Knowledge base articles

I was born in New Zealand, but I've been living overseas. Can I return to live in New Zealand?

If you are a New Zealand citizen by birth, descent or grant, you may return to live in New Zealand as long as you have one of the following documents upon your arrival back into the country:

  • A valid New Zealand passport in your name; or
  • A valid overseas passport containing a current New Zealand Citizen Endorsement.

If you are not sure if you are a New Zealand citizen you can check on the website of the Department of Internal Affairs.

The only acceptable documents to prove that you are a New Zealand citizen at the border are a New Zealand passport or a foreign passport with a New Zealand Citizen Endorsement. Presenting evidence of New Zealand citizenship (such as a birth certificate or citizenship certificate) with an overseas passport that does not have a New Zealand citizenship endorsement in it will not be sufficient.

If you wish to apply for a New Zealand Citizen Endorsement into your overseas passport, you may send your application to your nearest office or visa application centre with evidence of your New Zealand citizenship (e.g. New Zealand birth certificate or citizenship certificate).

I’m a New Zealand citizen but travel on my foreign passport

To obtain a New Zealand passport, you need to contact the Department of Internal Affairs as Immigration New Zealand does not issue this document.

Department of Internal Affairs

If you have a partner and/or children who are not New Zealand citizens or residents that you would like to bring to New Zealand with you, look at the options available to them through our family categories.

Join or bring family to New Zealand