Second Citizenship

February 1, 2024

Reading Time: 9 min

How an Investor Can Obtain New Zealand Citizenship

It is not possible to obtain New Zealand citizenship by investment, but there are investment residence permit programs in the country. Under their terms, applicants invest from 3 million New Zealand dollars in the country’s economy.

We will tell you why the status of a resident of New Zealand is attractive and whether you need to move to the country in order to obtain citizenship.

Elena Ruda
Elena Ruda

Explains how to get a residence permit in New Zealand by investment

New Zealand citizenship by investment

How an Investor Can Obtain New Zealand Citizenship

New Zealand investment programs

There are two investment programs in New Zealand: Investor 1 and Investor 2. Both allow you to obtain a residence permit which is a temporary residence permit in the country. Permanent residence in New Zealand or citizenship of the country cannot be obtained by direct investment.

Investment programs differ in the size of investments, the duration of their investment, the requirements for investors and for living in the country. Under the Investor 1 program, investments start from NZ $10 million, and under Investor 2 — from NZ $3 million.

One New Zealand dollar is 71 American cents. Thus, investments under the first program start from $7,050,200, and under the second — from $2,115,060.

New Zealand investment program conditions

Condition

Investor 1 program

Investor 2 program

Minimum investment

$10,000,000 NZ

$3,000,000 NZ

Ownership period

3 years

4 years

Residence permit quota

No restrictions

400 residence permit cards are issued per year

Stay in New Zealand

88 days: 44 days each year for the last two years of participation in the program

584 days: 146 days each year for four years of participation in the program

Investor’s age

From 18 years old

18 to 65 years old

Knowledge of English

Not required

At a basic level, confirmed by a certificate:
— IElTS from 3.0;
— TOEFL iBT from 31;
— PTE Academic from 29;
— FCE from 142;
— OET from D

Business experience

Not required

From 3 years

Period for obtaining permanent residence

From 3 years

From 4 years

In the application an investor can include a spouse and children under 24 years of age who are financially dependent on the main applicant.

A residence permit card is issued to an investor for the entire period of participation in the program, that is, for three or four years. In the first two years, the investor has the right to enter and leave New Zealand without restrictions.

Two years after the issuance of the residence permit card, the New Zealand Immigration Service will check whether the investor continues to meet the conditions of the program: whether the investment is retained and whether it meets the requirements for compulsory residence. If everything is in order, the investor will receive permission to continue to travel freely. If they find violations, they can cancel the residence permit, deport from the country or deny entry.

After the end of the program, the investor can obtain permanent residence in New Zealand and return the investment.

A residence permit in New Zealand allows you to live in the country without restrictions, study, work, run a business and receive free health care.

Investment options for residence permit programs in New Zealand

To obtain a residence permit in New Zealand, you can invest in:

  • stock;

  • shares of venture and investment funds;

  • residential or commercial property;

  • capital of a New Zealand company;

  • charitable foundations.

Investments based on economic growth are investments in stocks or shares of investment and venture funds. Buying bonds is not considered an investment under the residency program.

Investing in securities allows you to obtain a residence permit in New Zealand on more favorable terms.

Incentives for investments in shares and fund units

Incentive

Investor 1 program

Investor 2 program

Changing the conditions of residing in the country

If you invest from $2,500,000 NZ, you can spend the required 88 days in New Zealand at any time during three years of participation in the program

If you invest from $750,000 NZ, you can spend less time in New Zealand: 438 days within four years of the program

Reducing the amount of investment

If you invest from $1,500,000 NZ, the total investment amount can be reduced by half a million — up to $2,500,000 NZ

Investments in residential real estate involve the construction of objects, e.g. residential complexes or neighborhoods, with a high level of investor involvement in the process. When submitting an application, the investor provides:

  • Business plan of the project.

  • Contracts with a construction company and subcontractors.

  • Required permits obtained from local authorities.

  • Work schedule, marketing plans.

