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Investor Visa New Zealand

Investor Visa New Zealand

In 2024, foreign businessmen who want to invest in New Zealand have the possibility to apply for the Active Investor Plus Visa. Under this program, investors can obtain permanent residency in a period of 4 years, if they maintain the conditions of their visa.

Foreign investors interested in developing a business activity in New Zealand have the possibility of applying for a New Zealand investment visa under the Active Investor Plus visa, which replaced previous investor visas, the Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa programs.

 Quick Facts  
  Nationalities accepted (EU/Non-EU)

all third country nationals (EU and non-EU included) 

Business investment option (YES/NO)

yes, depending on the selected visa program (Investor 1 or Investor 2) 

Real estate investment option (YES/NO)

Other investment options
(if available) 
yes (foreign businessmen can invest in bonds, private/public companies’ equity, philantropic investments, investment funds)


Living requirement in New Zealand  (YES/NO) For Investor 1 visa the visa holder must spend at least 44 days in the last 2 years in New Zealand or 88 days in the 3 years for which the visa is valid; for the Investor 2 program, the visa holder must spend 438 days in the 4 year period or 146 days for each of the 2nd, 3rd and 4th years 
Residence or direct citizenship option

citizenship can be obtained after 5 years of residency in
New Zealand and if the investment is still maintained 

Direct immigration with family members (YES/NO)


Family members allowed to join the program available for the spouse of the applicant and the children with an age below 24 years old 
Residence visa/citizenship processing time (approx.)   permanent residence visas are processed in a period of minimum 76 days to 6 months / for citizenship, approximately 12 months  
Additional financial requirements for family members (YES/NO)  not specified 
Timeframe for obtaining citizenship/residency by investment  the same as presented above 
Dual citizenship permitted (YES/NO) yes (certain limitations can appear based on the law where the foreigner has his or her citizenship) 
Reasons to choose New Zealand  developed economy, stable political system, openess for foreign investments, 1st country for doing business, 1st for the ease of starting a business, 1st on corruption transparency, 5th on business friendliness, 6th on innovation 
Personal income tax rate varies from 10,5% to 39% (progressive rates based on the income of the person)  
Visa free travel to other countries (approx. number of countries)  180 countries 

They are required to invest at least NZD $15 million (the sum is calculated based on a weighting system) in specific types of sectors and government approved projects and they can relocate here in 2024 with their family members (investments in property are generally not allowed, but some exemptions apply). Investors are required to be present in New Zealand in 2023 at least 117 days per year.

The new investor visa (Active Investor Plus visa) allows foreign investors to relocate here with close family members, including children with an age of maximum 24 years old. For those who want to apply in 2024, it is worth knowing that if the New Zealand authorities approve the application, the transfer of funds should be made in maximum 6 months since the approval.

You can watch the video below on how to obtain an investor visa in New Zealand:

Our immigration lawyer in New Zealand can present the basic requirements that are imposed the current investor visa available here and can provide in-depth information on the investment legislation applicable here. If you need legal assistance on how to invest in this country, you can easily receive the advice of our lawyer.

What are the main conditions to obtain the Active Investor Plus visa in New Zealand?

Just like in the case of any other visa issued here, investors have to comply with the minimum requirements imposed by this visa type in order to have the right to migrate to New Zealand.

Considering the complexity of this visa type, our immigration lawyer in New Zealand is ready to provide the necessary legal assistance, and, in the list below, has prepared few highlights of this new investment program:

  • investors must pay a processing fee which starts from NZD 7,900;
  • the application can be processed in a period of around 11 months (80% of the applications are processed within this timeframe);
  • investments in property are allowed only through investments funds (exchange traded funds or managed funds), as long as maximum 20% of the funds’ assets are invested in property;
  • investors do not have to invest the entire sum of money at once, they can make an initial investment ranging from NZD 100,000 to NZD 1 million, depending on the investment pathway chosen.

The costs and the timeframe for the processing of the visa are similar regardless of the nationality of the applicant, therefore if you want to immigrate from USA to New Zealand under this program or you are the national of another state, similar processing conditions will apply.

