Investment Visa

Are you looking to move to New Zealand? If you have $3 million to invest, you may be able to gain residence under the Investor Visa category. This guide explains the application process and what to expect.

What is an Investor Visa?

If you have money to invest in New Zealand, you may qualify for an Investor Visa. The investment visa category consists of 2 investor types:

  • Investor 1: NZ$10 million minimum for at least 3 years
  • Investor 2: NZ$3 million minimum for at least 4 years

Investor 1 is also called Investor Plus while Investor 2 is simply known as Investor. You may invest in a combination of equity in NZ firms, bonds, residential property development, and philanthropy. More detail is provided below.

Note: This category is not for entrepreneurs. If you want to work full-time in a business your own, consider the Entrepreneur Visa category.

What are the criteria?

The criteria for the investor category are quite complex, but to determine your eligibility start with these key requirements:

Requirements Investor Plus (Investor 1) Investor (Investor 2)
Age None 65 or under
Business experience None 3 years’ minimum
Minimum investment NZ$10 million for 3 years NZ$3 million for 4 years
English language, applicant None A competent speaker of English
English language, family members None Same as principal applicant or pre-purchase English as a second language (ESOL) tuition
Minimum time in NZ 44 days in New Zealand in each of the last 2 years of the 3-year investment period 146 days in New Zealand in each of the last 3 years of the 4-year investment period
Health and Character Applicants under both categories must meet health and character requirements

Your investment must be:

  • Capable of a commercial return
  • Capable of contributing to New Zealand’s economy
  • Not for personal use (such as a home you plan to live in)
  • Invested in New Zealand in NZ dollars

Acceptable investment types:

  • Equity in NZ firms, public or private, made directly or via managed funds (only the portion of the fund invested in NZ will be counted)
  • Bonds issued by the NZ government, local authorities, or approved NZ banks or finance companies
  • Residential property development not for personal use and designed to make a commercial return on the open market
  • Philanthropic investment, up to 15 percent of your investment total

Note: Your investment total does not include any net costs such as management fees.

Plan your investment profile wisely. Once your money is invested, you may not reallocate it without notifying Immigration New Zealand first. If you choose to reallocate funds, your eligibility may be reviewed, with an unfavourable outcome resulting in deportation.

To get the best possible return on your investment and negate the need to move funds, we recommend seeking assistance from an authorised financial advisor with experience in foreign investment. For professional help with financial services, real estate, tax law and more, visit our consultants’ directory.

What is the application process and how long does it take?

You may apply online or by post. For Investor 2 resident visas, Immigration New Zealand (INZ) uses a points-based system to assess eligibility. Before you can apply, you must send an expression of interest (EOI) to INZ detailing your business experience, investment, and how the funds were acquired. If your EOI is selected, you will be invited to apply for residence. You then have 4 months to lodge your application.

To be successful in your application, you must clearly document your business and financial history to INZ’s satisfaction. Because of the strict anti-money laundering regulations that apply to foreign investment in New Zealand, you will need to provide evidence of:

  • Your business experience
  • Ownership of any assets you plan to liquidate for your investment in NZ
  • Evidence of how you received or acquired these assets

To apply, send your application, supporting documents, and application fees to Immigration New Zealand.

You will need to time your application carefully to make sure you and your family are ready to sell your assets and move to New Zealand. If you are applying under the investor 2 category, you will also need to meet English-language requirements.

How we can assist

Our immigration law experts will review your case and offer you a clear pathway, helping you make the right decisions and apply under the correct criteria for the best chance of success.

We provide assistance in building your case and can also help you clarify your application to make it easier for Immigration New Zealand to make a decision about your suitability. 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.

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