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Investor Category

Application under the Investor Category is by invitation once an Expression of Interest has been lodged which shows that the applicant:
  • is younger than 55 years old
  • has NZ$2 million to invest for five years
  • has at least five years business experience
  • is healthy
  • is of good character
  • meets English language requirements
The potential investor's partner and/or any dependent children may be included in the residence application providing they are also of good health and character. They must also meet the English language requirements, alternatively they may pre-purchase English language tuition which they will have to commence upon arrival in New Zealand.

To be granted residence under the Investor Category, the applicant will be required to demonstrate that they could successfully settle in and contribute to New Zealand by showing that they intend to make New Zealand their main home and that they can maintain themselves and their family in New Zealand.

Investor FAQs

1. What is the new process for application to New Zealand as an Investor?
It involves a two-step process that is very similar to the Skilled Migrant Category application. First, you fill in an Expression of Interest in becoming a resident under the Investor Category. This means you provide all the key information to meet the criteria to apply under this policy. No documentation is requested at this stage, it is literally just an expression of interest. Once assessed as meeting the right criteria, you are invited to apply, at which stage you fill in a residence application. Once all of your claims have been verified and all the necessary documents have been sighted, your application will be approved in principle. This is the stage where you will be asked to transfer your funds to New Zealand.

2. How much money do I need to become a resident?
You will need to have NZ$2 million to be eligible for residence under this category. However, there are also a number of other criteria that you will have to meet. In other words, just having NZ$2 million does not guarantee you residence (see question 6). You will need to allow these funds to be held by the New Zealand Government for five years, during which time you will have very limited access to them (see question 15).

3. If I am granted residence, will there be any conditions on my permit?
Yes. Your residence permit will have conditions on it that will apply for the first five years, ie. the length of the investment period. These conditions will be that you:
    • retain NZ$2 million in an acceptable investment for five years
    • make New Zealand your main home by the end of the investment period, and
    • participate in monitoring and evaluation as required.
You will need to provide evidence at the end of the five years that you have met these conditions so they can then be lifted.

4. I have NZ$2 million that my family gave to me as a gift. Can I nominate these funds?
Yes, the funds you nominate as your investment funds in your Expression of Interest can be gifted to you, but it needs to be your money; that is, you need to own it or own it jointly with your partner or dependent children.

5. Can I borrow the money?
No. Borrowed money is not your money; that is, it legally belongs to someone else.

6. I have a large amount of capital but it isn't in cash. Can I still apply?
Yes, you can still apply. You will have to liquidate your capital (convert your assets into cash) in order to transfer them to New Zealand. You will be allowed a certain amount of time to carry out this liquidation.

7. What else will I need besides NZ$2 million to gain residence?
You will need to demonstrate that you have at least five years' business experience, meet health, age, character, and English language requirements, and will be able to settle and contribute to New Zealand. You will also need to provide evidence that you earned or gained your funds legally and that they were transferred to New Zealand in accordance with the New Zealand government's policy.

8. What is the return on my funds?
You will receive a return based on the rate of inflation (as measured by New Zealand's Consumers Price Index). The Consumers Price Index is determined by the national statistical office, Statistics New Zealand.

9. What if New Zealand goes through a period of deflation? Will I lose money?
The return of your principal is guaranteed. If there is a period of sustained deflation and at the end of the five years the total payment to you (including your return) is less than the original investment, then your return will be adjusted so that the return plus the principal equals the original investment (minus any previous repayments made as a result of having a business plan approved (see question 15). You are also guaranteed the return of your principal if you want to withdraw all your funds before the end of the five year investment period.

10. Do I have to pay tax on any return I make on the funds?
Income earned on investment funds is taxable income. During the term of the investment, Resident Withholding Tax (RWT) will be deducted and paid to the Inland Revenue Department (IRD) for tax residents, and Approved Issuer Levy (AIL) will be paid to the IRD for non-residents.
For tax residents, the return on the investment will be grossed-up by an amount equal to the RWT rate that is likely to be paid by the majority of eligible tax resident investors (currently set at 39 percent). There will be no gross-up for non-resident taxpayers as the non-resident withholding tax deduction is set at zero.

11. How do I transfer my money?
When your residence application has been approved in principle, you must use the banking system to transfer your money, initially to a New Zealand bank account you have set up in your own name. Once the New Zealand government is satisfied that the funds you have transferred to this account are from the same source as those you nominated when you expressed your interest in this category, you will be asked to sign a contract agreeing to certain terms and conditions, then transfer the money to the New Zealand Government.

12. Who will hold my money?
The money will be held by the New Zealand Government.

13. What will the Government use my money for?
The New Zealand Government will direct funds from the Investor Category towards capacity building, sustainable growth, innovation and infrastructure projects. The allocation of the funds to these kinds of projects will be carried out in the annual Budget process.

14. How secure is my money?
The security and return of your funds is guaranteed by the New Zealand Government. The administration of the funds will be managed by the New Zealand Treasury, which is experienced in managing funds of this nature.

15. Can I take any money before the end of the five-year period?
You may request to withdraw up to half of your money after just two years to invest in a suitable business proposition if you submit a business plan and pay a fee. The key to the success of your request is in showing that the business in which you will use the investment funds will be of benefit to New Zealand.

16. What happens if I invest in a business and then sell it before the end of the investment period?
You will need to either return the funds withdrawn from the investment to the New Zealand Government, or submit another business plan and get this approved. Otherwise, you will breach the condition of your permit that you retain NZ$2 million in an acceptable investment for five years (see question 3). You can keep any profit you have made from your investment for your own personal use.

17. What happens if I want to take my money out early?
You can request to withdraw from the scheme and take out all your money before the five-year investment period has been completed, but if you do so, you will be breaching the conditions of your residence permit (see question 7). As a result, your residence permit will be revoked and you will no longer be a resident of New Zealand.
Your funds will be returned to your New Zealand bank account adjusted for inflation and tax, as per the processes described in this section in earlier questions. If you want to stay in New Zealand, you will need to apply for another type of permit. If you don't have a valid permit you will have to leave New Zealand.

18. How do I get my money back after five years?
At the end of the five-year period your funds will be transferred automatically back to your New Zealand bank account adjusted for inflation and tax. It is important you notify the New Zealand government immediately if you change your bank account details so your money is correctly returned to you.

19. When do I become a New Zealand citizen?
As an Investor, you will be eligible for citizenship once the conditions of your permit are lifted at the end of the five-year investment period (see question 3).

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Solicitors appointed by Accurate Immigration are Regulated by the New Zealand Law Society.

The information on this page is intended to be general in nature and should not be construed as applying to the reader's individual set of circumstances. It does not constitute legal advice. Eligibility requirements and the application of laws vary on a case-by-case basis. Furthermore, Immigration laws, regulations and policies are always subject to change at any time without advance notice.
2001 - 2007