New Zealand Golden Visa

New Zealand investor visa

New Zealand over the years has attracted several entrepreneurs and ultra rich families through the investor residence visa stream. New Zealand attracts very wealthy billionaire americans and chinese.  New Zealand ranks high on the most desirable places to live, placing among the top 10 for democracy, lack of corruption, peace and satisfaction.

Peter Thiel, billionaire founder of Paypal, early investor in Facebook and venture capitalist, became a citizen in New Zealand. He said in 2011, “no other country that aligns more with my view of the future than New Zealand”. Brexit also pushing many billionaires towards New Zealand.

New Zealand is one of the world’s most stable and well-governed nations and offers an attractive destination for investment, business and raising a family. The country is consistently ranked in the top 10 in terms of protecting investors, starting a business and for ease of doing business, great work-life balance with world-class education and healthcare systems and lowest ranked for corruption.

Note: The Investor 1 and 2 resident visas closed to new applications on 27 July 2022. The new Active Investor Plus visa category replaces the existing Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories.

Active Investor Visa

New Zealand’s Active Investor Plus visa is New Zealand’s pathway to residency for investors. The Active Investor Plus visa is a little different to investor visas offered in other countries. While some passive investments are still welcome, more active investments are incentivised. NZ want to attract investors who will also contribute their ‘human capital’ of skills, experience, and networks when they move here. New Zealand is a place where progressive, sustainable businesses can thrive – and we’re looking for partners who will help us build more of these global success stories.

The visa requires investment between $5m and $15m (with weighting applied for more active investments), made over three years and maintained for a fourth. At the completion of this, you’ll be invited to apply for permanent residency.

According to NZ Immigration, you must invest a minimum NZD $5 million  or more in the following categories:

  • Listed equities – NZ$ 7.5 million
  • Philanthropy – NZ$ 15 million
  • Managed funds – NZ$ 15 million
  • Direct investments – NZ$ 5 million

The investment must be maintained for 48 months, can be incremented, spread over 4 years. Acceptable investments are listed in Invest New Zealand website.

Direct investments into a private business will receive the highest weighting (3x). This means that you could meet the required investment amount by investing NZD $5 million into direct investment.

After your application is approved in principle you will have 6 months to make a minimum initial investment and invest the remainder of the funds into holding investments and/or other acceptable investments. The total value of your investments must be at least NZD $15 million or the weighted equivalent.

Visa Process

  • Application can be filed online.
  • Initial determination of your application is completed by Immigration New Zealand and if successful, approval in principle is granted.
  • Apply for a work visa, to allow you to arrange the transfer to and investment of funds in New Zealand.
  • Your work visa will have travel conditions allowing for multiple journeys to New Zealand during this period.
  • You must transfer your nominated funds into New Zealand within 6-months of receiving approval in principle.

Property Restrictions

Property is not an acceptable investment. However as part of your listed equity investments, you can invest in exchange traded funds or managed funds that own companies engaged in the acquisition, development, ownership, leasing, management, and operation of property assets. Note that the exchange traded fund or managed fund can only hold 20% or less of their total assets in the property sector to be considered an acceptable investment.

Foreigners without a residence class visa cannot usually buy a house or land in New Zealand. If you hold a residence class visa you may be able to buy property without restrictions or be granted consent by the Overseas Investment Office (conditions may apply).

1.Direct Investments

For New Zealand business to become an acceptable direct investment, they must:

  • Be a New Zealand resident entity.
  • Meet the criteria in the AIP Visa Immigration New Zealand Instructions.
  • Submit an application to NZTE.
  • Be assessed as an acceptable investment and receive an acceptable investment letter from NZTE.
  • A current capital raise or investment previously made into a New Zealand business may be acceptable.

2.Managed Fund

Investments into managed funds such as private equity or venture capital funds will also be upweighted (2x), that is an investor could meet the required investment amount by investing NZ$7.5m into private funds.

The full list of acceptable funds meet the criteria for NZ active investor visas.


For philanthropic investments to be considered acceptable investments under the Active Investment Plus visa, the funds must be donated to organisations that:

  • are a registered charity with at least two years of annual returns;
  • has Inland Revenue donee status, which has not ceased.

Residence Condition

You must spend at least 117 days in New Zealand as a holder of a resident visa during the 4 year investment period.

Permanent Resident

Apply for permanent residence after 4 years of keeping your funds in New Zealand.

NZ Citizenship

You can apply for citizenship in New Zealand if you have been as a resident for 5 years. Applicants who have previously obtained residence under either of the investor programs are eligible for New Zealand citizenship when they have spent at least 1,350 days in New Zealand during the preceding five years, with at least 240 days of physical presence in each year.

NZ Passport

Ranks 8th powerful passport in the world with visa-free access to 182 world countries.