Visa News

Investing in NZ: What are the Criteria?

The Investor Visa is a pathway to gaining permanent residency in NZ. We provide details on how to get one, what the criteria is, & what to do once approved.

10/02/20223 min read
Investing in NZ: What are the Criteria?

The NZ Investor Visa was introduced by the New Zealand government to bring capital and people talent into the country with the aim to enhance economic growth. Investing in New Zealand can be a smart move for experienced business people looking to secure permanent residency in NZ. There are numerous benefits from becoming a NZ resident plus exciting investment opportunities from start-ups to established industries. You can choose to be an active or passive investor. Here’s what you need to know about the criteria for investing in NZ.

Investor Visa Categories: The Options

If you are interested in investing in NZ, there are currently two investor categories that you may be eligible to apply for: Investor 1 and Investor 2.

Investor 1 is a visa for those who can invest NZD $10 million or more over a three-year period. With this visa, you can apply for permanent residence in New Zealand and if successful, bring your family along with you.

Investor 2 is for those who can invest NZD $3 million or more over a four-year period. All applicants must first lodge an Expression of Interest to Immigration NZ to apply for residence. If successful, you will be invited to apply for residence and can include your family in your application. Applicants must also be under 66 years of age, be of good health and character, meet English language requirements and have at least 3 years of proven business experience.

In both categories proving the investment funds you intend to move to NZ have been lawfully earned is one of the key requirements. This trips up a lot of people and is one of the main reasons for an application being declined (there are plenty of other traps to watch out for).

What is Acceptable Investment Criteria?

To meet the requirements for an Investor Visa, you must meet the acceptable investment criteria. First and foremost, the New Zealand investment cannot be for the personal use of the investor, and must:

  • Be capable of producing commercial returns and contributing to the NZ economy.
  • Be invested in New Zealand, in NZ currency only.

There are many ways to invest funds in New Zealand. Acceptable investments include:

  • Equity in NZ firms (public or private), residential property development (not for personal use), commercial property, or registered NZ banks.
  • A philanthropic investment or “Angel funds or networks” investments.
  • Bonds issued by the NZ Government, local authorities (or city councils), or registered NZ banks and finance companies.
  • Bonds issued by NZ firms traded on the NZ Debt Securities Market or by NZ firms with a BBB- (or equivalent) rating.

The Next Steps: What to Do Once Approved

Once you have received approval in principle, you’ll have 12 months to transfer nominated funds to New Zealand through the banking system. In some cases, you may be able to apply for an extension if you need more time for this. Alternately, you could apply for an NZ work visa, which will allow you to travel to New Zealand to sort out your investment during this time. Immigration NZ may also ask you to provide additional verifiable documents along with your passport. An experienced and reputable licensed immigration adviser based in NZ will be able to assist you with ensuring you have what you need.

However, the Investor Visa in NZ has a high failure rate, often due to immigration advisers or lawyers providing poor advice to their clients. That’s why it’s so important to speak with an investor team who have the right skills to manage this specialised area of policy – and that’s where Malcolm Pacific Immigration comes in. We will invest time right at the start to ensure you and your family are eligible before you apply.

Contact our Specialist Investor Team for Expert Assistance

If you are interested in investing in NZ and gaining permanent residency in New Zealand, get in touch with our specialist investor team to find out if you are eligible. Our investor team has regular contact with major NZ banks, investment advisers, NZ Government officials, and tax experts. As the market leader of the Investor Visa programme, Malcolm Pacific Immigration is the team to trust for your Investor Visa needs. Contact us today for any further questions about the complexities of the NZ immigration process.

Latest Updates

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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.

16 May 22

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.
10 Feb 22

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.

16 Dec 21