How to get New Zealand citizenship in 2021?

How to get New Zealand citizenship in 2021? That will be the topic of this article.

If you are looking to invest in expat-specialised solutions or have any questions, don’t hesitate to contact me, email (advice@adamfayed.com) or use the WhatsApp function below.

It is usually better to sort out residencies, new citizenships and tax-efficient investments at the same time, because many of the opportunities available in your home country or current jurisdiction won’t be available in the next destination. 

Introduction

It is hard to find a country in the world that is quieter, safer and more comfortable to live in than New Zealand. 

A stunning variety of beautiful natural landscapes, including clean sandy beaches, mountains, rivers, lakes, geysers and much more, a favorable climate, a stable industrialized economy, a high standard of living and social security of local residents, make the process of immigration to New Zealand for permanent residence a dream of dozens thousands of foreigners from different parts of the world, many of whom seek to obtain New Zealand citizenship in the future.

The population of New Zealand in 2018 was about 4.7 million people. Most of the local citizens are very friendly, fluent in English and well educated. New Zealand universities offer quality tuition, though very expensive. 

The country has created effective programs for business migration and good conditions for doing business. Permanent work in New Zealand is very popular with migrant workers from all over the world.

Of course, like in any other country, life in New Zealand has some negative sides. For example, high property prices and some medical services such as dental treatment. 

The considerable distance from other states makes frequent movements difficult. There is a risk of powerful earthquakes. Nevertheless, there are much more positive factors from living on these islands. Next, we will find out how to get New Zealand citizenship for people from all over the world.

What does New Zealand citizenship give?

A large number of immigrants have been legally in New Zealand for a long time and are in no hurry to obtain citizenship. However, temporary or permanent residence in the country does not give full rights to foreigners on an equal basis with local residents. Let’s highlight the main advantages of issuing a New Zealand passport:

  • The ability to stay in New Zealand forever, without the risk of deportation or travel ban.
  • Unlimited right to participate in local and state elections as a voter and candidate.
  • Full access to the education system, including the possibility of obtaining subsidies and grants.
  • The right to economic, social and some other preferences provided only for citizens of New Zealand. For example, a chance to take a job in the public sector.
  • Visa-free travel to most countries of the world, including a guarantee of protection from diplomatic institutions of New Zealand during foreign travel.

What types of visas are better to choose for a long stay in New Zealand?

There are types of visas that can be issued to visit a Pacific country: 

  • tourist
  • business/investment
  • guest 
  • family
  • working
  • resident
  • other types of visas

A family visa will allow you to get better at home in a new country, find something you like and learn English well. If one of the family members already has citizenship, then this will be an additional plus for the immigration service.

A visitor visa will allow you to get a New Zealand education, get to know better the culture, make good acquaintances, so that later you might not feel lonely and a stranger in a new country if you want to stay permanently. A work visa does not have the same privileges as the previous two. Without acquaintances, friends and relatives it will be quite difficult, but if you have a good specialty and a certain experience and work experience, then you can get a good job. 

The main thing is not to be afraid of anything and clearly set goals for you. A visa of this category will allow you to obtain citizenship for you and your family, since after a while it will be possible to help them leave for their new homeland. 

In case, if you want to obtain New Zealand citizenship, you cannot choose a tourist visa. It is very limited in opportunities and does not give a chance for employment, and this can be a serious obstacle to obtaining permanent residence.

Having received the necessary permission, you can go abroad on a resident visa. This category of document has no time limits, that is, being within the state, you can become a permanent user of all related benefits and subsidies. When registering this type of document, an additional mark will be made in the passport, which allows you to travel outside the country many times.

Using a residence visa for more than one year, its holder receives an endless return document, which can be used for an unlimited time and make as many trips as necessary. But when using such a visa, all the conditions must be strictly followed: to comply with all standards, regulations and the time of stay in the country and abroad.

Residence permit categories:

  • family
  • work/qualification
  • business
  • investment

The first category is difficult to fulfill, since not everyone has relatives living in the state of interest. The only chance to get a residence permit for those who are not related to a citizen of New Zealand is to marry a resident of the country. 

The second category offers excellent prospects for using your experience, knowledge and practical skills to get not only a good job, but also to earn New Zealand citizenship. 

The government of this state is eagerly opening its doors to qualified young professionals, which they desperately need. Mainly they give preference to specialists who have experience in information technology, scientific and medical fields. These are the industries that are actively developing in New Zealand, and where there is a constant shortage of specialists.

The third category is suitable for those who want to run their own business, but for this it is necessary to have a certain start-up capital, a well-thought-out and country-specific business plan, an idea that will interest a representative of the country. 

If you fulfill all these conditions, then you can get a great chance to implement your business, since the country provides very favorable and comfortable conditions for such projects. 

