I currently live in New Zealand, and in a few weeks I'm going to be leaving to visit and travel in Europe for about a year.

I've got both British and New Zealand citizenship, and about a month ago renewed my British passport. The problem is that I needed to send my New Zealand passport along with my application—while my British passport has arrived, my New Zealand passport hasn't returned yet.

This puts me in an interesting situation, as I have no idea how long it will be until my New Zealand passport arrives in the post, but have a fixed date for departure. Do I actually need it to leave New Zealand, or will presenting my British one be enough?

I'm thinking about waiting a few days before my departure date, and if it still hasn't arrived, using the urgent passport service to get a passport—but if I don't have to spend the money I would prefer not to.

Once the passport arrives in New Zealand, I can get family members to courier it to me, so re-entry shouldn't be a problem.

  • Did you enter last time on your NZ passport? Immigration may want to know why you have no entry stamp in your British Passport and if they ask how will you be able to prove you are also a NZ citizen?
    – user13044
    Oct 15, 2014 at 9:05
  • @Tom That's exactly what I'm concerned about, and don't want to be caught in that situation. I can always take other documents along with me proving that I am a NZ citizen, but if I need to do that then I'll just apply for an urgent passport before I leave. Oct 15, 2014 at 9:20
  • Personally I would take the steps necessary to have both my passports in hand before leaving the country, less stress from worrying before hand and likely an easier time at the airport.
    – user13044
    Oct 15, 2014 at 9:25
  • 1
    Take a copy of your new zealand passport with you to the airport - you should have no problems departing and traveling. On return, however - if British citizens do not need visas to enter New Zealand, you'll have no issues. Oct 15, 2014 at 9:48
  • FWIW, although the British passport website and telephone advice line will say that you need to send in your foreign passport when renewing your British one, they'll actually accept a colour photocopy. Sep 30, 2016 at 17:26

1 Answer 1


Another dual-citizen Kiwi here. Our government actually has pages on this, and whilst it's fine for you to travel on either passport, it's best to enter NZ when you return on your NZ passport - otherwise you're not technically a resident, and would have to have a visa and so on.

The relevant links:

although the first one is really the one applicable to you.

  • The second one is the concerning one ... if you enter on your foreign passport, you have to leave on it ... and the OP didn't enter on their British passport, but is pondering leaving on it.
    – user13044
    Oct 15, 2014 at 12:46
  • 2
    How so? It covers dual nationals entering on foreign passports, which is exactly what he's NOT doing. Generally countries want you to leave on the same passport that you enter on, if you're entering on a foreign passport - helps with tracking of overstaying etc.
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 15, 2014 at 12:49
  • Methinks you are missing the point completely.
    – user13044
    Oct 15, 2014 at 13:17
  • 1
    Perhaps you could elaborate then, since you seem to be seeing something I'm not?
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 15, 2014 at 13:18
  • 1
    I can see how it might be read that way, however the first link, for NZ citizens travelling on a foreign passport (ie the OP), specifically states "You can travel on any valid passport, however to re-enter NZ as a citizen of NZ..." - ie, you can use any passport you want. However, IF you want to return to NZ and be counted as a NZ citizen (you can enter as a tourist/foreigner if you want, but good luck going back to work), then you have to use your NZ passport to ENTER, or get an official stamp in your foreign passport indicating this status.
    – Mark Mayo
    Oct 15, 2014 at 13:32

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