How Long Do You Have to Live in New Zealand Before You Become a Citizen?

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One of the most important benefits of possessing a Permanent Resident Visa to New Zealand is the option to become a New Zealand citizen after you live in New Zealand at least five years and meet all of the eligibility requirements.

Advantages of New Zealand citizenship include the right to live and work in New Zealand forever; receive a New Zealand passport; have full access to educational programs; and even run for Parliament. The IAA-authorized New Zealand immigration adviser who collaborates with New Zealand Visa Expert can evaluate your eligibility to apply for the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) Resident Visa or other relevant visa to live and work in New Zealand.

The general requirements to become a New Zealand citizen “by grant” include the following. You must have the legal right to live in New Zealand long-term (for example, as a permanent resident of New Zealand or Australia; or as an Australian citizen). Furthermore, you must live in New Zealand as a legal long-term resident (for example, with a Permanent Resident Visa to New Zealand) for a minimum of five years. Other requirements for New Zealand citizenship include a genuine desire to live in New Zealand long-term; possessing adequate English language skills; and having “good character.”


A New Zealand citizenship application fee and other expenses must also be paid. Please note that this is an overview and the criteria for New Zealand citizenship can change at any time. New Zealand Visa Expert is a private company that offers professional guidance to clients related to New Zealand immigration.

A decision about granting New Zealand citizenship is usually made within four months after a complete application has been submitted with all of the required documents and fees. If you are approved to become a New Zealand citizen, another important requirement is to attend a New Zealand citizenship ceremony, which is usually held at the local council where you live in New Zealand. Most naturalized New Zealand citizens consider the New Zealand citizenship ceremony to be a very special event, because after they recite the mandatory affirmation/oath of New Zealand citizenship, they have taken the final step to become a New Zealand citizen!

The New Zealand Visa Expert team helps individuals around the world who want to live and work in New Zealand and eventually be granted New Zealand citizenship. To learn more about New Zealand immigration, contact New Zealand Visa Expert today!

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