Citizenship is a technical term for a resident of a particular country. Every country has different criteria according to how they grant you citizenship. In New Zealand, the applications for citizenship are evaluated by the Internal Affairs Department, not Immigration NZ, which handles visa applications.
When you apply to become a New Zealand citizen, you are assessed according to the rules governing citizenship. You should be aware of the criteria and ensure your situation matches the standards.
Once you are awarded a citizenship certificate of New Zealand, you can live in the country indefinitely and enjoy all the privileges that people living in the country have, from free education for children through to high school, subsidised healthcare, and voting rights.
There are various benefits of New Zealand citizenship. You can travel in and out of the country freely using a New Zealand passport to travel around the world.
If you have questions about your pathway to New Zealand citizenship, immigration advisers are there to help. Malcolm Pacific Immigration has decades of experience supporting migrants through their immigration and citizenship process.
There are three types of New Zealand citizenship, each with different criteria depending on your circumstances.
If you are born in New Zealand before January 1st, 2006, you qualify to be a New Zealand citizen. This type of citizenship is known as citizenship by birth.
If you were born in New Zealand after the first of January 2006, the government amended the regulations for individuals. Meaning an NZ-born child has to meet either of these criteria:
If one of your parents holds New Zealand citizenship (as they were born in NZ) but you weren’t born in New Zealand, you can be eligible for citizenship by descent. This could mean either your parents were citizens by birth or citizenship was granted to them.
If your child/children are born outside New Zealand, you cannot simply transfer citizenship to them. Your child will need to apply for their own citizenship by grant.
You could be eligible for citizenship by grant as a resident of New Zealand. There are requirements such as time spent as a resident in NZ, being a person of good character and speaking English. More detailed information can be found at Malcolm Pacific Immigration.
Once you have been awarded citizenship, any child of yours born in New Zealand after you became a citizen can automatically qualify to be a kiwi.
The criteria you need to meet and the documents you need to provide depend upon the type of citizenship you’re looking to apply for. We advise you to get in touch with experienced immigration advisers for further advice to ensure you have everything you need to support your application.
If you were not born in New Zealand and your parents are not citizens of New Zealand, you can apply for citizenship by Grant. The criteria that you need to meet are:
You must prove that you intend to live in New Zealand permanently. For this, you need to show the three things mentioned.
You should be able to speak English conversationally. You will be assessed for your English speaking skills during your application if English is not your first language.
When you have successfully collected all your documents, apply for citizenship in New Zealand. You also have to pay the fee for citizenship by a grant which is as follows
● For the age group 15 years or below: $235.10
● For the age group 16 years or above: $470.20
It is an online application, and the process can seem confusing. Don’t just push submit. Speak to an expert if you are unsure before lodging the application.
After submitting all of your documents with the fees, you have to wait for your citizenship application to be accepted. It usually takes about 6 to 18 months to process your application, depending on the number of applications in the queue. After it is accepted, you will receive your citizenship certificate.
Then, through this citizenship certificate, you can apply for a New Zealand passport. To get a New Zealand passport, you have to apply separately after becoming an NZ citizen.
Ensure you keep up to speed with the latest policy changes and immigration NZ news to stay well informed. It helps to inform you of any changes to citizenship or visa criteria, New Zealand’s border, schemes going on with different countries, and many more.
Sign up for our newsletter to keep up to date with the latest NZ immigration news and updates.
If you have more questions about how to apply for your New Zealand citizenship, then get in touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration, as we are licensed immigration advisers nz.
Otherwise, by ensuring you dot your “i's and cross your ‘t”s, we hope to welcome you into our country as a New Zealand citizen.
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.
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 employer team is on standby, ready to help.
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Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.
Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.
The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.
The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.
From 15 February 2021
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.
From 7 October 2020
The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:
Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.
From 27 July 2020
Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.
From 27 May 2020
The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.
From 1 November 2021
From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.
Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.
Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.
The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.
The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.
The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:
Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:
People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:
The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.
A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
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.