  • Payment schedule, if the money will not be paid immediately, but in parts.

Investments in commercial real estate involve the purchase of commercial properties or land for commercial development. If an investor plans to build a new facility, he needs to submit a project plan and obtain permission from the state. The costs of obtaining permits are not included in the investment amount.

Not suitable for real estate investments:

  • buying real estate for reconstruction;

  • buying a home for yourself and your family;

  • buying real estate for rent.

Houses on Mount Victoria in Wellington: passport of New Zealand

Traditional New Zealand houses on the side of Mount Victoria in Wellington, the capital of New Zealand

A business investment is an equity investment in a New Zealand company, which under the terms of the program must be wholly owned by a foreign company. Investors provide information about the scope of the company and what the investment will be spent on.

Donations to charity. No more than 15% of the total investment can be invested in charitable foundations. For investments to be counted:

  • the charitable foundation must work for at least two years;

  • a nonprofit organization must be approved by a visa manager and provide social, cultural or economic benefits.

What documents do investors need

Investors must submit the following documents to apply for the New Zealand Residency by Investment Program:

  1. Originals or certified copies of passport and birth certificate.

  2. Marriage certificate.

  3. Birth certificates of children.

  4. Certificate of absence of tax arrears.

  5. Certificate of no criminal record.

  6. Documents confirming the availability of the required amount to participate in the investment program and the legality of its receipt.

  7. Two photographs 3 × 4.

The investor needs to undergo a medical examination by a doctor who can send an official opinion to New Zealand. You can find the nearest doctor on the official website of the program.

How else can you get a residence permit in New Zealand

In addition to investing in the country’s economy, there are other reasons for obtaining a residence permit in New Zealand and immigration to the country:

  • admission to a New Zealand university or language school;

  • job invitation;

  • starting or buying a business in New Zealand;

  • marriage with a resident or citizen of the country;

  • family reunion.

Student residence permit is issued to students who enroll in a New Zealand university or language school. This type of residence permit is obtained for the entire period of study in New Zealand — it is valid for up to four years.

Temporary work visas are issued to graduates of New Zealand universities for a period of one to three years. If during the validity period of the visa you managed to find a job, you can apply for a permanent work visa.

A permanent work visa can be obtained by people under the age of 55. Applicants fill out a questionnaire, according to which the immigration officer assesses the professional skills of the candidate. Points are awarded for work experience, skill level, and knowledge of the English language. The minimum passing score is 100, but in each case the decision is made individually. You can estimate your chances using the points calculator.

A temporary business visa is issued to those who are ready to create or buy a business in New Zealand and invest from $70,000 in it. Also, the candidate will need to confirm that he has never been involved in financial fraud.

To apply for a visa, you need to fill out a form and score at least 120 points. The questionnaire evaluates the size of the investment, the experience of doing business, the location of the company, its benefits for New Zealand, etc. You can calculate the number of points using a special calculator.

A permanent business visa can be obtained after two years of living in New Zealand on a temporary business visa. Permanent residence can be obtained earlier if you invest in the company from $350,000 and create three jobs in New Zealand.

A residence permit through marriage can be obtained by entering into a relationship with a resident or citizen of New Zealand. The application is considered up to 11 months for New Zealand citizenship by marriage: this time is needed to check if the relationship is fictitious. Immigration to New Zealand through a fictitious marriage is illegal.

If the partners have been together for more than five years, you can immediately apply for permanent residence. In other cases, permanent residence can be obtained after two years of living in New Zealand on a temporary visa.

The University of Auckland: moving to New Zealand

The clock tower is the symbol of the University of Auckland, the largest university in New Zealand. The university is included in the top 100 best universities in the world according to the QS World University Rankings. It received high marks for academic reputation and a large number of students and teachers from abroad

When can one get a New Zealand passport?

Investors can apply for New Zealand citizenship after five years of living in the country in the status of a residence permit or permanent residence. In order for the application to be approved, the investor confirms that he was in the country at least:

  • 240 days each year, eight months equivalent;

  • 1,350 days over the past five years is an average of 270 days a year, or around nine months.

