Naturalisation and citizenship in New Zealand

Hello everyone,

What are the requirements for acquiring citizenship in New Zealand? For example, length of residence, language requirements, employment etc..

What formalities are involved in the process?

What is the policy on dual-citizenship in New Zealand? Do you have to give up your former nationality?

What are the advantages and benefits of acquiring New Zealander citizenship, in your opinion?

Thank you for sharing your experience.



To look at criteria for citizenship to NZ go onto - it will give you residency, work permit, citizenship and other information.  You have to be a permanent resident for 5 years, not having broken that for holiday overseas for a length of period. If you do go on an extended holiday the timeframe for you to apply for citizenship will change.

Process is like any other - apply, attach supporting documents, set up appointment to see consultant at Internal Affairs Office and lodge with payment.

You could retain your citizenship but South Africa does not want dual citizenship - so good luck trying to retain your SA citizenship.  You have to waiver your rights.

Frankly  I didn't see the point of retaining my SA citizenship since NZ is now my home. I 100% made the decision to become a NZ citizen - it is my home.  Benefits is that it is easier for me to travel and I have no issues whereas with a SA passport I did

In essence to live as an expat is not a lighthearted decision and many cannot make a go of it because they are constantly comparing their new country to SA.  Also many want to live as expat trying to create a "little home from home" - it doesn't work like that. You become part of an integrated community so get on with it. 

Also I feel many want the benefits - safety, good lifestyle, jobs, better opportunities but then constantly put the people & country down - don't decide to be an expat living in another country if that is your attitude.

Embrace all that is NZ or go back to SA.

I love my birthplace & never let anyone put SA down as it has its own beauty.  For myself and family we have benefitted way more here than in SA - its a reality.

Hi there,

I am a kiwi and my husband is Mauritian, we have lived in New Zealand for the last 6 years. We have two children that both have NZ citizenship and are considering getting a Mauritian passport for both of our children - but only because we travel to Mauritius regularly.

You can have dual-citizenship, my husband still has both. The only benefit is when we travel back to Mauritius my husband uses his passport for ID purposes etc. However the Mauritian passport doesn't offer any benefits in NZ so if you are planning on living locally permanently, then NZ citizenship is the only way.

The typical route is applying for student visa (Study for 2 years, and work) then after 2 years you can apply for Permanent Residency which you need for 5 years, then apply for citizenship, then passport etc - so it does take time. The first 2 years you need to be self sufficient ie: work, as there is no support from the government during that period.

For anyone acquiring NZ citizenship, the benefits and opportunities are endless. Lifestyle, work opportunities and travel opportunities are the main benefits as a NZ citizen.

Hope this helps,

Lisa Ellapen

What qualifies as a holiday overseas for a length of period. My family is in the US and I will want to be able to visit them of course.

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