New Zealand

A decline in investor visas for New Zealand. Image: Adobe Stock

NZ losing appeal as investor visa destination

Appeal for New Zealand’s investor visa has shrunk with numbers having dropped to only 15 applications in the past 6 months

New Zealand

A decline in investor visas for New Zealand. Image: Adobe Stock

New Zealand has always been an appealing destination for people looking for a healthy and stable place to live in. The country is home to a sizeable number of South Africans who choose the country for stability and the comfortable lifestyle on offer.       

South Africans often migrate to the Land of the Long White Cloud since it is an ideal place to bring up a family. According to Businesstech New Zealand is home to the fourth largest community of SA ex-pats, behind the United Kingdom, Australia and the United States of America.  

It would seem that worldwide, people are re-evaluating the places they would like to live in.  While some countries are actively trying to regenerate tourist flows which they lost for several years due to the travel bans imposed during the pandemic, others are actively enticing digital nomads and remote workers.   


According to The Guardian, several of the world’s super-rich targeted New Zealand for boltholes, and applied for NZ visas or citizenship, in the period before and during the Covid-19 pandemic.

According to the Ministry of Business, Immigration and Employment (MBIE), just 15 people have applied for NZ’s new investor visa since it was launched six months ago. This compares with 492, according to BusinessDesk, who applied in 2021 under the previous criteria, which was in place until mid-2022.


New Zealand has tightened up its visa requirements for investors.  Under the new investor visa criteria, applicants have to invest at least NZD 15m (ZAR 172m) over more than three years – only half of which can be in passive investments – or NZD 5m (ZAR 57m) if the funds go directly to a New Zealand business.

The old scheme required NZD 10m (ZAR 115m) investment but could be placed in very low-risk investments, like government bonds.


Nicola Tiffen, chair of the New Zealand Association For Migration And Investment, an industry body for immigration advisers, said demand for NZ investor visas had been low over the past six months   

“We’re dealing with a global economic environment, which is extremely volatile … Because we’ve gone to the $15m and we’re requiring people to put money in such high-risk types of investments, the type of person that we’re going to attract is only going to be the sort of person who [not only] has that amount but can afford to lose that amount of money,” Tiffen said, per The Guardian.

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