Permanent Residence

To be eligible for a Grant of New Zealand Citizenship you must satisfy two requirements:

  • Ordinary Residence; and
  • Lawful Residence

Ordinary Residence

You must have been ordinarily resident in New Zealand for the last 5 years. This means that you must have been physically present in New Zealand for the last 5 years, with a minimum of 240 days per year.

Overseas Travel

Any travel away from New Zealand, short or long, WILL be taken into consideration in determining that you meet this requirement. You may not meet this requirement and may need to provide a letter of explanation if:

  • You were away for more than one year in total;
  • A single trip was for more than 4 months;
  • You were not in New Zealand for 8 of the 12 weeks immediately before applying;
  • You were not in New Zealand for 8 out of the 12 weeks at the beginning of the ordinary residence period (unless you have lived in New Zealand for 4 years or more).
  • PLEASE NOTE: shorter periods away may also mean you may not meet the requirement. Each application will be assessed on its merits.

If you travelled overseas during your ordinary residence period (i.e. during the last 3 years) you may still meet the ordinary residence requirement as long as:

  • New Zealand was your home base; and
  • You did not enter into a settled lifestyle overseas.

If you are under 16

If you are under 16 throughout the entire application process and your parent(s) is/are a New Zealand citizen or has applied and is able to fulfil the requirements for a grant, you may not have to meet the ordinary residence requirement.

If you are under 21

If you are under 21, in the years up to your 18th birthday your permanent base and that of both your parents will be taken into consideration when determining whether you meet the ordinary residence requirement.

For the period after your 18th birthday, the ordinary residence requirements (listed above) apply (i.e. where you have lived).

Please Note: If an applicant turns 16 before their application has been finalised they will be required to meet all the legislative requirements of section 8 of the Citizenship Act 1977 including the ordinary residence requirement.

Lawful Residence

You must have been lawfully in New Zealand for the last 5 years by having valid immigration visas for all the period.