Active Investor Plus Visa: Your gateway to New Zealand

MSI's Auckland-based New Zealand law member Carson Fox Legal is at the forefront of assisting international investors with their migration journey. With a significant increase in interest from overseas investors, the firm's team of seasoned immigration law experts offers personalised advice on visa eligibility and application processes. This article provides further insight on the Active Investor Plus Visa.

Carson Fox Legal is the leading service provider in New Zealand for investor visa. We have experienced a surge in the number of overseas people enquiring about investing and living here in New Zealand.

Our experienced immigration law experts work with interested visa applicants and provide bespoke advice on all aspects of the immigration process, including advising on visa eligibility and assisting with investor visa applications.

Our team also has specialist expertise in acting for overseas investors and we regularly deal with the Overseas Investment Office, Immigration New Zealand and New Zealand Trade Enterprises.

Creation of 'Active Investor Plus Visa'

To assist with growth opportunities for New Zealand businesses, New Zealand aims to attract experienced and high-value investors with international expertise.

The new investment visa category, “Active Investor Plus”, was created with that goal in mind and has since replaced Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa categories.

What you can do

The Active Investor Plus visa allows you, as an investor, to:

  • live, work and study in New Zealand;
  • include, in the visa application, your partner and dependent children who are aged 24 and under; and
  • apply for permanent residence after 4 years of keeping the investment funds in New Zealand.

Encouraging direct investment

The previous investment visa categories, Investor 1 and Investor 2 visa, were often criticised because they enabled investors to invest only in passive and low-risk investments (e.g. properties and bonds), the consequence of which being the perceived lack of meaningful benefit to New Zealand businesses.

To encourage investors to make active investments in New Zealand, the Active Investor Plus visa uses a weighting system.

Overview of the visa requirements

The Active Investor Plus visa requires you, as an investor, to:

  • invest at least NZ$15 million or the weighted equivalent in acceptable investments in New Zealand.
  • invest over a period of 3 years and maintain the investment for another year.
  • spend at least 117 days in New Zealand over the 4-year investment period.
  • have an acceptable English language test result (at least Level 5 of IELTS or equivalent) or provide evidence that you have an English-speaking background.

Investment classes

Acceptable investments have different weightings for the NZ$15 million investment threshold:

  • Direct investments – investing into private New Zealand businesses will receive a 3 x weighting (for example, the NZ$15 million threshold can be met by investing NZ$5 million into direct investments).
  • Private equity/venture capital funds – investing into private equity or venture capital funds will receive a 2 x weighting (for example, the NZ$15 million threshold can be met by investing NZ$7.5 million into private funds).
  • Listed equities/philanthropy – investing into listed equities or philanthropy will receive a 1 x weighting i.e. no additional weighting. Also each of these investments will be capped at 50% of the NZ$15 million threshold (for example, the NZ$15 million threshold can be met by investing NZ$7.5 million into listed equities and NZ$7.5 million into philanthropy).

This means that you, as an investor, could achieve the NZ$15 million investment threshold by making a combination of different investment types such as the following:

  • Direct investments: NZ$2 million (the weight equivalent amount being NZ$6 million)
  • Private equity/venture capital funds: NZ$2 million (the weight equivalent amount being NZ$4 million)
  • Listed equities/philanthropy: NZ$5 million (the weight equivalent amount being NZ$5 million)

We are not investment advisors, but we maintain a network of reputable advisors across each investment type.

We are here to help

Making the call to move to a new country is often one of the most significant life decisions for prospective migrants and their families.

Often there are technical requirements associated with visa processes that are not widely known. Any technical breach of those requirements could result in costly and protracted process for applicants. 

At Carson Fox Legal, our goal is to have our experienced team assist our clients navigate the complexity of the immigration process and to ensure a smooth pathway to gaining residency.  We are here to help.