This article is focused on New Zealand law and explains issues from a Common law perspective.

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How to obtain New Zealand a Passport


The Act governing passports is the PASSPORTS ACT 1992.

To get a passport, you should visit the New Zealand Government's Identity & Passports website. You must be a New Zealand citizen. The 5 steps involved in obtaining a Passport are detailed here.

How do I get an application form? You may either apply on-line or print an application form.

You should then send your completed application form and the other necessary documents and information to the required address. 

What other documents and information do I need to send with my application?

As well as your completed application form, you'll need to provide proof of your citizenship and identity. You can do this by providing your (current or expired) New Zealand passport, or, if you don't have a NZ passport, by providing:

  • your original birth certificate, if you were born in New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau, or
  • your original Citizenship Certificate or other proof of your citizenship, if you were born outside New Zealand, the Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau. (If you need to get proof of your citizenship, contact the Determinations and Authentications Unit of the Citizenship Office

You'll also need to send two identical photos of yourself.

If you're under 16 you'll also need to provide a letter from your parents saying that they consent to you applying for a passport. Alternatively, your parents can apply for you.

You can pay by credit card. The costs involved in applying for a passport are detailed on the Identity & Passports website.

How long will it take to get my passport?

It will usually take 10 working days days before your passport is available. But you can ask that your application be dealt with urgently, in which case it will take only three days.

There's an additional charge for the urgent service. But you won't be charged this additional fee if the Passport Office are satisfied that the reason for your urgent application is that a member of your family has died or is seriously ill. You'll need to provide written evidence of the reason for your urgent application from a doctor, hospital or police officer.

Can I be refused a passport?

If you're a New Zealand citizen you are entitled to a New Zealand passport. Internal Affairs can refuse to issue you with a passport only if:

  • you're under 16 and your parents haven't consented to you applying for a passport, or
  • a court has issued a warrant for your arrest, or you've been released on bail or under a community-based sentence, or you've been released from prison on parole, or you're subject to a court sentence requiring you, in effect, to remain in New Zealand, or
  • there's a court order preventing you from leaving New Zealand, or preventing your from having a passport, or requiring you to hand in your passport, or
  • you already have a passport and there's no good reason why you should be issued with another, or
  • you hold a NZ passport or other NZ travel document and refuse to surrender it when required, or
  • you are a danger to national security.

How long will my passport be valid for?

Passports issued or applied for before 21 April 2005 are valid -

  • for 10 years, if you're 16 or older when you apply, or
  • for five years if you're under 16 when you apply

All passports issued from 21 April 2005 are valid for five years.

Cautionary notes
  • The documents you provide to the Passport Office in support of your application (such as birth certificates and citizenship certificates) must be originals, not photocopies or certified photocopies.

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