Paste your Google Webmaster Tools verification code here

New Zealand has one of the top 10 most powerful passports in the world, based on the number of countries New Zealand citizens can travel to visa-free or gain visa on arrival.

New Zealand citizens (passport holders) can easily enter 182 countries, just slightly less than the number of destinations of those holding the most powerful passport in the world, Japan and Singapore, which have such access to 189 countries.

The latest press release on the Henley Passport Index (10 July 2018), a global index based on International Air Transport Association (IATA)  data,  shows that while New Zealand remains in the top ten, it has dropped to 7= from number 5.  Japan and Singapore have reached the top spot, knocking Germany off the highest rank, since gaining access to Uzbekistan.

The rest of the top 20 on the index remain much the same, with UK and US remaining in fourth place, with same global access as in 2017. Russia has not gained access to any new countries since May, but it rose one place to 46th ranking.

At the other end of the spectrum, those countries with the most difficult access and most countries requiring them to apply for visas (lowest ranking) are Afghanistan and Iraq (with access to 30 countries), Syria and Somalia (32), and Pakistan. Nepal follows closely behind at 97 (40 countries), Sri Lanka ranks  95th (42), India at 78 (59), China 69 (72), Philippines 72 (66), Thailand 66 (76) South Africa 50 (102), Russia 46 (118). These are just some of the countries our clients choose to migrate to New Zealand from. See where your country sits on the Global Ranking

How can you too gain the privileges of a New Zealand passport holder?

You can start by obtaining residence! Then after 5 years, become a New Zealand citizen and get a New Zealand passport. Then, subject to exceptions like character concerns , you too would be able to access those 182 countries.

We help with applying for NZ Residence (see our other pages), most commonly through Skilled Migration or Partnership.

There are three types of New Zealand citizenship

  1. Citizenship by birth
  2. Citizenship by descent
  3. Citizenship by grant

How can I become a New Zealand citizen?

Once you have residence, you’re on a pathway to obtain citizenship by grant.

Generally speaking you need to have permanent residence and lived in New Zealand for 5 years and not spent more than 4 months overseas in any year and intend to stay.

To check out your eligibility and requirements, see here

Note there are some special exceptions for citizens of Samoa and children.


If I have a child in New Zealand will my child automatically become a New Zealand citizen?

No, not automatically, and this will depend on your/the parents’ citizenship. Since 2006, to be a citizen by birth at least one parent must be a New Zealand citizen or permanent resident.


Can I be a citizen of New Zealand and another country?

Yes as long as the other country allows it.


For further queries about Citizenship, please do not call us, call DIA on 0800 22 51 51 (NZ only) or +64 4 463 9361 (outside NZ)

If you think you’re eligible for residence or a visa towards it and would like our assistance, please contact us!

Reference: Henley & Partners