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Investor category visa

Who is Investor Category Resident Visa for?

As goes from the name, Investor Category Resident Visa is for people who invested in New Zealand economy. Investing in New Zealand has never been easier. Being a business-friendly haven, every year the country attracts a lot of financial resources and human capital from those with an entrepreneurial mindset and background. This is a golden opportunity to capitalise on your accumulated investment, and in some cases business experience, and gain New Zealand residence with an opportunity to enjoy the blend of one of the world’s friendliest business environments and a one-of-a-kind, quality lifestyle. Investor visa will allow you to stay in New Zealand as a resident and, provided the conditions are met throughout the investment period, continue as such indefinitely.

2 types of Investor Visas

There are two sub-categories, Investor 1 and Investor 2. Both categories involve investment of an acceptable kind in New Zealand economy for a period of time. Below are the major differences given side-by-side for convenient comparison: 

 Investor 1Investor 2
Applicationdirect applicationEOI – ITA – apply 
CapUncappedUp to 400 applications a year can be approved
Investmentmin. $10 millionmin. $3 million*
Investment period3 years4 years 
Ageno restriction 65 or younger 
Business experienceno requirementat least 3 years 
English requirementno requirementat least IELTS 3.0 (applicant and family)
Time in New Zealand44 days in years 2,3 or 88 days in years 1-3 if min. $2.5 million invested in ‘growth investments’146 days in years 2-4, or 438 days during 4 years if min. $750000 invested in ‘growth investments’

* the minimum investment of $3 million, which qualifies for 10 points, may be increased, with each $250-thousand increment adding 5 points to the total under the category. An investment of $5 million, for example, may qualify for 50 points, $6 million – for 70, etc. 

Investor 1 Category process

It is simplified as compared to Investor 2 Category with a lot of requirements not applicable (see the table above). However, all the requirements related to the origin and the current state of funds are by no means easier to meet.

Utmost care must be taken when preparing the evidence as the price to pay may be a decline of the application. Talk to us free for 30 minutes to discuss any concerns you may have.


Investor 2 process highlights

StageOf note
Expression of Interest (EOI)

To be submitted in the prescribed manner, including a completed Investor 2 Category EOI form and the appropriate fee.
Providing information that is complete and correct in all aspects is the sole responsibility of the applicant. The stakes are high as the provision of incomplete or false information will lead to the decline of an application for a resident visa. Holders of residence class or temporary New Zealand visas will in this case be liable for deportation.


Entry to the Pool

EOIs may be entered into the Pool, provided 
- the applicant has confirmed meeting health and character requirements (no people in the application would be ineligible for a waiver or have committed serious offences under ss. 15 and 16 of the Immigration Act 2009);
- at least 1 point has been claimed for English proficiency;
- the applicant’s age has been confirmed to be 65 years or younger;
- points have been claimed for at least 3 years of business experience anda minimum of $3 million investment funds;
- the applicant has confirmed meeting fit and proper person description.
- a minimum to score to be entered to the Pool is 20 with
1 point for English language ability, 9 points for 3 years of business experience, 10 points for $3 million investment funds.


Selection from the Pool

EOIs are ranked based on the total points scored.
An EOI is current for 6 months from the date it was submitted to the Pool (except when there was no EOIs selection during the 6-month period)


Invitation to Apply (ITA)

After a credibility assessment of the EOI, INZ may seek further information to satisfy all the requirements. If an ITA is issued, the applicant will have 4 months to submit a residence application.
ITA is not a guarantee that the subsequent residence application will be approved. In fact, more rigorous checks will be carried out to decide the application.


Points for Age

Additional points may be scored for age. For example, 5 points if the applicant is between 50 and 59; 10 points if between 40 and 49, etc.


Points for Business Experience

At least 3 years are obligatory to demonstrate. The maximum experience period points can be awarded for is 15 years. The basis for determining business experience is full-time engagement of at least 30 hours per week.
Evidence of business experience may include
- business registration;
- company financial accounts;
- company tax returns and tax records;
- shareholder certificates or proof of ownership of business;
- job specifications;
- job assessments;
- personal tax returns;
- letters of appointment;
- certificates of service;
- strategic planning documents;
- references from employers on company letterhead, stating the occupation and dates of employment, containing the contact phone number and address of the employer.


Meeting English Language Requirements

At least 1 point must be claimed here;
the applicant who has claimed 1 point must complete a minimum of 20 hours of tuition at the approved New Zealand school or tertiary institution;
English language test results are to be provided to support claiming of the points;
if 20 points are claimed, an approved test results (e.g. IELTS 8.0) or evidence of an English speaking background, or other evidence, must be provided.


