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After you apply for NZ citizenship

It takes 9 to 14 months to find out if your application is approved.

Getting your original documents back

If you applied by post, the Citizenship Office will copy and courier your original documents back to you after 4 to 6 weeks.

When you find out about your application

About 9 to 14 months after you apply, the Citizenship Office will let you know whether your application has been approved.

If there are any problems with your application, a case officer will contact you.

If your application is declined

The Citizenship Office will tell you which requirements you did not meet and what you can do if you want to apply again.

While your application is still under assessment, you have the opportunity to withdraw and receive a partial refund.

If you choose to proceed and your application is declined, you will not receive a refund.

If you want to appeal the decision

The Citizenship Office will only review a decision if you can prove that the Minister was given the wrong advice or not enough information. Ask the Citizenship Office for a copy of the report that went to the Minister.

Freephone: 0800 22 51 51 (New Zealand only)


You have the right to complain to the Office of the Ombudsman.

Complain to the Ombudsman

Withdrawals and refunds

If you realise while your application is being assessed that you do not meet all the requirements for citizenship, you can withdraw your application.

  • If you choose to withdraw your application, you may get a partial refund of your application fee.
  • If you choose to proceed and your application is declined, you will not get a refund.

If you withdraw your application, you can apply again when you meet all of the requirements. The Citizenship Office will contact you to explain your options.

When you can apply for a passport

As soon as you have received your citizenship certificate, you can apply for a New Zealand passport.

This is a separate process.

NZ passports

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