FAQs: New Zealand Entrepreneur visa
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!