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The Benefits of Becoming a NZ Citizen

Are you considering becoming a citizen of New Zealand? The process of acquiring NZ citizenship can be long and complicated. What’s the difference between NZ citizenship and residency—and is the journey worth it? Below, we explore the benefits of NZ citizenship and how to apply.

04/02/20222 min read
The Benefits of Becoming a NZ Citizen


Are you considering becoming a citizen of New Zealand? The process of acquiring NZ citizenship can be long and complicated. What’s the difference between NZ citizenship and residency—and is the journey worth it? Below, we explore the benefits of NZ citizenship and how to apply.


The Journey to Citizenship: What’s the Application Process?

To be eligible for NZ citizenship, you must have been the holder of a New Zealand resident visa for 5 years. Applications are processed by the Department of Internal Affairs, as opposed to Immigration NZ. You can apply online or in person, and a government application fee is required. Currently, it takes around 12 to 18 months for the Citizenship Office to approve your application.

If your application is approved, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony where you will receive your citizenship certificate. However, in some cases, you may not be required to attend. If you cannot attend a ceremony, your citizenship certificate will be delivered via courier.

Once you have your certificate, you can apply for a NZ passport. For more information about the citizenship application journey, we recommend getting in touch with a licensed immigration adviser in NZ for expert advice.

Check whether your current country of citizenship allows dual citizenship before you apply. A few countries don’t, so you need to think through, are you prepared to surrender your current citizenship to become a kiwi?


What are the Benefits of NZ Citizenship?

While obtaining NZ permanent residence offers a wide range of benefits and privileges, the benefits of NZ citizenship are far greater. As a NZ citizen, you can enjoy the same economic & social rights of those that were born in the country. Some government jobs require you to be a NZ citizen. Here are some of the key benefits of NZ citizenship that differ from permanent residency:


Live and Work in Australia

One of the greatest benefits of NZ citizenship is having the opportunity to visit, live, and work in Australia as you choose. With a NZ passport, you will automatically be issued a Special Category Visa upon your arrival in Australia. This means if you ever need to relocate your job, the process of moving will be simple and easy.


Eligible for Education Scholarships

As a NZ citizen, you will have full access to New Zealand’s excellent education system. Obtaining a scholarship here can lead to an array of employment opportunities in the future. Education scholarships in New Zealand are only open to NZ citizens. When you apply for a scholarship, you will need to show proof of your NZ passport, along with a range of other documents, such as your record of learning or a letter of approval from your school.


Represent NZ in International Sports

If you’re a passionate sportsperson and want to represent New Zealand on an international level, this will only be possible with NZ citizenship. As a NZ citizen, you will be able to enter the Olympics as a proud Kiwi and showcase your skills to the world.

Get in Touch with Malcolm Pacific to

Speed Up the Application Process

Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.

Latest Updates

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Update

The Green List

From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.

Read more here.

16 May 22
Update

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
10 Feb 22
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

16 Dec 21