Tag Archives: TJA

Electronic Travel Authority (ETA) for visitors to New Zealand from 1 October 2019

As a result of the Ministry of Business, Innovation and Employment’s (MBIE) consultation with stakeholders in 2018,  the government recently confirmed final details of the new ETA measure for visitors to New Zealand, commencing on 01 October 2019.

Whilst Australia has implemented a similar system for visitors for more than two decades now, this move will align New Zealand’s facilitation measures for visitors with Australia’s. According to government sources, the ETA is: “a new security and facilitation measure that will help to speed things up at the border.”

From 1 October 2019 onwards, it will be mandatory for air travellors from 60 visa waiver countries and all cruise travellers to hold an ETA prior to travelling to New Zealand.

An ETA lasts up to 2 years (as opposed to 1 year for Australia’s ETA) and costs NZ$9.00 for mobile application requests and NZ$12.00 for web browser requests (as opposed to Australia’s ETA at AU$20.00)

Similarly, airline crew and cruise line crew must hold a Crew ETA before travelling to New Zealand. Crew ETAs lasts up to 5 years and will only cost NZ$9.00.

Exemptions for ETA

  • New Zealand citizens (provided they travel on their New Zealand passports)
  • Holders of valid New Zealand visas (resident visas and temporary visas)
  • Australian citizens
  • Crew and passengers on a non-cruise vessel
  • Crew on a foreign ship carrying cargo
  • Guests of the government
  • People travelling under The Antarctic Treaty
  • Members of a visiting force and associated crew members.

Passengers from a visa waiver country or a transit visa waiver country, who are transiting through New Zealand, are also required to hold an ETA from 1 October 2019, even if New Zealand is not their final destination.

For Australian permanent residents, they will also need to hold an ETA, but are exempt from the need to pay for an International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL).

International Visitor Conservation and Tourism Levy (IVL)

Along with the ETA, the IVL will also be introduced by New Zealand. It will cost NZ$ $35.00 and will be valid in line with the ETA.

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Revealed: Why New Zealand is the top investment migration destination

Have you heard? That investing in New Zealand is the word?

Meet Peter Andreas Thiel, billionaire venture capitalist and founder of companies such as PayPal, CIA backed Palantir Technologies, MORE and so forth. Thiel was also an early investor in Facebook.

In 2011, Thiel obtained New Zealand citizenship having invested NZ$4 million in New Zealand accounting firm Xero, and a further NZ$4 million in fibre optic cable company Pacific Fibre. Such high profile citizenship grant via investment no doubt grabbed the attention of many people.

New Zealand as an investment immigration destination?

What does Thiel know about New Zealand that many people don’t? We can share that in Thiel’s application for New Zealand citizenship in 2011, he stated that New Zealand “is the future” and describing the country as an “utopia”.

Check out New Zealand’s business environment

New Zealand as an attractive immigration destination via investment is not limited to being just a billionaire’s utopia. Many entrepreneurs and investors look to New Zealand due to its ideal business environment as according to the World Bank, rating it number one for “ease of doing business”.

According to Transparency International, New Zealand also consistently ranked as the highest amongst the world as the least corrupt country. Forbes magazine also ranks New Zealand at second place in their list of best countries for business.

New Zealand Investor Visas: General Criteria

There are two (2) residence-by-investment streams available for investors: –

  1. Investor Visa (Investor 2 Category); and
  2. Investor Plus Visa (Investor 1 Category)

Hiking on Cecil Peak
Source: newzealand.com







Generic Criteria of Investor Category

The basic criteria for residence under the Inverstor Category are:

  • making an acceptable investment with a commercial return;
  • be invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds;
  • having potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy; and
  • not for personal use.

Choice of investment Options

A wide variety of investments are permitted, which includes (inter alia):

  • bonds;
  • residential property development;
  • commercial property;
  • shares in New Zealand firms and banks;
  • philanthropic investments;
  • angel funds investments
Residential Properties

Residential property developments can be accepted as investments meeting immigration guidelines, only if it is a new development with the appropriate approvals (not renovations or extending existing residential properties)

Commerical Properties

Investments in commercial properties must be for business purposes and not be used for land banking. However, investors may invest in empty land provided that plans for development are submitted for approval and work has commenced.

Approvals for Overseas Investments 

Certain transactions will require express approval of New Zealand’s Overseas Investment Office (OIO) where “overseas investment in sensitive land.” are identified.

The definition of sensitive land is complex with the legislation defining sensitive land as several different types of land, each with an area threshold.

2nd Category for Investors  

Investors applying under the second category must:

  • be under 65 years old;
  • required to invest NZ$3 million in New Zealand for a total of four (4) years;
  • a minimum of three (3) years worth of business experience;
  • demonstrate English language ability (IELTS band score 3 for dependant of the investor), or pre-purchasing ESOL tuitions
Image result for new zealand 100%
Source: Newzealand.com;

Two Stage Process

An Expression of Interest (EOI) serves as the first step necessary to apply. Immigration New Zealand (INZ) will select EOIs from the pool based on points allocated on a fortnightly basis.

