If you have had your New Zealand Resident Visa and Permanent Resident Visa for the last five years you may be eligible to apply for citizenship. When considering your citizenship application the Citizenship Office will look at the five years preceding the date of your application. It does not matter if you have been living in New Zealand for longer than that, it is the five years counted back from the date of your citizenship application which matter. If you were present in New Zealand for the total of 1,350 days during these five years and for at least 240 days in each of those five years, you will be eligible for citizenship if you are also of good character, you have at least a minimum knowledge of English language and you intend to continue to reside in New Zealand.
Documents to be Provided With the Application
You will have to provide the passports you used in the last five years (even if expired), your birth certificate, marriage certificates for all of your marriages, and two passport photos. You can prove your ability to understand and speak English either by material evidence such as diploma from a New Zealand education provider or a letter from your New Zealand employer. If no material evidence is available, you can book an appointment at the Citizenship Office. There you will have a very short chat with the citizenship officer who will assess your English speaking ability. You will pass if you are able to talk about familiar every day matters.
What if I Have Lived in New Zealand Most of my Life?
There are instances in which immigrants have been living in New Zealand for the majority of their lives yet they either knowingly or unknowingly never became citizens. Under the Citizenship Act 1977 and the Immigration Act 2009 the total amount of time spent in New Zealand is irrelevant and all applicants have to go through the same application process.
Citizenship ceremonies are held four to five times per year and after your application has been processed, which usually takes two to four months, you will be invited to attend a citizenship ceremony at which occasion you will become a citizen. You can apply for New Zealand passport once you are New Zealand citizen.
If you want any assistance with your application for citizenship talk to Anet Tarabova. Anet is a Solicitor at McVeagh Fleming specialising in the areas of immigration law and civil litigation.
Anet can be contacted by email (firstname.lastname@example.org) or on +64 9 966 3604.
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© McVeagh Fleming 2018
This article is published for general information purposes only. Legal content in this article is necessarily of a general nature and should not be relied upon as legal advice. If you require specific legal advice in respect of any legal issue, you should always engage a lawyer to provide that advice.