Visa News
October 18, 2022

The New Active Investor Plus Visa: What It Means For Investor Migrants

The Active Investor Plus Visa incentivises investor migrants to invest in NZ’s high-value, growth options. Learn more about Immigration NZ’s investment visas.
The New Active Investor Plus Visa: What It Means For Investor Migrants
The New Active Investor Plus Visa: What It Means For Investor Migrants

The new Active Investor Plus Visa (AIPV) incentivises investor migrants to directly invest in New Zealand's high-value, high-growth options and uses a weighting system to more attract investors who can help grow the economy. 

Malcolm Pacific Immigration's licensed advisers can provide further advice on the new investor visa options and relevant Immigration New Zealand (INZ) updates. 

Keep reading to learn more about the current visa settings and what the Active Investor Plus Visa means for investor migrants.

Why Is the NZ Government Changing the Investor Visa Settings?

The competition for international capital is intensifying, which has nudged the Government towards implementing new changes to help New Zealand grow. 

As a result, the Government is altering investment policy to ensure New Zealand is in the best possible position to attract skilled and experienced high-net-worth investors and improve the economy.

The NZ Immigration Visa Shake-Up

The Government is implementing changes to the NZ immigration system following the effects of the pandemic on the country. Their vision is to increase New Zealand's business productivity and rebalance the skills gap to support our economy's growth. 

These changes include filling skill shortages and boosting the economy, which is approached through various work, investment and residency visa changes. Find out more about NZ residence pathway changes or read up on NZ’s new work visa settings and the Accredited Employer Work Visa.

The Government has introduced new investment setting changes. The NZ Active Investor Plus Visa has been created to support investments that will benefit and grow New Zealand industries.

Attract High-Value Investor Migrants

New investment settings and alterations aim to attract experienced, high-value investors, aligning with the Government's actions to support local businesses and regions in New Zealand. It also starts to futureproof New Zealand’s advancement in the global market. 

Active Investor Plus Visa applicants must provide at least NZ$5 million to NZ$15 million, depending on the situation, as an investment and meet other requirements to be eligible. 

Attracting high-value investor migrants aligns with the Government’s focus on hands-on business development and funding that will benefit Kiwi businesses and bring more growth opportunities to New Zealand.

Incentivise Active Participation in Growing New Zealand Business

As a part of INZ's recent immigration rebalance announcements, the Government is taking action to improve New Zealand’s economy. The previous investment visa categories attracted a large amount of funds, totalling more than NZ$12 billion. However, most were passive investments in shares and bonds rather than directly into NZ companies. 

The purpose of these changes to the NZ investor visa settings is to engage with missed opportunities under the previous system and attract more active investors who can deliver tangible benefits to the economy over a long period.

Applicants wanting to gain New Zealand residency can still invest in passive investments such as shares and philanthropic causes. However, they will be asked to invest at least NZ$15 million. 

What Is the New Active Investor Plus Visa?

Immigration New Zealand opened the Active Investor Plus Visa category on 19 September 2022.

At a high level, the visa requires investor migrants to:

  • Invest between NZ$5 million and NZ$15 million. This depends on the investment they are making
  • Invest for three years and maintain the investment for the fourth year.
  • Spend 117 days in New Zealand during the four-year visa period.
  • Be competent in the English language.

Investor Pathways Discontinued

The new Active Investor Plus visa category replaces two existing categories, Investor 1 and Investor 2 visas, that have been running for over 12 years.

Investor 1 and Investor 2 applications closed to new applications on 27 July 2022. The current pipeline of applications continues to be processed by INZ. In addition to Investor categories 1 and 2, applicants with Expressions of Interest (EOI) or valid Invitations to Apply (ITA) should be contacted by INZ about what they need to do.

How Does the AIPV Category Change NZ Investor Visa Requirements?

Under the new Active Investor Plus Visa, further requirements must be met. 

Acceptable Investments

Four eligible investment classes carry different weightings towards the investment threshold. Investors may be able to invest across a combination to meet the threshold.

An acceptable investment is considered as funds that are:

  1. Not for the personal use of the applicant,
  2. Invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency, and
  3. Invested in Listed Equities, Philanthropy, Managed Funds, or Direct Investments (one or more).

INZ has stated that acceptable investments must continue to meet all requirements during the 48-month investment period.

Property is not considered an acceptable investment. However, INZ has noted that as part of listed equity investments, AIPV holders can invest in exchange-traded funds or managed funds that own companies engaged in the acquisition, development, ownership, leasing, management, and operation of property assets as long as it accounts for only 20% of the investment. 

Staggered Investing Approach

Under the new visa settings, investor migrants have the flexibility to invest over three years instead of making all qualifying investments up front and holding them throughout the entire three-year period under the previous settings.

This staggered approach replaces the requirement of investing NZ$10 million into equities at the outset to obtain a resident visa. The Government hopes that allowing more flexibility will attract new types of investors. 

The Weighting System

Acceptable investments carry different weightings toward the NZ$15 million investment threshold.

Direct investments into private businesses receive the highest weighting (3x). For example, you can meet the required amount by investing NZ$5 million into direct investments.

Investments into private equity or venture capital funds are up-weighted (2x). For example, you can meet the required amount by investing NZ$7.5 million into private funds.

