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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.
October 18, 2022
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5
 min read
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!

Sources

*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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Update

Migrant Worker Residence

Today the government announced a pathway to residence for migrant workers who are living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave who are eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else they will miss out on this one off opportunity.

July 8, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrants Opportunity

Today the government announced a pathway to residence for people living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave eligible to apply. The second wave can apply from 1 March 2022. The deadline to lodge an application is 31 July 2022 or else you miss the boat.

July 8, 2022
Update

New Employer Accreditation Process

The government has moved the introduction of the new employer accreditation process across to mid-2022. At the same time, the Minister of Immigration announced new work visa rules for migrant workers who are already in New Zealand and working full time.

July 8, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has increased the median wage to $27 per hour from 19 July. Any Skilled Migrant residence application lodged after this date will need to include a skilled job offer that pays at least $27 per hour. For some lower-skilled occupations, the minimum pay rate increases to $40.50 per hour.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 19 July 2021

  • The median wage used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications increases from $25.50 per hour to $27 per hour.
  • Applicants paid below the median wage may be granted a work visa for up to 24 months. The usual 6-month visa validity restriction is suspended until mid-2022.
  • In certain cases, the labour market test is waived and in some cases, it will still apply.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 30 June 2021

  • Employer Accreditation and Approval in Principle applications are now closed.
  • No new Employer Accreditation applications (including renewals) will be accepted until the new process goes live in mid-2022.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Employer Accreditation Becomes Mandatory

Employers of migrant workers must become accredited from 1 November 2021 before work visa applications can be processed. Most employers are not accredited. Those that are accredited will have to roll into the new system when it goes live in late September.

July 8, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From mid-2020 (delayed)

  • Government to negotiate and introduce Industry Sector agreements setting minimum conditions for industries that heavily rely on overseas workers. Sectors include; residential care, meat processing, dairy, forestry, road freight transport, tourism, and hospitality. Construction, horticulture, and viticulture may also be included.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Skilled occupation "Dairy Cattle Farmer" spilt into three occupations. New occupations are: "Dairy Farm Manager", "Assistant Dairy Farm Manager" and "Dairy Herd Manager". Each sit at different skill levels, therefore, the award of points will depend on pay rates, job tasks and other requirements.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 15 February 2021

  • Dairy Cattle Farmer job offers are now assessed by three new occupation descriptions: Dairy Farm Manager, Assistant Dairy Farm Manager and Dairy Herd Manager. Pay rates and job tasks will determine how long a work visa is valid. Take advice.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool for six months (to be reviewed in April 2021). Invitations to Apply for Residence remain suspended. The last selection from the Skilled Migrant pool took place on 18/03/2020.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 7 October 2020

  • Introduction of "Oversupply" and "Undersupply" occupation lists used to assess Essential Skills Work Visa applications when a job offer pays less than the median wage.
  • Employers offering jobs to migrant workers where an occupation is on the "Oversupply" list will not get Skill Match reports issued by Work & Income. Solid evidence of genuine attempts to find a local to fill the job will be critical for approval.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government added four new occupations that are now regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. These are:

Aged or disabled carer, Bicycle mechanic, Driller and Nursing Support worker.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 27 July 2020

  • Essential Skills work visa applications are now assessed based on the current median wage (NZD $25.50 or more per hour.).
  • Job offers paying below the median wage require employers to pass the labour market test* and secure a Skills Match Reports from WINZ (work visas granted for a maximum of 6 months).

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Anyone invited by Immigration NZ to apply for residence under the Skilled Migrant Category where their invitation is dated between 1 November 2019 and 15 April 2020 (inclusive) has now been granted an additional six months to lodge their residence application.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 27 May 2020​

  • Regional Skill Shortage List goes live. 15 regions around New Zealand list occupations reflecting local skill shortages in each region. The labour market test is not mandatory provided the job offer matches the occupation and region plus the visa applicant has qualifications and/or work experience set out on the list.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government has deferred the fortnightly selection of Expressions of Interest from the Skilled Migrant pool. This means Invitations to Apply for Residence are also suspended. Malcolm Pacific Immigration does not anticipate selections to resume until after the general election held on 17 October 2020.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:

  • Has employment paying double the median wage which is currently NZD $51 per hour OR NZD $106,800 per annum; OR Has New Zealand occupational registration and is required to hold valid registration to lawfully carry out their job.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 24 February 2020

  • Wage or salary thresholds increase for Essential Skills Work Visas applications lodged on or after 24/02/2020 (labour market tested; read more here).
  • Higher Skilled employment increases to $38.25 or more per hour ($79,560 per annum*)
  • Mid Skilled Employment increases to $21.68 or more per hour ($45,094 per annum*)

