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April 1, 2024
5 min

How to Get New Zealand Golden Visa: Comprehensive Guide

Kenley Henderson - Golden Visa Expert

The New Zealand Golden Visa program is an exclusive pathway for wealthy individuals seeking permanent residency or citizenship in the picturesque country of New Zealand. To be eligible, you must invest between NZD 5 million and NZD 15 million over four years.

We'll delve into the program's specifics, benefits, and investment requirements. You'll learn about various routes towards permanent residency through immigration investment.

For those with entrepreneurial ambitions, we discuss innovative business opportunities under the entrepreneur visa scheme. We also shed light on how to prepare your application successfully and explore the Active Investor Plus Visa option.

New Zealand Golden Visa Guide

How to Get New Zealand Golden Visa: Comprehensive Guide

Active Investor Plus Visa: Your Gateway to New Zealand

The Active Investor Plus Visa is the golden ticket to New Zealand citizenship. Not only granting permanent residency, but the visa also permits indefinite residence, labour and study in New Zealand.

To qualify for this visa, you must fulfil all of the following requirements:

  1. Invest between NZD 5 million and NZD 15 million over four years.

  2. Spend 117 days in New Zealand across the four-year residence period.

  3. Demonstrate English language ability applicants must satisfy a test and demonstrate IELTS Level 5 mastery of English.

The following assets may be invested accordingly to meet the NZD 15 million thresholds:

  • directly approved businesses: get involved in the operation and management of approved businesses to gain valuable experience and insight into the local market;

  • managed funds: pool your money with other investors to invest in assets such as shares, property, and fixed-interest products;

  • listed equities: Invest in publicly traded shares of companies on stock exchanges like the New Zealand Stock Exchange;

  • philanthropy: make philanthropic donations towards government-recognised causes to meet your investment requirements under this category of zealand golden visas.

Acquiring citizenship via investment route requires careful planning and strategic decision-making skills. It’s best to consult with financial advisors or immigration experts before making any significant moves.

There were two categories of Investor Visa for New Zealand — Investor 1 and Investor 2. Permanent Residency could be obtained by:

  • investing in residential property,

  • commercial property,

  • certain high growth investments including government bonds.

On July 27, 2022, applications for Investor 1 and Investor 2 residence visas stopped to be accepted.

6 Benefits of New Zealand’s Golden Visa

The New Zealand Active Investor Plus Visa Program is a lucrative option for affluent individuals seeking to secure permanent residency in a country renowned for its high standard of living, diverse population, and low density.

1. Social benefits. As a resident under this scheme, you can access all the state’s social benefits, including healthcare and education services.

2. Economic advantages. You are allowed to start your business venture or invest further into existing businesses, thereby contributing towards economic growth while reaping profits at the same time.

3. Lifestyle perks. Known for its stunning landscapes and peaceful lifestyle, living in New Zealand offers unparalleled quality life experiences with opportunities for outdoor adventures like hiking and skiing, among others;

4. Zero taxes. No gift, real estate, wealth and no capital gains tax;

5. Global mobility. New Zealand passport ranks among the top 10 in the world and facilitates access to over 180 destinations worldwide.

6. Investment opportunities. The New Zealand Golden Visa Program offers the chance to pick from various asset options, such as government bonds, stocks or real estate, depending on one’s risk-taking attitude.

Time Frame of New Zealand Permanent Residency

Applications must be sent with fully filled-out application forms, fees, and supporting documentation. From the time the application is submitted until approval, the processing time is eight to nine months.

Before applying for permanent residency, investors must meet the time spent requirement by living in New Zealand for a minimum period. Once fulfilled, successful applicants can enjoy the freedom to live anywhere within the country and even purchase real estate.

All family members who secure visas under this scheme must demonstrate their proficiency in English to ensure smooth integration into society. It can be done through IELTS tests or evidence of having studied in English.

