Investment Based Residence

There are two potential immigration categories for people who wish to become residents of New Zealand through investment. At the end of the investment period (three of four years) you will be eligible for a permanent resident visa for yourself and your family members included in your application.

Investor 1 Category – you do not need to have any business experience, but you do need a rather large sum of money.

Investor 2 Category – you need less money than you need for the first category, but you also must have at least three years business experience. Under this Investor category a maximum of 300 applications are approved each year. Selection is based on a points test with the highest totals being selected fortnightly. If you are not successful, your expression of interest stays in the pool and may be selected at a later date.

Points are awarded for the Investor 2 Category as follows:

You receive a maximum 35 points if you are aged 25 years or younger. Thereafter you lose one point for each increase in year, giving just one point at age 59. No points are awarded beyond age 59.

Ability to speak English:
• an overall band score of 3 in IELTS …1 pt
• an overall band score of 4 in IELTS …4 pts
• an overall band score of 5 in IELTS (or have an English speaking background) …10 pts

Business Experience:

• Three years….9 pts
• Four years….12 pts
• Five years….15 pts
• Six years…..18 pts
• Seven years…21 pts
• Eight years…24 pts
• Nine years….27 pts
• Ten years…..30 pts

The length of business experience is based on at least 30 hours per week. You may get credit for part-time business experience on a proportional basis, so if you have gained eight years’ business experience at 15 hours per week, this would equate to four years’ business experience based on a 30-hour week.

Business experience does not have to be gained in consecutive years but it must add up to the minimum required in total.

If you have New Zealand business experience, you must have gained it while holding an appropriate permit.

Amount of Investment Funds
This starts at an award of 10 points for an investment fund of $1.5 million. It increases by 5 points for every extra $0.25 million, up to a maximum of 175 points for an investment fund of $9.75 million.

The basic requirements for each of the Investor categories are as follows:

Investor Category Basic Requirements

  Investor Plus (Investor 1 Category) Investor (Investor 2 Category)
Investment fundsNZ$10 million for 3 yearsNZ$1.5 million for 4 years
Minimum settlement fundsNoneNZ$1 million
Maximum ageNone65 or younger
Minimum English languageNoneIELTS with an overall band score of 3 or more
Minimum time in NZ44 days in each of the last two years of the three year period146 days in each of the last three years of the four year period

Investor Category Health Requirements
You and any family members accompanying you need to be in good health. When you apply for residence, you will have to be assessed by an approved doctor. Your application must be accompanied by medical and chest x-ray certificates for each person.

Investor Category Character Requirements
You and any family members accompanying you must be of good character. You will have to provide police certificates for all applicants aged 17 years or over. Some people who have committed serious crimes will not be allowed into New Zealand.

How to Apply for the Active Investor Category

Details of how to apply for the Investor Plus (Investor 1 Category)

Details of how to apply for the Investor (Investor 2 Category)


  1. Hi, I’m currently looking into moving to New Zealand and would like to establish a business there buying and renovating property, including new build housing.
    I have for the past 30 yrs been a self employed bricklayer and builder, for 5 yrs during this time I was also a college construction lecturer.
    I have level 4 teaching qual and brickwork level 3 and currently have a small sheet metal fabrication business
    Would my construction experience in all trades and self taught skills (plumbing, carpentry, roofing, welding and fabrication ect) carry any weight with the immigration authority?


  2. Hi , for the investor 2 category I do not have a business but I am head of a unit for 5 years with 2 or more reporting to me directly in a big organization. Will this qualify? Also recently what was the range of points that got selected ?

  3. Hi

    For the Investor (2) category visa, I am confused by the ‘business experience’ requirements. My business (commercial property letting) is low on turnover yet high on profit, therefore I cannot meet the ‘1 million NZ dollars turnover’ rule, also I do not employ anyone directly so cannot meet the ‘five employees’ rule. However, when I need a building converted or erected, I engage a Planning Consultant, Architect, Surveyor, Structural Engineers and Builders, all under contract.

    Am I excluded from New Zealand because of the ‘five employees’ and ‘1 million dollars turnover’ rules on business experience, despite 12 years’ experience in this particular field with good profits! I believe I meet all other criteria.


    • larrykiwi says:

      Hi MGC,
      do you have any other prior business experience other than “commercial letting” business experience?

  4. I have been approved to immigrate to NZ as a Cat 2 investor and need to make contact with a few financial advisers to research different investment opportunities. Could you assist in this regard.

    I would prefer to do my own trading investment on the stock exchange. Is this possible as a non resident.

    Kind regards

    Daniel Viljoen

  5. What is a typical score required to qualify?

    • Hi,

      Here are the results of the latest selection (10/10/2012):

      A selection of Expressions of Interest (EOI) under the Migrant Investment Category, Investor (Investor 2 category), took place on Wednesday 10 October 2012. Seven (7) EOIs were selected. All EOIs with a claim of between 50 and 103 points were selected.

  6. Stephen Richman says:

    What would be the requirements to move to New Zealand for myself age 64, my wife age 61 and my daughter 24 years of age?
    Can the requirements for all 3 of us be met financially? If so how much money do we need to have?

    • Hi Stephen,

      The temporary retirement category visa requires that:

      ‘You must nominate investment funds and/or assets equivalent to at least NZ$0.75 million and undertake to invest them in New Zealand for a period of two years.

      You must also nominate NZ$0.5 million for maintenance funds, and be able to show an annual income of NZ$60,000 at the time of your application.’

      You can include your partner in your application but not children.

      Your daughter would need to apply to stay in New Zealand under her own steam.

      She may find these links from Immigration New Zealand useful:

      Working Holiday
      Study In New Zealand

What say you?
Please do not ask us for immigration/visa advice - we cannot respond to such requests.