Do you want to retire and not work in New Zealand?

The right visa will entitle you to live in New Zealand as a retiree. New Zealand provides two visa programs specifically tailored for retirement migrants:

The Parent Retirement Category and the Temporary Retirement Category.

Permanent Residence or Visiting Visa?

While the Parent Retirement Category is a genuine permanent residence program, the Temporary Retirement Category is a special visitor visa and entitles the holder to stay in New Zealand for the duration of two years.

Both programs require the successful visa applicant to be of good health and character, place an investment in New Zealand, and demonstrate ownership of additional settlement or maintenance funds. Applicants under the Parent Retirement Category must also have a New Zealand citizen or resident adult child, who is willing to sponsor them.

If you hold a Temporary Retirement Visa, you need to apply for a further Temporary Retirement Visa after two years. The subsequent visa will be granted under the provision that you still meet policy provisions when the application is submitted. The downside of this visa is, that it will not give you peace of mind in the long run, as the policy, your health or financial situation might change over the years and you might then no longer be eligible for a visa.

Retirement Visa Policies

If you have reached retirement age and are seeking the unique lifestyle New Zealand has to offer, one of the Retirement Visa Policies may be for you.

Will you qualify for an Investor Visa?

Different levels of investments are required for different investor visa types. For more detailed requirements you can use our Investor and Business Category Self Assessment.

Parent Retirement Category Visa

For parents of a NZ citizen/resident. Requires NZD $1 million over 4 years. Settlement fees and income also required.

Temporary Retirement Category

A temporary investment visa for those older than 66, allowing them to stay in New Zealand for 2 years

The Retired Lifestyle in New Zealad

New Zealand is famous for its beautiful natural landscapes, pleasant climate, relaxed lifestyle and overall quality of life. There are many good reasons why New Zealand has traditionally been very popular with retirees from all over the world looking to move overseas. According to a recent estimate there are currently about 60,000 pensioners from Britain alone living in New Zealand.

Older New Zealanders are happier than any other age group in New Zealand. Their contentment comes from family, friends and having time for recreation activities like walking, gardening, swimming, bowls, fishing, golf, dance, yoga and cycling and many also enrol as students in community or university classes.  

Over 55, Footloose and Fancy Free

Their careers over, the kids flown, baby-boomers are enjoying their newly found freedom.

Over 55 and often retired, this demographic is turning the idea of the "Big OE" on its head. Average life expectancy now means as many as another 30 years of living after retirement, and the 55 plus age group is determined to make the most of that time. Heading away for months or years at a time, those undertaking their "grey gap years" (as it's colloquially known) may be decades older than their just-out-of-school counterparts, but their numbers are swelling.

Research in the UK has revealed that those who are 55-plus spend up to 40 per cent more on foreign travel than those in the 34-54 age group. Ron Tustin, a retirement coach who writes for, says baby-boomers tend to travel in distinct ways.

"There are three stages; the 'go-go' time when there is money in the bank, reasonable health and a willingness to travel and explore; the 'slow-go' time, a few years on, when we may not be quite as mobile but still able to do a reasonable amount; and the 'no-go' period when being sedentary is the preferred option."

He says those in the first category can be particularly adventurous when it comes to travel.

"They may be returning to places visited as a backpacker, getting interested in family histories and researching this in the countries our forefathers came from," he says.

Tustin believes it is also common for those in this first stage to look to home swaps as a way to save money and enjoy longer periods overseas. "These home exchanges are a good option that many retirees opt for. There are several websites where you can make contact with another family in most parts of the world and arrange to swap houses.

"This gives people an experience in another community, which can be for a longer period. Many of the people who register on these sites are in the 60-plus age group."

Looking to retire in New Zealand?

At New Zealand Immigration Concepts we are receiving increasing numbers of inquiries from all over the world, from people who have reached their retirement age and are wanting to make the most of their well deserved freedom, seeking the unique lifestyle New Zealand has to offer.

If you are thinking of moving to New Zealand on a permanent basis, you will need a long term visa. While the age limit for skilled migrants is at 56 years, there are a number of options for migrants older than 56.

Ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers which pathway to New Zealand is right for you.

INTERESTED IN investment, entrepreneurship or retirement?

Ask our Investment specialist Carsten Hallwass for a Free Assessment


Check out these related topics: