NZ Announces Citizenship Changes In April – Apply Now If Eligible

MEDIA RELEASE
Internal Affairs Dept NZ
10 March 2010

CITIZENSHIP REQUIREMENT CHANGES IN APRIL — APPLY NOW IF YOU ARE ELIGIBLE

A requirement for gaining New Zealand citizenship by grant changes on 21 April 2010, and it is important people who might be affected get their applications in before they miss out, the Department of Internal Affairs said today.

Citizenship Manager, Geoff May, says anyone who received permanent residence or had a successful application accepted by Immigration New Zealand before 21 April 2005 could be eligible for a grant of citizenship after living here for three years.

“If they applied for and received permanent residence on or after 21 April 2005, they have to be resident in New Zealand for five years before becoming eligible for a grant of citizenship.

“However, from 21 April 2010, everyone will have to be resident for five years before becoming eligible for a grant of citizenship, no matter when they got permanent residence.

“That means that if a person meets the three-year requirement and doesn’t put in an application before 21 April, they will not be eligible until they have lived here for five years, rather than three.

“The people most likely to be affected by this change are those who had their applications for permanent residence accepted by Immigration New Zealand before 21 April 2005, but did not receive permanent residence for several months or more after that date.”

If a permanent resident travelled overseas during the relevant residence period when they were resident here, they might still meet the three-year requirement provided New Zealand was their home base and they did not enter into a settled lifestyle overseas.

This change results from changes to the Citizenship Act in 2005. None of the other requirements for citizenship are changing at this time.

Visit the Citizenship website http://www.citizenship.govt.nz to obtain more information and check whether you are eligible for citizenship by using the Online Calculation Tool.

Alternatively you can phone the Citizenship Office on 0800 22 51 51.



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