New-Zealand Permanent Residency Introduction
New Zealand currently offers two investment immigration visa options: the New Zealand (Investor 1) Visa and the New Zealand (Investor 2) Visa. Successful applicants of either visas can gain permanent residency for themselves and their family (spouse and dependent children of 24 years or younger) in New Zealand, which is considered one of the most ideal destinations for immigration boasting a high quality of living with one of the world’s best education and health care systems.
To apply for Investor 1, the applicant must invest NZD 10 million in an acceptable investment in New Zealand for 3 years. Upon approval of the visa, the applicant is required to spend a minimum of 44 days of the last 2 years of their 3-year investment period in New Zealand. If the applicant has invested a minimum of NZD 2.5 million in growth investments, they will need to spend 88 days in New Zealand within the 3-year investment period. There are no age, language, education, or work experience requirements to qualify for Investor 1.
To qualify for Investor 2, the applicant must demonstrate at least 3 years of recognized business experience, be 65 years or younger, and meet the requisite language requirements. The applicant must investment a minimum of NZD 3 million into an acceptable investment for a minimum of 4 years. However, if the applicant invests in growth investments including residential new developments, whilst they have to show the availability of funds for NZD 3 million the actual investment amount is reduced by NZD 500,000 to NZD 2.5 million.
Once they have been approved for an Investor 2 visa, the applicant must spend a minimum of 438 days over 4 years in New Zealand. Different residency requirements may apply depending on the type of investments made.
“Acceptable investments” for either streams include bonds issued by the New Zealand government, local authorities, or by New Zealand registered banks, equity in New Zealand public/private firms, managed funds where the amount invested relates wholly to New Zealand companies, new residential property developments, which are regularly approved by competent authorities, some commercial properties, and philanthropic investments.
Which pathway is best suited to your needs?
Each pathway has its advantages, and the most appropriate route depends on the needs of the applicant as well as their ability to meet the requisite criteria. The higher investment for Investor 1 undoubtedly equates to less stringent requirements including:
- Minimum investment of NZD 10 million
- No age limit
- No business experience requirement
- Lower number of minimum days of physical residence
- No quota
- No point-based system
- Only required to hold the investment for a minimum of 3 years
Whilst a lower investment for the Investor 2 visa requires:
- Minimum investment of NZD 3 million
- Need to hold the investment for a minimum of 4 years
- Open to those that are 65 years or younger
- 3 years of recognised business experience
- Quota of 400 applications a year
- Points-based system to assess language, health and character
The above are some of the considerations an applicant needs to consider when deciding which path to take.
The application process for Investor 1 requires an applicant to submit an application form along with supporting documents and an application fee. Once the applicant has been approved, they have 12 months to transfer the nominated investment funds to New Zealand and then into an acceptable investment. The applicant must also show that the funds came from a source named in the application. After the visa is granted, the applicant must maintain the funds in the acceptable investment and ensure they spend the required amount of time in New Zealand. At the end of the investment period, if the investment is maintained during the 3 years there is a possibility for the applicant, and any family member included in the application, to apply for permanent residence.
For Investor 2, the applicant will have to submit an Expression of Interest (“EOI”) form together with the application fee and also satisfy the eligibility point test. If the applicant is awarded enough points for their EOI, nominated applicants will receive an invitation to apply and will then have 4 months to send their application with supporting documentation. Once the applicant has been approved, they will have 12 months to transfer the nominated investment funds to New Zealand and into an acceptable investment. The applicant must also show that the funds came from a source named in the application. After the visa is granted, the applicant must maintain the funds in the acceptable investment and ensure that they spend the required amount of time in New Zealand. At the end of the investment period, if the investment is maintained during the 4 years there is a possibility for the applicant, and any family member included in the application, to apply for permanent residence.
After 5 years of residency, applicable to either route, there is also the possibility to apply for New Zealand Citizenship.
The entire immigration journey, whether Residency by Investment or Citizenship by Investment program, takes a significant amount of time, resources, and focus over an extended period. If you would like further advice on Investor 1, Investor 2 or other residency visas and citizenship by investment programs offered, we advise working with professional immigration lawyers as this not only significantly increases your chances of successfully obtaining your desired visa, but it also protects you from committing any kind of immigration fraud as you navigate through this procedure .
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