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Published on May 11th, 2011 | by john.weir

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New Zealand relaxes visa rules to attract businesses

Immigration New Zealand has announced changes to the eligibility criteria for its Investor Visa, making it even easier for high net worth individuals to move to the country and take advantage of the favourable investment climate.

The Investor Visa was launched 19 months ago to grant applicants permanent residency in New Zealand. Since its launch the investor visa has attracted NZ $652 million in potential investment with funds being directed into various investment vehicles ranging from bonds, shares and securities to Auckland Airport, Fonterra Dairy and even a chicken farm. It is hoped that relaxing the eligibility criteria will encourage further foreign investment.

The biggest changes include a reduction in the amount of time investors are required to spend in New Zealand each year (from 73 days per annum to 44), and the broadening of the range of investments that qualify for a visa. Bank bonds and equities are now acceptable for investments, as is residential property. Investors now also qualify for immigration if they employ at least five people OR record at least NZ$1 million in annual turnover- previously applicants needed to meet both requirements.

New Zealand Immigration Minister Dr Coleman comments: “We reviewed the policy settings to ensure the changes that come into effect from mid-2011 will provide more incentives for wealthy migrants to upgrade their investment.

‘’Not only are we attracting valuable capital, but we are attracting people with commercial nous, experience and global business networks. Over time the aim is to see more migrant capital invested in New Zealand.’’

To date NZ $142.5 million has been transferred and invested in New Zealand under the Business Migrant Policy and $167.25 million has been approved for funds transfer. Applications from investors worth an additional $252.5 million are being processed.

To find out more about a new life in New Zealand, come to Down Under Live,

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