In New Zealand, it is allowed to have a second citizenship: when obtaining citizenship of the country, you do not need to give up your first citizenship.

New Zealand passport by investment

Biometric passports have been issued in New Zealand since 2005, they need to be changed every ten years

Benefits of living in New Zealand

New Zealand is ranked ninth in the United Nations ranking of the happiest countries. The state provides social protection to residents and effectively fights corruption. The country has a high life expectancy of 82 years.

The cost of living. The national average income is about $2,800 per month after taxes. People living alone spend about $900 a month on living. A family of four costs an average of $3400.

A third of the New Zealand population rents housing, which increases costs by one and a half to two times more. Depending on the proximity to the city center, the cost of renting a one-room apartment varies from $850 to $1,100 and for a three-room apartment, $1,500 to $1,800.

Work and business. New Zealand has a low unemployment rate of 4%. The state creates comfortable conditions for doing business, helps private production and protects the rights and freedoms of its citizens. New Zealand ranks second in the ranking of countries with a high level of economic freedom.

New Zealand has no capital gains, gift taxes, inheritance taxes, property, land or transport taxes. Companies pay income tax at a rate of 28% and value added tax at a rate of 15%. Individual entrepreneurs pay income tax at the same rates as individuals: the tax is calculated on a progressive scale from 10.5 to 39%.

Standard & Poor’s has rated the country’s 2021 credit rating at AA+. This means that New Zealand’s economy is stable and is quickly recovering from the pandemic.

Safety. New Zealand is ranked tenth in the ranking of the safest countries. This means that the country has a high level of personal safety for residents, the state is effectively fighting the coronavirus, and the occurrence of unrest and wars is unlikely.

Climate. New Zealand has a subtropical maritime climate with high humidity and frequent rains, with an average of 137 rainy days per year.

The change of seasons is not very pronounced: the average temperature in winter is +10°С, in summer — +18°С. Since the country is located in the Southe Hemisphere, the seasons are opposite to the European ones: the warmest month is January, and the coldest month is July.

Cleanness. New Zealand has an image of a "green" country. Public outreach policies are effective as New Zealanders are responsible for the segregated collection of waste and keep the city streets clean. If residents see household rubbish on the street, they will not pass by, but will pick it up and carry it to public bins.

Parenting. Wellington, the capital of New Zealand, ranked third among the best cities for parenting. There are many parks for walking, low air pollution, and enough schools for comfortable learning in small classes.

Auckland: business immigration to New Zealand

Auckland is the economic and financial center of New Zealand. The Sky Tower is 326 meters high and can be seen from almost anywhere in the city

Visa-free travel with a New Zealand passport

The New Zealand passport is ranked seventh in the world passport ranking. It is used to travel without visas to the UK, Australia, Japan, Hong Kong and 183 other countries. This list also includes countries that issue visas on arrival when crossing the border.

New Zealand citizens receive an electronic entry permit before traveling to the United States or Canada. With the help of it, they check whether the traveler poses a danger to the inhabitants of the country. For example, questionnaires usually ask about convictions or events of deportation.

187 Visa Free Countries for New Zealand Citizens

  • Asia

    No.

