loader image

Can I Buy Investment Property and Reside in the Cook Islands?

YES! If you are a non-Cook Islander, it is possible to buy investment property and seek permission to reside in the Cook Islands, as the below video explains. 

We are here to help you through all paperwork and walk you through every step of the process!

Our team at Jeff Tikitau Elite Management works closely with the Business Trade & Investment Board (BTIB), Ministry of Justice, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration (MFAI), Ministry of Health – Te Marae Ora and the various other Government departments and offers a professional facilitating service to file all of the necessary paperwork and documentation required with the appropriate agencies on behalf of offshore investors and ensure a seamless and stress-free transition.  

 

If you are a Cook Islander, you will need your Cook Islands status confirmed.  Our team at Jeff Tikitau Elite Management works closely with Ministry of Immigration and offers an extra service to assist you in completing your application including obtaining any necessary original certified birth certificates from the Cook Islands Ministry of Justice. 

Is Cook Island land freehold or leased?

All land in the Cook Islands is customarily owned by respective Cook Islands families and is not available under freehold titles. However, it is possible for a non-Cook Islander to obtain a lease from the landowner(s) to conduct a business or to build a home or to take over an existing lease(re-assignment) on a residential property or business.  

The maximum lease obtainable by a non-Cook Islander is 60 years.  When the term of the lease runs down, it is possible to approach the landowner(s) at any time and have the lease topped back up to 60 years again however at the landowner(s) discretion. 

What rates and taxes apply to property leases?

There are no water and domestic rubbish rates or Government property taxes. There is a yearly rental payable to the landowners depending on the type of lease. The rental is reviewable every 5 to 10 years, as stipulated in lease.  As a guide, any rent increases are upon discussion and can be negotiated with the landowner(s), and generally-speaking are usually no more than 10% per 5 years.

How does it work?

Technically only Cook Islanders (descendants or those with Permanent Residency status) or those already here and operating a Cook Islands registered business can purchase a lease for a vacant residential section, residential land, and residential property in the Cook Islands. However, it is legally possible to reside in the Cook Islands by:

1. purchasing an existing commercial property or business that is listed for sale (some areas of investment are restricted to non-Cook Islanders, however there are exceptions). We can advise you more on this. An investment below NZ$300,000 may be considered below BTIB’s desired value of investment. Search our website for current business & property listings for investment including short-term let holiday accommodation and home & income options.

2. establishing a new business in partnership with a Cook Islander in a joint venture arrangement, where the Cook Islander is a majority shareholder in a local company;

3. establishing a new business in an activity where there is demonstrable demand for the activity, and no Cook Islander is currently carrying on business in that activity;

4. establishing a new business with a minimum investment of NZ$1 million or more on Rarotonga and NZ$500,000 or more in Aitutaki;

5. the foreign enterprise proposes to develop a niche market or niche product.

Once you have satisfied the criteria of having a Cook Islands Registered Company, you can then explore residential property acquisition after a period of around 5 years.

We suggest downloading a copy of the Cook Islands Investment Code here.

As outlined in the Investment Code, note that the preferred level of real capital injection into a project or existing business purchase is 70% to 100%, however each application may be assessed on its own merits.

How do I get approval?

Depending on the type of business activity, non-Cook Islanders who want to purchase an existing business or set up a foreign enterprise must first obtain approval and register their planned activities through the Business Trade Investment Board (BTIB). BTIB is a Government agency which monitors foreign investment, encourages both local and foreign investment, and promotes trade, investment and business in the Cook Islands. 

Our team is adept in the foreign investment process, and offers a professional facilitating service to file all of the necessary paperwork and documentation required for investment approval to the Business Trade and Investment Board on behalf of overseas investors, and to register their new enterprise in the Cook Islands once approval has been granted.

Will I receive permanent residency if I invest?

Depending on your investment approval, you may be eligible for an investor visa to allow you to carry on business in the Cook Islands. This is currently renewable on a yearly basis, however this will change to renewal every 3 years under the new Immigration Act.  

An investor visa permits you to reside in the Cook Islands for the purpose of moving to the Cook Islands to carry on the business activity that you have been granted approval for. 

How can I start the application process?

This is where our team at Jeff Tikitau Elite Management can help you through all paperwork and walk you through every step of the process!

To ensure a stress-free and seamless transition, our team works closely with the Business Trade & Investment Board (BTIB), Ministry of Justice – Companies Office section, Ministry of Foreign Affairs & Immigration (MFAI), Ministry of Health – Te Marae Ora and the various other Government departments and offers a professional facilitating service to file all of the necessary paperwork and documentation required with the appropriate agencies on behalf of offshore investors.  Please get in touch!

Jeff Tikitau Elite Management logo

One Stop Shop Facilitating Service

Jeff Tikitau Elite Management is your key to opening doors of opportunity in the Cook Islands. Whether you are looking to establish a new business in a niche market, introduce a new service or product, or assist our economy in expanding an industry, Jeff Tikitau Elite Management can assist you every step of the way.  

What's New

Subscribe to receive our new property listings

For any queries on the investment process in the Cook Islands or questions on our leasehold tenure, please get in touch by telephone +682 53658 or click below to send us an email

Disclaimer: The contents of this website should not be construed as legal advice. It is our intention to provide accurate and up-to-date information on our website which has been obtained from various sources, however all information is subject to independent review and verification.

Copyright © Jeff Tikitau Real Estate. All rights reserved.

error: