News report | | 04/01/2022 | ±2 minutes reading time

The New Zealand government has decided to issue visums to foreign investors again. This will allow these people to travel to New Zealand despite the border closure.

Visas for rich investors

New Zealand has been trying to attract investors for some time. Since the beginning of this year, the New Zealand Immigration Service has been approving visa applications from wealthy investors. However, due to the border closure as a result of the coronavirus, it has not yet been possible for these people to actually travel to New Zealand. This is now going to change. New Zealand has announced that investors with a visa are welcome in the country again.

Potential investors do have to meet some conditions. There are two categories of investors who qualify for a visa: the ʼinvestorʼ category for investors who invest a minimum of $3 million over four years in New Zealand, and the ʼinvestment plusʼ category for investors who invest a minimum of $10 million over three years in the New Zealand economy. They also have to spend a minimum period in the country and are screened for their character.

Investors with an approved visa still need to arrange a quarantine facility through New Zealandʼs Managed Isolation and Quarantine system. Investments by visa holders in New Zealand account for about $1 billion annually.

New Zealanders overseas are angry

Although the business community in New Zealand is welcoming the news with open arms, New Zealanders overseas are less enthusiastic about the governmentʼs decision. Many New Zealanders are still stuck abroad because of Covid-19. Although they do not need a visa, many of them cannot travel back. The biggest problem they face is that New Zealandʼs quarantine facilities only have a limited number of places. Quarantine is mandatory for all travellers to New Zealand, including those with New Zealand nationality. They now fear that investors will receive preferential treatment in relation to the limited quarantine facilities. Grounded Kiwis, an advocacy group for New Zealanders detained abroad, says the government is putting money before the interests of its own citizens.

Currently, 108 visa applications from investors have been approved. 816 applications have yet to be processed.

Plans to reopen New Zealand have been postponed

Due to the spread of the omicron variant of the coronavirus, the New Zealand government has decided to postpone the planned reopening of borders. The original plan was to allow New Zealand citizens residing in Australia to re-enter without government quarantine from 16 January, and New Zealand citizens from other countries from 13 February. The government has now decided to wait until the end of February so that more New Zealanders can receive a booster shot. The mandatory PCR test must now be done up to 48 hours before departure instead of up to 72 hours. The governmentʼs decision runs counter to WHO advice, which states that border closures have relatively little effect against the spread of the coronavirus.

The original plan also stated that tourists with a valid New-Zealand visa would be welcome in the country again from April. The New Zealand government has not yet made any announcements in this regard. The New Zealand visa is valid for two years. This means that it can be applied for now for a trip later this year or next year.