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Changes to Investor Migrant Settings 21 July 2022

The government has announced changes to New Zealand’s investor visa settings.

The changes are being made to better attract experienced, high-value investors who will bring growth opportunities to New Zealand businesses.

The new Active Investor Plus visa category replaces two existing categories which have been running for more than 12 years, and which facilitated passive investments.

In summary:

  • The new Active Investor Plus visa category replaces the existing Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories.
  • Eligibility criteria includes a minimum $5 million investment if it is a direct investment. It also encourages greater economic benefit to New Zealand companies by capping passive investment in listed equities to 50% and excluding bonds and property.
  • The visa category will open 19 September 2022.

Applications under the Investor 1 and Investor 2 visas will no longer be accepted after 27 July 2022. All applications in the current pipeline will continue to be processed. Clients with Expressions of Interest (EOI), valid Invitations to Apply (ITA), and applications for Investor categories 1 or 2 will be contacted by us about what they need to do.

The Active Investor Plus visa category will incentivise direct investment in New Zealand firms through a weighting system. Direct investments will receive a 3x weighting per dollar invested. This system has a minimum investment threshold of $15 million NZD or weighted equivalent. This means that applicants who want to make acceptable direct investments will be eligible with $5 million NZD.

This system sets lower weightings for indirect investments, such as private equity or venture capital funds (2x) and listed equities and philanthropy (1x). It also limits the scope for indirect investment by capping investment in listed equities to 50% of total investments. It also excludes bonds and property from being eligible asset classes.

This system will improve flexibility for investors by allowing them to invest over a three-year period. It will also allow investors to maintain their investments up to the end of a fourth year. Investor migrants will need to spend at least 117 days in New Zealand over the four-year investment period.

The new system will also include an English language requirement of an IELTS score of at least 5.0. This will ensure investors are able to share their knowledge and skills, and engage in the New Zealand investment network.

The eligibility criteria for each investment class will be confirmed soon and updated on our website.