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How to become a New Zealand Citizen

Today’s post will focus on the same issue of citizenship as our previous article on how to get Canadian citizenship, choosing to explore the route to achieving New Zealand citizenship.


The most important flag in Flag Theory is the first, which calls for a second citizenship in order to facilitate international travel, avoid dependence and oppression, whether economic or otherwise, from a single government, and to unlock the advantages of certain business-friendly locations.

This post, as with the previous, intends to show you the process for taking that first step by gaining a second citizenship, but, again, this is only the first flag of many. In order to realize the full potential of Flag Theory, you will have to continue down its path.

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How to become a New Zealand citizen

These are the following ways in which one can gain citizenship in New Zealand, which while worth mentioning, mainly concern factors out of one’s control:

  • Citizenship by Birth
    • If an individual was born in New Zealand before January 1, 2006; or,
    • If an individual was born in New Zealand on or after January 1, 2006, with at least one parent being a:
      • NZ citizen or permanent resident; or,
      • Permanent resident of Cook Islands, Niue or Tokelau.
  • Citizenship by Descent
    • If an individual was born outside New Zealand on or after 1 January 1978, and one of your parents was a New Zealand citizen otherwise than by descent at the time of your birth.
  • Citizenship by Adoption
    • If an individual was legally adopted by a citizen of New Zealand.
  • Citizenship by Grant
    • This is the most involved process, which we will now discuss.

Requirements for Being Granted New Zealand Citizenship

As with Canada, the requirements for citizenship may not be as intensive as one would think:

  • New Zealand residence;
  • At least 16 years of age;
  • Physically present in New Zealand for at least 1,350 days during the five years before your application, and for at least 240 days in each of those five years;
  • Ability to read and write in English;
  • Understanding the “responsibilities and privileges” of New Zealand citizenship;
  • Of good character; and,
  • Intention to remain in New Zealand if granted citizenship.

Establishing Residency in New Zealand

Again, as with Canada, the most difficult hurdle is to immigrate to and establish residency in New Zealand. There are several routes for being granted a residency visa:

  • Skilled Migrant Category
    • If an individual has the skills, qualifications or experience deemed valuable by the New Zealand government, it is possible to apply for a resident visa straight away under the Skilled Migrant Category;
    • To apply for a visa under this category, one must:
      • Qualify under a points system;
      • Complete an Expression of Interest;
      • Be 55 or under, healthy; and of good character; and
      • Able to read and write English.
  • Work to Residence
    • These visas allow individuals to work in New Zealand for two full years before applying for a resident visa:
      • Long Term Skill Shortage
        • For those with a permanent or long-term job offer in an occupation on the Long Term Skill Shortage List. Additionally, there are age, health and character requirements.
      • Accredited Employer
  • Investors
    • There are two main investor visas for those wishing to establish residency:
      • Investor Visa
        • Minimum investment of $1.5 million NZD invested in NZ for at least four years;
        • Minimum of three years of business experience;
        • Settlement funds and/or assets of at least NZ$1 million;
        • Aged 65 or younger;
        • Able to read and write English;
        • At least 146 days in NZ for the last three years of the four-year investment period; and,
        • Evidence that funds are:
          • Not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims;
          • Acquired legally; and
          • Are transferable through the banking system.
      • Investor Plus Visa
        • Minimum investment of $10 million NZD invested in NZ for at least three years;
        • At least 44 days in NZ for the last two years of the three-year investment period; and,
        • Evidence that funds are:
          • Not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims;
          • Acquired legally; and
          • Are transferable through the banking system.
  • Entrepreneurs
    • There are two categories of visas available to individuals who can demonstrate they have been actively participating in their business and contributing to New Zealand’s economic development:
      • Entrepreneur Visa
        • Approval of work visa under Long Term Business category;
        • Successful establishment of a business in NZ;
        • Having been ‘self-employed’ in that business for at least two years;
        • Having resided in NZ for a minimum of two years and a maximum of three years after obtaining approval under the Long Term Business work visa; and,
        • The business has economically benefited New Zealand.
      • Entrepreneur Plus Visa
        • Approval of work visa under the Long Term Business category;
        • Business investment of at least $.5 million NZD;
        • At least three full-time equivalent jobs created for NZ citizens;
        • Having been ‘self-employed’ in that business for at least two years; and
        • No minimum time requirement for which you must have operated your business. Once these requirements are met, residency is an option.
  • Other Routes to Residency
    • Australian Passport
      • Individuals will gain a NZ resident visa when entering the country with:
        • A valid Australian passport;
        • A current Australian Permanent Residence Visa; or,
        • A current Australian Resident Return Visa.
    • Family
      • New Zealand citizens can sponsor their partner, dependent child or parent for citizenship.
    • Refugee Family Support
      • New Zealand citizens granted residence as refugees can sponsor a family member and that person’s partner and dependent children for residence. There are 300 places available annually.
    • Samoan Quota
      • A number of citizens of Samoa are invited to live in NZ as residents every year.
    • Pacific Access Quota
      • A number of citizens of Kiribati, Tuvalu and Tonga (including their partners and dependent children) are invited to live in NZ as residents every year.

Applying for New Zealand Citizenship

Now that all requirements for being granted citizenship are met, all that is left is to apply! To do this, simply complete the application form, and lodge it, along with all photographs, documents and fees, with the citizenship office.

You can do this by making an appointment with a case officer at a Citizenship Office, simply dropping off the materials in person at a Citizenship Office or sending everything through the mail.

To determine exactly what is required along with the application form and photographs, please review the complete list of documents and fees involved in applying.

For any other questions or concerns relating to the process, refer to the website of the Department of Internal Affairs.

Confirming New Zealand Citizenship

If the citizenship application is approved, the final step is to complete the ‘Confirmation of New Zealand Naturalization by Grant,’ an official document from the New Zealand Citizenship Office confirming the named person’s status as a New Zealand citizen and how the criteria for citizenship were met.

Successful Citizenship

Once all the paperwork and fees are submitted, all that is left to do is to attend a citizenship ceremony and take an oath or affirmation. New Zealand citizenship has been achieved!

Unlike some countries, New Zealand allows their citizens to maintain citizenship in multiple jurisdictions. This means freedom from a single government and, most importantly, it puts you well on your way to achieving the privacy and security of wealth that everyone deserves.

This is only the first step of Flag Theory. Don’t stop here.

If you are interested in learning how to become a citizen in other countries, be sure to check out our premium membership, sign up for our newsletter and check out our free second passport and residency comparison tool.


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