Learn all abut the Entrepreneur Visas for New Zealand if you want work in your own business.

Entrepreneur Visas

entrepreneur visa new zealand The entrepreneur visas are for migrants who want to work in their own business in New Zealand.

Most people who wish to either buy into a business or establish a new one in New Zealand start with an entrepreneur visa. Following this they can apply under the  Entrepreneur Residence Category either after 6 months or 2 years of residency.

If you are looking to work in your own business in New Zealand, keep reading for more details on the Entrepreneur Visas.

The entrepreneur visas pathway to residence.

The pathway to New Zealand residency is a two part process. First the temporary entrepreneur work visa and then the entrepreneur residency visa.

Obtaining New Zealand residency as an entrepreneur.

Step One

The entrepreneur work visa.

Step Two

The entrepreneur residency visa.

The Entrepreneur Work Visa - Step One

The starting point - The entrepreneur work visa.

The entrepreneur work visa is a 3 year work visa that is 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. A further 2 year period is granted if you can prove you have established your business.

What you need to apply for an Entrepreneur Work Visa

Capital

The establishment of a business requires capital, therefore a minimum of NZ$ 100,000 is needed for this visa application. The NZ$100,000 does not include working capital.

The only exceptions are the IT and science sectors which demonstrate a high level of innovation and export opportunities. Immigration New Zealand thus allow for waiver applications of the NZ$ 100,000 if your business is in either of these sectors.

Business Plan

Immigration New Zealand need to be satisfied that your proposed business:

  • Adds value to New Zealand, and
  • Can succeed.

Therefore you must submit a comprehensive business plan with an application for this entrepreneur visa.

Good business character

As the application is for an entrepreneur visa, it follows that Immigration New Zealand will review any circumstances of business failure, fraud and bankruptcy.

Points

You must score at least 120 points in a points based assessment.

Other requirements

You and any family members accompanying you will need to meet the health, character and English language requirements.

Family

Applications for the entrepreneur work visa can include your partner as well as dependent children aged 19 and younger.

Moving from the entrepreneur work visa to residency

The Entrepreneur Resident Visa - Step Two

The entrepreneur resident visa is open to applicants who have:

  • Completed 6 months self-employment in New Zealand; or
  • Have operated a business for two years on another visa that allows self-employment.

The Entrepreneur Visa Pathway to Residence.

What you need to apply for an Entrepreneur Resident Visa

Capital

The capital invested must be at least equal to that stated in your business plan.

If you have not completed 2 years self employment in New Zealand you will need to have invested at least NZ$ 500,000. Additionally, you will need to have created 3 jobs in New Zealand.

A prerequisite is that you have not claimed any welfare or assistance from the state in this period of your existing visa.

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; and

  • The business was set up or purchased by you; and

  • That it has been running for 6 months plus.

Economic Contribution

You must be able to provide evidence of the fact your business is contributing to New Zealand’s economic growth. This evidence should be shown in the following ways:

  • The introduction or enhancement of new technology, management or technical skills.

  • Introduction or enhancement of new products or services.

  • The creation or expansion of export markets.

  • The creation of at least 1 full-time job for a New Zealander. If you you have been in business for less than 2 years this is increased to 3 jobs.

  • Provision of new skills, networks, management capability and/or capital, and as a result increasing an existing business’ financial performance.

Other requirements

You and any family members accompanying you will need to meet the health, character and English language requirements.

Family

Applications for the entrepreneur work visas can include your partner as well as dependent children aged 24 and younger.

Get your free initial assessment for an entrepreneur visa with our licensed immigration advisers.

licensed immigration advisor for New Zealand

Get your FREE initial assessment here

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