Asked Questions - Citizenship Application Waiting Times.


Changes to Citizenship by Birth in New Zealand from 2006
Until the end of 2005, most children born in New Zealand (or in the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau) are automatically New Zealand citizens at birth (with few exceptions).

From 1 January 2006, children born in New Zealand (or in the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau) will acquire New Zealand citizenship at birth only if at least one of their parents:
  • is a New Zealand citizen; or
  • has permanent residency (i.e. is entitled to be in New Zealand or Australia indefinitely); or
  • is entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Tokelau or Niue.
For further information see the Changes to Citizenship by Birth in New Zealand from 2006 Frequently Asked Questions.


Citizenship Amendment Act 2005
The Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 came into effect on 21 April 2005. As a result of this legislation there have been some important changes to the requirements for New Zealand Citizenship. You can find out more about the changes at
General Requirements for a Grant of New Zealand Citizenship or click here for FAQs (Frequently Asked Questions).

People who applied for the grant before 21 April 2005 will generally be unaffected.


Photographic Image Requirements for New Zealand Travel Documents and Citizenship Applications
The Department of Internal Affairs has revised its photo standards for use in New Zealand travel documents and applications for citizenship. The new photo standards are effective from 1 June 2005.

The revised standards match those set by ICAO (International Civil Aviation Organisation). ICAO photo standards have been reviewed to accommodate the introduction of a chip-enhanced e-Passport with the potential to use Facial Recognition Technology as part of border facilitation.

The Department will be enforcing the revised requirements and any photos not meeting an acceptable standard will be rejected.

By following the photo guidelines you can avoid application-processing delays by ensuring that acceptable photos are taken first time.

Photos with existing citizenship applications, submitted before the revised requirements were introduced, will not be required to meet the revised photo requirements.

To download or print out the photographic image requirements and tips for taking travel document and citizenship photos click on the links below. (Please note: the photographic image requirements is a large full colour document. To order a hard copy, contact us.) A written summary of the photo guidelines can also be found in the appropriate application form. *This document is in Adobe Acrobat (.pdf) format. You need to have Adobe Acrobat Reader installed on your computer. You can download a free version from the Adobe site.


Civil Unions
The Civil Union Act came into effect on 26 April 2005. From this date, names taken by civil union (
recognised in New Zealand) can appear on New Zealand citizenship certificates (and subsequently in the New Zealand Passport).

A civil union is a legal relationship recognised in law in New Zealand. The Civil Union Act 2004 provides the criteria, rules and processes for two people to have their relationship solemnised as a civil union (by way of a formal ceremony) and officially registered in New Zealand. A civil union may be entered into by couples of the same sex or by couples of different sexes. Click here for further information about civil unions.

If you wish to have a name taken by civil union on your citizenship certificate, please ensure you indicate this in the "Name" section (section one) of the application form.

If you have a version of the form that does not reflect the Civil Union Act, any part of the form that refers to "Marriage" should be read as "Marriage or Civil Union".


Changes to New Zealand Passport and Citizenship Overseas Service
From 1 April 2004 New Zealand Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade (MFAT) posts will no longer issue full validity manual passports or first time passport applications. The MFAT posts will also no longer process applications for citizenship by descent, though they will continue to be issued by the Department of Internal Affairs in New Zealand, Sydney and London. These changes are being implemented to improve the security and integrity of the New Zealand passport and streamline citizenship by descent application procedures. For further information please contact the Citizenship Office.

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Last updated: 30/06/2006