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Being deprived of NZ citizenship

In rare circumstances, the Minister of Internal Affairs can take away your New Zealand citizenship. You will no longer be able to use a New Zealand passport and you might not be allowed to live here.

Why you could have your citizenship taken away

If you are a citizen by grant

The Minister can take away your citizenship if:

  • you got citizenship of another country and voluntarily acted against the interests of New Zealand, or
  • you got your New Zealand citizenship through:
    • committing fraud
    • falsely representing yourself
    • deliberately hiding information when you applied for citizenship
    • an administrative mistake.

If you are a citizen by birth

The Minister can take away your citizenship if:

  • you got citizenship of another country, and
  • you voluntarily acted against the interests of New Zealand.

If you are a citizen by descent

The Citizenship Office can take away your citizenship if:

  • you got citizenship of another country, and
  • you voluntarily act against the interests of New Zealand.

Types of citizenship: grant, birth and descent

Before your citizenship is taken away

Before taking away your citizenship, the Citizenship Office will ask for your side of the story.

You will get a notice from the Minister giving the reason why your citizenship is being taken away.

If you think the reason is not good enough to take away your citizenship

You can apply to the High Court for an appeal, where a judge will make a decision. 

You can also apply for a judicial review.

You have 28 days from receiving your notice to apply for an appeal or a judicial review.

After your citizenship is taken away

You:

  • cannot use your New Zealand passport anymore, and
  • might not be allowed to keep living here.

You must contact Immigration NZ if you want to continue living in New Zealand.

Immigration NZ

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