Retirement in New Zealand

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

Find out how you can retire to New Zealand.

New Zealand offers a great lifestyle for your retirement years

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.

"New Zealand is fantastic! Everything we hoped for: good weather, friendly people and a lot of opportunities!"

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.

New Zealand consistently ranks highly in key areas for quality of life:
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Which visa is right for your retirement in New Zealand?

If you want to live in New Zealand as retiree, you will need a visa that will allow you to follow that dream.

Our Senior Licensed Immigration Adviser Dr. Carsten Hallwass says:

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 and will involve taking up employment in New Zealand, there are a number of options for migrants older than 56 or migrants of any age choosing not to work.
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.
We have been working with our clients and their retirement migration scenarios ever since New Zealand introduced its first retirement programs. By working with us you can expect genuine up-front expert advice."

New Zealand has two dedicated retirement categories:

1. The Parent Retirement Category , a genuine residence category; and

2. The Temporary Retirement Category, an extended visitor visa.

The Parent Retirement Category:

If you have a child who is a New Zealand citizen or resident living in New Zealand and going to support your visa application, you might be able to obtain a resident visa under the Parent Policy. This visa will allow you to stay indefinitely.

An investment of NZ$1,000,000 is required under this policy. You also need to demonstrate that you have ownership of additional NZ$ 500,000 as so called Settlement Funds.

The Temporary Retirement Category:

To be eligible for a Temporary Retirement Visitor Visa you must be 66 years or older and you will have to invest NZ$750,000.

In addition to the initial investment you must also provide evidence that you have further funds equivalent to NZ$500,000 as Settlement Funds available to you.

Carsten says:

On a positive note: These settlement funds can remain where they are, they don’t have to be moved to New Zealand.
For example: A house in your home country can be nominated as settlement funds, but does not have to be sold for this purpose.

Furthermore, Temporary Retirement Category and Parent Retirement Category applicants must demonstrate that they have an annual income of at least NZ$60,000. Temporary Retirement Category applicants must also have a comprehensive health or travel insurance.

Carsten points out: There is no guarantee that you will be able to remain in New Zealand indefinitely on a Temporary Retirement Visa.

"An extended visitor visa under the Temporary Retirement Category can theoretically roll over in perpetuity: two years after two years after two years, but it is not future proof.
If the New Zealand Government changes this policy, then the visa holder will get stuck without a visa.  
Although this program has been in place for quite a while, there is no guarantee that in two years time the same program is still available."

More options to retire to New Zealand:

If you do not qualify for any of the two above dedicated Retirement Categories, you might still be able to retire to New Zealand.

Carsten says:

The Active Investor Plus Category can be your retirement vehicle. If you have adult children, who are living as residents in New Zealand, you could also qualify under the Parent Category.

"The Active Investor Plus Category (AIPC) is a genuine investor category. It can be used as retirement vehicle,  if you either have between NZ$ 5 and 15 mio  available.
Now the options are either a Residence Visa for between NZ$ 5 and 15 mio (AIPC), or an Extended Visitor Visa for two years for NZ$1.25 mio under Temporary Retirement Category. NZ$500,000 of those NZ$1.25  mio need to be settlement funds and don’t need to be invested.
An extended visitor visa under the Temporary Retirement Category is an opportunity for those whose net worth sits below the NZ$5 mio investment threshold for the AIPC.

Can you retire to New Zealand?

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 application and 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 Settlement 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. You should also check if you qualify for an Active Investor Plus resident 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 and Parent Retirement Categories 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 Work Visa
The Entrepreneur Visa will require you to run a business for a number of years before you will be able to retire.
Active Investor Plus Category
The Active Investor Plus Category visa application requires funds of between NZ$ 5 -15 millions to be invested for 4 years before you will be granted residence.

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.

Whether you want to retire to New Zealand to make the most of your retirement years, or in order to join your family, New Zealand Immigration Concepts can help you to apply for the right visa.

Carsten invites you to book a call with him to talk about further details of these policies and find out if you can retire to New Zealand. Just mention your plan to retire in New Zealand in our Free Assessment form.

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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Anna was worth her weight in gold---she was fantastic at helping me format my CV and search for jobs that suited my skill set.  In the end, I got a great job in a great city.  Carsten and his team were very thorough and helpful when it came time to apply for and get our visas. They are now helping us with our resident visas, and I'm certain that the process will be the same. I'd recommend them highly.

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NZIC guided me all the way through getting my first work visa to permanent residency. Their job seeking support was key when I first arrived in NZ, communication was always easy and clear. I'm very thankful for their help and definitely recommend their services.

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Dear Jannie, just want to drop a note to thank for your everything. Your help is much appreciated! You are a wonderful and professional job search coach! I am so lucky to have you supporting me!

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