    Country

    Entry requirements

    1

    Armenia

    Visa-free

    2

    Bahrein

    Visa on arrival

    3

    Bangladesh

    Visa on arrival

    4

    Brunei

    Visa-free

    5

    Cambodia

    Visa on arrival

    6

    Georgia

    Visa-free

    7

    Hong Kong

    Visa-free

    8

    Indonesia

    Visa-free

    9

    Iran

    Visa on arrival

    10

    Iraq

    Visa-free

    11

    Israel

    Visa-free

    12

    Japan

    Visa-free

    13

    Jordan

    Visa on arrival

    14

    Kazakhstan

    Visa-free

    15

    Kuwait

    Visa on arrival

    16

    Kyrgyzstan

    Visa-free

    17

    Laos

    Visa on arrival

    18

    Lebanon

    Visa on arrival

    19

    Macao

    Visa-free

    20

    Malaysia

    Visa-free

    21

    Maldives

    Visa on arrival

    22

    Myanmar

    Visa on arrival

    23

    Nepal

    Visa on arrival

    24

    Oman

    Visa-free

    25

    Pakistan

    E-entry permit

    26

    Palestine

    Visa-free

    27

    Philippines

    Visa-free

    28

    Qatar

    Visa-free

    29

    Saudi Arabia

    Visa on arrival

    30

    Singapore

    Visa-free

    31

    South Korea

    Visa-free

    32

    Sri Lanka

    E-entry permit

    33

    Taiwan

    Visa-free

    34

    Tajikistan

    Visa on arrival

    35

    Thailand

    Visa-free

    36

    Timor-Leste

    Visa on arrival

    37

    Turkey

    Visa-free

    38

    UAE

    Visa-free

    39

    Uzbekistan

    Visa-free

  • Africa

    No.

    Country

    Entry requirements

    1

    Botswana

    Visa-free

    2

    Burkina Faso

    Visa on arrival

    3

    Cape Verde

    Visa on arrival

    4

    Comoros

    Visa on arrival

    5

    Egypt

    Visa on arrival

    6

    Eswatini

    Visa-free

    7

    Ethiopia

    Visa on arrival

    8

    Gambia

    Visa-free

    9

    Guinea-Bissau

    Visa on arrival

    10

    Kenya

    Visa on arrival

    11

    Lesotho

    Visa-free

    12

    Madagascar

    Visa on arrival

    13

    Malawi

    Visa on arrival

    14

    Mauritania

    Visa on arrival

    15

    Mauritius

    Visa-free

    16

    Mayotte

    Visa-free

    17

    Morocco

    Visa-free

    18

    Mozambique

    Visa on arrival

    19

    Namibia

    Visa-free

    20

    Reunion

    Visa-free

    21

    Rwanda

    Visa on arrival

    22

    Saint Helena Island

    Visa on arrival

    23

    Senegal

    Visa-free

    24

    Seychelles

    Visa on arrival

    25

    Sierra Leone

    Visa on arrival

    26

    Somalia

    Visa on arrival

    27

    South Africa

    Visa-free

    28

    Tanzania

    Visa on arrival

    29

    Togo

    Visa on arrival

    30

    Tunisia

    Visa-free

    31

    Uganda

    Visa on arrival

    32

    Zambia

    Visa on arrival

    33

    Zimbabwe

    Visa on arrival

  • Europe

    No.

