New Zealand Passport - citizenship with Malcolm Pacific


To complete your migration journey you might want to consider becoming a New Zealand citizen.


There are benefits in being a New Zealand citizen. The most obvious is that you get the freedom to travel on a New Zealand passport which is highly regarded around the world and gets visa free access to many countries.


Some of the benefits are not so obvious such as playing sports internationally for New Zealand, standing for parliament, access to education (some scholarships require you to be a New Zealand citizen) and access to certain jobs (mainly government) where being a citizen is a requirement.


Qualifying for citizenship is controlled by the Citizenship Act 1977 and you have to meet the rules set out in law.


The rules are:


  • Be a New Zealand resident (hold a Permanent Resident Visa).


  • Live in New Zealand as a resident for 5 years immediately before the application is lodged; spend 240 days in New Zealand in each of those 5 years and the total number of days spent in New Zealand over the 5 years is 1,350 or more.

  • Speak English to a basic conversational level.


  • Be of good character.


  • Intend to live in New Zealand once citizenship is granted.


Special rules apply to children under 16 and in very special cases citizenship maybe granted by the Minister of Internal Affairs. If you are a New Zealand citizen and your children are born overseas they may qualify for citizenship. Take advice.


A word of warning. New Zealand recognizes dual nationality so you can hold a New Zealand passport and keep your current passport. But there are some countries that do not allow their citizens to hold passports from other countries. Check first before you apply.