Citizenship Act 1977

  • This version was reprinted on 31 October 2014 to make a correction to the definition of employee in section 2(1) under section 25(1)(i) of the Legislation Act 2012.
8 Citizenship by grant
  • (1) The Minister may authorise the grant of New Zealand citizenship to any person, including a person who may be a New Zealand citizen by descent, who—

    • (a) has attained the age of 16 years; and

    • (b) is of full capacity; and

    • (c) applies for citizenship in the prescribed manner; and

    • (d) satisfies the Minister that he or she meets each of the requirements specified in subsection (2).

    (2) The requirements referred to in subsection (1)(d) are as follows:

    • (a) that the applicant is entitled in terms of the Immigration Act 2009 to be in New Zealand indefinitely:

    • (b) that the applicant was present in New Zealand—

      • (i) for a minimum of 1 350 days during the 5 years immediately preceding the date of the application; and

      • (ii) for at least 240 days in each of those 5 years,—

      being days during which the applicant was entitled in terms of the Immigration Act 2009 to be in New Zealand indefinitely:

    • (c) that the applicant is of good character:

    • (d) that the applicant has sufficient knowledge of the responsibilities and privileges attaching to New Zealand citizenship:

    • (e) that the applicant has sufficient knowledge of the English language:

    • (f) that the applicant intends, if granted New Zealand citizenship, either—

      • (i) to continue to reside in New Zealand; or

      • (ii) to enter into or continue in Crown service under the New Zealand Government, or service under an international organisation of which the New Zealand Government is a member, or service in the employment of a person, company, society, or other body of persons resident or established in New Zealand.

    (3) For the purposes of subsection (2)(a), a person will not be treated as entitled to be in New Zealand indefinitely if—

    • (a) conditions have been imposed under the Immigration Act 2009 on the person’s entitlement to reside in New Zealand indefinitely; and

    • (b) those conditions have not been met in full or cancelled at the time of the person's application for citizenship.

    (4) The Minister may, after consultation with the Minister of Immigration,—

    • (a) waive the requirement in subsection (2)(a) if satisfied that an applicant is entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau:

    • (b) waive the requirement in subsection (2)(b) if satisfied that an applicant was present in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau—

      • (i) for a minimum of 1 350 days during the 5 years immediately preceding the date of the application; and

      • (ii) for at least 240 days in each of those 5 years,—

      being days during which the applicant was entitled to reside indefinitely in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

    (5) For the purposes of subsection (2)(b), the Minister may treat the applicant as having been in New Zealand for any period within the period of 5 years immediately preceding the date of application for citizenship during which—

    • (a) the applicant was in Crown service under the New Zealand Government; or

    • (b) the applicant was outside New Zealand because the applicant was accompanying his or her spouse or civil union or de facto partner who was a New Zealand citizen in Crown service under the New Zealand Government.

    (6) For the purposes of subsection (4)(b), the Minister may treat the applicant as having been present in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau for any period within the period of 5 years immediately preceding the date of the application for citizenship during which—

    • (a) the applicant served in the public service of the Government of the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau; or

    • (b) the applicant was outside New Zealand because the applicant was accompanying his or her spouse or civil union or de facto partner who was a New Zealand citizen serving in the public service of the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

    (7) If the Minister is satisfied in a particular case that there are exceptional circumstances particular to the applicant that would justify such a course, the Minister may accept the presence by the applicant for a lesser number of days as being sufficient compliance with—

    • (a) the requirements of subsection (2)(b), so long as the applicant—

      • (i) was physically present in New Zealand for not less than 450 days during the 20-month period immediately preceding the date of the application for citizenship; and

      • (ii) was entitled in terms of the Immigration Act 2009 to be in New Zealand indefinitely during each of those 450 days:

    • (b) the requirements of subsection (4)(b), so long as the applicant—

      • (i) was physically present in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau for not less than 450 days during the 20-month period immediately preceding the date of the application for citizenship; and

      • (ii) was entitled to be in the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau indefinitely during each of those 450 days.

    (8) The Minister may waive the requirement in subsection (2)(e) if satisfied in a particular case that, because of the applicant's age or standard of education, or for any other reason personal to the applicant, the applicant would suffer undue hardship if compliance with the requirement of that provision were insisted upon.

    (9) For the purposes of subsection (2)(f),—

    • (a) the intention referred to in subsection (2)(f)(i) must be a continuing intention throughout the period from the date of application for citizenship until the date that the applicant becomes a citizen under section 12:

    • (b) the Minister may treat an applicant as intending to continue to reside in New Zealand if the applicant intends to accompany his or her New Zealand citizen spouse or civil union or de facto partner on Crown service for the New Zealand Government or public service for the Government of the Cook Islands, Niue, or Tokelau.

    Section 8: replaced, on 21 April 2005, by section 7 of the Citizenship Amendment Act 2005 (2005 No 43).

    Section 8(2)(a): amended, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 406(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).

    Section 8(2)(b): amended, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 406(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).

    Section 8(3)(a): replaced, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 406(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).

    Section 8(3)(b): amended, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 406(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).

    Section 8(7)(a)(ii): amended, at 2 am on 29 November 2010, by section 406(1) of the Immigration Act 2009 (2009 No 51).