Retirement in New Zealand

Do you want to live in New Zealand during your retirement years?

At New Zealand Immigration Concepts we are receiving increasing numbers of inquiries from all over the world from people who are seeking the unique lifestyle New Zealand has to offer and have either reached their retirement age or are simply ready to retire.

The Retired Lifestyle in New Zealand

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.

New Zealand consistently ranks highly in key areas for quality of life:

Which visa is right for your retirement in New Zealand?

New Zealand provides a number of visa programs tailored for retirement migrants and the right visa will entitle you to live in New Zealand permanently as a retiree.

While the age limit for the most popular immigration policy, the Skilled Migrant Category, is at 56 years, there are a number of options for migrants older than 56, or migrants choosing not to take up employment or work in their own business.

Which visa option will work best for you depends on whether you intend to come to New Zealand temporarily or permanently, and whether you have children who reside in our country.

Scenario 1:
You have a child who is a New Zealand resident or citizen.
If you have a child who is a NZ resident or citizen,
you might qualify for a resident or temporary visa.
There are three options here:
Option 1.
The Parent Resident Visa
New Zealand residents are able to sponsor their parents to come over and become residents themselves.

The key requirement is a guaranteed minimum income from the New Zealand child who sponsored their parent's resident visa application.
The level of guaranteed minimum income required to sponsor a parent:
Sponsor's income required:
1 sponsor for 1 parent
NZD $106,080
(2 x NZ median salary)
1 sponsor for 2 parents
NZD $159,120
(3 x NZ median salary)
Sponsor and partner for 1 parent (joint income)
NZD $159,120
(3 x NZ median salary)
Sponsor and partner for 2 parents (joint income)

This category is capped at 1,000 applicants per year.
NZD $212,160
(4 x NZ median salary)
Option 2.
The Parent Retirement Resident Visa
This option allows you to live, work and study in New Zealand permanently. You may include your partner in this applicationand can apply for permanent residence after 4 years.
To be eligible you will need a New Zealand citizen or resident adult child, willing to sponsor you, and
  • a yearly income of NZ$60,000;
  • NZ$1 million to invest over 4 years; plus
  • NZ$500,000 as maintenance funds to live on.
Option 3.
The Parent and Grandparent Visitor Visa (3-year visa)
This temporary visa allows multiple entries into New Zealand for up to 6 months at a time, for a total maximum stay of 18 months over 3 years, to visit your child or grandchild.

You must also be sponsored by them.

You may include your partner in this application, but if you want to bring dependent children with you they will have to apply for their own visas.

This visa can also only be applied for while offshore.
Scenario 2:
You do not have a child who is a NZ resident or citizen.
If you do not have a child who is a NZ resident or citizen,
you might qualify for a temporary retirement visitor visa.
The Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa
This option allows a temporary stay in New Zealand on a visitor visa for up to 2 years, considerably longer than on a 'regular' visitor visa.

You can include a partner in this application, but no dependent children.
Key Requirements:
  • you must be 66 years or older;
  • you have NZ$750,000 to invest in New Zealand for 2 years;
  • you have NZ$500,000 as maintenance funds to live on; and
  • you have an annual income of at NZ$60,000.

Permanent residence or visiting visa? The key difference:

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

All of the above 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.

Alternative Visa Policies for your retirement in New Zealand:

If you are seeking the unique lifestyle New Zealand has to offer, and none of the above visa policies applies for you, you might be able to retire to New Zealand as investor or entrepreneur.

Entrepreneur Visa
The Entrepreneur Visa will require you to run a business for a number of years before you will be able to retire.
Investor Visa: Category 1
The Investor 1 Category visa application requires funds of NZ$10 millions to be invested for at least 3 years before you get granted residence.
Investor Visa: Category 2
The Investor 2 category requires a lower investment (NZ$3 millions over 4 years), but has an age limit of 65 years for the principal applicant.

Will you qualify for an Investor or Entrepreneur Visa?

Different levels of investments are required for different investor visa types. For more detailed information on the requirements of New Zealand's business and investor programs you can use our Investor and Business Category Self Assessment.

You may also be interested in:

Looking to retire in New Zealand?

Complete our Free Assessment to ask our Licensed Immigration Advisers which retirement pathway to New Zealand is right for you.
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The great work done before has surely helped to achieve this quick positive result. NZIC are really professional and know what to do when to do it and how to do it. That is so convenient and efficient! I’m still working with them for the next steps and would like to thank them again for their help and support.  Thank you.  Kind Regards.

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