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 7 October 2019

  • Base salary to qualify for a Work to Residence Visa (WTR) supported by an accredited employer increases from $55,000 per annum to $79,560 per annum (or $38.25 per hour).
  • Pay rates for WTR visas are now reviewed annually.
  • Work visa applicants paid less than $79,560 per annum by accredited employers need to apply under other work visa categories.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Skilled Migrant Changes

The government recently added more occupations that are now to be regarded as skilled employment and may qualify for job offer points under the Skilled Migrant Category. In order to qualify for points, the job must be paying at least the current median wage (or higher for certain occupations) at the time the residence application is lodged.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Work Visa Rules

From 1 November 2021

  • Work to Residence Visa (Accredited Employer and Long Term Skill Shortage) applications close.
  • Applications lodged on or before 31 October 2021 will be processed under current visa settings.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Mandatory Vaccination Required for Travel

From 1 November 2021 anyone who is not a NZ citizen must be fully vaccinated (unless exempt) before travelling to New Zealand. Fully vaccinated means your last dose of vaccine was given at least 14 days before travelling and it was an approved vaccine.

July 8, 2022
Update

Employer Accreditation

Applications for employer accreditation closed at the end of June 2021. Applications lodged before the closure date are still being processed. New applications for accreditation open on 9 May 2022. The process will be quite different to what employers have experienced in the past. Businesses will need to meet minimum standards.

July 26, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

Wednesday, 1 December is fast approaching and it is estimated that around 16,000 individuals and families can apply in the first wave for the 2021 Resident Visa opening next month. It is exciting for the thousands of people who have been waiting patiently to become residents that finally the finish line is in sight.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The first wave of applicants can apply from 1 December 2021. Around 16,000 applications are expected in this first wave. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. In total, the government expects approximately 110,000 applications that will include about 165,000 people.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The second group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 March 2022 are those who hold an eligible work visa and either meet "Settled", "Skilled" or "Scarce" as set out above. In total Immigration NZ estimate around 110,000 people will qualify to apply for this visa.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The first group of workers who can apply online for the 2021 Resident Visa that opens on 1 December 2021 are those that on 29/09/2021:

  • Had lodged a residence application under the Skilled Migrant Category (SMC) or Residence from Work category; OR Had lodged an SMC Expression of Interest (EOI) in the SMC pool that included at least one dependent child aged 17 or above.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

Is this the only requirement to qualify for residence? No. In addition to the eligible work visa criteria workers also need to be regarded as one of the following:

  1. Settled.
  2. Skilled.
  3. Scarce.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

People who were lawfully in NZ (or in Australia when the travel bubble closed between April and July 2021) on 29/09/2021 need to meet the visa eligibility criteria:

  • Workers in NZ who held an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and on the day they apply for residence; OR Applied for an eligible work visa on or before 29/9/2021 and the work visa application is subsequently approved and still hold an eligible work visa on the day they apply for residence.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

2021 Resident Visa

The government has introduced a limited pathway to residence for people who are already living and working in New Zealand. Applications open on 1 December 2021 for the first wave of people eligible to apply. The second wave opens on 1 March 2022. The deadline to apply for the 2021 Resident Visa is 31 July 2022.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Critical Purpose Visitor Visas

A small number of critical health workers (taking up jobs for six months or longer) or specialist workers (taking up jobs that are for longer than six months) who were granted border exemptions may also have eligibility for the 2021 Resident Visa. They will need to have arrived in NZ and lodge a 2021 Resident Visa application.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • July 4. Applications open for the new Accredited Employer Work Visa.
  • July 31. Applications for the 2021 Resident Visa close.
  • August. Skilled Migrant Residence category scheduled to reopen.
  • August. A new pathway to residence for people earning 200% or more of the median wage.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

July 8, 2022
Update

Policy Decision Key Dates in 2022

  • February 13. Fully vaccinated Kiwis plus certain other travellers entering NZ from the rest of the world* can skip MIQ.
  • April 30. The border starts a phased reopen to fully vaccinated foreign nationals.
  • April 30. The Productivity Commission reports back to the government on immigration settings.
  • May 9. Applications open for mandatory Employer Accreditation.

*Excludes high-risk countries.

July 8, 2022
Update

Work Visa Categories Closing

The work visa categories set to close are:

  • Essential Skills Work Visa
  • Essential Skills Work Visa – approval in principle
  • Work to Residence (Talent – Accredited Employer)
  • Work to Residence (Long Term Skills Shortage)
  • Silver Fern Job Search Work Visa (closed October 2019)
  • Silver Fern Practical Experience Work Visa.
July 8, 2022
Update

The Green List

From September 2022 people holding job offers in a small number of occupations may apply for residence. Some occupations are a direct pathway to residence and others require a period of two years or longer before applying.

There are qualification and/or occupational registration requirements to meet. Establishing if an overseas qualification matches the NZ equivalent qualification before applying is paramount for success.

Read more here.

July 12, 2022
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