Citizenship Processing Timeline Changes

Daniel made this Official Information request to Department of Internal Affairs

The request was successful.

From: Daniel

Dear Department of Internal Affairs,

As we know the processing timeframe is constantly (every three months) changing on the Government Citizenship Website. Can you please confirm that which timeline applies to which date applications applied ? At the moment it is very confusing the which processing timeline applies to which time of applications applied.

In Jan 2021 the processing timeline was within 5-10 months.
In Mar-Apr 2021 the processing timeline changes to 7-12 months.
And in Jun 15, 21 the processing timeline changes to 9-14 months.

Question 1
If a person applied his/her citizenship (by grant) in Dec 2020 or Jan 2021 , then his/her application still comes under the processing time of 5-10 months or the latest timeline applies to his/her application?

Question 2
If a person applied his/her citizenship (by grant) in Feb 2021 or March 2021 or before
15 June 2021, then his/her application still comes under the processing time of 7-12 months or the latest timeline applies to his/her application?

Question 3
Is updated timeline 9-14 months applies to people who apply their citizenship application on / after June 15, 2021? (Page last updated: 15 June 2021)

Reference :

Question 4
If the latest timeline applies to everyone who applied their citizenship from Nov 2020 to till, then why the timeline is increasing in every three months because as per the official release by the Citizenship Department or DIA, they received the lowest number of citizenship applications (by grant) in last year which is 20,343 and my friend got approval for the citizenship within 3 months timeframe in 2018 when the applications are higher (35,737) as compare to 2020? Please justify.

Reference Link for Citizenship by grant numbers :

Question 5
How can future applicants be sure that the timeline will not change in future?

Question 6
Did Citizenship department send an official email regarding processing time change to the applicant who applied their citizenship application way back (for example Dec 2020 to May 2021) when the processing time changes on website ? if no, please justify why not.

Yours faithfully,


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From: OIA
Department of Internal Affairs

Tçnâ koe Daniel,

Thank you for your OIA request to the Department of Internal Affairs (included with this email)

The Department will provide its response to your request as soon as practicable and within twenty working days.  The 20th working day is 06 September 2021

Please note that in cases where the Department’s response provides information that is identified to be of general public interest, the response may also be published on the Department of Internal Affairs website.  If the Department publishes its response to your OIA request, all personal information, including your name and contact details, will be removed.

Nâku noa, nâ

Michelle Reed (she/her)  
Kaitohutohu Ârahi, te Ture Pârongo Ôkawa | Lead Advisor Official Correspondence 
Te Urûngi | Organisational Strategy & Performance
Level 6, 45 Pipitea St | PO Box 805, Wellington 6140, New Zealand |

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From: SDO Official Correspondence
Department of Internal Affairs

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Tēnā koe David,


Please see attached for the response to your Official Information Act 1982


Ngā mihi,


Louise Walton [1](she/her)

Advisor Official Correspondence

Te Pāhekoheko, Kāwai ki te Iwi | Operations, Service Delivery and
Te Tari Taiwhenua | The Department of Internal Affairs





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From: Daniel

Dear SDO Official Correspondence,

This is because some key systems were not able to be accessed offsite due to privacy and security reasons, which meant working from home was not a feasible option for many of our staff.

From above context, Can you please elaborate this please. Whether the key systems department using are not capable of remote access to the staff or DIA cannot rely on the staff (While working from home) fully in context for using the systems?
If system is used in office by same staff then they can access any information in office as well.

The Department is currently in the process of transitioning citizenship processing from a paper-
based application system supported by aging technology, to a modern customer-centred case
management system supporting a fully online application process

From the above context and past history of the Citizen applications, the aging system of yours was much faster as compare to this new system. And as you said training of the staff, this comment i am experiencing from last year July, its almost one year citizenship department staff are not getting experienced in this new system, so they can decrease the processing time and process application faster, Can you please explain, why staff is not getting familiar through the system from last one year?

And i can see citizenship department still gives option of paper applications, then how this backlog will reduce ? People will apply and the backlog will increase day by day . What measures department taking to reduce the paper backlog?

As press release, you guys get the less application in 2020, then why backlog?
Can you please tell the number of applications are in the backlog (by grant)?
Paper Applications in backlog and from which year and month.
Online Applications in backlog and from which year and month.

Currently which month applications are in processing or assigned to case officers?

Yours sincerely,


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