New Zealand has experienced record net migration levels in 2015 with fewer residents leaving the country even as more and more migrants, primarily from Asia, arrive to take up residence in the country. Demand among investment immigration applications continues to remain high despite a slight fall in the number of approved applications in 2015 as compared to 2014. Compared to 88 investor category visas in June 2014, New Zealand had approved 81 investor visas for the current year ending June 2015
Recognizing the importance of assessing the economic impact of investment immigrants on the country’s economy, the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment is planning to go beyond the current setup where only the initial investment brought in by investor visa holders is tracked. There is very little understanding about how investment immigrants benefit the economy of the country.
This is why the MBIE intends to research data about additional financial and other investments made by such visa holders when residing in the country. Preliminary research conducted in the third quarter of 2015 reveals that a large number of investor visa holders could have applied for the costlier investor-plus visa category. The former has a minimum investment limit of $1.5 million while the latter requires at least $10 million investments for approval.
The exploratory research further showed that a significant number of investments were directed into low-risk corporate and government bonds. Additional investment made to qualify for investor-plus category was made into commercial real estate along with the residential property purchased for the applicant’s use.
It is evident that the allocation of many investments into government bonds has resulted in very little economic benefit for the country’s economy. Yet, authorities are wary of potential fall in demand for investment immigration if applicants are compelled to invest in more beneficial asset classes that carry higher risk of loss of capital.
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