You need to show you're of good character to get NZ citizenship. If you've never been in trouble with the law, here or overseas, you've met this requirement.
If you're from Samoa or applying for a child, you might not have to meet all the requirements.
You don't need to worry about parking tickets or speed camera fines.
The Citizenship Office will talk to you if the police check shows you have:
- 100 or more demerit points on your driver licence
- a recent pattern of other fines or infringements in New Zealand or anywhere else.
You might not get citizenship if you have charges pending against you in any country or you have:
- been convicted of a crime in the last 3 years
- spent any time in prison in the last 7 years
- ever had a prison sentence of more than 5 years.
What you need to declare when you apply
You need to declare if you have ever:
- been convicted of a crime — unless you qualify under the Clean Slate scheme
- been reviewed, investigated or had legal action taken against you by the government
- had to return money to the government
- been made bankrupt because you committed fraud
- had a protection order against you
- been involved in terrorism
- made or used chemical, biological, nuclear or radiological weapons
- committed a war crime or crime against humanity.
Write a letter explaining what happened. Attach it to your application with copies of any records or documents.
If you lived overseas while you were an NZ resident
You might be asked to get a police clearance from another country if you lived there for:
- more than 4 months in the last 3 years, or
- more for 12 months in the last 12 years.
If you're still not sure what to include
If you're not sure you meet the good character requirement, you can ask the Citizenship Office before you apply.
Freephone: 0800 22 51 51 (NZ only)
If you do not tell the Citizenship Office something and they find out later when they do their checks, you may not get citizenship. Or if you already have citizenship, it could be taken away from you.