New Zealand changes citizenship laws

23 May 2005

The New Zealand government has issued plans to increase the period of residency needed before citizenship can be granted. The country hopes that the changes will help to prove a migrant's commitment to New Zealand.

Previously, applicants were expected to have at least three years of permanent resident status within New Zealand before applying for citizenship. This has now been extended to five years.

The New Zealand Government has also confirmed that children born in New Zealand will no longer be automatically entitled to become residents. The Identity Bill, which has now been passed in New Zealand parliament, means a child born in New Zealand will only be an automatic citizen if at least one parent is a permanent resident or citizen.