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Thread: PSA: DON'T recommend applying for Citizenship at 4 years 8 months - wait until 5 years

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    USA
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    25

    Default PSA: DON'T recommend applying for Citizenship at 4 years 8 months - wait until 5 years

    Kia ora,

    This is a PSA based on a sample of 2, so pinch of salt etc

    I was eligible for citizenship in June last year, based on the 'only need 8 months per year so you can apply a few months early' thing. I'm confident I was indeed eligible when I applied.

    However, hindsight being 20/20, I should have waited the extra 4 months, and I'd advise anyone else to do the same!

    I've since learned out that because I applied before the online calculator said I was eligible [again, to be clear - I was eligible, but the online calculator couldn't easily tell this], my case requires manual checks. And that means I'm in a 'slow queue'.

    It's been 12 months and I still haven't been assigned to a Case Officer!

    My husband waited until the online calculator said 'yes' (i.e. the full five years). He got approved in under 2 months.

    I did email Citizenship to ask if I should resubmit so as to get put in the 'fast queue' (that's where I would be if I applied now) and they said it won't make a difference. I'm skeptical about that, but I'm just going to sit tight at this point.

    Anyway, I'm not complaining about the 'fast queue/slow queue' thing, I do understand it makes sense that more complex cases take longer. But at this point, I'm really wishing I'd just waited those extra few months, so I thought I'd put this information out here in case anyone is in the same boat.

    All will be fine, I'm not in any particular hurry I guess, but if I'd applied last October instead of last June, I reckon I'd have been approved, ceremonied, and passported by now!

  2. #2
    Join Date
    May 2018
    Location
    New Zealand
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    30

    Default

    How did you come to that conclusion? As far as I know, some people applied before 5 years and the got approval quite fast.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Feb 2008
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    37,810

    Default

    Things vary according to conditions in the office at the time, e.g. how many people have applied just before you, so their cases are ahead of you in the queue to be dealt with before it gets to be your turn.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    New Zealand
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    The worst thing is they don't pick up the cases in order. It's not fair to someone who has been waited for a very long period.

  5. #5
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
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    USA
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    Quote Originally Posted by HansNZ View Post
    How did you come to that conclusion? As far as I know, some people applied before 5 years and the got approval quite fast.
    Well like I said, it's a sample of 2. I'm sure others have had different experiences.

    But in terms of the 'two queues' thing - that's what Immigration told me. Here is the email they sent explaining:

    All applications submitted to the Department undergo automated checks as part of preliminary assessment. These automated checks triage citizenship applications into different queues based on the amount of manual intervention required by a case officer. Applications in queues that require less manual intervention are often processed faster.

    Itís not possible to tell an applicant the results of their or othersí automated checks without actually undertaking some assessment of the application. You are not able to influence the results of the automated checks in order to change your queue position. Please note that lodging another application is unlikely to result in your application being processed more quickly.

    We acknowledge there is a variation in processing times between applications in the different queues

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Sep 2016
    Location
    New Zealand
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwesttonz View Post
    Well like I said, it's a sample of 2. I'm sure others have had different experiences.

    But in terms of the 'two queues' thing - that's what Immigration told me. Here is the email they sent explaining:

    All applications submitted to the Department undergo automated checks as part of preliminary assessment. These automated checks triage citizenship applications into different queues based on the amount of manual intervention required by a case officer. Applications in queues that require less manual intervention are often processed faster.

    It’s not possible to tell an applicant the results of their or others’ automated checks without actually undertaking some assessment of the application. You are not able to influence the results of the automated checks in order to change your queue position. Please note that lodging another application is unlikely to result in your application being processed more quickly.

    We acknowledge there is a variation in processing times between applications in the different queues
    It actually 6 queues.

    ‘Bucket’ is an internal word that the Department uses. Essentially it means workstream. When
    you apply, your application is triaged into a workstream with similar applications. There are six
    different workstreams. All applications start off by being placed into workstream two and then
    are filtered into other workstreams using system logic. Please see basic overview of
    workstreams:
    • Workstream one – Applications from workstream 2 that were not automatically able to
    go into workstream 3, 4, 5 or 6, and that have been pre-assessed by an administrator for
    completeness.
    Page 3 of 3
    • Workstream two – All applications begin in this queue are filtered to other queues using
    system logic. Applications that are not automatically able to go to workstream 3, 4, 5 and
    6 remain in this queue until they are picked up by an administrator and pre-assessed for
    completeness, before then being moved to workstream 1.
    • Workstream three – Online applications that meet all automated checks.
    • Workstream four – Applications assessed under the Citizenship (Western Samoa) Act
    1982.
    • Workstream five – Online applications that meet all automated checks except presence
    and/or English. Manual assessment required.
    • Workstream six – Applications submitted on paper that meet all automated checks.

  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr 2017
    Location
    USA
    Posts
    25

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    This queue information is so useful - thank you!!

    Update:

    - applied for citizenship at 4 years + 240 days: 26 June 2022
    - first email from a case officer: 8 September 2023
    - approved for citizenship: 22 September 2023 [almost 15 months later]

    Compare to: husband who applied for citizenship once the online calculator was green - submitted in November 2022; approved around January 2023!

  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb 2019
    Location
    New Zealand (ex: South Africa)
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    Quote Originally Posted by midwesttonz View Post
    This queue information is so useful - thank you!!

    Update:

    - applied for citizenship at 4 years + 240 days: 26 June 2022
    - first email from a case officer: 8 September 2023
    - approved for citizenship: 22 September 2023 [almost 15 months later]

    Compare to: husband who applied for citizenship once the online calculator was green - submitted in November 2022; approved around January 2023!
    It is more likely than not that you had travel movements, the nature of which making you not yet eligible at 4 years and 240 days. It is well documented (by the Citizenship Office themselves) that, in each and every case where a person applies mistakenly believing that they meet the standard presence requirement but do not, a manual assessment of the person's circumstances to determine the appropriateness of instead applying the reduced presence requirement must be undertaken.

    Some people will indeed meet the presence requirement at 4 years at 240 days, some people may only meet the presence requirement several months later, some people may only meet the presence requirement several years later. Each invididuals travel movements are different, therefore each person's eligibility in terms of the presence requirement is also different. A blanket statement "wait until 5 years" is nonsensical, just as a blanket statement "apply at 4 years and 240 days" is also nonsensical.

    Of course, there may be other reasons (not just related to presence) where a manual assessment may need to be undertaken. There's also a known issue where, if a temporary entry class visa is issued after a residence class visa was issued (e.g. someone applying for a further Work Visa to legally remain in New Zealand while a Resident Visa is being processed, and then the Resident Visa is issued before the Work Visa is), this results in a false negative with the automated check and results in a manual assessment being necessary.
    Last edited by Kelerei; 22nd September 2023 at 05:27 PM.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Aug 2023
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    New Zealand
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    Thanks for the info, I appreciate it.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2021
    Location
    auckland
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    "There's also a known issue where, if a temporary entry class visa is issued after a residence class visa was issued (e.g. someone applying for a further Work Visa to legally remain in New Zealand while a Resident Visa is being processed, and then the Resident Visa is issued before the Work Visa is), this results in a false negative with the automated check and results in a manual assessment being necessary."

    I wonder if this also applies to the situation where you first apply for a work visa, then a residency and withdraw the work visa before the residency is processed. When I log into my online services, it still shows the work visa as pending even though I'm a resident and the application was withdrawn. Guess I'll see in 3 years..

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