The message which we have given wealthy potential clients in the last year is that Investor Residence is usually their best option to live in New Zealand permanently. However, it is not a "quick fix". Some have gone away disappointed that they can't get on a plane next month to settle down here. The mere fact that they have a lot of money, and New Zealand ought to want it, is not enough.
The problem is that very few Government staff are processing these applications, and they could take years to be approved. As reported in a recent news article in which I was interviewed, there could be at least NZ$2 billion locked up in potentially successful applications. Over 400 Investor 1 cases are on hand, but only 15 Investor 1 applications were decided in the current financial year
. From July 2020 to January 2021, 9 out of the 15 applications were approved. Based on the recent statistics, Immigration New Zealand is deciding on average between 1 and 3 investor applications a month.
So it is necessary to play the long game. Start on the assumption that you may not get here for 1, 2 or 3 years. Then plan what else you want to do with your life in the meantime. In fact, we find that many people we talk to have already taken this on board before they talk to us.
The policy itself is geared toward the view that people of means, planning to reside in New Zealand, will take a while to shift the focus of their lives away from their home country. Others choose to split their time between two or three countries. This is why, for the Investor 1 (NZ$10 million) option, visa holders are only expected to spend 6 weeks per year in NZ in each of the final 2 years of their initial 3-year investment period.
If you want to talk to us about starting this process, come armed with the awareness that nothing will happen overnight. This takes the pressure out of the situation and allows you to consider, thoughtfully, if moving to New Zealand is right for you.