    Country

    Entry requirements

    1

    Albania

    Visa-free

    2

    Andorra

    Visa-free

    3

    Austria

    Visa-free

    4

    Belarus

    Visa-free

    5

    Belgium

    Visa-free

    6

    Bosnia and Herzegovina

    Visa-free

    7

    Bulgaria

    Visa-free

    8

    Croatia

    Visa-free

    9

    Cyprus

    Visa-free

    10

    Czech Republic

    Visa-free

    11

    Denmark

    Visa-free

    12

    Estonia

    Visa-free

    13

    Faroe Islands

    Visa-free

    14

    Finland

    Visa-free

    15

    France

    Visa-free

    16

    Germany

    Visa-free

    17

    Gibraltar

    Visa-free

    18

    Greece

    Visa-free

    19

    Greenland

    Visa-free

    20

    Hungary

    Visa-free

    21

    Iceland

    Visa-free

    22

    Ireland

    Visa-free

    23

    Italy

    Visa-free

    24

    Kosovo

    Visa-free

    25

    Latvia

    Visa-free

    26

    Liechtenstein

    Visa-free

    27

    Lithuania

    Visa-free

    28

    Luxembourg

    Visa-free

    29

    Malta

    Visa-free

    30

    Moldova

    Visa-free

    31

    Monaco

    Visa-free

    32

    Montenegro

    Visa-free

    33

    Netherlands

    Visa-free

    34

    North Macedonia

    Visa-free

    35

    Norway

    Visa-free

    36

    Poland

    Visa-free

    37

    Portugal

    Visa-free

    38

    Romania

    Visa-free

    39

    San Marino

    Visa-free

    40

    Serbia

    Visa-free

    41

    Slovakia

    Visa-free

    42

    Slovenia

    Visa-free

    43

    Spain

    Visa-free

    44

    Sweden

    Visa-free

    45

    Switzerland

    Visa-free

    46

    Ukraine

    Visa-free

    47

    United Kingdom

    Visa-free

    48

    Vatican

    Visa-free

  • Oceania

    No.

    Country

    Entry requirements

    1

    American Samoa

    Visa-free

    2

    Australia

    Visa-free

    3

    Cook Islands

    Visa-free

    4

    Fiji

    Visa-free

    5

    French Polynesia

    Visa-free

    6

    Guam

    Visa-free

    7

    Kiribati

    Visa-free

    8

    Marshall Islands

    Visa-free

    9

    Micronesia

    Visa-free

    10

    New Caledonia

    Visa-free

    11

    Niue

    Visa-free

    12

    Northern Mariana Islands

    Visa-free

    13

    Palau Islands

    Visa on arrival

    14

    Papua New Guinea

    Visa-free

    15

    Samoa

    Visa on arrival

    16

    Solomon Islands

    Visa-free

    17

    Tonga

    Visa on arrival

    18

    Tuvalu

    Visa on arrival

    19

    Vanuatu

    Visa-free

  • North America

    No.

    Country

    Entry requirements

    1

    Anguilla

    Visa-free

    2

    Antigua and Barbuda

    Visa-free

    3

    Bahamas

    Visa-free

    4

    Barbados

    Visa-free

    5

    Belize

    Visa-free

    6

    Bermuda

    Visa-free

    7

    British Virgin Islands

    Visa-free

    8

    Canada

    E-entry permit

    9

    Cayman Islands

    Visa-free

    10

    Costa Rica

    Visa-free

    11

    Dominica

    Visa-free

    12

    Dominican Republic

    Visa-free

    13

    El Salvador

    Visa-free

    14

    French West Indies

    Visa-free

    15

    Grenada

    Visa-free

    16

    Guatemala

    Visa-free

    17

    Haiti

    Visa-free

    18

    Honduras

    Visa-free

    19

    Jamaica

    Visa-free

    20

    Mexico

    Visa-free

    21

    Montserrat

    Visa-free

    22

    Nicaragua

    Visa-free

    23

    Panama

    Visa-free

    24

    Puerto Rico

    E-entry permit

    25

    Saint Kitts and Nevis

    Visa-free

    26

    Saint Lucia

    Visa-free

    27

    Saint Vincent and the Grenadines

    Visa-free

    28

    Sint Maarten

    Visa-free

    29

    Trinidad and Tobago

    Visa on arrival

    30

    Turks and Caicos

    Visa-free

    31

    USA

    E-entry permit

    32

    United States Virgin Islands

    E-entry permit

  • South America

    No.

    Country

    Entry requirements

    1

    Argentina

    Visa-free

    2

    Aruba

    Visa-free

    3

    Bolivia

    Visa-free

    4

    Brazil

    Visa-free

    5

    Caribbean Netherlands

    Visa-free

    6

    Chile

    Visa-free

    7

    Colombia

    Visa-free

    8

    Curacao

    Visa-free

    9

    Ecuador

    Visa-free

    10

    Falkland Islands

    Visa-free

    11

    French Guiana

    Visa-free

    12

    Guyana

    Visa-free

    13

    Paraguay

    Visa on arrival

    14

    Peru

    Visa-free

    15

    Uruguay

    Visa-free

    16

    Venezuela

    Visa-free

In which countries do investors get citizenship faster than New Zealand?

