New Zealand doubles cost of investment visa amid Chinese immigrant boom

The government is also raising the cap on migrants from 300 to 400

New Zealand will double the amount of investment needed for permanent residency, the country’s immigration minister said on Wednesday, while also increasing the number of visas it issues.

The ‘Investor 2’ visa will require NZ$3 million ($2.13 million) in investment from May next year and 400 places a year will be available, up from 300, Immigration Minister Michael Woodhouse said in an emailed statement.

 The move signals the government is taking a closer look into how to translate its migration policy into economic benefit.

China is the largest source country of permanent migrants to New Zealand, making up 17 per cent of arrivals according to 2015 figures.

In 2014, up to half of all Chinese immigrants to the country arrived through the investor scheme. The rest were parents whose children studied there.

New Zealand is in the midst of a migration boom, but fast-growing industries such as technology and construction have struggled to find enough high-skilled workers. This has left the central bank calling for the government to reconsider its strategy, concerned that the country is not attracting “quality” immigrants.