Residence for millionaire foreign investors??
That New Zealand is a desirable destination relative to the rest of the world becomes clearer by the day. We are not only a first world nation offering a fantastic lifestyle, but have found ourselves in the enviable (and fairly unique) position of having very few Covid-19 cases; and hopefully on the verge of eradicating it on these shores.
Subjecting our population to a strict lockdown over the last month to achieve this, has however come at significant cost; placing huge pressure on local business and incurring significant levels of public debt. The coming months will see much discussion on how we alleviate this, how we can promote business both domestically and abroad; and ways to draw much needed foreign investment to this country.
This week the media has covered a range of ideas from various commentators suggesting how we might do this, with several suggesting offering residence, or citizenship to wealthy foreigners, in return for these High Net Worth Individuals (HNWI’s) investing in NZ:
Of course, tying investment to residence is not new; NZ already has options for HNWI’s seeking residence where specific requirements need to be met on making either a $10M or $3M investment over 3 or 4 years respectively. The Turner Hopkins immigration team has significant experience in this area, advising many of NZ’s most notable new migrants over the years on the migrant investor categories; and more recently of their options under new rules relating to foreign buyers of residential property.
It is our experience that those coming into NZ under the investor pathway offer far more than the initial investment that is generally placed into NZ equities or bonds. The HNWI’s we assist often become involved in local business and bring valuable skills, contacts and entrepreneurial flair that can only be considered an asset to this country.
With the above in mind, we believe the idea of leveraging NZ’s desirability at this time to attract foreign investors has considerable merit. This could be achieved by loosening foreign investment rules to allow HNWI’s to purchase plots of land in key areas such as the Hawke's Bay, Queenstown and Northland, or fast-tracking residence (or even citizenship) for those willing to invest $50M into the NZ economy. We have a lot to gain from stimulating the local economy in this way, and given the robust assessment a potential applicant will be subjected to, there is also little down side.
If you would like to discuss the pathways to residence of NZ that currently exist, please contact our immigration team who will be happy to do so.
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