Necessary Documentation For Retiring In New Zealand

The required qualifications and documentation for retiring in New Zealand are extensive, and for many retirees, retiring to New Zealand is unaffordable or unrealistic. A resident visa is required for at least two years prior to applying for permanent residency status. A temporary but renewable retirement visa is available and valid for up to two years.

Getting to New Zealand

Prior to departure, consult the New Zealand Embassy to ensure you’re eligible for residency. All U.S. citizens traveling to New Zealand must have a valid U.S. passport, however a visa isn’t necessary upon arrival. Retirees living in New Zealand are advised to apply for their visas as soon as possible.

Qualifications for a Retirement Visa

To qualify for a retirement visa, you must be 66 years of age or older. In addition to paying an application fee of over $2,000, you must have the means to invest over $750,000 in New Zealand over the two years you have the visa. (New Zealand Department of Immigration, 2010).

The following constitutes an acceptable investment:

  • Bonds capable of commercial return under normal circumstances, invested in New Zealand, in New Zealand currency, and with the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy
  • Equity in New Zealand firms, including managed funds
  • New Zealand government-issued bonds.

Funds must be invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in New Zealand. The money isn’t for the personal use of the retiree, and cannot be invested in residential property or a financial institution.

Renewing your Retirement Visa

New Zealand’s Retirement Visa is a temporary visa that allows retirees to spend two years of their retirement in New Zealand, provided they invest properly and indemnify the government against possible health and welfare costs.

The $750,000 investment must remain in New Zealand’s economy throughout your stay. Temporary Retirees can continuously renew their visas if they meet the financial requirements, and retirees must provide $500,000 in personally available funds in addition to the $750,000 economic investment.

In addition to the available funds and investment, you must have an annual income of at least $60,000 for every year you live in New Zealand.

If you obtain permanent residency, you’re eligible for both public and private healthcare options in New Zealand.