New Zealand Immigration for Entrepreneur

New Zealand investment immigration
Entrepreneur Work Visa Category

If you are an experienced business person and you want to be self-employed in your own business in New Zealand, applying for a work visa under the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category may be an option for you.

An Entrepreneur Work Visa will enable you to move to New Zealand and buy or establish your own business. It could be the first step on your pathway to applying for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.

How does this visa work?

An Entrepreneur Work Visa is a three year work visa in two stages: a Start-up stage and a Balance stage.

Start-up stage
If your Entrepreneur Work Visa is approved, you will initially be given a 12-month work visa, enabling you to buy or establish your business in New Zealand.
Balance stage

This is for the remaining 24 months of your visa. You can be granted the Balance of your Entrepreneur Work Visa once you have shown the Business Migration Branch that you have taken steps to establish your business.

This visa is granted for the remaining 24 months based on your business establishment shown as per following documentation.

Examples of steps are:
  • Transferring your investment capital to New Zealand through the banking system
  • Actions taken to establish your business, as shown by:
  • Documents showing setting up the business (e.g. certificate of incorporation)
  • Property purchase or lease documents for the business' site
  • Invoices for business equipment and supplies
  • Other documents such as employment agreements, bank statements, utility company invoices
  • Actions that show you have started operating your business, such as:
  • Documents evidencing the constitution of the business (e.g. certificate of incorporation)
  • Property purchase or lease documents relating to the business' site
  • Invoices for business equipment and supplies
What are the main requirements?

  • To obtain Entrepreneur work visa you must make a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 (excluding working capital), unless this requirement is waived.
  • The points factor relating to the likely success of the proposed business and its value to New Zealand is either to meet or exceed 120 points on scale .
  • Your proposed business need to have a specific business plan
  • Five years preceding the date of your application is made you should not have been involved in bankruptcy or business failure, business fraud or financial impropriety.
  • The requirement of English language, health and character for residence is a must

The Applicant must be: Self-employment
  • The applicant must be self employed
  • The principal applicant should have active involvement in the management and operating of a business which is established or purchased or made substantial investment
  • Over purchasing 25% or more of the shareholding of a business the substantial investment is defined. Involvement of a passive or speculative nature is not included
  • The business or self employment must be under the law
  • The establishment of business must be full time
  • The Applicant may claim points of experience of self employment at the points scale for business outside of New Zealand or self employment on this visa
Senior management

At senior level an extensive experience is required for business planning, organization, control change of management and direction setting which is acquired through senior management experience in a lawful business enterprise which has atleast five full time employees or the annual turnover of the company is over NZ$ 1 million.

To prove the senior management experience, the applicant need to demonstrate the previous experience held , day-to-day responsibilities of managing a business or company or corporation, or function within a large company ( with 5 or more full time employees or a turnover more than $ 1.000.000 per annum) with specific executive powers assigned by the Board of Directors and the shareholders.

Compare the basic criteria of the two Entrepreneur Residence Categories Options
Criteria (Minimum) Entrepreneur Residence Category (2 years) Entrepreneur Residence Category (6 Months)
Hold an Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV You do not have to hold an Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV. If you do not hold one of these visas, you must be on a work visa which allows self-employment. You must hold an Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV to apply
Investment capital No set amount. For applicants on an Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV, the investment capital must match what was stated in your business plan . At least NZ$0.5 million must have been actively invested in your business, excluding working capital.
English language Principal applicants must either show an An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test report with an overall band score of 4 or more, or provide evidence that they meet this requirement Other evidence can be considered.
Secondary applicants can either show that they have an IELTS score of 4 or have an English speaking background, or can pre-purchase English language (ESOL) tuition
Maximum age None None


XIPHIAS Immigration helps you and guide you in every way to fulfill your dreams to settle in New Zealand. We have all the expertise to prepare your application and advice you before and after you come to New Zealand on how to accomplish the conditions put forth by the New Zealand Authorities.

Now is the time to take advantage of booming business sector in New Zealand. The opportunities are unlimited.

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