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New Zealand launches new immigration visa category, opens from September

To attract experienced, high-value investors to invest in domestic businesses, the New Zealand government has created a new investor migrant visa category. The new Active Investor Plus visa category will replace the existing Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories. Eligibility criteria for New Zealand’s Active Investor Plus visa category includes a minimum $5 million investment and only 50% of that can be invested in listed equities.

“We have so many fantastic businesses in New Zealand that are making a real name for themselves in the global marketplace. Our Government has a goal to support these businesses to grow into even more successful global brands, and updating our investor visa settings is a key part of our strategy to attract high-value investors,” Economic and Regional Development Minister Stuart Nash said.

The new Active Investor Plus visa will open on 19 September 2022. Applications under the Investor 1 and Investor 2 visas will no longer be accepted after 27 July 2022. The government said said that all applications in the current pipeline will continue to be processed by Immigration New Zealand.

The new Active Investor Plus visa will replace the old investment visa categories and would require migrants to make investments in New Zealand businesses, the minister said.

He said that the new visa regime is meant to attract more active investors who can deliver real benefits to the New Zealand economy over a long period of time.

“The new Active Investor Plus visa will replace the old investment visa categories, which although successful in attracting a large amount of funds over past decade – over $12b –often resulted in passive investment in shares and bonds rather than directly into New Zealand companies,” he said.

“Applicants who make acceptable direct investments, among other requirements, will be eligible for the new visa with a $5 million minimum investment and receive the highest rating which is a lower minimum amount than those who choose more indirect investments. The minimum amount required for indirect investments will be $15 million,” he added.

The minister also said that the New Zealand government is also “improving the flexibility for the investor by allowing them to invest over a three-year period and maintain their investments up to the end of a fourth year. Investors will need to spend at least 117 days, or around a month a year, in New Zealand over the four-year investment period. This is increased from 88 days in the previous category in order to ensure that investors are actively getting hands on with local companies to help them grow.

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