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Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Old Jun 18th 2015, 8:59 am
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Default Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

I've done a quick search, but can't find it.

I have half a memory of someone on here, who put in their application for citizenship in advance of their five year date. Does anyone else remember this?

We're not going anywhere, but our five year anniversary coincides with Waitangi Day, so the sentimentalist in me wants to snag that particular ceremony! Putting our paperwork in early would allow us to do that, but I guess I'm just seeking confirmation that it can be done.
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Old Jun 18th 2015, 9:26 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

I hadn't heard of anyone starting it early.

We will have been here five years on 28 February 2016. I will start my application on that day and send it the next day so it gets to where it's going in the early days of my sixth year here.

I'm tempted to start filling it in the next day. That's going to be leap year day next year. It's also 100 years to the day that my Nanna was born. Perhaps that will be good luck !

I thought our mayor only did the citizenship ceremonies twice a year. Lately, looking at the local paper they seem to be done on an as-and-when basis.
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Old Jun 18th 2015, 9:42 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Hiya, if you read the rules on the DIA website you may find you do not need to wait the full five years as it is about X number of days in the past 5 years:

you are entitled to reside indefinitely in New Zealand; AND you have been present in New Zealand for:
• at least 1,350 days with New Zealand residence during the five years immediately before you make your application; and
• for at least 240 days with New Zealand residence in each of those five years; and
• fully met any conditions imposed by Immigration on New Zealand in regard to your residence status.
New Zealand residence
‘New Zealand residence’ means you have a residence permit, a residence visa or a permanent residence visa issued by Immigration on New Zealand or you are an Australian citizen or permanent resident.
from:http://www.dia.govt.nz/Pubforms.nsf/URL/ApplicationGuideforGrantofNZCitizenshipgeneral.pdf/$file/ApplicationGuideforGrantofNZCitizenshipgeneral.pdf
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Old Jun 18th 2015, 9:43 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Ps you can play around with the calculator trying different dates: The Department of Internal Affairs Te Tari Taiwhenua : Citizenship Online Calculation Tool
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Old Jun 18th 2015, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

I'm sure you can physically apply early, but your application will be refused or returned or kept on file till you are eligible ?

The "time in nz as a Resident" criteria states you must have spent at least 1350 days in NZ in the 5 years prior to application, so you only become eligible to apply when you have been in NZ for 5 years and then only if you've been in NZ for a minimum of 1350 days in those 5 years.
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Old Jun 18th 2015, 8:32 pm
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

In your fourth year here, if you've met the 1350 days in the last five years (which is not the same as saying you must have been resident in NZ for five years AND 1350 of those days must have been physically here) then once you are at day 240 in your fourth year you are eligible.

See this discussion thread for more info: Citizenship..when to apply - New Zealand
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Old Jun 18th 2015, 9:38 pm
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Originally Posted by bourbon-biscuit View Post
In your fourth year here, if you've met the 1350 days in the last five years (which is not the same as saying you must have been resident in NZ for five years AND 1350 of those days must have been physically here) then once you are at day 240 in your fourth year you are eligible.

See this discussion thread for more info: Citizenship..when to apply - New Zealand
I don't agree.

Become a New Zealand citizen - Part 1 - dia.govt.nz

Become a New Zealand citizen - Part 2 - dia.govt.nz

These links clearly state you have to be a permanent resident of NZ and have lived here for "at least" the last 5 years and then been in NZ 1350 days in total over those 5 years and then at least 240 days in each year.
Any days out of the country (holidays / business) cannot be counted, which backs up my theory that you cannot apply for citizenship until you have met these conditions, unless you apply for special consideration as you don't meet the normal criteria to apply. In this case you would have to prove NZ would benefit from you being a citizen in order to get it early.
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Old Jun 18th 2015, 11:27 pm
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Can I apply for citizenship early (i.e. before the five year period of residency is up)?
  • It is unlikely that a grant of New Zealand citizenship would be approved if the applicant has not already met the residence requirements. However, there are some exceptions to this. Please contact the Citizenship Office for more information.
Requirements for a Grant of New Zealand Citizenship

You can get New Zealand citizenship by grant if:
  • you already have the right to be in New Zealand indefinitely (you're a permanent resident of New Zealand or Australia, or you’re Australian)
  • you’ve lived here for at least the last 5 years and had the right to be in New Zealand indefinitely the whole time
  • you intend to keep living here
  • you speak English, and
  • you're of good character and don’t have any convictions or fines.
The guide asks

3: Have you lived in New Zealand for five years or more ? If the answer is no go to (9)

9: You might not meet our requirements for NZ Citizenship by grant. You can apply when you do meet the requirements

or if you still wish to apply = page 5 which states the amount of days in total and how many days for each year.

