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Ammendment Preserves Citizenship Rights

The Citizenship Amendment Act 2000, which was passed by Parliament on Friday, preserves the rights of children born overseas to a New Zealand citizen parent by giving them a further two years to register their citizenship.

Under the Citizenship Act 1977, parents born in New Zealand or who have received a grant of citizenship can pass citizenship by descent status onto any child born outside the country. However since 1 January 1978, the citizenship status of that child had to be registered before they turned 22, or it was lost.

Last Friday’s legislative change means that people affected can now apply to register until they are 24 years of age.

The ‘Stay Kiwi’ publicity campaign which the Department of Internal Affairs ran last year encouraging affected citizens to register, attracted strong interest. However Internal Affairs Citizenship Manager, Carol Scott, says some affected people may still be unaware of the requirement.

‘We want to ensure that affected families understand this requirement so they can register their children’s status in plenty of time to retain their New Zealand citizenship, if they desire.’

The two year extension of registration allows the Government to consider this issue as part of the current review of the Citizenship Act 1977.

Those born outside of New Zealand to a New Zealand parent prior to 1978 are not required to register with the Citizenship Office.

For further information, please contact the Department of Internal Affairs on Call Free 0800 22 51 51, or via email at staykiwi@dia.govt.nz

More information can also be found on the Citizenship Office web site: www.citizenship.govt.nz

for further information contact Rick Julian (04) 474-8071, or (025) 402-667, email

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