New Zealand Consulate-General Hong Kong

Changes to Overseas Passport and Citizenship Services

What are these changes? When will they be effective?
First time or full validity passports will no longer be issued from New Zealand MFAT (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) overseas posts. Posts will also no longer register claims for New Zealand citizenship by descent. The changes were effective from 1 April 2004.

What services will be available outside New Zealand?
Full passport and citizenship services will continue to be available through our Sydney and London offices.The New Zealand Department of Internal Affairs (DIA) website has contact details for these offices.

You will still be able to apply for a limited validity passport at MFAT (Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade) posts. New Zealand Embassies, High Commissions and Consulates will continue to have stocks of the relevant passport and citizenship forms. Staff will be able to assist with questions about completing the forms and supporting documentation. They will not be in a position to determine an individual’s eligibility for citizenship.

What is a limited validity passport?
A limited validity passport is valid for a period of up to 12 months for New Zealand citizens who have previously held a New Zealand passport. They will only be issued in emergency and compassionate situations. Full validity, machine-readable passports will be available through the New Zealand, Sydney and London offices.

Why are we implementing these changes to overseas passport services?
New Zealand has a prized passport that is backed up by good visa free arrangements with many overseas countries including the USA. To ensure we can continue to provide a high integrity passport we need to reduce the numbers of lower security manual passports in circulation. Because we can only issue machine-readable passports in New Zealand, Sydney and London we are encouraging people to get a machine-readable, full validity passport.

We recognise in emergency situations people may need a replacement passport issued quickly thus limited validity passports are available to cover a period up to 12 months.

What is the cost of a limited validity passport?
The fee for a three-day service still applies. You can exchange your limited validity passport for a machine-readable passport prior to the date of expiry. Further information about our fees is available on the DIA website. This only applies to limited validity passports issued on or after 1 April 2004.

If I lose my passport overseas what should I do?
If you are overseas and you lose your passport then contact the nearest New Zealand Embassy, High Commission or Consulate. (Note: not all New Zealand MFAT offices are passport processing offices, though they all should be able to advise the location of the nearest office.) If you need to travel urgently they will issue you with a limited validity passport. If you can wait for a longer period they can assist you apply for a normal validity passport and answer any questions you may have.

How long will my application take?
It will take up to 10 working days for a passport application to be processed and up to 20 working days for a citizenship by descent application. If you are submitting an application for a passport where eligibility is dependent on an application for citizenship by descent it will take up to 30 days for the combined process.

I’m overseas and need to submit an application for citizenship by descent. How and where do I send it?
You should forward your application to the Citizenship Office in New Zealand, Sydney or London. The application for citizenship can also include a fully completed passport application and appropriate fee if you want a New Zealand passport.
Application forms are available on the DIA website.

I need more information. What can I do?
If you need further information, please contact one of the DIA offices.

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