There are citizenship programs for investors only in some countries. Using them, you can get a passport in a period of one month or more. Second citizenship allows you to travel without visas, to equip a “safe haven” in another country, optimize taxes and open a company abroad.

Vanuatu is an island country in the Pacific Ocean, which is located three thousand kilometers north of New Zealand. Here citizenship can be obtained remotely within a period of one month.

The Vanuatu Investment Program is the fastest route to second passport and visa free travel. Investment amount is $130,000. Investors visit 135 countries without visas, including all countries in the Schengen area.

Caribbean countries also issue passports to investors. Citizenship programs operate in five countries:

  1. Grenada.

  2. Dominica.

  3. Antigua and Barbuda.

  4. Saint Lucia.

  5. Saint Kitts and Nevis.

The passport of a Caribbean country is obtained remotely within two months. For this, they invest from $100,000: this is the minimum investment amount in citizenship programs of Dominica, Antigua and Barbuda and Saint Lucia.

$100,000

Minimum investment for obtaining a second citizenship

The application can include a husband or wife, children, parents, grandparents, brothers and sisters. No family member needs to take language or culture exams. In most cases, you do not need to visit the country either.

Investors with Caribbean passports travel to 140+ countries whilst optimizing taxation and opening companies abroad.

Malta offers investors the opportunity to obtain citizenship by naturalization for exceptional merit through direct investment.

The minimum investment amount is €690,000. Applicants buy or rent real estate, donate to a government fund and make a charitable donation. The term for obtaining citizenship is one or three years in the status of a resident.

The opportunities of a Maltese passport are comparable to a New Zealand passport. Maltese citizens travel without a visa to 186 countries around the world, including those in the Schengen, the United Kingdom, the United States, Canada, Australia, Japan and Singapore. They can settle in Malta or another European country and open a company, find a job, get an education and use the medical services at discounted prices.

Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for citizenship and residence by investment programs in the EU, the Caribbean, Asia, and the Middle East. Take advantage of our global 15-year expertise — schedule a meeting with our investment programs experts.

Frequently Asked Questions

  • How to get New Zealand citizenship by investment?

    You cannot obtain New Zealand citizenship by direct investment. However, a passport can be obtained after five years of living in New Zealand with a residence permit. To obtain resident status, the investor participates in one of the programs for obtaining a residence permit in New Zealand.

  • How quickly can you get New Zealand citizenship?

    Investors receive New Zealand citizenship after five years of living in the country in resident status with either a residence permit or a permanent residence card.

  • Do I need to move to New Zealand to obtain citizenship of the country?

    To obtain New Zealand citizenship, you need to spend a lot of time in the country. For five years, the investor needs to spend at least 240 days each year in New Zealand, or at least 1,350 days in total.

  • Will a child born in the country acquire New Zealand citizenship?

    A child at birth receives New Zealand citizenship only if at least one of his parents has permanent residence status in New Zealand or citizenship of the country.

    For residents, childbirth and pregnancy in New Zealand will be inexpensive: the work of a midwife is paid by the state, tests are carried out free of charge, future parents pay 20‑30% of the cost for ultrasounds and vitamins for pregnant women.

  • How much do you need to invest to get official status in New Zealand?

    Two investment residency programs operate in New Zealand. One invests from 3 million New Zealand dollars, and on the other, 10 million. Programs also differ in the requirements for the investor in terms of residence in the country and the timing of obtaining permanent residence.

  • What can you invest in to get a residence permit in New Zealand?

    Investors have several options: participants in programs for obtaining a residence permit New Zealand invest in real estate, business, securities and also donate money to charitable foundations.

    Investing in real estate involves investing money in residential property, commercial construction or the purchase of commercial premises for starting a business.

    Business investment involves investing in the equity capital of a New Zealand company.

    Investing in securities is the purchase of shares or units of venture funds. Buying bonds is not considered an investment.