Investment FundsRequired to be kept for 4 years in the amount of at least $3 million.


Investment funds

Requirements for both types of Investor Category Resident Visa:

  • Must be owned by the principal applicant or jointly with their partner and/or dependent children (included in the application) 
  • Must have been acquired/earned in a legal way 
  • May have been gifted unconditionally, in accordance with local law
  • Must be unencumbered (free from debt, for example, any mortgage, lien, charge, encumbrance or any other creditor claims) 
  • Must not be borrowed 
  • Evidence of net funds/assets must be provided by the applicant. 
  • After the approval in principle, the nominated investment funds must be transferred directly to New Zealand through the banking system or a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system 

Ownership of investment funds

These may be owned 

  • solely by the principal applicant, or
  • jointly with the principal applicant’s partner, or 
  • jointly with the principal applicant’s children who are included in the application.

In the event of the funds being owned by the principal applicant and a third person (other than family), only the value proportionate to the principal applicant’s ownership in these joint funds or assets may be appropriately evidenced and claimed.

Acceptable Investment

To be deemed acceptable, an investment

  • would first of all meet its general definition, that is, of being able to bring financial return under normal circumstances;
  • is precluded from being used for personal use of the applicant;
  • is invested in New Zealand currency
  • is invested in one, or more than one, acceptable form specified by law, for example, 
    • New Zealand government-issued bonds, 
    • bonds issued by some New Zealand firms (e.g. those traded on NZDX, firms with high internationally recognised credit rating)
    • bonds in finance companies,
    • equity in New Zealand firms, registered banks, 
    • commercial property, 
    • residential property development, 
    • venture capital, 
    • ‘Angel funds or networks’, 
    • and others.

New Shores Migration specialists will work closely with you to find the most suitable investment form so that your application is accepted without a hitch. Book your consultation now. It is free for 30 minutes.

Investment Funds Evidence

The importance of this condition is often downplayed, which leads to disappointing rejections and plans frustration.

The evidence may include, but is not limited to, the following:

  • tax returns or certificates
  • pay slips
  • business financial statements
  • business shareholdings
  • dividends
  • receipts for property sales
  • bank certificates
  • share trading profits
  • evidence of gifted money
  • probate and other evidence of inherited money

Evidence of nominated funds and assets

  • Must not be more than 3 months old
  • Must be provided by a reputable third party

A member of business migration team at INZ may request further information and/or evidence if there are reasonable doubts as to the legality of how the funds have been acquired, the value of the funds, and so forth.

Transfer of Investment Funds

Once the residence application receives approval in principle, the principal applicant will be required to transfer the investment to New Zealand. A few straightforward rules apply here, which, nevertheless, may be a stumbling block for many.

  • The banking system is to be used for 
    • either a direct transfer to the principal applicant’s bank account in New Zealand,
    • or a transfer by a foreign exchange company to New Zealand.

Section 49 conditions

These conditions relate to all Investor Category Resident Visa types and are pursuant to section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009.

  • Time of retainment:
    • a minimum of 3 years for Investor 1,
    • a minimum of 4 years for investor 2;
  • A minimum period of time spent in New Zealand during the investment period applies (see below);
  • Should there be any change in New Zealand address, the applicant must inform INZ accordingly;
  • Notify INZ around the 2-year anniversary (within 3 months thereof) of keeping an acceptable investment in New Zealand, and provide evidence to that end;
  • Submit evidence to INZ within 3 months of the expiry date of the investment period that the requirements have been met;
  • If ‘growth investments’ were included, proof should be provided that these have been retained throughout the period.

Minimum period of time

  1. Investor 1 Category:
    1. 12% of each of the final two years of the three year investment period (44 days per year); or
    2. 88 days over the three year investment period (from their first day in New Zealand as a resident) if a minimum of NZ$2.5 million (25% of the NZ$10 million investment amount) is invested in ‘growth investments’.
  2. Investor 2 Category:
    1. 40% of each of the final three years of the four year investment period (146 days per year); or
    2. 438 days over the four year investment period (from their first day in New Zealand as a resident) if a minimum of NZ$750,000 (25% of NZ$3 million) is invested in ‘growth investments’.

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Our adviser and director has been in the same boat with most of our valued clients who come to seek his counsel. He came to New Zealand as a migrant in 2002 and has been calling it home since then. It is our pleasure to serve your needs and provide professional immigration advisor services to help your dreams come true.
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