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Thread: Citizenship lodge

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Aug 2019
    New Zealand

    Talking Citizenship lodge

    Kia ora everyone

    Just wondering when we are counting back the five years when applying for citizenship, do we count from the date when we first have our residency approved online, or the actual date when we put the label/sticker on our passports? Coz I am quite confused, my residency initially got approved online in the end of May, but they didn't label/ put the sticker on my passport until mid-June, but then again as my passport was expired in the same year in july so I had my passport renewed and also requested to shift the label from my old passport to the new one, which now on my passport it shows that my residency starting date is in July? I havent really put much thought on it until now I have to count the days backwards...

    Thanks in advanced

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2009


    In my opinion the easiest and safest way to find out is to ring the Department of Internal Affairs, they will tell you exactly when/ if you are eligible to apply.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    New Zealand (ex: South Africa)


    There's two sets of rules you need to look at here.

    Firstly, you need to determine your first day in New Zealand as a resident, and for that, you need to go back to when your very first Resident Visa was granted. It seems that, over time, you've had Resident Visas with updated start dates (this is normal, it happens if you transfer a visa to a new passport as this is considered a replacement Resident Visa, and obviously also when you apply for, and are granted, a Permanent Resident Visa) -- you can ignore that; your first day in New Zealand as a resident is what's important here.

    Your first day in New Zealand as a resident depends on whether you were onshore or offshore when your first Resident Visa was granted:

    • If you were onshore: the day that your Resident Visa was granted.
    • If you were offshore: the day that you first entered New Zealand and were granted entry permission as the holder of a Resident Visa.

    Once you know this date, then count backwards from the date you intend to apply for citizenship to your first day in New Zealand as a resident, and answer the following two questions:

    • Have you spent at least 1,350 days in New Zealand as a resident in the 5 year period counted backwards from the date you intend to apply for citizenship?
    • Have you spent at least 240 days in New Zealand as a resident in each and every 1 year period in the aforementioned 5 year period?

    If you can answer "yes" to both of those questions, you will meet the presence requirement for citizenship by grant. If not, you should not apply for citizenship on that intended date (unless exceptional circumstances apply), and should wait for a later date when you will meet the presence requirement.

    Sources of information: the INZ 1176 guide (the guide to applying for a Permanent Resident Visa, which mentions how INZ calculates one's first day as a resident -- it's probably somewhere in the ops manual too, but I can't find it in there this morning), and Section 8 of the Citizenship Act 1977.

    Note that if you're having difficulty calculating whether or not you meet the presence requirement for citizenship by grant, or you're still uncertain about the requirements themselves, the Department of Internal Affairs advises that you contact the Citizenship Office directly: via phone at 0800 22 51 51 (only available onshore) or via email at

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