The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa Program stands as a pivotal opportunity for high-value investors seeking to live, work, and invest in New Zealand.
Launched in September 2022, this program aims to attract skilled and experienced investors, contributing significantly to New Zealand’s economic growth.
It replaces the previous Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories, signifying a major overhaul of the investor visa program.
This program is not just a visa; it’s a gateway to potential permanent residency in New Zealand. It allows investors and their families to be part of New Zealand’s vibrant culture, robust economy, and high quality of life.
The program’s design ensures that investors actively contribute to the country’s economic landscape, aligning their financial goals with New Zealand’s growth and development.
New Zealand offers a stable political environment, a growing economy, and a high standard of living, making it an attractive destination for investors globally.
The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa provides a structured pathway for these investors to contribute to and benefit from New Zealand’s economic success.
The visa caters to those looking to not only invest their funds but also to integrate into the country’s lifestyle and culture.
If you want to invest as an expat or high-net-worth individual, or second residencies and passports, which is what i specialize in, you can email me (email@example.com) or use WhatsApp (+44-7393-450-837).
Table of Contents
Understanding the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa Program
What is the Active Investor Plus Visa?
The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa is a category specifically created to attract high-value investors to New Zealand.
It involves investing between NZ$5 million and NZ$15 million over a four-year period, depending on the nature of the investments.
The program encourages ‘active’ investments and requires the visa holder to spend a minimum of 117 days in New Zealand during this period.
The visa category incentivizes direct investments in New Zealand firms, with a 3x weighting per dollar invested for direct investments.
Applicants must have at least NZD $15 million or the weighted equivalent in available assets or funds to qualify for the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa.
This investment must be made in acceptable investments in New Zealand and maintained for a minimum of 48 months.
Applicants must transfer their investment funds to New Zealand, either directly through banking systems or via a third party, within six months of the application’s approval in principle.
Health and Character Requirements
Applicants must be in good health, demonstrated by a medical examination and a chest x-ray.
They must also be of good character, proven with police certificates from all countries of citizenship and any country where they have stayed for 12 months or more in the last ten years.
Additionally, they must meet the requirements of being a ‘fit and proper’ person, which includes compliance with all immigration, employment, and taxation laws.
Benefits of the Program
The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa offers numerous benefits. It allows investors to live, work, and study in New Zealand, and include their partners and dependent children aged 24 and under in their visa applications.
After four years of maintaining their investment in New Zealand, they can apply for permanent residence.
This visa not only facilitates financial investment but also provides an opportunity for cultural and social integration into New Zealand society.
Step-by-Step Application Process for the Active Investor Plus Visa
Preparing Your Application
When preparing your application for the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa, you must meticulously gather and organize all necessary documentation.
This includes proof of identity, characterized by two acceptable photos of your head and shoulders. Health verification is mandatory, necessitating a chest x-ray and a medical examination as evidence of good health.
Character assessment forms a crucial part of the application. Anyone aged 17 or older included in your application must provide a police certificate from all countries of citizenship and any country where they have stayed for 12 months or more in the past decade.
Moreover, you must certify that you are a fit and proper person, ensuring all businesses under your influence comply with immigration, employment, and taxation laws.
There should be no history of investigation by the Serious Fraud Office or the New Zealand police for offenses arising from business dealings, and no convictions for dishonesty-related offenses.
If your application includes your partner and children, you must demonstrate a genuine relationship through relevant documents like marriage and birth certificates.
Additionally, your partner and dependent children must meet the health, character, and identity requirements for this visa.
The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa demands a substantial financial commitment. You must invest NZD $15 million or its weighted equivalent in acceptable investments in New Zealand.
The ownership of these investment funds is a critical aspect; whether they are solely yours or jointly owned affects the value you can claim.
Evidence of your funds may include bank statements, title deeds, property valuations, share certificates, business ownership documents, and asset valuations.
Additionally, the source of your investment funds must be lawful, supported by evidence such as tax returns, pay slips, business financial statements, receipts for property sales, and evidence of gifted or inherited money.
