Government pressured to relax investor immigration rules
New Zealand construction firms are calling on the government to relax immigration laws in order to ease the process of settling in the country for wealthy investors. The Construction Development Alliance wants a new immigration category introduced that will allow investors with a pot of NZ$ five million to enter New Zealand without first satisfying the immigration authority’s English language requirements.
At the moment there are two investor programmes. Investor stipulates NZ$1.5 million in investment and requires a level of competence in English. Investor Plus requires NZ$10 million but waives the English requirement and guarantees citizenship.
According to the Alliance the English requirement is outdated in today’s international business environment. Although the requirement for spending time in New Zealand for investors on both the current programmes is just 44 days, the Alliance also believes that this is unnecessary.
Support for the new investment scheme has come from Donghau Lau, the Chinese businessman who was controversially granted citizenship before his investment in a rejuvenation project stalled.
The Alliance also claims to have the support of Prime Minister John Keys. However a spokesperson for the PM said the government is currently wary about making any adjustments to immigration rules pertaining to investors.
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