INVESTING IN NEW ZEALAND
New Zealand might be a small country, but it offers a surprisingly large range of investment opportunities. The Migrant Investment Category is specifically designed to attract experienced business people willing to embrace those opportunities and make a
significant contribution to the country’s economy.
Under this category, applicants making a financial capital investment in local New Zealand firms and government (and meeting certain criteria) are entitled to resident visas for themselves and their families.
The Migrant Investment Category provides applicants with two choices. The first, the Investor 1 Category, requires applicants to invest NZ$10 million in New Zealand for a period of three years. The second, the Investor 2 Category, requires applicants to invest a minimum of NZ$3 million in New Zealand for a period of four years.
How does it work?
In addition to the different levels of investment, each of these two sub-categories also requires applicants to meet different criteria. The Investor 1 Category has less requirements overall (for example, applicants don’t have to sit English tests or provide evidence for any business experience). But the Investor 2 Category is still more popular thanks to its lower minimum level of investment.
In the Investor 2 Category, Immigration NZ uses a points-based system to assess applicants’ eligibility. First, applicants complete an Expression of Interest (EOI). This allows them to provide details about their identity, family, business experience, English language ability, assets and investment funds - plus the total points they could score based on their personal details.
Then, around once a fortnight, Immigration NZ selects a number of EOIs with the highest points and issues the chosen applicants with an Invitation to Apply (ITA) for resident visas under the Investor 2 Category.
How has it changed?
The Investor 2 Category has been heavily promoted since its launch in 2009 and its popularity has grown accordingly.
In its first year, only 10 applications were approved, but between 2016 and 2017 the category reached its maximum quota of 400 approved applications. Faced with such high demand, in June 2017 Immigration NZ increased the required minimum investment from the original NZ $1.5 million to the current level of NZ $3 million.
Although this caused the number of approved applications to drop down to 146 between 2017 and 2018, the Investor 2 Category remains the most popular option for business migrants to New Zealand. From the date of its launch until 2017, around 1,400 families have successfully obtained resident visas under this category.
Take a look at the Investor 2 Category requirements below.
Investor 2 Category
Principal applicant must be aged 65 years or younger at the time of application
Principal applicant must have a minimum of 3 years of recognised business experience
Principal applicant must nominate a minimum of NZ$3 million to invest in New Zealand for a period of 4 years
Principal Applicant English Requirement
Principal applicant must obtain an overall score of 3 in IELTS test
Secondary Applicants English Requirements
Partners and dependent children aged 16 years and over may either obtain an overall score of 3 in IELTS test or pre-purchase ESOL tuition
Minimum Time Spent in New Zealand
Principal applicant must spend 146 days in New Zealand in each of the last three years of a four year investment period or 438 days in NZ over the four year investment period if a minimum of NZ$750,000 investment funds are in growth investments
Health and Character
Applicants must meet health and character requirements
20 extra points for a minimum of NZ$750,000 of nominated investment funds in growth investments.