If you or your child was adopted in an overseas court, or through an administrative process overseas (ie not through the New Zealand courts), he or she will probably have gained New Zealand Citizenship by Descent. NZ Citizens by Descent have all the rights of New Zealand citizenship, except that they cannot pass on their citizenship to any children born to them (or adopted) overseas.
The adopted person needs to apply for Citizenship by Grant, after he/she has been living in New Zealand for a year or more. This can be done by the adoptive parent or by the adopted person once they are 18.
Normally anyone applying for Citizenship by Grant must have resided in NZ for at least five years, but for children, if the adoptive parents have lived in New Zealand for more than five years, you can apply for your child's NZ Citizenship well before 5 years.
You can download the form for applying for Citizenship by Grant at the New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs website. Internal Affairs have advised ICANZ that you don't need to resubmit your child's adoption documents as these have already been sighted and recorded by them.
We recommend that you indicate on the form or in a letter that it is a "descent to grant" application and send the completed application by courier to the Wellington office, not your local DIA office:
Processes, costs, requirements and DIA staff do change, so if in doubt call the Wellington Citizenship office - NOT your local DIA office.
These are vital documents - enclose a self addressed return courier envelope and record the tracking number of both your courier envelopes.
See our Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/ICANZAdoption
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