An invitation to apply (ITA) will be sent to those selected and an application must be made within  four (4) months. Transfer of investment funds as nominated in the EOI must also be made within twelve (12)  months. T

Source of Funds

All investors must demonstrate that the funds or assets are derived from a “clean” source. Then, at the end of the four (4) years’ investment period,  a grant of a permanent resident visa will be recommended.

1st Category for Investors

Investor Plus Visa enjoys a higher processing priority, as the additional requirements found under the Investor 2 category do not apply.  However, the Investor 1 category will require the investor to invest NZ$10 million  or more into New Zealand over a  three (3) year period.

Health and character requirements also apply and investors are required to remain in New Zealand for a minimum of 44 days every year, within a period of two (2) years and three (3) of the invested period.


Partner and dependent children aged 24 and under may be included with the investor. The dependants are required to travel to New Zealand within twelve (12) months of the first visa grant date.

There is no better time for eligible investors to heed the New Zealand Government’s initiatives in welcoming you. Whether you are exploring possible investment opportunities or looking to settle, New Zealand will always stand out as the ideal and outstanding option for all investors.

Assisting with the Entire Process

We serve as your one stop shop for all your immigration via investment needs to New Zealand, from representation on your behalf, to facilitating your funds transfer to the New Zealand banking system.

For more information on the specifics of investment immigration to New Zealand, please contact our dedicated team at info@tjassocs.com.

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Foreign Ownership of Residential Properties: Australia vs. New Zealand

The topic relating to immigration is often a hotly debated topic and it is almost always a topic raised and debated in the lead up to the election season.

Similarly, the change in governments within both Australia and New Zealand gave rise to discussions and changes to the foreign national ownership of property in both jurisdictions. The Conversation recently published an article with excellent information on this subject.

In summary, starting 2018, New Zealand will be imposing a banon foreign ownership of residential property in an attempt to curb housing inflation and high vacancy rates. In other main cities such as Sydney, foreigers are being blamed for high housing prices, according to a survey.

Foreigners Owning Properties in New Zealand – what is the story?

According to statistics, residential property prices rose by 34% over the past three years. New Zealand residential property inflation reached 10.46% last year. This fact gave rise to concerns of New Zealanders that people on low and medium incomes are being locked out of the property market. Home ownership in New Zealand has reached its lowest level in 65 years. It was further estimated that only a quarter of adults under 40 years own their own home compared to half in 1991.

By contrast, net migration to New Zealand increased by 19% in the last financial year. Strong immigration, low interest rates and limited housing supplies fuelled the rise of residential property prices. Th is is true with partiular to areas affected by recent earthquakes.

Jancinda Ardern’s Labour government campaigned during elections this year that saw a comprehensive housing agenda which included a crackdown on speculative investors. Labour stated that 2015 tax changes applying to investor earnings were not having the desired effect of limiting price growth.

What about the situation across the ditch in Australia?

New Zealand is said to be leading the way, but still trailing behind Australia in other areas of housing policy. The incoming New Zealand legislative changes emphasise the banning of foreign ownership of residential property. Furthermore, the Foreign Investment Review Board (FIRB) of Australia has already banned all foreign ownership of existing (as opposed to new) housing. Likewise in New Zealand, the new law  will only allow permanent residents to buy existing homes.

By contrast, New Zealand will inlude any foreign trusts and foreign corporations in this ban on ownership starting 2018. Australian on the other hand, currently still allows for some foreign trusts and corporations permission to own pre-existing homes where staff needs to be accommodated. In Australia, overseas residential investment is largely channelled into building new homes.

The consensus in Australia is that temporary residents, such as students and those here for work, should not be allowed to buy existing residential properties. The FIRB allows this. New Zealand;s new ban however, will not allow for this.

New Zealand anticipates that removing investor demand by excluding foreign nationals from the market will help stabilise house prices. However, there is little evidence that such measures have successfully slowed price inflation in Australia.

Ironically, any increases in levies for stamping duty for certain foreigners is in fact at odds with   Increases in stamp duty rates for some foreign residential purchases are at odds with the FIRB’scall for investment in order to offset foreign trade deficits. For example, in the 2015/16 financial year, approvals for foreign investment in real estate amounted to A$72.4 billion!

However, the New South Wales and Victorian governments both increased stamp duty surcharges for foreign investors in residential real estate to make it less attractive to them. This currently applies to both NSW and Victoria only, as not all states apply a surcharge to foreign investments in real estate.

