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Purchasing Land in the Cook Islands:
 
Foreigners cannot purchase residental land per se in the Cook Islands. As neither the Development Investment Board
(the Government agency which monitors foreign investment in the Cook Islands), nor the Leases Approval Tribunal
(being the Tribunal which must approve every lease and/or assignment of lease in the Cook Islands) will give the
requisite approvals or consents due to present Government policy. Non - Cook Islands traditional landowners, at most, can obtain a lease to a maximum of sixty (60) years. If a foreigner wishes to live in the Cook Islands and buy residential property, they must invest in a business and hold it for five (5) years prior to being granted approval to purchase a residental property. The present Government policy is that the present minimum of investment is $NZD 1.000.000 in Rarotonga and/or $NZD 500.000 for the outer Islands. The exeption to this however is that a foreigner may buy an existing business for less than above stated capital expenditure if no local person wishes to purchase it at the first instance.

Working and living in the Cook Islands:
 
The Cook Islands does not readily accept people for citizenship. An aspiring immigrant could live here on a month by month basis for up to six (6) months but would have to leave the Cook Islands for more than twenty four (24) hours before returning again on a visitor permit. If you are a non New Zealand citizen then before you can get permanent residency you must have lived here for ten (10) years. Otherwise, if you wanted residency, you would have to work here or own or manage a business. There are no age restrictions on those who may live in the Cook Islands.
There is presently a requirement pursuant to the Development Investment Board, being the Government agency which monitors foreign investment in the Cook Islands, that in the Island of Rarotonga for any new investor there is a minimum threshold level of $1 million and $500.000.00 for the outer islands unless you buy an existing business.

Investing in the Cook Islands:
 
Before either purchasing a business or commencing a new business in the Cook Islands, an overseas investor must obtain the approval of the Development Investment Board. The Development Investment Board is a Government agency which monitors foreign investment in the Cook Islands and requires any "foreign enterprise" to obtain registration prior to commencing a business or effecting the purchase of an existing business. A foreign enterprise is a person who is not a Cook Islander or a company in which one-third or more of the shares are owned by or controlled by non-Cook Islanders. An application to the Development Investment Board for approval as a foreign enterprise must attach the following:
  1.  A business proposal
  2.  Police clearance
  3.  Curriculum Vitae or Resume
  4.  Personal and proffesional references
The Board is subject to statutory guidelines as to the types of business and nature of investment that is desired within the Cook Islands. BGH can advise on those guidlines or alternatively potential investors can access the Development Investment Board.

Forming a private company in the Cook Islands:
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If you wish to form a company in the Cook Islands to carry our your investment then BGH can prepare the relevant company incorporation documentation for you. Every private limited liability company must have:
  1.  At least 2 shareholders (who may be either companies or individuals)
  2.  At least 1 director
  3.  A company secretary(who cannot be the same person as a sole director)
  4.  A registered office
BGH will prepare the Articles of Association (which provide the rules and regulations for the governance of a company) and the Memorandum of Association(which sets out the powers of the company) and can provide advice an companies generally.

Visit the Cook Islands:
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If you simply wish to visit the Cook Islands as a tourist and wish to live for an extended amount of time then the Ministry of Immigration will grant a month by month permit up to a maximum of 6 months.

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