Citizenship is a right conferred upon most people by birth. Being born within the borders of a country gives you access to protection by that government. You have responsibilities to your native country, as well.
Birthright citizenship isn’t the only way to become a legal member of a country. Many countries offer dual citizenship. New Zealand is a country that offers not only dual but multiple citizenships.
Types of New Zealand Dual Citizenships
There are four different ways that you can achieve New Zealand dual citizenship.
Birth – Being born within the borders of New Zealand and having one parent who is a New Zealand citizen and the other from another country
Descent – being born outside of New Zealand and having one parent who is a New Zealand citizen and the other from another country
Grant – applying as an immigrant to the country and meeting certain requirements
Investment – investing either NZ $3 million over 4 years or NZ $10 million over ten years
Requirements for a New Zealand Dual Citizenship
The requirements for New Zealand dual citizenship differ, depending on which type you qualify for. Citizens by birth automatically get registered as such when their parents register their birth with the government.
Citizens by descent need to register their citizenship by filling out a form. Part of this process involves soliciting a signature from whichever parent claims New Zealand citizenship. This signature authorizes the authorities to investigate the claim of citizenship through that parent.
Those who seek New Zealand dual citizenship through the grant process must prove that they have resided in the country legally for a minimum of five years. They must also have an adequate grasp of the English language and being of “good character.”
“Good character” refers to the absence of traffic offences, unpaid bills, legal convictions, etc. Applicants with any of these situations in their past may encounter difficulty having their citizenship application approved.
People looking to use investment as a means of obtaining citizenship must have sufficient funds to satisfy either of the two investment routes.
Benefits of Acquiring a New Zealand Dual Citizenship
New Zealand dual citizenship offers a range of benefits to its holders. As a citizen, you have the right to live in the country indefinitely. All the economic and legal protections of the country apply to you.
Business owners benefit greatly from becoming a Kiwi because New Zealand is ranked as the third most economically-free nation on Earth. It’s known as the “Incubation Nation” for a reason. Whether you own a business or not, the country also offers an undeniably high quality of life.
The gorgeous landscape of volcanic black sand beaches, amazing surfing, and mild weather make the location an easy sell. Plus, a New Zealand dual citizenship gives you access to any public health and educational institution across the country. While studying, you will be eligible to apply for and receive the full range of educational scholarships and awards.
Lastly, New Zealand dual citizenship can provide a pathway to residency in Australia. Australia is notoriously stingy with its residency and citizenship awards. As a New Zealander, though, you have the right to live, work, and study in Australia, although with restrictions.
Drawbacks of New Zealand Dual Citizenship
Overall, there are no significant drawbacks to becoming a New Zealand dual citizen. As with dual citizenship in any country, you run the risk of losing your birth citizenship if you hail from the handful of countries that don’t allow their people to be citizens of two countries.
Then there is the issue of taxation. Owing allegiance to two countries means having to pay taxes to two countries. Also, if you are a male, you could be called up for military service by both governments.
Consular protection can get a bit complicated, as well, if you find yourself in trouble. This is because there is no clear superiority between your two countries of citizenship over who should speak for you. When this happens, it has the potential to weaken the ability of either country to adequately defend you.
If any of these issues cause you concern or you simply would prefer the assistance of professionals, Citizenships.com can help. They specialize in global immigration assistance and would love to discuss your options with you. Contact them for more information or to set up an initial personal consultation.
New Zealand dual citizenship is relatively easy to attain. It’s more difficult if you aren’t a descendent of a New Zealander because your first step is acquiring residency. However, that’s a pretty easy process, it’s just an extra step, though.
There are a lot of benefits of New Zealand dual citizenship. They’re definitely worth considering if you are looking for a place to relocate to permanently. Great weather, a strong open economy, a diverse population, and government benefits all make the country a desirable place to live.