Thus, it is fair to say that by comparison, the impact is less likely to antagonise Australia’s major trading partners and investors such as China. New Zealand on the other hand will impose surcharges  nationally. Therefore, the surcharge may be viewed as a protectionist measure.

Further reading: Why China is cracking down on overseas investment


Having sai that however, even though foreign ownership restrictions could very likely harm New Zealand’s reputation as an open economy, they are unlikely to do so. The main reason for this is because approximately 58.5% of funds entering into New Zealand originated from Australia, the United Kingdom and the United States.

These are also the countries that New Zealand most heavily invests in. Where the surcharge remains reasonable, it is unlikely to impact upon investment or be seen as a protectionist measure.

New Zealand has been much slower than Australia to introduce rules on residential property ownership. Its proposed legislation closely mirrors Australia’s legislation in regard to who may buy existing homes. These measures have not significantly slowed housing price rises in Australia.

New Zealand further plans to limit residential ownership of property by temporary residents and apply a surcharge nationally. These additional measures may have greater effect on limiting housing price rises than Australia’s restrictions have had so far.

Only time will reveal whether the new strategies imposed by New Zealand on foreign ownership of properties will successfully curb rising house prices, or harm New Zealand’s reputation as being free and open, or both.

Contact us at info@tjassocs.com for your overseas property investment needs.

27 November 2017


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Do You Get What You Paid For? Not Always!

Well, not in Australia when it comes to visa sponsorship, at least. Changes to the Migration Act were made in December 2016, prohibiting companies from offering 457 visa sponsorship for a sum of money. 

An investigation by Fairfax Media reveals a "sponsorship for cash" business model across Australia's biggest pizza chain, costing anywhere between AU$30,000 to $150,000, excluding "lawyer fees".

Under the Migration Act, this will be considered fraud. 

Consult with the experts when it comes to your future. Short cuts are not worth it. Thomas. Jefferson Associates, in collaboration with our Australian operation West Aussie Migration have assisted countless of migrants and families to settle in Australia lawfully. 

Thomas. Jefferson Associates Limited / West Aussie Migration

Talk to one of our specialist Consultants via our Perth based affiliate West Aussie Migration today to avoid necessary hiccups in your visa applications.

 23 February 2017


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“457” Occupation List to be further reduced


457-visaImage source: IDG Communications

The Occupation List containing jobs which will qualify for a 457 visa will be further condensed, according to Australian Immigration Minister Peter Dutton.

Those with an occupation on the list and obtains sponsorship from an employer are eligible for a 457 visa for up to four years in order to fill shortages.

Increasing pressure faced by the Minister led to confirmation that the occupation list will be reviewed and further culled.  This is also amid the Minister’s pledge to put “Australia-first” as Immigration proves to be a recurring agenda on the Australian political front.

Thomas. Jefferson Associates

We stay ahead of the game and keep up with the latest developments that affects our clients. It comes as no surprises that all our clients fully entrust our Specialist Immigration Lawyers and Consultants handling their important affairs.

Get in touch with a Thomas. Jefferson Consultant today for all your Australian immigration matters.

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Thomas. Jefferson Associates Limited.
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Are you an Entrepreneur? New Zealand wants YOU!


New Pathway to Residence to New Zealand:

Global Impact Visa Programme (GIVs)

“Immigration New Zealand is partnering with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) to deliver an innovative new immigration product for high impact entrepreneurs, investors, and start-up teams.”

From early 2017, Immigration New Zealand will will be introducing to provide a two-step pathway to residence.

A participant in the Global Impact Visa programme will first be eligible for a three-year Work-to-Residence visa and then for a permanent resident visa, after they have been in the programme for 30 months.

The Global Impact Visa (GIVs) will bring up to 400 individual pioneering entrepreneurs and investors to create and support innovation-based ventures and startup teams from New Zealand.

GIVs will initially be run as a four-year pilot.

To be eligible for a Global Impact Visa, Fellows must be accepted into the EHF and be able to satisfy English language, health and character requirements and have sufficient funds to support themselves.

Participation in the programme gives Fellows:

  • Direct connections to entrepreneurship and investment communities across New Zealand and major innovation hubs around the world
  • Access to local test markets and infrastructures to prototype new ideas for fast feedback
  • Connection to centres of excellence in different regions of New Zealand
  • Access to a supportive global network of investors, advisors, partners and mentors
  • Regular events, demo days, learning and sharing opportunities, and a platform to tell their story
  • Settlement support for Fellows and immediate family
  • Access to investment and scaling opportunities in New Zealand and overseas
  • Access to top talent, universities, accelerators and incubators, information about investment and Research & Development grants.

In return, Fellows are expected to contribute towards New Zealand entrepreneurship ecosystems and actively work on, or invest in, ventures within New Zealand that have the potential for widespread global impact.

