What are Acceptable Investments?

If you want to apply for your New Zealand resident visa as an investor, you will have to place an 'acceptable investment' that fulfils the requirements of your Investor Visa policy.

Key requirements for acceptable investments:

There are five key requirements for acceptable investments in NZ.

They must be able to make a commercial return, be invested in New Zealand (in New Zealand dollars), be invested in legal enterprises or managed funds, have the potential to contribute to New Zealand's economy and not be for personal use, for example, your home, boat or car.

Along with this, investments must be in bonds, equities, property or other investments.

Capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances

be 56 years or under

Not for the personal use of the applicant. (Car, boat, house)

Invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency

be 56 years or under

Have the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy

Be invested in legal enterprises or managed funds

Capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances

be 56 years or under

Not for the personal use of the applicant. (Car, boat, house)

Invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency

Be invested in legal enterprises or managed funds

be 56 years or under

Have the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy

Acceptable Investments must be in bonds, equities, property or other investments:

Bonds can be:

  • issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities
  • issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX)
  • bonds issued by New Zealand firms with at least a BBB- or equivalent rating from internationally recognised credit rating agencies (for example, Standard and Poor’s)
  • issued by New Zealand registered banks
  • in finance companies

Equity can be:

  • equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds)
  • in New Zealand registered banks
  • eligible New Zealand venture capital funds

Property can be:

  • residential property development
  • commercial property

Other investments can be:

  • philanthropic investment
  • angel funds or networks’ investments.

Types of Acceptable Investments:

1. NZ Companies Owned by Overseas Companies

A New Zealand company that is wholly owned by an overseas company may be an acceptable investment. You will need to provide information about the New Zealand company, including what it does, where your funds would be used, and how you would transfer your funds.

The investment must be in the form of equity in the New Zealand company.

2. Residential Property

A residential property development that is a new development (not a renovation or extension to existing property), can be an acceptable investment, as long as the necessary approvals and consents are provided and the purpose of the development is for commercial return (not a property for you, your family or friends).

3. Commercial Property

Investing in Commercial property is considered an acceptable investment. This can be a new building which is then leased out, or the purchase of an existing building to be leased out.

The key requirement is that commercial property needs to be capable of making a commercial return. If the investment is going to be in developing a new building, Immigration New Zealand will need to see how and when the funds are committed.

4. Philanthropy

Philanthropic investments can be investments to either charities registered with Inland Revenue, or non-profit organisations approved by INZ.

These investments can make up to 15% of your acceptable investments.

5. Growth Investment

Growth investments such as shares (not in bonds or philanthropic investments) can be an acceptable investment. If this is in a managed fund, and 40% was in bonds, with 60% in shares, the investment would be recognised as a 60% growth investment.

If you are applying with a growth investment, you may be eligible for benefits such as priority processing, and reductions in investment amount and time.

Transfer of Investment Funds

Applicants under the Investor Category have 12 months from being approved in principle (AIP) to transfer their nominated funds to New Zealand through the banking system.

Applicants will have to provide evidence of reasonable attempts to transfer their funds to New Zealand. Should they have difficulties with staying within this time frame, they can apply for an extension.

Extensions have to be applied for at least a month before the end of the 12 month transfer period. Please note: Waiting for exchange rates to move or waiting for a share price to increase before liquidating the nominated investments funds are not considered as reasons for necessary extensions by Immigration New Zealand.

The Two Year Check

Two years after your investment, INZ will ask for evidence that your investments are still acceptable. You will have three months following this to submit the relevant documents.

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