Investments into listed equities and philanthropy receive no additional weighting. However, each is capped at 50% of the NZ$15 million investment requirement. For example, you can meet the required amount by putting NZ$7.5 million into listed equities and NZ$7.5 million into eligible philanthropic causes.

Active Investment Funds Emphasised

The Government is incentivising direct investment to help build globally successful Kiwi businesses. The old settings didn't require or encourage active investment early on in the visa process, which was a missed opportunity for growth.

By having a higher weighting for active investments, potential investors can qualify for the visa with a lower minimum investment amount than those who choose more indirect or passive investments.

Time In Country Requirements

The AIPV requires applicants to spend 117 days in New Zealand over a 48-month/4-year investment period, up from 88 days for the Investor 1 category.

Investors need to spend about a month each year in New Zealand, which helps ensure investors are actively involved in their businesses and not just their investments. In addition, it is hoped spending longer in New Zealand increases the likelihood of further active investment.

New English Language Requirements

Applicants must speak, read, write and understand English and meet Level 5 of the International English Language Testing System or equivalent. This new competency requirement ensures that investors easily integrate with the companies they invest in and use their knowledge and skills to help those businesses flourish and engage in the New Zealand investment network.

Contact our specialist Investor team for a free no-obligation assessment to establish if you meet the new AIPV requirements and how to apply for your new NZ Investor Visa.

How Does the AIPV Benefit NZ Investor Migrants?

New Zealand is one of the only nations in the world to offer an indefinite Permanent Resident Visa without the need to change citizenship status. This will keep foreign investors drawn to the country through the AIPV category.

What Are the Opportunities for Investor Migrants?

New Zealand's modern economy continues to introduce new companies that have the potential to become global competitors. We are well known in a variety of specialist industries, including technology, food and beverage, and renewable energy.

New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) collaborates with many new and innovative companies, and is a crucial link between investors and prospects for profitable investments.

In addition to investment growth and opportunities that New Zealand provides, the Active Investor Plus Visa further assists investor migrants in their move to NZ, as it offers a fast-tracked pathway to residence.

High-Growth Investment Potential

The NZ economy is characterised by a wide range of business sectors. Many of them have strengths and advantages found nowhere else in the world. 

Here are three top sectors with high-growth potential, including how they’re significant opportunities for forward-thinking investors and entrepreneurs.

Find out more about the unique options that potential growth NZ sectors of strength present to investor migrants here.

Food & Beverage

In 2021, New Zealand made NZ$31.2 billion from global food and beverage exports.*

New Zealand is one of the world's leading food exporters, supplying premium food and beverage products to millions of people in over 120 countries. NZ is a known exporter of dairy products, lamb, venison, beef, kiwifruit, apples and seafood. Natural production advantages and the expertise of local producers and businesses combine to offer significant potential for investors.

Renewable Energy

New Zealand ranks 2nd in the world for energy security.**

New Zealand's natural resources, world-class technology and national ethos of sustainability contribute to its potential for investment in renewable energy. NZ has the fourth-highest share of renewable energy in the OECD, currently at 84% and rising. It is estimated to have around 14,700 MW of additional capacity, offering significant scope for high-growth investment opportunities across the clean-energy value chain.

Tech & Innovation

In 2021, New Zealand experienced a 48% growth in early-stage investment tech.***

New Zealand is known for its unique and leading technology and innovation. Being on the edge of the world has fostered a new approach to challenges, driving the nation to become innovators. NZ tech companies continue to be recognised globally due to their fresh perspectives, creative energy, and unexpected answers to old problems. This is seen in the growing increase in capital investment, with a 111% increase in NZ tech businesses in 2021.****

Effective Match-Making & Support

Investor migrants don’t have to go through the process of choosing a suitable industry investment alone. As NZTE is the common ground for investors and prospects, it helps investors find potential active investment opportunities that match their needs, more effectively than under the previous NZ investor visa settings.

NZTE helps potential migrant investors be matched more effectively with active investment opportunities in New Zealand.

The NZTE Investment team helps potential investor migrants to understand the AIPV requirements and provides insights into the reality of living and investing in New Zealand. NZTE’s event programmes facilitate networking between investors and prospects, helping investor migrants to navigate the NZ investment ecosystem and connect with relevant contacts, like providing access to unique direct investment opportunities 

Fast-Tracked Pathway To NZ Residency

In addition to living, working and studying in New Zealand, the new AIPV category provides a fast-tracked pathway to gaining an NZ resident visa. AIPV holders can apply for permanent NZ residence after four years of keeping their funds in New Zealand.

Results speak much louder than words. Malcolm Pacific Immigration has directly helped thousands of investors and their families secure Permanent Residence Visas leading to over NZ$12 billion in the New Zealand economy.

Get Professional Investor Visa NZ Advice

Our experienced licensed immigration advisers provide expert advice on all parts of the immigration process, including investor visas, partner and family visas and residence pathways.

When you choose to make your life or invest in New Zealand, it’s imperative you trust your adviser. We take the time at the outset to get to know you, your family and your goals to make sure you will qualify. We are the best at what we do and will always stand behind what we say.

Get in touch with us today!


*Stats NZ Export Data YE June 2021

**International Index of Energy Security Risk (2020)

***New Zealand Capital Growth Partners (NZGCP), TIN research

****Global Innovation Index, 2020

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