Can you just invest your way into New Zealand?
If you’ve got the funds, a new life in New Zealand could be within your reach. This up-and-coming country so close to the powerful Asian markets also welcomes dynamic entrepreneurs with big ideas.
Although most of us are avoiding facing the reality of our bank statements this side of Christmas, if you have the money to invest you can bypass the various skills tests to get into New Zealand and let your cash do the talking. The only problem is, New Zealand has just raised the “price” of its investor visas.
As of May 2017, each year New Zealand will offer up 400 permanent residency Investor Visas to applicants who are able to invest NZ$3 million (around £1.75m, as at January 2017) into the country over a three-year period. In addition to the cash, you’ll need to prove that you are fluent in English, that you are under the age of 65, and that you have spent a minimum of 146 days of each year over the three year investment period within New Zealand. You can boost your application even further by offering concrete proof of business acumen back in your country of origin. Should you have even more cash at your disposal, you might also be eligible for New Zealand’s Investor Plus Visa, which requires a minimum of NZ$10 million to be invested over the same three-year period.
Up until recently, the amount required for the standard Investment Visa sat at just NZ$1 million, a much more affordable £578,000. The new rates were announced last week by Immigration Minister, Michael Woodhouse, who stated that the updates are necessary in order to encourage people to invest in New Zealand’s growth in a way that is more likely to deliver far-reaching economic benefits to the country.
Take the risk!
Under the current system, the majority of those applying for Investor visas are opting to ‘play safe’ by placing their investments in government bonds, rather than in higher risk business enterprises. The changes to the law are designed to address this perceived imbalance. Woodhouse commented: “Around two thirds of investment is currently placed in bonds and the government believes there is an opportunity to rebalance this towards growth-orientated investments. That is why we are making changes to increase the amount and performance of investment while better recognising the non-financial contribution of migrant investors.”
Since the announcement was made, there has been some concern expressed that the new laws will deter investors from looking to establish new lives and new businesses in the country, especially those nearing retirement age.
Investor visas have brought in $2.9 billion to the New Zealand economy
Although it remains to be seen how these changes will affect the number of investors looking to New Zealand, what is clear is that if you have the money to spare, a life in New Zealand is a very real possibility. Since they were launched in 2009, Migrant Investor visas have brought in $2.9 billion to the New Zealand economy.
Could you make an impact?
If the new rules put an investor visa out of your price bracket, there is another way. The New Zealand Immigration Department has announced the launch of the Global Impact Visa,(GIV) for early in 2017, designed, it says, “to attract talented and innovative entrepreneurs, investors and start-up teams with the drive and capabilities to create innovation-based ventures in New Zealand.” Click here for further information.