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A work Permit holder can buy a property in New Zealand

You are an overseas person if you are neither a New Zealand citizen, nor ordinarily resident in New Zealand. A company or trust can also be an overseas person. Note that different rules apply to depend on the type of overseas person. For legal or other expert advice, you should seek assistance from a professional adviser.

New Zealand’s overseas investment legislation affects transactions that include sensitive New Zealand assets, including sensitive land. In 2018 residential and lifestyle land was brought under the definition of sensitive land. As a result, most New Zealand land is now sensitive. If you are an overseas person planning an investment, seek assistance from your lawyer as early as possible to help ensure a smooth transaction. Note that transaction timeframes and procedures may be affected if consent is required. Alternatively, you can make the agreement conditional on the consent of the Overseas Investment Office or get pre-approval before you find a property to buy.

However, under regulation 45 of the Overseas Investment Regulations 2005, New Zealand work permit holder is exempt from the requirement for consent as an overseas person if their spouse or partner is a New Zealand citizen or ordinarily resident in New Zealand, and:

  • the securities or rights or interests to be acquired are or will be relationship property (as defined in the Property (Relationships) Act 1976).

  • the overseas person acquires property as a result of division of relationship property.

if you inherit a home, you may be able to keep it and live in it without applying for consent. However, the rules are complex and depend on when the property was originally purchased and whether OIO consent was required for that purchase. You should take legal advice if you are inheriting a home.

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