The last fourth category is practically impracticable for an ordinary average person, since only very wealthy segments of the population can have resources for investment.

Basic conditions for applying for a residence permit 

  • Age conditions. Anyone wishing to travel abroad and applying for permanent residence must be an adult, but not older than fifty. 
  • Medical indicators. If the future emigrant does not want to leave on his own, then everyone who is included in the application must provide: a special medical certificate with a period of three months before the submission of documents; X-rays with a description and conclusion. The only exceptions are expectant mothers and children under the age of twelve.
  • Trustworthiness. All family members immigrating to New Zealand must have no criminal record. 
  • Excellent knowledge of English. Everyone over 16 is obliged to show their knowledge in test work and receive an IELTS certificate, where the average mark must be at least 6 points. 
  • Payment for all procedures for the registration of emigration documents.

Earning Points for Applicants for Citizenship in New Zealand 

The Maori country uses a special system of earning points for candidates who want to find it difficult to come to work, but get citizenship and stay. 

This point system does not consider the nationality or cultural affiliation of the visitor. Grades are given for age, marital status, social status, qualifications of a specialist, experience and general experience gained in a new country, level of education and knowledge of the language, as well as material well-being.

The ability to understand and speak English well is the main and prerequisite for obtaining New Zealand citizenship.

This state meets very well an experienced and qualified specialist from almost any country. The applicant receives his very first grades, but later the family that came with him can also be assessed. 

Both common-law spouses and children under the age of nineteen, who are not only relatives, but also adopted, fall into this category.

How many points are passing?

Grades to candidates are given on a two-level system. First, before obtaining a visa, it is assessed and then for several years in the country itself. This approach allows the best possible selection of future residents of the country. 

This is due to the high standard of living in New Zealand. There is good social security, so citizens who do not want to work, are in poor health and are disadvantaged are not needed by this state, since no one will pay unemployment benefits and health insurance at the expense of others.

The system for evaluating a candidate for passing is not clearly fixed, but rather floating. It all depends on the flow of requests for permanent residence, that is, on the existing competition.

If the applicant receives a score of more than 24 points before entering the country, he has many reasons to become the holder of a qualification category visa. 

This document gives the right to work and further citizenship. When an immigrant finds a job, he is given eight points, if the job received matches the qualifications, the candidate receives two more. 

If he does not work in his specialty, then he is awarded only two points. After three years of permanent residence, the migration service sums up the results and issues total points, on the basis of which, after passing all the registration procedures, you can obtain citizenship in New Zealand.

Methods for obtaining New Zealand citizenship

New Zealand passports are governed by the 1977 Citizenship Act and are under the jurisdiction of the local Department of the Interior. 

In 2018, there were 3 main options for obtaining New Zealand citizenship. Let’s consider the features of each of them.

By birth

Beginning in 1949, any person born in New Zealand, as well as Tokelau, Niue and Cook islands, automatically receives citizenship. The proof is the presence of a birth certificate with relevant information. 

The exception is children of employees of diplomatic departments. In the case of persons born in New Zealand after 2005, citizenship is granted only if one of the parents holds a New Zealand passport or is permanently resident in the country. The cost of registration in 2018 is NZ $ 105.

By origin

Persons born outside the country can obtain New Zealand citizenship by descent if one of the parents is New Zealander by birth or holds a passport on the basis of presentation. Also, British nationals who lived in New Zealand in 1948 have the right to citizenship. The cost of applying for citizenship by descent in 2018 is NZ $ 295.7.

By grant (naturalization)

The most common way to apply for a New Zealand passport for foreigners who do not have New Zealand ethnic roots and were born outside the country is through the citizenship or naturalization process. You can check eligibility and apply for New Zealand citizenship by granting it on the official website of the Department of Home Affairs.

Conditions of naturalization

New Zealand immigration law requires a foreigner to apply for New Zealand citizenship if they meet the following criteria:

  • Has the right to reside in New Zealand indefinitely (i.e., is a permanent resident of New Zealand, an Australian citizen or a permanent resident of Australia).
  • Has lived in New Zealand for the past 5 years (see below for details and exceptions to residency requirements).
  • Intends to continue living in New Zealand.
  • Has a good reputation and no criminal record (this does not apply to applicants under the age of 14).
  • Has sufficient knowledge of the English language (this does not apply to applicants under the age of 14; the Minister of Internal Affairs may also exempt applicants aged 14 and over from this requirement if meeting it would lead to “unreasonable difficulties” for such persons).
  • Demonstrates an understanding of the responsibilities and privileges of a New Zealand citizen (this does not apply to applicants under the age of 14).
  • Obtained the consent of their parents and legal guardians to apply for New Zealand citizenship (this only applies to applicants under the age of 16)

To comply with the requirement to reside in a degrading country (residency requirement), an applicant for New Zealand citizenship must be physically present and permanently resident in New Zealand for 5 years prior to the date of application (time spent in New Zealand up to a 5-year period , is not taken into account).

