This section contains information on residency-based applications.


Overseas persons who intend to reside in New Zealand indefinitely do not need to show that their investment in sensitive land is likely to benefit New Zealand.  This supports migrants in the process of moving to New Zealand to make it their home and to make a positive contribution to society. 

Demonstrating intention to reside in New Zealand indefinitely

To meet the intention to reside in New Zealand criterion in section 16(1)(c)(i) the Government considers the overseas person will generally:

  • hold a residence class visa or an entrepreneur work visa3, and
  • show actions and plans, with supporting evidence, consistent with an intent to reside in New Zealand within 12 months.

An intention to reside in New Zealand indefinitely must involve a definite plan and accompanying actions. In determining whether a person is intending to reside indefinitely we consider any active steps that have been taken by the investor to actually reside in New Zealand.

All individuals with control of the investment must meet the criterion in section 16(1)(c)(i).

Conditions of consent are likely to be imposed requiring all relevant individuals to move to New Zealand within 12 months from the date of consent and become ordinarily resident in New Zealand within 2 years from the date of consent. If these conditions are not satisfied, the OIO may require you to dispose of the land you acquire.

Other supporting evidence of intentions

A simple assertion by a person that he or she intends to remain indefinitely is unlikely to be sufficient. The surrounding circumstances are important. Expressions of intention will not prevail against a course of conduct leading to an opposite inference.1

For example, in Re Craig; Curtis v Nairn2 when considering whether someone intended to reside indefinitely in Australia, the court considered factors such as the sale of a house in New Zealand, the cancellation of New Zealand superannuation, a statement that he did not wish to live on the New Zealand pension, and a wish to be cremated in Tasmania as evidence of an intention to live indefinitely in Queensland.

The following matters may demonstrate an intention to live indefinitely in New Zealand:

  • acquiring real property
  • establishing a business, incorporating a company and/or making long term investments
  • becoming resident for tax purposes
  • becoming part of the community (for example, by enrolling children in local schools)
  • making long term investments, or
  • moving all personal possessions.

In the former country of residence:

  • selling real property
  • closing a business or liquidating long term investments
  • ceasing to be tax resident, or
  • moving all personal possessions.




1. Halsbury's Law of England, Vol 8, LexisNexis Butterworks, United Kindom at para 429. [1998] BCL 317.

2. In this case the High Court considered section 9 (d) of the Domicile Act 1976.

3. See the All visa options for living permanentlypage (Immigration New Zealand website) 

Last Updated: 3 September 2020