The advantage of the program is that investors can obtain residency in New Zealand on an indefinite basis – this can be achieved once the foreigner becomes a permanent resident. Our immigration lawyer in New Zealand can offer further information on residency matters and citizenship, for those who plan to become New Zealanders.

What are the main investments for an investor visa in New Zealand?

The legislation on immigration in New Zealand prescribes several categories of investments that are accepted when applying for an investor visa. The foreigner is eligible for applying for an investor visa in New Zealand provided that he or she will be interested in holding equity in a locally founded company. It is also worth knowing that the investment can be direct or made through various funds.

Another type of investment that is available for businessmen who migrate to New Zealand through a business visa is the investment in property development projects, as long as they are not for the investors’ personal use.

The investments in such projects can only be made by investing in exchange traded funds that invest in real estate. You may find out more details on the legislation referring to this matter from our immigration lawyer in New Zealand.

As we presented earlier in this article, philanthropic investments are also of importance for the New Zealand society and the local authorities encourage foreign businessmen in applying for a visa issued for this purpose. The businessman can obtain an investor visa in New Zealand for philanthropic purposes and the value of the philanthropic investment can account for maximum NZD 7,5 million.

What is the weighted system of the Active Investor Plus visa?

Foreign businessmen who want to participate in this new investment program must know that the types of acceptable investments regulated by the Active Investor Plus visa have different values (different weightings). To make it clearer, those who want to migrate to New Zealand under this program should be aware of the following:

  • the 1st category of investments is listed equities, which can account for maximum NZD 7,5 million from the total investment – their weighting is 1 to 1, meaning that for each dollar invested, investors will be accorded the value of NZD 1;
  • the 2nd category is represented by philanthropic investments, which have the same characteristics as the ones mentioned in the 1st category;
  • the 3rd category refers to managed funds, where, for each dollar invested, the investors will be accorded with a value of NZD $2;
  • the 4th category is represented by direct investments, where each dollar invested will be counted as $3.

As mentioned in the beginning of the article, the value of the investment must be NZD 15 million in order to qualify for the investor visa in New Zealand under the Active Investor Plus. However, the weighting system allows foreign businessmen to invest a smaller amount.

For instance, for the 4th category of investments, the ratio is 1 to 3, which means that the investors can invest only NZD 5 million and they will reach the minimum threshold of NZD 15 million.

This is because direct investments, which can refer to investments in private businesses, are more encouraged and the New Zealand authorities incentivize more this segment.

Additionally, it must be noted that this program allows investors to follow a single investment pathway, such as the 4th investment option, or they can also invest in a combination of investments, according to their preferences.

For the 1st and 2nd options, each dollar invested is seen as NZD 1, therefore, investors will have to prepare a capital of NZD 15 million (with the mention that each category is capped at NZD 7,5 million, thus, it will be necessary to select at least 2 investment pathways at the same time, according to the New Zealand Trade and Enterprise).

What types of legal entities can investors register in New Zealand in 2024?

The legislation on foreign investments in New Zealand provides very flexible and attractive policies. Foreign investors are allowed to establish any of the legal entities prescribed by the commercial law.

Those who want to immigrate to New Zealand may register a trust, a limited company or a limited partnership. When registering any of these company types, specific conditions have to be respected. For instance, when registering a trust, the investor has to be the sole trustee and has to be a natural person. In the case in which the investor is a corporate entity, then the right of establishing a trust will not be granted.

When registering a limited company or a limited partnership, the investor will be able to benefit from the same rights as it is in the case of local businessmen.

One can immigrate in New Zealand through business visas, which have different requirements (with much lower investment thresholds and which are generally addressed to persons who want to relocate here and have their own businesses).

You can contact our immigration lawyer for additional details on the process of applying for an investor visa in New Zealand. Our lawyer can also present the types of investments that can be accepted in the case of the Active Investor Plus visa and the types of companies the investor can set up here.