New Zealand Visas for Investors and Entrepreneurs

Here is a brief introduction to the three visa options available to investors and entrepreneurs:

Investors and entrepreneurs interested in developing business interests in New Zealand are encouraged to apply for visas. There are visa options created specifically for these individuals based on their capabilities and skills.

Entrepreneur and investor visas are open to those under 66 years of age, they also allow your partner and dependent children (under the age of 24) to accompany you to NZ. There are several conditions to be met when applying for these visas so take your time to understand the differences between each policy to assess which one suits your needs best.

Here is a brief introduction to the three visa options available to investors and entrepreneurs:

NZ investor visas

NZ investor visas

If you have the necessary capital and are interested in investing in New Zealand, you can apply for residence through the investor business migration visa. Here, you have two options to choose from – under the ‘investor plus’ policy, where the minimum investment capital is 10 million NZ dollars for a minimum of three years. The ‘investor’ policy requires an investment of at least three million New Zealand dollars for a minimum of four years. With either of these policies, you have a list of acceptable investment options that you can choose from to put your capital in.

You can check the NZ immigration website for a detailed list of the potential investments you can make but as a rule, the investment you make, will have to be:

  • capable of commercial return (under normal circumstances)
  • must be invested in NZ and in the form NZ currency
  • have the potential to contribute to the country’s economy

If your application for residence is approved in principle, under either of the above visa categories, you will be allowed 12 months to transfer the required funds to an acceptable investment. You could also apply for a work visa in order to travel to NZ and find investment opportunities. Once your residence is approved, in addition to the investment you make, you will also need to live in NZ for a fixed number of days over a period of time.

Entrepreneur visa

Entrepreneur visa

An entrepreneur work visa allows you to move to NZ in order to buy a business or establish a business in the country. You will have to invest a minimum capital of NZD $100,000 and provide a clear business plan. You will also have to gain at least 120 points through an assessment of your business’s possibility of success and its value to the country.

This visa is meant for those individuals who are interested in being self-employed. It is a three-year work visa that is divided into two stages – the start-up stage and the balance stage. In the initial phase, you will only be given a 12-month work visa that gives you time to set up your business and get it off the ground. You will be granted the remaining 24 months of your visa once you are able to prove that you have established a business.

After two years of running your business, you will be eligible to apply for a resident visa under the entrepreneur residence category. This is granted to those who have established businesses that have good growth, innovation and export potential.

If your initial capital investment was NZD $500,000, you would be able to apply for the resident visa in six months. In this case there is also a requirement that you should have created three full time jobs for residents of NZ.

Global Impact Visa or GIV

The Global Impact Visa or the GIV is the first of its kind in the world. NZ Immigration joined hands with the EHF (Edmund Hillary Fellowship) to bring this about. This was done in order to attract visionaries in the entrepreneurial space to create a scalable and positive impact in New Zealand as well as in the world.

This visa route is twofold, you will first have to apply and be accepted to the Edmund Hillary Fellowship. This fellowship is open to investors, start-up teams and businesspeople who are strongly driven and mission-oriented. It gives them a platform to nurture globally impactful initiatives in New Zealand.

The selection process for the fellowship happens bi-annually and accepted applicants are sent a letter of offer. Once accepted, you will also be eligible to apply for a GIV. The EHF has 100 spots for international applicants and also accept applications from individuals in New Zealand.

Each of these visa processes is highly detailed and you should go through it carefully before you decide to take it forward. Despite the apparent simplicity and openness of the system to investors and entrepreneurs, NZ immigration has strict documentation requirements especially when it comes to proving that the investment capital was earned lawfully with the necessary taxes paid. If you have questions or are wanting to ensure the maximum success for your application, contact us at Malcolm Pacific Immigration. With years of experience helping thousands of people immigrate to NZ, we can make your application as thorough and painless as possible.