Most people need to meet all 3 presence requirements to get NZ citizenship.
If you're from Samoa or applying for a child, you might not have to meet all 3 requirements.
1. You have been living as a New Zealand resident for at least the last 5 years
You could have had more than 1 type of visa or permit in that time, as long as they allowed you to live here indefinitely.
You can also apply if you're an Australian citizen or permanent resident and you have lived here for at least the last 5 years.
2. You have spent enough time in New Zealand during the last 5 years
You need to have been physically present in New Zealand for a certain amount of time during the last 5 years. The 5 years is counted backwards from the day you apply for citizenship.
You might not meet this requirement if you have been out of NZ for longer than 4 months in any 1 year. This could be 1 long trip or many smaller trips.
If you are not sure if you meet the requirement
To meet the requirement, you need to have been in New Zealand for:
- at least 240 days in each year, and
- 1350 days across the 5 years.
If Ana applies on 17 March 2016, she counts backwards 5 years from that day. She has not been out of NZ for more than a few weeks each year, so she meets this requirement.
Lukas went on 4 trips from August 2012 to August 2013. The trips add up to more than 4 months out of NZ. He does not meet the requirement.
If you have lived in NZ for 5 years with residency and are having difficulty calculating the number of days you’ve been out of the country, contact the Citizenship Office.
Freephone: 0800 22 51 51 (NZ only)
If you do not meet the requirement
You must intend to live in New Zealand once you become a citizen.
If you are planning to travel or live outside NZ
If you know you are going to live in another country, it has to be because you will be:
- working overseas for the New Zealand Government
- working for an international organisation that the New Zealand Government belongs to, like the United Nations
- employed by a person or organisation based in New Zealand.
You will be asked about your travel plans for the next 12 months. If you will be travelling, you might be asked to prove that New Zealand is your home because you:
- have a job here
- are studying here
- own or rent property here
- have assets here, like cars or furniture.