New Zealand has replaced its two-tier Investor Visa program with a new Active Investor Plus visa.
The program is the first in the world to assign different weightage to an investment depending on the choice of investment option.
New Zealand has overhauled its investor visa with the aim of boosting direct investment into businesses and commercial enterprises.
The previous program – the Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories – were criticized for permitting passive and low-risk investments that created very little benefit for the country’s economy.
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The Active Investor Plus program has a minimum investment requirement of 15 million New Zealand dollars, or around US$8.5 million.
This would make the program one of the most expensive golden visa programs in the world, except that an investor can qualify by investing just NZ$5 million.
The difference in actual investment is due to the different weightage per dollar invested assigned to the other investment categories under the program.
New Zealand Active Investor Visa: Investment Options
|Investment Category||Weightage||Actual Investment ($15m/weightage)|
|Listed equities||1||$15 million|
|Managed Funds||2||$7.5 million|
|Direct investments||3||$5 million|
The investor cannot invest more than $7.5 million in listed equities and cannot allocate more than $7.5 million to philanthropic activities.
Investments in bonds and real estate are no longer eligible.
Like Australia, there is a bar on direct investments in property but investors can invest in this sector through Managed Funds and Exchange Traded Funds. However, total investments in the property sector cannot exceed 20 percent of total Assets Under Management.
Benefits of the program include total freedom to live, work, and study in the country. The program covers the applicant as well as his/her spouse and dependent children under the age of 24.
The funds must be retained in the country for at least four years to become eligible to apply for permanent residence.
Other requirements include spending at least 117 days in New Zealand over the four-year investment period.
The program requires language proficiency of 5.0 or higher under the International English Language Testing System.
No other program imposes specific language proficiency requirements for its investor visa. This clearly shows that New Zealand intends to focus on entrepreneurs who will share and communicate their business knowledge and skills in the country.
Australia’s Significant Investor Visa continued to attract Asian investors even after its revamp, although in lower numbers as compared to when real estate investment was permitted.
However, New Zealand’s golden visa has always ranked among the most expensive programs in the world and continues to remain so despite the reduction in minimum investments for direct business investors.
It remains to be seen whether the program’s goal of bringing in more wealth and more business knowledge into New Zealand will be achieved.General Information: Contact us to receive more information about this article.
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