I doubt it is intended for people to apply early before the 5 years, otherwise the requirement would not be five years. Residency is a requirement for citizenship but for some immigrants they may not have been able to be on NZ soil in the normal sense of the requirement as they may work offshore for certain months of the year hence the criteria that they have been resident in NZ for x amount of days in total and that split to x amount of days a year.

Last edited by BEVS; Jun 18th 2015 at 11:39 pm.
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Old Jun 19th 2015, 6:51 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Well, weirdly I have a pal walking about Cambridge who gained his citizenship (last year) before the five years, i.e. in his fourth year but after 240 days, and after discussing with a case officer (Auckland based). I also note that when I use the citizenship calculator and pretend I got residence and entered NZ on October 12, 2010 (i.e. at 4 full years yrs and >240 days in this fifth), it suggests 'Residence MAY have been met' (it only does this or says in red 'not met') in the final assessment, whereas if I make it less than the 240 days by bringing the date of entry/ gaining residence closer, it says NOT. Lastly, the thread I linked to includes several people who got their citizenship after obtained advice from DIA in their fourth year.

I would suggest people planning to apply or citizenship and wanting it at soonest opportunity, contact DIA and have a free appointment with their case officer - maybe the situation has changed in the last year and it's not yet showing up in their calculator but worth a punt perhaps. It was definitely the way it worked last year and for some time before that.

HTH someone
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Old Jun 19th 2015, 7:20 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Originally Posted by bourbon-biscuit View Post
Well, weirdly I have a pal walking about Cambridge who gained his citizenship (last year) before the five years, i.e. in his fourth year but after 240 days, and after discussing with a case officer (Auckland based).
Circumstances are all. Why and what was the discussion.
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Old Jun 19th 2015, 8:31 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Thanks all. Bourbon linked to the thread I was thinking of, it confirms that you can submit your paperwork in the run up to your anniversary date, and get approval in advance. That's what I was after. I'll start crunching numbers about eligibility dates to see when we can submit.
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Old Jun 19th 2015, 10:15 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Originally Posted by janiejones View Post



We're not going anywhere, but our five year anniversary coincides with Waitangi Day, so the sentimentalist in me wants to snag that particular ceremony! Putting our paperwork in early would allow us to do that, but I guess I'm just seeking confirmation that it can be done.

Even if your application is successful, you may not get a citizenship ceremony on your anniversary date as you may need booked in to an available ceremony to accommodate you. You are not a citizen until you have complete your ceremony.

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Old Jun 19th 2015, 8:24 pm
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

Waitangi Day is a public holiday. So, I doubt the mayor of your local town or any town will be at work so, it is unlikely that your ceremony will take place on Waitangi Day itself.

In 2016 Waitangi Day falls on a Saturday, so, what with the Mondayisation (is that even a word ?) the public holiday will be on Monday 8th February.

So, it is unlikely that citizenship ceremonies will be held on that public holiday weekend.

P.S. if you are here for the term of your natural life, why do you want your citizenship earlier than the standard five years ?

Last edited by Snap Shot; Jun 19th 2015 at 8:50 pm. Reason: unlikely
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Old Jun 20th 2015, 4:34 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

My goodness why so tetchy people?! There are lots of reasons why someone might want citizenship at the soonest opportunity and they are not all suspect! For example, some people move to NZ from difficult circumstances with the intention never to return (or are unable) - those people might find citizenship gives them that final sense of belonging and security. Another reason can be family ties - it can feel a bit odd when the rest of your family have citizenship and you don't.

Let's assume the best in people's intentions until/ unless they betray the worst
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Old Jun 20th 2015, 7:45 am
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Default Re: Starting citizenship process before the 5 year mark?

I'm not looking to get it before my 5th anniversary, just to get the paperwork underway, so that as soon as soon as we hit that anniversary, we can be considered for the Waitangi Day ceremony. Our local authority does hold ceremonies on Waitangi Day, which is what triggered my train of thought. It's a special day for us for more than one reason.
As an aside, I went for a job recently that required citizenship. If I'd been successful, I would have been entitled to fast track my citizenship. Didn't get the job, so back to my Waitangi Day fantasy ;-)
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