New Zealand Business Visa
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Business Visas

An amalgamation of excellent working environment, comprehensive policy framework, high growth opportunities and diversified market place, New Zealand is among the most lucrative destinations for establishing a business or investing in an existing one. The Government of New Zealand has designed special business immigration visa categories that allow foreign entrepreneurs and investors to come to the nation and contribute significantly to the country’s economy.


There are mainly three types of visas that are offered by Immigration New Zealand under the business visa category. These are:-

  • Investor Visa
  • Entrepreneur Work Visa.
  • Employees of Relocating Businesses

Entrepreneur Work Visa

Entrepreneur Work Visa is meant for those who wish to run their own business in New Zealand. Applicants of this category can also apply for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa once they have successfully run their businesses for a minimum of two years (or 6 months in case they meet the extra conditions). On the other hand, individuals already on a Long Term Business Visa (LTBV) can apply for permanent residency in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.

The basic requirements under this category are as follows:-

  • A minimum capital investment of NZ$ 200,000 (apart from the working capital)
  • Score 120 points or more on the points scale, with points awarded for factors about the likely success of the venture and its contribution to the economy of New Zealand.
  • A clear business plan with satisfactory evidence demonstrating sure-shot success of the business venture in New Zealand
  • Clean recent history of bankruptcy, fraud and business failure
  • Character certificate and medical reports
  • A certificate (no more than two years old at the time of filing the application) from IELTS showcasing an overall band score of a minimum of 4 in the IELTS Academic and General Module, or furnish evidence of an English speaking background.

How the Entrepreneur Visa Works

An Entrepreneur Work Visa is a three year work visa that includes two stages

  • Start-up stage
  • Balance stage

The start-up stage:

Under an Entrepreneur Work Visa, you will be given a 12 month work visa initially. This would enable you to buy and/ or establish your business in New Zealand.

The balance stage:

Once you show the business migration branch that you have taken the appropriate steps to establish a business in New Zealand, you will receive approval for the remaining 24 months of your Entrepreneur Work Visa.

Examples of steps that can be shown to the business migration branch for this purpose include:

  • Transferring a capital for investment through the banking system
  • Actions that you have taken to establish your business:
    • documents that show the setting up of your business
    • documents for property purchase or taking a lease for the business' site
    • invoices for equipment and supplies for your business
    • Agreements of employment, bank statements, utility company invoices, etc.

As mentioned, the eligibility for an Entrepreneur Work Visa to New Zealand, you have to score a minimum of 120 points. To get a basic idea of where you stand on the points scale, you can click here.


Visas in the Business category include:

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Q1. Can my family accompany me if I have applied for the Entrepreneur Work Visa?

Yes. Partners and dependent children can be given a work or student visa in case they are accompanying the holder of an Entrepreneur Work Visa to the New Zealand.

Q2. How long will it take for Immigration New Zealand to process my application?

The time taken to process and issue a business visa can vary depending on:

  • the completeness of the application
  • how easily the immigration department can check and verify the information furnished by an applicant
  • how well and how quickly an applicant responds to any concerns raised by the immigration department in regard to the application. Visa processing times can also vary from one immigration office to the other. When an application is accepted, the immigration officials either give a decision, or inform the applicant within 14 days as to how long the processing time is predicted to be.

Q3. What types of capital investments are acceptable in New Zealand?

All funds genuinely used in the incorporation and operations of a business can potentially be accepted as a part of the capital investment made by an entrepreneur. Recognized capital investments do not include the following:-

  • speculative or passive investments, such as term deposits or reserve funds
  • items purchased for personal use of the applicant(s)
  • remuneration paid to the applicant or his/her immediate family
  • investment made in residential property, except for residential property developments which meet Immigration New Zealand’s requirements.

Q4. What do I need to apply for New Zealand Entrepreneur Work Visa?

In order to apply for New Zealand Entrepreneur Work Visa, you must provide:

  • A duly filled Immigration New Zealand’s Entrepreneur Work Visa application form.
  • Evidence showcasing your business experience that you have either owned a business or held a senior managerial position responsible for all aspects of the business’s operations.
  • Evidence of sufficient funds
  • Health and character certificates
  • Basic English language proficiency
  • A Business plan that proves its ability to contribute to the economy of New Zealand

Q5. If I'm planning to buy a new business in New Zealand, how much would I be expected to invest?

You would be expected to invest a minimum of NZ$1 million and generate at least one new job in order to be eligible for this New Zealand Business Permit Visa.

Q6. How does the Entrepreneur Work Visa work?

An Entrepreneur Work Visa to New Zealand is a three year work permit split into two stages:-

Start-up stage: In case your Entrepreneur Work permit is approved by the immigration authorities, you will initially be allotted a 12-month work visa which shall enable you to establish your business or buy an existing one in New Zealand.

Balance stage: This comprises of the remaining 24 months of your visa. You can be granted the Balance of your Entrepreneur Work Visa only when you have showcased the Business Migration Branch that you have taken the necessary steps to establish your business in the nation.

Q7. What do you mean by personal use of investment funds?

Personal use of investment funds means utilization of fund to purchase assets for one’s own use, such as a personal residence, car or similar.

Q8. Can I pay a visit to New Zealand to investigate investment options once my investor business visa application has been approved in principle?

Yes. Once your investor visa application has been approved in principle you are eligible for a 12-month multiple entry work visa to pay a visit to New Zealand and explore investment options in the nation.

Q9. Why avail the services of WWICS Global Resettlement Solutions?

Acquiring a business visa to New Zealand can be a tedious task. Availing the services of an expert consultant like WWICS Global Resettlement Solutions can save your time, money and efforts. Housing a team of qualified professionals who have extensive experience in immigration and settlement process, WWICS guides you through the entire process, keeps you updated about the processing times and even takes care of all the legal formalities that follow, to help you obtain your New Zealand business visa in the shortest possible time.

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