Investors can obtain a residence permit in New Zealand for three or four years if they participate in the government's Investor 1 or Investor 2 programs. But these two programs will close on July 27, 2022: all applications submitted before that day will be considered.
The cancellation of the Investor 1 and Investor 2 programs is part of a new government strategy to change the country's immigration policy. New Zealand plans to attract experienced, high‑profile investors who will be willing to invest in local businesses. Currently, visa applicants most often choose passive investments, such as buying government bonds.
It will be possible to obtain an Active Investor Plus visa from September 19, 2022, when the new program conditions come into force.
The minimum investment amount will increase from NZ$3,000,000 to NZ$5,000,000. This is about 3.1 million US dollars. Only 50% of this amount is allowed to be invested in passive investments.
To keep a residence permit, investors will have to spend 117 days in New Zealand over four years. It’s about a month out of the year.
Investors will no longer be able to buy real estate or bonds to obtain New Zealand residency. Investment options that will remain available:
- direct participation in a business that is registered in New Zealand;
- passive investments: shares of companies listed on the stock exchange; shares of local venture and investment funds; charitable contributions to local funds.
Investment requirements — new conditions
Companies that investors will invest in must obtain approval from New Zealand Trade and Enterprise, or NZTE. This is a government agency that helps New Zealand businesses go international.
Under the new conditions, investors are allowed to invest money gradually over the first three years of the visa.
Comparison of conditions for New Zealand investment programs
|Condition||Old programs||New program|
|Investor 1||Investor 2||Active Investor Plus|
for direct investment in the capital of local companies
with passive investments in charitable organizations, shares of venture and investment funds, shares of companies through the stock exchange
Passive investments - no more than 50% of the total investment
|Investment retention period||3 years||4 years||4 years|
|Stay in the country||88 days during the last two years of membership||483 days over four years||117 days over four years|
|Investor age||From 18 years old||From 18 to 65 years old||From 18 years old|
|Knowledge of English||Not required||At a basic level||At a basic level|
|Business experience||Not required||From 3 years||Not known yet|
|Deadline for obtaining permanent residence||From 3 years||From 4 years old||From 4 years old|
New Zealand has earned about 112 billion New Zealand dollars from investor programs - this is about 7.5 billion US dollars. But investors often receive visa refusals, for example, in 2021, the country's government rejected 69% of applications. And the term for consideration of documents has increased to a year instead of 3‑5 months.
Due to the high risk of rejection, investors prefer to obtain residency or citizenship in Europe and the Caribbean.
European citizenship and residence permit as an alternative for an investor
Seven European countries offer investors to obtain a residence permit. Residence permit and permanent residence programs differ in the minimum amount of investment, investment options and the term for obtaining resident status.
The residence permit gives the investor the right to come to the country of residence at any time, even with closed borders. Subject to all the conditions of the residence permit or permanent residence programs, the investor has the right to apply for citizenship of the country after some time, for example, in Portugal after five years.
Residents of five countries - Austria, Malta, Portugal, Greece and Switzerland - can also travel freely within the Schengen states and spend up to 90 days out of 180 there.
In which European countries investors can get a residence permit
|Country||Investments||Term of receipt||Residence Requirements|
|Residence permit in Austria||From €100,000||From 3 months||183 days a year|
|Permanent residence in Malta||From €150,000||6-8 months||No|
|Residence permit in Portugal||From €250,000||2-6 months||7 days a year|
|Residence permit in Greece||From €250,000||From 6 months||No|
|Permanent residence in Cyprus||From €300,000||From 3 months||Come once every 2 years|
|Residence permit in Andorra||From €400,000||2 months||90 days a year|
|Residence permit in Switzerland||From 450 000 ₣ per year||From 6 months||183 days a year|
In some countries, investors have the opportunity to obtain citizenship. Citizenship is more convenient than a residence permit, because the second passport expands the range of visa-free destinations.
Malta grants investors citizenship by naturalization for exceptional merit in the field of direct investment. The minimum investment amount is €690,000.
Investors fulfill three mandatory investment conditions:
- make a contribution to the National Development Fund;
- charitable contribution to a non‑governmental organization;
- buy or rent property.
First, the investor receives a residence permit in Malta. Then after one or three years, depending on the amount of investment, he applies for citizenship.
Turkey offers investors citizenship for real estate investments from $400,000. Alternative investment options under the program:
- deposit at a local bank;
- purchase of shares in an investment fund;
- business creation;
- buying government bonds.
The minimum investment for these four options is $500,000. Getting a Turkish passport takes about six months.
Montenegro issues citizenship for investments from €472,000. The investor makes a non‑refundable contribution to the state fund and buys a share in the real estate project. The term for obtaining a passport takes six months. The citizenship program in Montenegro is valid until December 31, 2022.
Caribbean Citizenship - An Alternative to a Residence Permit in New Zealand
Citizenship by investment programs operate in five Caribbean countries. State governments offer foreigners several investment options to choose from: a non‑refundable contribution to the state fund, the purchase of real estate or bonds, and opening a business on the islands.
With a Caribbean passport, you can travel visa-free to more than 140 countries, including the Schengen states, the UK and Singapore. And for trips to the United States, you can get a visa for 10 years under a simplified procedure.
Caribbean Citizenship Programs
|Country||Investments||Term of receipt|
|Antigua and Barbuda||From $100,000||3-6 months|
|Dominica||From $100,000||3-6 months|
|Saint Lucia||From $100,000||3-4 months|
|Saint Kitts and Nevis||From $150,000||2-6 months|
|Grenada||From $150,000||4-6 months|
The conditions of the Caribbean programs are similar: it is not easy for investors to choose the citizenship of one of the countries. Immigrant Invest studies the situation and tasks of the investor and helps to make the final decision. How to choose a program and a country of second citizenship, we talked in an interview with an expert on investment programs.
Immigrant Invest is a licensed agent for government programs in the EU and the Caribbean. If you want to obtain a residence permit or citizenship by investment, please contact investment program experts for advice.