BJ3.10 Investment funds
- The principal applicant must invest a minimum of NZ$10 million in New Zealand for a period of three years.
- The principal applicant must:
- nominate funds and/or assets equivalent in value to NZ$10 million; and
- demonstrate ownership of these funds and/or assets (see BJ3.10.1); and
- demonstrate that the nominated funds and/or assets have been earned or acquired legally (see BJ3.10.1 (c) below).
- All invested funds must meet the conditions of an acceptable investment as set out under BJ3.10.25.
BJ3.10.1 Ownership of nominated funds and/or assets
- Nominated funds and/or assets may be owned either:
- solely by the principal applicant; or
- jointly by the principal applicant and partner and/or dependent children who are included in the resident visa application, provided a business immigration specialist is satisfied the principal applicant and partner have been living together for 12 months or more in a partnership that is genuine and stable (see R2.1.15 and R184.108.40.206 (b) and R220.127.116.11 (a)(i)). If so, the principal applicant may claim the full value of such jointly owned funds or assets for assessment purposes.
- If nominated funds and/or assets are held jointly by the principal applicant and a person other than their partner or dependent child, the principal applicant may only claim the value of that portion of funds and/or assets for which they provide evidence of ownership.
- The principal applicant may only nominate funds and/or assets that they earned or acquired legally, including funds and/or assets which have been gifted to them unconditionally and in accordance with local law. Where nominated funds and/or assets have been gifted to the principal applicant a business immigration specialist must be satisfied that the funds and/or assets being gifted were earned lawfully by the person/s gifting the funds and/or assets.
- The nominated funds and/or assets must be unencumbered.
- The nominated funds and/or assets must not be borrowed.
BJ3.10.5 Definition of 'funds earned or acquired legally'
- Funds and/or assets earned or acquired legally are funds and/or assets earned or acquired in accordance with the laws of the country in which they were earned or acquired.
- Business immigration specialists have discretion to decline an application if they are satisfied that, had the funds and/or assets been earned or acquired in the same manner in New Zealand, they would have been earned or acquired contrary to the criminal law of New Zealand.
BJ3.10.10 Definition of 'unencumbered funds'
Unencumbered funds are funds that are not subject to any mortgage, lien, charge and/or encumbrance (whether equitable or otherwise) or any other creditor claims.
BJ3.10.15 Funds already held in New Zealand
- Funds held in New Zealand at the time the application is made may be included in investment funds. However, periods of investment in New Zealand before approval in principle cannot be taken into account when calculating the three-year investment period.
- Funds held in New Zealand must originally have been transferred to New Zealand through the banking system, or a foreign exchange company that uses the banking system from the country or countries in which they were earned or acquired legally, or have been earned or acquired lawfully in New Zealand (see BJ7.10).
BJ3.10.20 Evidence of the principal applicant's nominated funds and assets
- Principal applicants must provide evidence of net funds and/or assets to the value of the required investment funds.
- Principal applicants must provide evidence to the satisfaction of a business immigration specialist that the nominated funds and/or assets were earned or acquired legally.
- All documents provided as valuations of assets must be:
- no more than three months old at the date the resident visa application is made; and
- produced by a reliable independent agency.
- A business immigration specialist may seek further evidence if they:
- are not satisfied that the nominated funds and/or assets were earned or acquired legally; or
- consider that the nominated funds and/or assets may have been gifted or borrowed without being declared; or
- are not satisfied with the valuation provided; or
- consider that the nominated funds and/or assets fail in some other way to meet the rules for investment funds.
BJ3.10.25 Definition of 'acceptable investment'
- An acceptable investment means an investment that:
- is capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances; and
- is not for the personal use of the applicant(s) (see BJ3.10.30); and
- is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency; and
- is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds (see BJ3.10.35) that comply with all relevant laws in force in New Zealand; and
- has the potential to contribute to New Zealand's economy; and
- is invested in either one or more of the following:
- For private equity investments to be acceptable, the business immigration specialist must be satisfied that the funds being invested are to be actively used by the company to, for example, fund company growth, pay down company debt or purchase capital items.
- Notwithstanding (a) above, where an investment fails to meet one of the acceptable investment requirements, a business immigration specialist may consider, on a case by case basis, whether the failure was beyond the control of the principal applicant and if satisfied that this was the case, may consider the investment acceptable.
- A Business Immigration Specialist may consider bonds in finance companies as an acceptable investment where the finance company:
- is a wholly-owned subsidiary of,
- raises capital solely for, and
- has all its debt securities unconditionally guaranteed by a New Zealand Stock Exchange listed company or a local authority.
Note: The value of an investment is based on the net purchase price (for example, less any accrued interest, commission, brokerage and/or trade levy), not on the face value of the investment.
BJ3.10.30 Personal use of investment funds
Personal use includes investment in assets such as a personal residence, car, boat or similar.
BJ3.10.35 Managed funds
- For the purposes of these instructions managed funds are defined as either:
- a managed fund investment product offered by a financial institution; or
- funds invested in equities that are managed on an investor's behalf by a fund manager or broker.
- In order to be acceptable as a form of investment managed funds must be invested only in New Zealand companies. Managed fund investments in New Zealand with international exposure are acceptable only for the proportion of the investment that is invested in New Zealand companies.
Example: Only 50% of a managed fund that equally invests in New Zealand and international equities would be deemed to be an acceptable investment as set out in BJ3.10.
BJ3.10.40 Residential property development
For the purposes of these instructions, residential property development(s) is defined as property(ies) in which people reside and is subject to the following conditions:
- the residential property must be in the form of new developments on either new or existing sites; and
- the residential property(ies) cannot include renovation or extension to existing dwellings; and
- the new developments must have been approved and gained any required consents by any relevant regulatory authorities (including local authorities), or if consents are not yet granted, evidence must be submitted that consents have been requested; and
- the purpose of the residential property investments must be to make a commercial return on the open market; and
- neither the family, relatives, nor anyone associated with the principal investor, may reside in the development.
BJ3.10.45 Venture capital funds
- For the purposes of these instructions, a venture capital fund is defined as a fund that invests capital in an early-stage or start-up (or seed) company or companies in exchange for an equity stake in that company or companies.
- In order for a venture capital fund investment to be deemed acceptable by a business immigration specialist, nominated funds can be placed in approved on-call accounts or venture capital funds, subject to the following conditions:
- applicants must have entered into a binding fund investment contract with an approved venture capital fund manager and into an approved fund structure (for example a New Zealand limited partnership), to supply an agreed amount of funds as committed capital; and
- the committed funds are a fixed commitment, managed on an applicant’s behalf by a fund manager or broker, to be drawn down over a stated period; and
- nominated funds can either be committed to an acceptable investment or placed into on-call accounts which meet the specifications in BJ3.10.45(e); and
- applicants must maintain a level of funds in any approved on-call account equal to the nominated amount minus any funds already committed to the venture capital fund; and
- applicants must be able to demonstrate that all funds placed into on-call accounts are in those accounts pending call-up by their nominated venture capital fund.
- In order to be approved, all on-call accounts or venture capital funds must be managed on an applicant’s behalf by a fund manager or broker and held in New Zealand in New Zealand dollars.
- Funds and fund administrators or managers must be able to provide confirmation that both funds and managers are fully compliant with any legislative and regulatory obligations, applicable codes of practice and licensing or registration requirements under New Zealand law, including any requirements imposed by the Financial Markets Authority.
- For the purposes of these instructions, acceptable on-call accounts are defined as an investment that can be liquidated to meet the needs of the venture capital fund, including trusts, bonds, or shares in equities.