A person who has been in New Zealand without a visa / residency permit during the period of residence in the country is not eligible. To fulfill the five-year residency requirement, a person must be physically present in New Zealand:

  • For at least 1,350 days with a Permanent Resident Visa / Residence Permit issued by the New Zealand Immigration Service 5 years prior to the application; and
  • For at least 240 days with a Permanent Resident Visa / Permit issued by the New Zealand Immigration Service for each of these 5 years;

Minister of Internal Affairs may, at his discretion, reduce the residency requirement in exceptional cases, for example by limiting the residency requirement to physical presence in New Zealand for at least 450 days in the 20-month period immediately preceding the date of application for citizenship.

Investor Visa

There is also another option to quickly become NZ citizen. New Zealand investor visas are very popular with UHNWs (individuals with a capital of over US $ 30 million, i.e. dollar multimillionaires or billionaires).

New Zealand is an extremely popular destination for UHNW migrants as it has a tolerant, welcoming and developed society, while offering a high standard of living and personal freedom with access to free open markets. New Zealand, in particular, is known to attract large numbers of Chinese, American and British millionaires.

Officials overseeing New Zealand’s golden visa schemes have received a staggering number of applications. According to Immigration NZ, they received over 7,000 visa applications for an investment of NZ $ 3 million and over 1.1 thousand visa applications for an investment of NZ $ 10 million.

At the same time, New Zealand officials from 2008 to February 2019 approved 859 applications for the New Zealand Tier 1 Investor Visa, as well as 5.1 thousand applications for the New Zealand Tier 2 Investor Visa.

Taking into account the number of applications approved and the investments made for each visa, it turns out that 25.5 billion New Zealand dollars was invested in the country’s economy through the New Zealand Tier 2 Investor Visa scheme.

An additional NZ $ 8.5 billion was invested through the New Zealand Tier 1 Investor Visa scheme. As a result, the total investment since the scheme’s launch in 2008 has reached NZ $ 34 billion.

Current prices for document processing

If the applicant successfully fulfills all the requirements, they will receive not only New Zealand citizenship, but also a local passport, the cost of which has just changed significantly – as well as the conditions of many programs for migrant investors operating around the world.

The cost of obtaining a New Zealand passport has increased over the previous year. Effective March 1, 2019, it increased from NZ $ 180 to NZ $ 191 for adults and NZ $ 105 to NZ $ 111 for children. The collection has been steadily growing in recent years.

The New Zealand passport, which provides visa-free access to 181 countries, is now one of the most expensive in the world. But there are more expensive options. For example, the cost of a 10-year passport in Australia for an adult is now AU $ 293 (NZ $ 305), up from AU $ 282 as of 1 January 2018.

A standard 34 page adult passport in the UK costs £ 75 (NZ $ 142.5). A standard 10-year adult passport in Ireland costs € 80 (NZ $ 132). And in Switzerland, you have to pay 140 francs (203 New Zealand dollars) to get a 10-year passport for an adult citizen.

In Canada, a 10-year adult passport, which allows visa-free travel to 184 countries, costs CAD 160 (NZ $ 176), while a 5-year passport costs CAD 120.

A New Zealand passport is quite expensive for a reason. The intricate design of this document actually makes it much more difficult to counterfeit. One of the pages of the document contains images on navigation and travel themes, showing the long journeys of indigenous people in order to explore the world around them.

There are other interesting features in the passport, to which its owners may not pay their attention. For example, the way the Southern Cross moves from right to left, representing the movement of the constellation across the sky in the southern obedience of the planet. The color of the pages also changes from purple to orange, from green to blue. This reflects the change in time from dawn to dusk.

This document is transsexual friendly. New Zealand passports can be issued with an “M” (male), “F” (female), or “X” (undefined / unspecified) mark, and the applicant does not need to change birth certificates or citizenship records to select the latter option.

The holder of a New Zealand passport is advised to keep the document in good condition. Damage to the passport can affect the photo and operation of the security chip, which contains the owner’s personal information. If the passport is damaged by water or is in poor condition for other reasons, its holder may be refused permission to enter the country.

It is also recommended to leave at least one page blank. Collecting border guards’ stamps while traveling the world is fun, but if you don’t have at least one blank visa page, you may be denied entry into the country. Unfortunately, you cannot simply request additional pages. If you overfill your passport with border crossing marks before it expires, you must apply for a new one.

At the same time, when issuing a New Zealand passport, you can take a passport photo on your own, without leaving your home, and upload it to the online photo verification program to make sure that it meets all the requirements (and keep in mind selfies or smiles are not allowed).

Further Reading

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