Submitting Your Application
After preparing all necessary documentation and financial verifications, you must submit your application through the prescribed channels set by the New Zealand immigration authorities.
This step is crucial in officially starting your journey towards obtaining the Active Investor Plus Visa.
What Happens After Submission?
Once you have submitted your application for the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa, it undergoes a thorough assessment process.
This stage is critical as the authorities scrutinize every aspect of your application, from personal background to financial stability and investment plans.
Interview and Additional Requirements
In some cases, an interview may be required as part of the application process. This is an opportunity for the authorities to clarify any uncertainties or details about your application.
You might also be asked to provide additional documentation or evidence to support your application during this phase.
After approval in principle, you have six months to transfer and invest your funds in New Zealand. Acceptable investments include direct investments, managed funds, listed equities, and philanthropy, with minimum initial investment requirements specified for each category.
You must provide comprehensive evidence of your investments, including the amount, date, type of investment, and confirmations from external professionals or NZTE if it’s a direct investment.
Investment Opportunities in New Zealand
New Zealand presents diverse investment opportunities, buoyed by a stable and growing economy, investor-friendly policies, and a skilled workforce.
The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa program opens doors for investors to capitalize on these opportunities. Key sectors worth considering include tourism, agriculture, technology, and real estate.
The New Zealand real estate market, a dynamic sector, has witnessed significant changes in recent years.
House prices, which peaked in November 2021, experienced a decline of 17.80% but began recovering in May 2023 with a subsequent rise of 3.90% by October 2023.
This fluctuation reflects the market’s responsiveness to various economic factors. The property sales also mirror these trends, with a peak in June 2021 followed by a decline, and a recovery evident by October 2023, with 61,513 properties sold in the last 12 months.
The long-term trend in New Zealand’s house prices has been upward, with an average increase of 7% per annum since 1992.
Forecasters, including independent economists, predict a continued but slightly slower growth rate of around 5% per annum in the future.
In terms of regional disparities, Wellington City, Grey District, and Christchurch City appear as the most undervalued areas, offering potential for significant capital growth, while areas like Mackenzie District and South Waikato District are seen as overvalued.
Technology and Innovation
The technology sector in New Zealand is rapidly growing, marked by a surge of innovation and entrepreneurial activity.
The government supports this growth through tax incentives and grants, acknowledging the sector’s potential in driving economic progress.
This support, coupled with a skilled tech workforce, makes New Zealand an attractive location for technology investments.
Agriculture and Forestry
Agriculture remains a cornerstone of New Zealand’s economy, famous for high-quality products like meat, dairy, and seafood.
The sector benefits from vast agricultural lands and a favorable climate, with continuous innovation supported by government initiatives.
The global demand for New Zealand’s agricultural products, particularly in Asia, underscores the sector’s investment appeal.
Analyzing Risk and Return
When considering investments under the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa program, it’s crucial to analyze the risk and return profile of each sector.
The real estate sector, for instance, offers opportunities for capital appreciation but requires careful assessment of market trends and regional variations.
Technology investments might bring higher returns, given the sector’s rapid growth, but they also carry higher risks associated with tech start-ups.
Agriculture offers more stability, given the consistent global demand for New Zealand’s agricultural products, but it’s sensitive to environmental factors and global market fluctuations.
Each sector under the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa program presents its unique set of opportunities and challenges.
A balanced approach, considering both short-term dynamics and long-term trends, is key to making informed investment decisions.
Legal Considerations and Compliance
The New Zealand government overhauled its investor visa program in July 2022, introducing the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa (AIP Visa).
The AIP Visa allows investment in New Zealand-based direct investments, managed funds, listed equities, and philanthropic causes.
Direct investments, essentially investments in privately owned New Zealand businesses, must receive approval from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise (NZTE).
NZTE also assesses the eligibility of managed funds, requiring that they be New Zealand resident entities investing in private New Zealand businesses.
The managed funds must invest at least 70% of their net committed capital in entities with a New Zealand connection.
NZTE has also established an independent advisory panel to make recommendations on whether the investments meet the AIP Visa criteria.
