Migrant's decision strictly business

By Lincoln Tan

A business migrant says his decision to apply for New Zealand permanent residency was purely a "business decision".

The 53-year-old businessman from China, who now lives and runs a trading business in Wuhan, said he was deciding between applying for either New Zealand or Australia residency in 2002, but chose New Zealand because it offered indefinite residency and a "better return of investment".

"I was put off by Australia's requirement for migrants to live there, and people who live for too long outside the country will lose the permanent residency status," said the investor migrant, who spoke on the condition he was not named.

He gained residency in 2002 after submitting a business plan, and proving he had $1 million to invest here - which he used to buy a commercial property and sold it for a profit in 2008.

Since gaining New Zealand residency in 2003, the businessman has put his then teenage daughter, who gained residency from his application, through high school as a domestic student at Takapuna Grammar on Auckland's North Shore.

International high school students pay about $12,000 in annual fees while domestic students are expected to only contribute a few hundred dollars in school donations.

She is now in university.

"I want my daughter to return to China to take over my business when she graduates, but New Zealand has an excellent health and education system," he said.

"As a permanent resident, my daughter can come back to New Zealand to give birth and put her children through school here if she wants to."

Coral Wong, New Zealand Association for Migration and Investment chairwoman, says it is not uncommon for migrants to want residency for the purposes of education and their children, especially before 2005.

But these were a minority, she said, and it was unfair to paint all migrants with the same brush.

- NZ Herald

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