Visa News
October 17, 2022

Investor Visas Get A Shake-Up: What Does It Mean for NZ?

The New Active Investor Visa is changing how migrant investors can now gain permanent residency. In this article, learn how this will benefit NZ’s economy.
Investor Visas Get A Shake-Up: What Does It Mean for NZ?
NZ Investor Visas Get A Shake Up | Malcolm Pacific Immigration

On 19 September 2022, a revised NZ Investor Visa category called Active Investor Plus was released. The new Active Invest Plus Visa (AIPV) is part of the NZ Government's Immigration Rebalance Strategy.

The Government plans to increase productivity, the levels of highly-skilled workers and attract experienced, high-value investors to support our economic and regional development. 

What Is the New Active Investor Plus Visa?

The new Active Investor Plus visa replaces the previous NZ investment visa categories to ensure higher levels of participation from investors in our economy. The change has come about to rebalance the types of investment prioritised, as the Government aims to bring more value to New Zealand's business growth and attract international expertise.

In the previous decade, over NZ$12 billion was injected into our economy by migrant investors. However, this often was the result of passive investment strategies.

By attracting more active investors, the Government aims to deliver more value from overseas talent over a longer period of time. It is hoped that overseas investors migrating to New Zealand will play an active role in growing Kiwi companies. 

What Is the Purpose of the New AIPV?

Incentivising investors is predicted to provide capital, connections, and experience to grow New Zealand companies and help them generate global success. 

The Minister of Immigration, Micheal Wood, states "The new visa category will help to attract investors that will remain in New Zealand for the long term, bringing their skills and experience to increase our productivity and competitiveness, supporting our transition to a high wage, productive economy". 

What Are the New Investor Visa Changes?

The new Active Investor Plus visa category replaces the existing Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories and introduces a weighted system. The system is designed to encourage migrants that want to move to New Zealand to help the economy and fund Kiwi companies. 

There is an increase to the minimum investment threshold of NZ$15 million from NZ$10 million. This minimum threshold increase applies to applicants of the Active Investor Visa, and there are four types of investment a migrant can consider. 

Each type has its own weighting based on the value it delivers to the New Zealand economy. Depending on active investments, potential migrants are asked to invest between NZ$5 million and NZ$15 million.

Investor migrants now need to spend at least 117 days in New Zealand over the four-year investment period, which has been extended from 88 days under the previous Investor 1 visa criteria.

How Do Investor Visa Changes Benefit the New Zealand Economy?

What Are the New Investor Visa Changes?

With the Government focused on immigration rebalance, the changes to the Investor Visa work towards improving our industries by attracting experienced overseas business leaders. 

By incentivising direct investment, it is envisaged that New Zealand businesses will benefit more from these migrant investors' global experience, connections, and monetary investment. The weighted structure now awards investments that will be doing good for Kiwi business and fine-tunes the passive investment structure to reduce the impact on our property market.

There are several ways of investing under the Investor Visa changes, both directly and indirectly, to gain permanent resident status.

If you have any questions about the new Active Investor Visa changes, get in touch with our specialist immigration Investor team. Our licensed immigration advisers can help you understand your options for investing in New Zealand.

What Is Direct Investment?

The legislation defines direct investment as:

  • Investing capital into an entity that has already received or will receive funding. 
  • Investing in an entity listed on the NZTE Live Deals platform. 
  • Investing that otherwise aligns with the NZTE investment sectors of focus. The investor, in this case, should provide satisfactory evidence of market validation, feasibility, or other reasonable diligence concerning the entity. 

Provides Growth to NZ Economy 

Direct investors seeking a hands-on approach to developing their investment under the new policy are awarded the highest weighting. For example, an applicant investing in a private entity can meet the Active Investor Plus Visa requirements by investing NZ$5 million to meet the required threshold.

Increases Expertise to New Zealand Businesses

Direct investments are incentivised to provide more expertise to New Zealand businesses. For example, direct investors will offer more benefits to local businesses as they will likely provide more global experience and connections than indirect investors.

What Are the Indirect Investment Types?

The new system increases the value threshold of passive investments. These indirect types have been given a lower weighted threshold for migrants wishing to use these types of investments to make New Zealand their home. The system also caps the investment in listed equities and philanthropy to 50% of the total investments. 

The three categories within the indirect investment type include managed funds, philanthropy, and listed equities. 

Migrants holding investments in managed funds, like private equity or venture capital fund investment, will now be expected to invest NZ$7.5 million during the 48 months to qualify for the visa. 

Whilst migrants with listed equities and philanthropic investments will not receive additional benefits through this scheme and are expected to invest the total threshold of NZ$15 million.  

Changes to Managed Funds to Secure New Zealand Investment

Ensuring the New Zealand investment first policy is key to new reforms and applies to Managed Fund investment. 

The acceptance criteria for this investment type ensure that the investor's fund manager is licensed by the Financial Markets Authority and is a New Zealand Resident Entity. The fund should have a minimum of 70% of Net Committed Capital made available to the Managed Investment Scheme allocated to investing in businesses that benefit New Zealand. 

Exclusions to Ensure Investment Is in New Zealand's Benefit

Property and bond investments are now excluded from the asset classes to provide more stability to New Zealand's property market and ensure the investment prioritises New Zealand's economic growth. 

What Is the NZ Government Doing to Attract Investors?

Active investment into a potential foreign market could limit the number of willing people to apply. The Government recognises this risk by incentivising a lower monetary value of direct investment funding and allowing flexibility around the timing of investment to curb this potential issue. 

Minimum Initial Investments

An investor migrant applying for the NZ Active Investor Visa is granted six months to make a minimum initial investment whilst the remainder of the funds can be placed in holding investments. This allows the new investor to carry out due diligence.

This initial investment is also weighted by type of investment.

Direct investments - NZ$100,000

Managed funds - NZ$500,000

Listed equities/Philanthropy - NZ$1 million

Investor Match-Making Services

NZTE is a crucial link between investors and prospects for profitable investments, as they help potential migrant investors be matched with active investment opportunities in New Zealand more effectively.

Increased Timescale of Investment 

Migrant Investors are given 18 months to invest NZ$7.5 million or the weighted equivalent into an acceptable investment. This is followed by an additional 18  months to invest the remaining balance. Permanent residency can then be granted after 48 months with the caveat that the total investment is NZ$15 million or weighted investment is retained into acceptable investments. 

Get Investor Visa NZ Advice From Immigration Experts

If you want to understand more about NZ's immigration new visa changes and how they may impact you, get in touch with Malcolm Pacific Immigration.

We have directly helped thousands of investors and their families secure Permanent Residence Visas leading to over $15 billion in the New Zealand economy.

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

We invest our time to get to know you, your family and your goals to support your application. We are the best at what we do and will always stand behind what we say.

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