Tax Implications for Investors
Investors holding the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa pay tax on income from all their savings and investments, both in New Zealand and overseas. The tax rate depends on their income.
Resident Withholding Tax (RWT) or tax at the Prescribed Investor Rate (PIR) apply to income from savings and investments in New Zealand.
The RWT rates vary, and PIR ranges from 10.5% to 28% for investments in Portfolio Investment Entities like managed funds. For foreign investments, the tax rules are more complex and often require professional advice.
Non-resident withholding tax (NRWT) applies to non-resident investors in New Zealand.
Ongoing Compliance and Reporting Requirements
The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa requires investors to comply with various reporting and regulatory requirements, including those related to taxes and investments.
Investors need to ensure accurate reporting of their income and pay the appropriate taxes. Managed funds approved under the AIP Visa must complete an annual re-certification process with NZTE.
Life in New Zealand for Investors
Cultural and Social Aspects
New Zealand, known for more than just its stunning vistas and sunny beaches, offers a unique lifestyle with sophisticated cities and tranquil towns.
The country’s distinct local approach to life appeals to many, especially in its major cities like Wellington and Auckland. Wellington, the capital, is known for its artsy vibe and temperate climate, reminiscent of a smaller, sweeter Seattle.
Auckland, as the larger and sun-drenched second city, acts as a melting pot of cultures and characters. This diverse cultural landscape is one of the reasons many expatriates choose to stay in New Zealand long-term.
New Zealand’s business environment is conducive to investment, underpinned by its stable economy and government policies favoring economic growth.
The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa, launched in September 2022, aims to attract skilled and high-value investors to contribute to this growth.
This visa category, part of the government’s effort to revamp the investor visa program, focuses on bringing in investments that can bolster the local economy.
The program encourages investment across various sectors, with an emphasis on productive, sustainable, and inclusive economic development.
Quality of Life and Healthcare
New Zealand ranks well in terms of quality of life, offering a safe environment, excellent education, and healthcare systems.
However, it is important to note that New Zealand is relatively expensive, ranking as the 18th most expensive country in the world.
The cost of living can vary significantly across different regions, with urban centers like Auckland and Wellington being more expensive.
Healthcare in New Zealand is socialized, with universal coverage through public or private insurance.
New residents need private medical insurance for ongoing treatments, although emergency treatments resulting from accidents are covered by public funding.
The healthcare system offers subsidies for those with long-term conditions or living on low incomes.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What are the main requirements to apply for the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa?
- Investment Funds: You must invest NZD $15 million or its weighted equivalent in acceptable investments in New Zealand.
- Health: Applicants must be in good health and provide a chest x-ray and medical examination as proof.
- Character: Good character is required, demonstrated by providing police certificates from all countries of citizenship and any country where you’ve stayed for 12 months or more in the last 10 years.
How does the investment process work for the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa?
Once your application is approved in principle, you have 6 months to transfer and invest your funds in New Zealand.
You must invest your nominated funds in acceptable investments for a minimum of 48 months. Within the first 18 months, at least NZD $7.5 million or its weighted equivalent must be invested, and the remainder within the first 36 months.
Can I include my family in the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa application?
Yes, you can include your partner and dependent children aged 24 and under. You must demonstrate a genuine relationship with them and ensure they meet health, character, and identity requirements. Your family must come to New Zealand within 12 months of their visa being granted.
Are there any language requirements for the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa?
Applicants must speak and understand English. This can be proven with an acceptable English language test result, evidence of an English-speaking background, or other competent use of English.
What are the conditions for staying in New Zealand under this visa?
You must spend at least 117 days in New Zealand as a holder of a resident visa during the 4-year investment period. Additionally, you must apply for entry permission upon arrival in New Zealand.
For investors considering the New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa, it’s essential to understand the comprehensive requirements and commitments involved.
This visa offers a unique opportunity to contribute to New Zealand’s economy while enjoying the benefits of living in a stable, culturally rich, and beautiful country.
If you meet the criteria and are ready to invest in New Zealand, this visa could be your gateway to a rewarding new chapter in your life and business venture.
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