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Thread: A must read for everyone applying for New Zealand residency.

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jun 2012
    New Zealand

    Default A must read for everyone applying for New Zealand residency.

    I recently found this and thought everyone applying for residency should know.

    A lot of people on this blog would eventually like to become NZ citizens, some to call themselves kiwis and some who can then go to Australia.

    The requirement for New Zealand citizneship is essentially spending five years in New Zealand after getting residence. This used to be three years until 2005. It doesn't matter how much time you have spent in NZ on temporary visas like visitor, work or student and only the time spent as a resident(on a residence class visa) matters for citizenship.

    I would like to throw a comparison of requirements for citizenship in some other countries, so that people know how much time they will have to spend before they can get citizenship here in NZ.

    Once again NZ citizenship requirement -

    5 years after obtaining residence (a residence class visa) and "no time considered on temporary visas" towards citizenship.

    As an example example - You spend 3 years studying in NZ and then work for 2 years and then get your residence (This makes total time spent in NZ before getting residence 5 years). After this point you will have spend another 5 years in NZ until you will be eligible for NZ citizenship.(i.e Total time 10 years until citizenship in this case).

    Australia -

    After 4 years of stay in which "one year as a resident (on a residence class visa) " and the other three years can be on any visa.

    Example - you went to Australia to study a three year degree and then immediately got your residence, you can then get Australian citizenship after just one year.( Total time in this case for citizenship 4 years).

    Also, Australian permanent residents and citizens are both granted residence on arrival in NZ and in case of New Zealanders going to Australia, only NZ citizens can stay and work indefinitely and NZ permanent residents don't get anything and need to apply for a visa to go there like everyone else.

    Canada -

    After 4 years of stay and in which "2 years as a resident (on a residence class visa) " and the other 2 years can be on any visa.

    United Kingdom -

    After 5 years in the UK and in which "one year as a resident" and other 4 years on any visa.

    As an example - If you went to the UK and studied there for 4 years and then got your residency(also called as indefinite leave to remain), then after just one year you can get citizenship there.

    Conclusion -

    You will have to stay at least 5 years in NZ for citizenship if you come here as a resident and almost 9-12 years if you come here as a student or worker.

    If your sole purpose of coming here is to migrate to Australia after getting citizenship then I would recommend looking at Aussie PR straightaway and migrating to Australia. That way you can get citizenship much much earlier and can then come to NZ if you want.

    For NZ citizenship -

    For Australian citizenship -

    For UK citizenship -

    See citizenship by naturalization in the above link.

    For Canadian -
    Last edited by dreammerchant; 22nd October 2012 at 05:36 PM.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009


    Sorry, but I can't really see your point! If you want to live in New Zealand, then those 'hurdles' shouldn't be any problem at all..., and citizenship or not is not really an issue if you don't plan to go into politics. I don't really think it is the right way to gain citizenship of a country only to be able to move on to another and in this regard I find it only fair that New Zealand made it harder to gain citizenship.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jun 2008
    UK to USA to Waikato, NZ


    If you are looking to compare,

    USA is 5 years on a Green Card before citizenship unless you are married to a US Citizen, then 3 years.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Essex, UK


    But wouldn't you also have to look at how easy it is to actually get the permission to enter the country and stay in it prior to gaining citizenship? I only know some of the UK requirements, but as far as I know, it is not that easy to get a work visa, so it might not be that easy to actually stay for 5 years before getting citizenship (I wasn't aware that time as a student counted in the UK, but even then, that would be quite costly, I would imagine...).

    The process, for example, to apply for indefinite leave to remain in the UK was quite involved (documentation, tax returns, general stuff) that in comparison, applying for citizenship at the end of one year of ILR was a piece of cake. I do know they've changed lot so rules, though, so it may be different now.


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