In addition to the 400 visas, up to 80 New Zealand entrepreneurs and investors will be accepted into EHF over the four years, providing the opportunity for collaboration between GIVs migrants and New Zealand entrepreneurs and investors.

More information can be found on EHF’s website.

About the GIVs

What is GIVs

GIVs is a new immigration policy designed to attract talented and innovative entrepreneurs, investors and start-up teams with the drive and capabilities to create innovation-based ventures in New Zealand.

Successful applicants will be provided with the right support to rapidly operate effectively within the New Zealand business environment. A permanent resident visa will be granted after three years, subject to conditions that must be met by the migrant entrepreneurs.

Who GIVs policy is targeting

The policy is designed to attract those with the drive and capability to launch global ventures from New Zealand who may not be able to qualify for other visa categories. They will have the combination of drive, risk appetite and global connections enabling them to launch or significantly contribute to successful innovation-based ventures in New Zealand.

Why GIVs is being delivered in partnership with the private sector

To bring the best entrepreneurs to New Zealand, Government is partnering with local and international experts in innovation, entrepreneurship and investment. By leveraging private sector strengths and knowledge in this space we are better positioned to accelerate innovation and grow New Zealand for all.

About the Edmund Hillary Fellowship

EHF is a collaboration between the Hillary Institute for International Leadership, a not-for-profit organisation that identifies and celebrates mid-career leaders from around the world and Kiwi Connect, an organisation promoting and connecting high-impact entrepreneurship in New Zealand.

EHF has been designed as an end-to-end programme that gives entrepreneurs, startup teams and investors a platform to incubate and grow innovative ventures.

The GIVs selection process – how it works

EHF will be responsible for identifying entrepreneurs who could have a significant impact on New Zealand’s innovation system, whilst Immigration New Zealand will be responsible for processing and making decisions on visas. To be eligible for a Global Impact Visa, applicants must first obtain entry into EHF’s programme.

Eligibility for the Global Impact Visa

Eligibility for the Global Impact Visa will be conditional on meeting a number of criteria. Selected applicants will be assessed on the basis of their acceptance into EHF’s programme, English language, health and character, and having sufficient funds to support themselves.

GIVs launch date

EHF’s programme will be launched in early 2017.

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Interested  to find out more? Talk to one of our specialist Consultants to find out more about your suitability for this visa.

16 November 2016


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NZ Government Considering Complete Overhaul of NZ’s Points System


Within days of the New Zealand Government implementing an overnight change of the Skilled Migrant Category’s (SMC) Points System, the Government had already commenced consulting with dozens of industry players about the overhaul proposal, as reported by Radio New Zealand (RNZ).

This comes amid Immigration New Zealand’s (INZ) second review of the SMC, whereby initial reviews lead to the department’s fears that the SMC points system does not prioritise the “highest value” workers that it was designed to achieve.

It is worth noting that the current SMC system has been in place since 2003, where it was designed to assess New Zealand’s needs for skilled migrants.

According to INZ’s area manager Mr. Darren Calder, the aim of the current review for an overhaul of the SMC system was to ensure that it provided the “most benefit to New Zealand”.

Mr. Calder further stated that 1300, or 36 percent, of all residence applications were decided within 60 days in September, citing improvements in INZ’s processing time of SMC applications in the August/November 2016 period.

Contact Thomas. Jefferson Associates today for expert advice and assistance for your SMC application to New Zealand.

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The Land Down Under: Australia

Surge in American Political “Refugees”?



It has widely been reported that “heaps of people are Googlin’ how to leave America“. However, if you look a little closer at the reasons why people may want to leave, the definition of “refugee” may pop up in your mind.

In the 1951 Geneva Convention (WARNING: link to pdf of extremely boring document!) the term “refugee” applies to any person who, due to:

“a well-founded fear of being persecuted for reasons of race, religion, nationality, membership of a particular social group or political opinion, is outside the country of his nationality and is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to avail himself of the protection of that country; or who, not having a nationality and being outside the country of his former habitual residence as a result of such events, is unable or, owing to such fear, is unwilling to return to it. In the case of a person who has more than one nationality, the term ‘the country of his nationality” shall mean each of the countries of which he is a national, and a person shall not be deemed to be lacking the protection of the country of his nationality if, without any valid reason based on well-founded fear, he has not availed himself of the protection of one of the countries of which he is a national”

[Convention of 1951, Article 1A (2)] 

So, does that mean we can expect a surge in political refugees from America?

We.. don’t think so.

BUT, what we do know is, we have assisted “heaps” of individuals and SMEs eliminate borders, as well as achieve mobility freedom, all with the help within our network of professionals in the region.

Contact one of our specialist Consultants with your migration needs today.

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It’s all about the FORMS!

You asked for it. We listened.







You want forms?

We’ve got forms!

Check out our latest addition to the page, a page containing forms!  (link)

Guides to come soon!

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