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Business Enterprenur Visa

Entrepreneurs Category

Pathways to residence are available for migrants who can demonstrate they have been actively participating in their business and contributing to New Zealand’s economic development. There are two categories:

  • Entrepreneur Category
  • Entrepreneur Plus Category

Entrepreneur Category

If you have successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand, you have been 'self-employed' in that business for at least two years, and your business has benefited New Zealand significantly, you may be eligible for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Category. Usually, the first step towards becoming a New Zealand resident under this category is usually to obtain a long-term business visa, which will enable you to work in your business.

Entrepreneur Plus Category

The Entrepreneur Plus Category provides a faster track to residence because you are not required to operate a business for a minimum period of time before applying. As well as meeting general health and character requirements, to gain residence under this category, you must:

  • hold a long-term business visa
  • have successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand
  • have been 'self-employed' in that business
  • have invested at least NZ$0.5 million in the business, and
  • have created a minimum of three new full-time jobs for New Zealand citizens or residents.

Compare the basic criteria of the two entrepreneur residence categories/b>

Criteria (minimum) Entrepreneur Category Entrepreneur Plus Category
Hold a long-term business visa Not a requirement You must hold a long-term business visa to apply under this category
Investment capital For applicants who have held long-term business visa, as stated in your business plan At least NZ$0.5 million being actively invested in your business
English language An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test report with an overall band score of 4 or more. Other evidence can be considered.
Maximum age None None
Significant benefit to New Zealand A business is considered to significantly benefit New Zealand if it promotes New Zealand's economic growth At least three full-time equivalent jobs created for New Zealanders. If you purchased a business, these must be new jobs in addition to any positions already existing in the business when it was purchased.
Time required in New Zealand  Self-employed* in New Zealand in the business for two years Time required in New Zealand differs in Entrepreneur Plus applications. When resident visas are granted under this category, they will be subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009. These conditions can be removed when the applicants have been self-employed* in New Zealand for at least two years. The capital investment and the additional employments that were created must also be retained in the business for at least two years.
Length of time to residence Minimum of two years and maximum of three years after obtaining approval under Long Term Business Work Instructions Residence can be granted (with conditions) once requirements met and while holding a long term-business visa
Health and character Applicants under both categories must meet these requirements.

*Self-employment is lawful active involvement in the management and operating of a business in New Zealand which the principal applicant has established or purchased, or in which the principal applicant has made a substantial investment. Self-employment does not include involvement of a passive or speculative nature. For both categories you will need to show that your business complies with New Zealand employment and immigration law.