Obtaining New Zealand Citizenship: The Ultimate Guide
New Zealand is one of the most beautiful countries on the planet, which is why people from all over the world are drawn to it. Every year, thousands of expats and immigrants migrate to New Zealand to start a new life. Once you’ve made New Zealand your new home, you might start thinking about becoming a New Zealand citizen. Becoming a New Zealand citizen is a significant step in your journey, and it’s important to know the requirements and qualifications.
This guide will provide you with the details you need to know to become a New Zealand citizen, including eligibility requirements, how to apply for citizenship, and frequently asked questions.
Eligibility Requirements for New Zealand Citizenship
To become a New Zealand citizen, you will need to first check if you meet the eligibility requirements.
1. Residency Requirements:
The first requirement to apply for citizenship is that you have to be a resident of New Zealand, and by ‘resident’ we mean you have been living in New Zealand legally for at least five years without any long term absences. If you are a refugee or have recently become a resident under special circumstances, you may be exempted from this requirement.
2. Age Requirements:
To be eligible, you must be over the age of 18 years. If you are under 18 years, but one of your parents is a New Zealand citizen, you may be eligible to apply.
3. English Language Skills:
English is the primary language spoken in New Zealand, so all applicants must provide evidence that they have a good level of English language competency. This can be done by providing transcripts of secondary or tertiary education, or by passing an approved English language test.
4. Criminal History:
Applicants should have a clean criminal history. If you have any criminal convictions, you will have to provide details of those, which may be considered by the Department of Internal Affairs.
5. Other Requirements:
In addition to the above requirements, you must demonstrate an affinity towards New Zealand, indicating intentions to stay long-term, and also pass a Citizenship test that assesses your knowledge of New Zealand’s culture, history, geography, and government systems.
How to Apply for New Zealand Citizenship
If you meet all the eligibility requirements, you can go ahead and apply for New Zealand citizenship. You will need to provide your personal details, including employment history, qualifications, and character assessment to complete your application.
Step 1: Gather Required Documents
Before applying, check the requirements for documents that you must attach with the application. These documents include personal identification, residency status, character certificates, and evidence of your English language competency.
Step 2: Complete Application Form
You can fill out an online application or download a paper application form from the Immigration New Zealand website. Before submitting your application, make sure you have all the necessary details and documentation.
Step 3: Submit Application and Pay Application Fee
Once your application is completed, submit it along with the required documentation and appropriate fee payment.
Step 4: Attend Citizenship Ceremony
If your application is approved, you will be invited to attend a Citizenship ceremony to take the Citizenship Oath and become an official citizen of New Zealand.
FAQs – Frequently Asked Questions
1. What is the cost of applying for New Zealand citizenship?
The current fee for applying for New Zealand Citizenship is NZD 530 per adult and NZD 150 per child.
2. How long does the citizenship application process take?
The process takes about 10 months on average, assuming that you have provided all the necessary documentation and meet the eligibility requirements.
3. How can I prove my English language competency level?
You can prove your English language competency level by providing evidence that you have completed secondary or tertiary education in English or passed an approved English language test.
4. What is the New Zealand Citizenship Test?
The New Zealand Citizenship Test is a test designed to assess your knowledge of New Zealand’s culture, history, geography, and government systems.
5. Can I still apply for citizenship if I have a criminal conviction?
Yes, you can, but you should provide information about your criminal history, which will be considered by the authorities when determining whether to approve your application or not.
Obtaining New Zealand citizenship is a significant step towards securing your long-term future in this beautiful country. It’s crucial to meet all the eligibility requirements and submit an accurate and complete application, with documentary evidence, to avoid any delays or issues in the application process. The Department of Internal Affairs is responsible for processing all citizenship applications, and they may require additional information before granting citizenship. Becoming a New Zealand citizen opens up a world of opportunities, so be sure to research and ensure you’re completely prepared before you proceed with an application.