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You won't be "stung" for never having filed - they'll issue you a passport no problem. But you'll need to file "a few" back tax returns once you get the social security number - probably 3 or 4 - just to "prove" you don't owe any back taxes. (Chances are, you won't.)

Best thing to do is to talk to the US Consulate in NZ to ask about the passport and the social security number, and then take things one step at a time.

There are some new requirements related to your 2011 US tax filing (called FATCA) but you can't file anything until you have a social security number and that may take some time.
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