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Business visas

New Zealand welcomes business savvy professionals, investors and entrepreneurs to contribute to economic growth and our diverse business environment with specialised business visas.

These visas are designed for business people wanting to launch a startup, expand a business or invest in our businesses and communities to create jobs in New Zealand. 

Mount Victoria houses Wellington NZ 05 Photo Nicola Edmonds

Employees of a relocating business

If you're relocating your business to New Zealand, and you'd like your employees to move with you, they may be able to apply for residency under the Employees of Relocating Business Category

Your employees will be eligible for a temporary work visa so they’re able to come to New Zealand to make the relocation arrangements. 

Once your business has relocated and meets trading requirements, they’ll be granted residency subject to a few conditions, such as continuing employment with your business for two years.


Entrepreneurs

If you’re interested in the Wellington region as a location to establish your own business or launch a startup, then the entrepreneur work visa may suit you. The entrepreneur work visa is a three year work visa in two stages: 

Start-up stage:
Once you have your entrepreneur work visa, you’ll be given a work visa for 12 months to buy or establish your business in New Zealand.

Balance stage:
Once you have shown that you have taken steps to establish your business, you’ll be granted the remaining 24 months of your visa.

There are a few eligibility requirements for this visa including minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 and English language requirements.


The Global Impact Visa

Immigration New Zealand has partnered with the Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) to deliver an innovative new immigration product for high-impact entrepreneurs, investors, and startup teams.

The Global Impact Visa (GIVs) will bring up to 400 individual pioneering entrepreneurs and investors to create and support innovation-based ventures and startup teams from New Zealand.

To be eligible for a Global Impact Visa, Fellows must be accepted into the EHF and be able to satisfy English language, health and character requirements and have sufficient funds to support themselves.


Residence for entrepreneurs

Residence for entrepreneurs is also available if you’ve established a high growth and innovative business with export potential in New Zealand. There are two options:

Entrepreneur Residence Category (2 years): Requires you to have successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand and have been self-employed in that business for at least two years, and for your business to have significantly benefited New Zealand.

Entrepreneur Residence Category (6 months): Fast-track to residence if you have invested at least NZ$500,000 in your business and have created a minimum of three new full-time jobs for New Zealand residents.

Under both options, you need to meet health, character and English language requirements.


Do business Lights on NZX building business landscapes

Investors

If you’re an investor and you’d like to invest funds in a New Zealand business as well as gain residency here, you can apply for an investor visa.

There are two categories that you can apply for: an Investor (Investor 2 Category) or the Investor Plus (Investor 1 Category).

There are some requirements for each category, with the main criteria listed below:

Key requirements

Investor Plus

Investor

Maximum age

No requirement

65 or younger

Business experience

No requirement

Minimum of three years

Investment funds

NZ$10 million invested in New Zealand for three years

NZ$1.5 million invested in New Zealand for four years

Settlement funds

No requirement

NZ$1 million

English language knowledge

No requirement

English speaking requirements

Minimum time in New Zealand

44 days in New Zealand in each of the last two years of the three-year investment period.

146 days in New Zealand in each of the last three years of the four-year investment period.

Health and character

Applicants under both categories must meet health and character requirements.

Source: Immigration New Zealand

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