New Zealand citizenship by descent

New Zealand citizenship by descent
Date last modified: 12 September 2018

The following information is intended for people, born outside of New Zealand, applying for New Zealand citizenship by descent.

Before applying

Read the citizenship by descent guide on the Department of Internal Affairs website.

If you were born outside New Zealand, and one of your parents was a New Zealand citizen other than by descent at the time you were born, you may be able to claim New Zealand citizenship by descent.

Anyone born outside New Zealand on or after 1 January 1978 is a New Zealand citizen by descent if, at the time of their birth, their mother or father was a:

  • New Zealand citizen other than by descent; or
  • New Zealand citizen by descent, and the person would otherwise be stateless.

A child born in Australia to a New Zealand citizen parent is automatically granted a Special Category Visa at birth.

Please note

If your was child born in Australia, and is not an Australian citizen by birth, do not wait for a family emergency to register your child’s New Zealand citizenship and obtain a passport. The emergency service takes up to 10 days to process and costs $622 AUD.

New Zealand citizenship by grant

A New Zealand citizen by descent can apply for New Zealand citizenship by grant if they begin residing in New Zealand.

Australian citizenship at age 10

You can apply for evidence of Australian citizenship if you were born in Australia on or after 20 August 1986 and have usually resided in Australia until the age of 10.

Fees

Fees vary depending on when you were born, but if born after 1 January 1978, and applying from Australia, the application fees are:

  • New Zealand citizenship by descent (20 working days) AU $192
  • New Zealand citizenship by descent and a passport (up to 30 working days) from AU $407
  • Urgent Service for New Zealand citizenship and a passport (up to 10 working days) from AU $622. Attach a copy of your itinerary as proof of the urgency.

Application forms

Apply for New Zealand citizenship by descent and a passport

Citizenship by descent guide

Children ineligible for citizenship of parent(s)

Related

Australian citizenship at age 10

New Zealand Family Relationship Visa (461)

Have a question?

Contact the NZ Department of Internal Affairs about citizenship by descent, or contact the New Zealand High Commission in Canberra if your child is ineligible for citizenship of New Zealand or Australia.

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Disclaimer:

The above “New Zealand citizenship by descent” information should not be relied on as an alternative to advice from the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs, Australian Department of Home Affairs, or a professional immigration services provider.

If you have any specific questions about an immigration matter, you should consult the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs, Australian Department of Home Affairs or a professional immigration services provider.


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