Families granted visas must visit New Zealand within the first twelve months following approval. Meticulous planning is key when applying for a golden visa.

New Zealand Golden Visa — family requirements

Families that qualify for a resident visa must depart for New Zealand within a year of receiving their visa but are not compelled to stay there for a set period

Required Documents

Prepare and submit the required documentation, which may include:

  1. Passport.

  2. Birth, marriage and divorce certificates.

  3. Proof of funds.

  4. Financial statements.

  5. Business records.

  6. Tax documents.

  7. Evidence of the source of your investment funds.

  8. Medical and character certificates.

Application Process Under New Zealand Investor Plus Visa

If you’re considering applying under the Active Investor Plus Visa category, remember there are additional criteria to fulfil, including managing approved businesses and reaching a minimum threshold for philanthropy.

Key Steps for obtaining a New Zealand Golden Visa include several steps.


2 weeks

Know the requirements

Familiarise yourself with all aspects of the New Zealand investor visa requirements, including investment amounts and types of investments allowed.


1 month

Gather necessary documents

Ensure you have all required documents ready for submission, such as proof of funds and business plans.


1 week

Get legal assistance

Engage an immigration lawyer who specialises in New Zealand’s immigration laws.


1 month

Make an investment

Transfer the minimum investment amount of NZD 5 million to New Zealand for a specified period of three years.


2 months

Approval and visa issuance

Once you provide evidence of the investment, INZ will issue your Investor Plus visa. The length of the investment period is three years, with a fourth year of maintenance.

If investors meet the conditions for a minimum amount of time spent in the nation after retaining their funds in New Zealand for four years, they may apply for permanent residency.

Residents may assist their parents' application for parent retirement after four years and after fulfilling the investment and time-in-country conditions.

Potential applicants must also demonstrate their commitment to contributing positively to New Zealand, both economically and socially. This could involve showcasing plans for local investments or presenting innovative ideas for economic growth.

Seeking Citizenship and Passport Benefits

If you’ve held your New Zealand Golden Visa for five continuous years, you may be eligible to apply for New Zealand citizenship. The applicant must have spent at least 1,350 days in New Zealand during the last five years to apply for a passport.

Benefits of New Zealand citizenship:

  • permanent residency: you get to live in New Zealand forever;

  • full rights and privileges: you can vote, access government services, and enjoy unrestricted travel;

  • application process: submit an application form with supporting documents like passport, police clearance, and IELTS score;

  • fulfilment of conditions: you must have lived in New Zealand for at least 5 years continuously under any class visa excluding visitor visas or temporary work visas;

  • ceremony attendance: attend a formal ceremony where you’ll take an oath of allegiance before receiving your certificate of naturalisation.

The process to obtain naturalisation can take anywhere from 8—9 months. To ensure success in your pursuit towards gaining New Zealand Golden Visa, it’s crucial to understand these requirements thoroughly before committing to investing in the local economy via the golden visas program.

Alternative Countries to Obtain Golden Visas Without English Language Requirements

Golden visa programs vary from country to country, and their requirements can change over time. Several countries offer golden visa programs that do not require English language tests or proficiency.

However, it’s important to note that these programs may undergo changes, so it’s advisable to double-check the current requirements with the relevant authorities or consult an immigration lawyer for the most up-to-date information.

Countries With Golden Visa Programs Without English Language Tests

Investment program


Term of obtaining


4—6 months


2—6 months


2—3 months


6 months


3 months


2 months


The Active Investor Plus Visa is a pathway to New Zealand citizenship that grants permanent residency, allowing investors to live, work and study in the country indefinitely.

To qualify for this visa, investors must meet specific investment criteria such as direct approved businesses, managed funds, listed equities or philanthropy recognised by the government.

It’s important to seek expert advice before making significant moves towards obtaining this prestigious status due to stringent vetting processes ensuring only genuine, committed individuals are granted permanent residence in New Zealand.

Frequently Asked Questions

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