INVESTOR VISAS

Investor Visa Information

The following information provides a general overview of Investor Visa policy. Please note that this information does not replace or constitute immigration advice from a licensed immigration adviser.

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Investor Categories

Entrepreneurs, business people, and investors who are willing to invest in the New Zealand economy are actively sought by the government. You can apply under two categories, each with varying levels of complexity and investment.

Find out if you qualify for Investor status by contacting NZIHS for a no-obligation assessment.

Investor Plus

The applicant must:

  • A minimum investment of $10 million is required in New Zealand.

  • You must prove that the investment money was earned lawfully.

  • Be of good health and character.

  • For three years, you must hold an investment in New Zealand.

Should the investment succeed, the investor must spend a minimum of 44 days in New Zealand in years 2 and 3 or in certain cases, 88 days over the course of the entire three-year investment period.

Investor Two*

The applicant must:

  • You must be under the age of 66.

  • Ability to speak English at a basic level.

  • Be of good health and character.

  • Prove you have 3 years of business experience.

  • Show net worth of NZ$3m or more (but read notes below)

  • Invest at least NZ$3 million in New Zealand.

  • Demonstrate that investment dollars were earned lawfully.

  • The investment must be held for four years in New Zealand.

 

What Are The Conditions?

On success, Investor Two applicants must spend at least 146 days in NZ in each of years 2, 3 and 4 of the investment period or, in certain cases, spread 438 days over the entire 4-year investment term. Application is a two-step process. A preliminary "Expression of Interest" (EOI) by the applicant is followed by an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA) from Immigration New Zealand to lodge a residence application.

Note 1. $3 million is a minimum. Whether the "Expression of Interest" (EOI) leads to an "Invitation to Apply" (ITA) will depend on how many applicants and at what investment level, are competing for a place in the limited "quota" at that time.

Note 2. Be careful of advisers or lawyers that tell you about the $3 million but fail to advise you on how much is really needed in order to guarantee success (depending on the quota from time to time).

Investment Minimum Standards

There is a wide range of options available in the New Zealand economy to meet the specific investment obligations of the Investor Visa.

 

At a minimum, your New Zealand investment must:

  • Be capable of a commercial return (under normal circumstances).

  • Not for your personal use*.

  • Invested in New Zealand in New Zealand dollars.

  • Invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant New Zealand laws.

  • Has the potential to contribute to the New Zealand economy.

*Personal use includes investments in a personal residence, car, boat etc.

 

What Are Acceptable Immigration Investments

Funds may be invested in one or more of the following:

  • Bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities (city councils); or

  • Bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX); or

  • Bonds issued by New Zealand firms with at least a BBB- or equivalent rating from internationally recognised credit rating agencies (such as Standard and Poor’s for example); or

  • Bonds issued by registered New Zealand banks; or

  • Equities in registered New Zealand banks; or

  • Bonds in finance companies**; or

  • Equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds and venture capital); or

  • Residential property development**; or

  • Commercial property**; or

  • Eligible New Zealand venture capital funds; or

  • Philanthropic investment**; or

  • “Angel funds or networks” investments.

**Special conditions apply. Take advice.
 

Investment Visa Overview

The intention is clear: persons of good health and character who are prepared to invest in NZ are to be encouraged. The normal obligation to reside in New Zealand for at least 184 days in each of 2 consecutive years in order to achieve Permanent Resident status is relaxed, as are English language requirements. In the case of Investor Plus, there is no English requirement at all.

The New Zealand Government will want to know that you made your money legally, that it is fully tax-paid and that you brought it into New Zealand through the official banking system. There will also be a few simple limitations on how you can invest it.

The purpose of these restrictions is to ensure that New Zealand Immigration policy is not associated with money laundering or tax evasion. Despite the apparent simplicity of that objective, you will need skilled help to make the procedures user-friendly.
 

Investor Policy Failure Rate

Investor policies have a very high failure rate. This high failure rate is despite many applicants having the assistance of licensed advisers or lawyers.

Failure usually relates to an inability to prove claims made in the Expression of Interest or residence application, particularly proof that the funds being offered for investment in New Zealand were lawfully earned (including tax paid) in the first place.

These failed applicants are not all bad people! The problem is with advisers and lawyers who impress their clients and gain their trust but do not have the skills to understand or manage this very specialized area of policy.

Contact our NZIHS Team for answers to your questions and find out if you are eligible to apply.