Immigration New Zealand implemented three changes to New Zealand’s immigration procedures and rules in July 2018. It’s important to know about these changes, as they may affect your visa application or eligibility.
1. Minimum income thresholds
Please note that this threshold is different to the skill-band remuneration rates for Essential Skills work visas. Feel free to contact us should you have questions around these rates and minimum income thresholds.
2. Online visa application for dependents
Partners or dependent children are now able to apply online for a visitor, student, work or resident visa based on the immigration status of the supporting family member.
This means applications can now be submitted as a family group together with the main applicant, i.e. the supporting family members, and applicants can upload documents to a portal instead of sending in original documents.
The main applicant must be either a:
- New Zealand citizen; or
- New Zealand visa holder (resident, work or student); or
- Visa applicant.
3. No more visa labels
Physical visa labels are no longer issued by Immigration New Zealand, unless specifically requested by an applicant.
INZ now only issues eVisas, which visa holders must print and carry with the physical passport for international travelling. eVisas can be used immediately after issue and passports no longer have to be submitted for label endorsement.
The only exception is for students using Provider Direct. INZ will review the use of labels for this students using this online service next year.
Stay up to date with future changes
Sign up for our monthly newsletter – it’s free – or follow us on Facebook or LinkedIn to be the first to know about Immigration New Zealand’s changes to New Zealand’s rules, regulations and procedures. We’ll always let you know as soon as anything changes.
Is this you – you’re eager to lodge your New Zealand visa application, because you want to get to New Zealand as quickly as possible?
Yes, it is?
Then let’s pause and remind you of the saying ‘haste makes waste’ – when you try to do things too quickly, sometimes you get them wrong or have to do them all over again.
Unfortunately it’s all too easy to ‘make waste’ when doing a visa application and the result often is unnecessary delays.
The best strategy is to take the necessary time and precautions to submit a complete and correct application.
Here’s our tips on how to do this:
You have to start with an assessment to find out if you’re eligible to live in New Zealand. Book one as soon as possible if you haven’t done that yet.
The assessment will show which visa you stand to qualify for, which in turn will highlight the best way forward.
Knowing the emigration route available to you, means knowing which documentation you’ll need in future, whether or not you’ll have to do an English test, if you have to register with a professional body, etc. Essentially, all the parts of your application that you’ll have to submit.
Check that you’ve included all the required documentation
The one thing most applicants are guilty of, is neglecting to submit all the necessary documents. Our advisers often have to request documents a second time because it wasn’t included in the original pack.
The best thing to do is to have a check list, to tick off documents as you go. Mark up also if documents should be photocopies, originals or certified copies.
If you’re working with an adviser, you should get a list of all required documentation. Your adviser should also check all documents once received, to ensure that you’ve sent them everything.
You may of course choose to do your New Zealand visa application on your own, but be aware that the experience might be more stressful, especially if you’re someone who gets stressed easily.
Check your passport
Your passport must be valid for at least 3 months after your visa expires and have enough free pages for any required visa labels.
When our clients have a passports valid for only a couple of months, our advice is always to apply for a passport before starting any visa applications.
When you have to apply for a new passport in the middle of an application, it could lead to delays.
Apply for your visa in time
Visa application take time to be decided and there’s nothing you, or us, can do once an application is in the hands of Immigration New Zealand.
It is thus important to allow sufficient time for your application when making the rest of your plans.
Need professional help with your New Zealand visa application?
Like we said, you can do your visa application on your own, but if you suspect that it would be a more pleasant experience with a professional by your side, you are more than welcome to contact us.
You can speak to an adviser by calling +27 (0) 21 202 8200 or by emailing us.
We’ll start with an assessment, the important first step, and then we’ll explain the best way forward – so that you can plan ahead and apply for your visa in time.
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The New Zealand entrepreneur visa, a New Zealand work visa, is ideal for anyone who prefers to run the show instead of reporting to a boss.
That’s because, as the name suggests, this visa enables holders to either buy into or establish a new business in New Zealand.
Sounds like the emigration route for you? Then continue reading, as we answer some of the most frequently asked questions about the entrepreneur visa.
Does the entrepreneur visa offer permanent residency?
Yes, it does, in a two-part process:
- Entrepreneur work visa.
- Entrepreneur residency visa.
How long is the entrepreneur work visa valid for?
The entrepreneur work visa is a 3-year visa that’s split into two stages:
- The Start-up Stage: This is an initial 1-year period during which you have to set up or buy into a New Zealand business.
- The Balance Stage: This is a further 2-year period that’s granted, provided you can prove that you’ve established your business.
What are the requirements for an entrepreneur work visa?
You must be able to show four important things to be eligible for a New Zealand entrepreneur work visa:
- Capital: You must have a minimum of NZ$100,000 to invest in your business, which excludes working capital. Should your business be in the IT or science sectors, you may apply for a waiver.
- Business plan: You must submit a comprehensive business plan with your application to Immigration New Zealand that your business can succeed and will add value to New Zealand.
- Good business character: Immigration New Zealand will review any instances of business failure, fraud, and bankruptcy in your past to determine the standard of your business character.
- Points: You must score at least 120 points in your assessment.
Can my family join me in New Zealand?
Yes, accompanying family members, i.e. your partner as well as dependent children, aged 19 and younger, can be included in your New Zealand entrepreneur visa application.
It’s important to note here that everyone included in the application must be able to meet New Zealand’s health, character and English language requirements.
When can I apply for residency?
You can apply for an Entrepreneur residency visa if and when you have:
- Completed 6 months of self-employment in New Zealand; or
- Operated a business for two years on another visa that allows self-employment.
What are the requirements for residency?
You’ll again have to meet capital, business plan, and business character requirements:
- Capital: The capital invested must be at least equal to that stated in your business plan. If you have not completed two years self-employment, the requirement would be a NZ$500,00 investment as well as three jobs created.
- Business plan: You must be able to demonstrate that your submitted business plan has achieved the benefits it outlined.
- Business character: You must have a 25% shareholding in a profitable business, running for at least 6 months, which was set up or purchased by you.
In addition, since you have now been running a business for some time, you must be able to prove that your business has been contributing to New Zealand’s economy in the following ways:
- Introduced or enhanced new technology, management or technical skills.
- Introduced or enhanced new products or services.
- Created or expanded export markets.
- Created at least one full-time job for a New Zealander, or three jobs if you’ve been in business for less than 2 years.
- Provided new skills, networks, management capability and/or capital and, as a result, increased an existing business’s financial performance.
What requirements should my family meet?
You and your family must again be able to meet Immigration New Zealand’s health, character and English language requirements.
How do I know if I qualify for a New Zealand entrepreneur visa?
This is the most important question to ask since you won’t be able to lodge an application without those 120 points we mentioned.
You could do an online assessment yourself, but we suggest working with a licensed immigration adviser – especially for this visa!
Our initial assessment is free of charge as well as non-obligatory and will show whether you stand a chance of being eligible to work in your own business in New Zealand.
To book it is simple! Just book it on our site or give us a call. Either way, you’ll speak to a licensed adviser, complete the assessment and find out what the best way forward is for you. Good luck!