Investment Structure for the Active Investor Visa

The new Active Investor Plus visa was launched in September 2022 and replaces the Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories.

It uses a weighting system aimed to incentivise investor migrants to directly invest in New Zealand’s high growth investment opportunities.

In this article we explain the process to apply and how the weighting system for investing works.

What is the process for an Active Investor Plus visa application?

Once a person has met health and character requirements for a visa, they will be assessed to ensure they have the required money to invest, and this has been gained from legitimate sources.

The eligibility criteria includes a minimum $5 million investment if an investor is making a direct investment in a New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE) business – with the threshold to reach being $15m.

Applicants must have either the entire $15m available at the start, or if they have less, be able to invest their available funds in a way that it can reach that amount using a weighting system. For instance, $5m if they’re making a direct investment (with 3x weighting, i.e. every dollar directly invested is weighted equivalent to $3 invested); or $7.5m if they’re investing in a managed fund, which is weighted at 2x that amount, (i.e every dollar invested in a managed fund is weighted equivalent to $2 invested).

Once an application is approved, the investor must transfer their investment funds into a New Zealand holding account.

They will then need to invest a minimum amount of that money in an acceptable investment category, have 50% of the total amount nominated for investment invested into their specified acceptable investment within eighteen months, and have invested the entire amount within 36 months from the date the funds arrived in New Zealand.

They must keep the entire amount invested for another 12-month period to complete the 48 months (four years) of investment. Over that whole 48 months, the investor also must reside for 117 days in New Zealand.

The options for investment are:

Managed funds, direct investment, listed equities and philanthropy, with the most weighting given to direct investment (3x), followed by managed funds (2x), then listed equities and philanthropy (1x).

If you don’t like the investment options on offer, you can seek out a business you’d like to invest in, but these need to be approved by NZTE.

What is the limit to investment options?

Visa holders can split their cash into different investments, though the quickest way to reach the necessary $15m threshold is putting the majority into direct investment.

However, there is little freedom in this category to choose companies you’re particularly interested in – you are limited to those on the NZTE live deals platform, and businesses approved by them.

It also disadvantages those who are not sophisticated investors and want somebody to manage their investment for them – they will need to invest more due to the lower weighting given to managed funds and listed equities.

How we can assist

Help with navigating the system

Often the most difficult aspect of an investor application is demonstrating how the funds were lawfully acquired. We guide our clients in the simplest and easiest manner to do that.

We help applicants understand the immigration process and required stages to ensure the timetable for migrating and investment works best for them.

We can discuss and plan what is the most appropriate mix of investment based on the funds available for use in the application.

Help with compliance and eligibility

If the funds nominated for investment are in asset protection structures that are not legally owned by the investor, we find solutions to ensure those funds can be utilised and compliant with immigration requirements. 

We facilitate introduction to NZTE to discuss the nature of preferred investment.

Finally, we prepare and manage the application through the process of approval by Immigration New Zealand and assist in obtaining the necessary approvals from NZTE. 

Help after the application has been submitted

After application care includes overseeing the transfer and initial investment into holding accounts and supervising the investment of the balance of funds to ensure compliance with immigration requirements.

Following approval, we will monitor and track the investment to ensure that conditions can be removed from residence and a permanent resident visa is issued.

Your dream of moving to New Zealand is too important to risk by making mistakes on your application. NZIL will make sure everything is correct and take the stress out of the process. Contact us today to start the journey.

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