Investor Visa to New Zealand
New Zealand is an island nation in the Pacific Ocean that is closely situated to Australia. Due to its growing economy, beautiful landscape, and thriving culture, New Zealand has become a popular destination for foreign nationals seeking to invest into another country.
Immigration to New Zealand – Option 1
New Zealand offers two investment-based immigration options. First, there is the Investor Plus Category (IP). The IP Category requires the investor to commit a total of NZ$10,000,000 in funds, assets, or a combination of the two. The investment must be owned by the applicant, or jointly by the applicant and his/her family, and must also have been legally acquired or earned.
Before transmitting the funds, the investor completes an application which asks for biographic details about the investor and family and where the investment funds originated (such as through savings from income or stock dividends, etc.)
After New Zealand approves the application, the investor and his family are issued 12-month work visas that allow them to come to the country to monitor the investment. The investor has 12 months to transfer the funds and direct them into an approved project such as into bonds issued by the New Zealand government or registered banks, or into residential property developments (though this timeframe can be extended upon request).
Once the money is committed, the funds must remain in the project for a period of three years. The investor will also need to be present in New Zealand for at least 44 days in the second and third year of the investment retention period.
Before the conclusion of the three-year investment period, the New Zealand government will contact the investor and ask the investor to provide proof that the investment was retained for the required period and that the investor spent the necessary amount of time in New Zealand during the investment period. Once the investor provides satisfactory proof addressing these two requests, the investor and family will receive their New Zealand permanent resident cards.
Immigration to New Zealand – Option 2
The second option is the Investor Category (IC). The IC option can be attractive to potential investors as the required investment amount is only NZ$1.5 million (though an investor can always commit more money than the basement required amount). The first step in filing the IC application is to submit to the New Zealand government an Expression of Interest form which highlights why the applicant should be chosen for this category, based upon various criteria. The criteria include an applicant’s age, ability to speak English, and business experience. To be selected, applicants must be no older than 65 and must have three years of business experience. Business experience will be acceptable for the IC if the experience involves the planning, organization, control, or senior level-management of a commercial enterprise that employs a minimum of five full-time workers or maintains a yearly turn-over of NZ$1 million.
If the investor’s Expression of Interest is selected, the investor can then submit the full investment-based application. The application must include the same information as that required by the IP category (biographic information about the investor and family and a description of the investment funds and their lawful origin).
However, the IC application also requires the submission of additional documents such as proof that the applicant and family meet the English language requirements, proof of the applicant’s claimed business experience (in the form of business formation and operating documents as well as employment verification letters and tax returns), proof that the applicant possesses the investment funds, and proof that the funds were obtained through a lawful course.
Similar to the IP category, once New Zealand approves the application, the investor will have 12 months to transfer the investment funds and direct them to an acceptable project in the country. Additionally, the funds must be retained – in this category, for four years – and the investor must be physically present in New Zealand for at least 146 days each year in the second, third, and fourth year of the investment period.
Finally, just like with the IP category, the New Zealand government will contact the investor before the conclusion of the four-year investment period, and will ask the investor for proof of the retained investment and proof that the investor met the physical presence requirements. Once New Zealand is satisfied these two requirements have been met, the investor and family will receive their permanent resident cards.