There are four main ways in which you can become a New Zealand citizen:
The Act governing citizenship is the CITIZENSHIP ACT 1977.
You will need to apply to the NZ Citizenship Office of the Department of Internal Affairs.
There is an application fee: to check for the latest fees, visit the Internal Affairs website at www.dia.govt.nz (under "Citizenship applications").
You will need to provide the following documents in your application:
You will need to have an interview with a representative from Internal Affairs.
The application will normally take five to eight months to process. You will be sent a letter informing you of the outcome of your application.
The criteria you need to meet for a successful application are that you:
The second of these requirements, that you're entitled to be in New Zealand indefinitely, can be waived if you're entitled to live indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau.
The third requirement, specifying minimum periods for having been in NZ over the last five years, can be waived if you meet those requirements in relation to the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau.
If your application for citizenship is successful, you will need to attend a citizenship ceremony and take an oath or affirmation in English.
If you were born overseas to a New Zealand parent, and are therefore a citizen by descent, you can apply for your citizenship to be registered. You will then receive a certificate of registration. This certificate will provide evidence of your citizenship for purposes such as applying for a passport: see How to obtain a passport.
Under the law before 10 December 2001, your citizenship by descent lapsed if you didn't register your citizenship before your twenty-fourth birthday. That law has now been abolished; the new laws also state that if your citizenship lapsed under this old law, it is reinstated with effect from the date on which it lapsed.
Dual citizenship is available in New Zealand. But whether or not it is applicable in your particular case will depend on the law of the other country concerned.
In rare cases a grant of dual citizenship may be lost if you give false or misleading information or if you concealed important facts when applying for it.
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