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After you apply for NZ citizenship

Find out what happens after you apply for citizenship.

Citizenship timeframes

Check this page for regularly updated application timeframes:

Citizenship timeframes

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

If there are any problems with your application, a case officer will contact you. The Citizenship Office will let you know whether your application has been approved. 

The time it takes to process an application can differ, depending on an applicant’s individual circumstances and how much of the application we can assess using automated checks.

This means that some applications are processed faster than others, because a case officer does not need to make as many manual checks. Applications that need extra manual checks may take longer.

Find out about current processing timeframes:

Citizenship timeframes

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.

Finding out about your ceremony

Ceremonies are run by local councils, not by the Citizenship Office.

Citizenship ceremonies

When you can apply for an NZ passport

Once you have received your citizenship certificate, you can apply for a New Zealand passport. This is a separate process.

While your New Zealand citizenship application is in process, make sure your current passport or travel document is valid. If it is due to expire within the next year, you may need to renew it in case of urgent travel. This also includes any relevant visas issued by Immigration New Zealand.

NZ passports

Utility links and page information

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