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.
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.
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".
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.
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.
The legislation defines direct investment as:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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
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.
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.
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.
Get in touch with us today!
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our team is on standby, ready to help.
Our highly experienced licensed Immigration team will take away the stress and worry of navigating the complicated world of New Zealand Immigration. All you need to do is get in touch. Our employer team is on standby, ready to help.
We stay on top of the most important updates to immigration law. Browse below or subscribe and get updates straight to your inbox.
We stay on top of the most important updates to employment and immigration law. Browse below or subscribe and get updates straight to your inbox.
Our team keep ahead of all the latest immigration developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.
Our team keep ahead of all the latest employment and immigration law developments and post updates regularly. Stay up to date by signing up to our newsletter and get these updates directly to your inbox.
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.
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.
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.
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.
From 19 July 2021
From 30 June 2021
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.
From mid-2020 (delayed)
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.
From 15 February 2021
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.
From 7 October 2020
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.
From 27 July 2020
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.
From 27 May 2020
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.
Immigration NZ is now prioritising Skilled Migrant Residence applications where the main (principal) applicant meets the criteria:
From 24 February 2020
From 7 October 2019
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.
From 1 November 2021
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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:
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:
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:
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.
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.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
*Excludes high-risk countries.
The work visa categories set to close are:
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.