Recently I read some news on Facebook – a young couple who moved to New Zealand refused to give up Malaysian citizenship because they still love Malaysia. I like their patriotism and was inspired to write this post –in short, I don’t think becoming an NZ citizen is suitable for me. Ultimately, it is a personal choice.
I fell in love with New Zealand and have a Permanent Residence (PR). I had considered getting a NZ citizenship once I meet the requirements, but that thought disappeared after I weighed the Do and Don’t as shown below. The key point is Malaysia does not approve dual-citizenship, so it means if I want to get NZ citizenship then I am supposed to give up my Malaysian citizenship and passport.
2 Reasons I Thought of Giving Up Malaysian Citizenship
1. Save the hassle of renewing Malaysian passport in NZ
I think this is the main reason that many Malaysians have decided to become Citizens in NZ. I haven’t personally renewed my Malaysian passport in NZ but I heard it is painful and time-consuming.
2. Possibility to work in Australia
New Zealand citizens can work in Australia (without social benefits). It offers more flexibility when I work for a multinational company in NZ as I can consider going for potential secondments in Australia.
4 Reasons I Decided to Keep My Malaysian Citizenship
1. NZ citizens and PRs have similar rights
“Citizenship in New Zealand is superficially similar to permanent residency. Citizens and permanent residents enjoy certain rights and protections, including the right to reside permanently in New Zealand.” ~New Zealand OAG Government’s website
Also, New Zealand permanent residents can vote and have access to social benefits, such as education and healthcare.
2. Malaysian passport is quite powerful
As of the year 2017, Malaysian passport is ranked #5 globally which means I can travel to many countries without a visa, though I am frustrated that I still need a visa to visit the U.S. and China. Malaysian passport’s ranking is similar to NZ passport. (Source: Passport Index)
3. It is a hard decision to give up my origin
Giving up Malaysian citizenship is like betraying my home country. Although it does not hurt anyone, I feel guilty to (formally) let go of my original country that I had lived for 2 decades.
4. Just in case I still need to go back to Malaysia for unexpected reasons
Although I have no intention to come back to Malaysia for good, I have to prepare for the rain. Since I have a family in Malaysia, what if something unexpected happens? Once I lose Malaysian’s passport, it is hard (or nearly impossible) to get it back. With a NZ passport, I can only visit Malaysia for 3 months without a visa.
After weighing the reasons mentioned above, I am not planning to give up Malaysian Citizenship for New Zealand at the moment. Am I patriotic, or maybe I simply feel it’s not lucrative enough to give up my Malaysian citizenship? Anyway, life is full of endless possibility and it is no harm to keep my eyes open.
There may be other reasons for making the decision, e.g. tax, property, eligibility and etc. – and this post only shows my personal views and decision. Ultimately, it is a personal choice.