Entrepreneur Visas

If you want to run your own business in New Zealand you will have to apply for a business visa, an Entrepreneur Visa. 


What are the Key Benefits for applicants under the Entrepreneur Policies?

There are a number of advantages for applicants who choose to apply for an Entrepreneur Work Visa in comparison to other visa types:


  • You can either buy an existing business or set one up from scratch
  • You can chose a business that matches your entrepreneurial background
  • Your business can be located anywhere in New Zealand
  • You will not have to find a job and overcome the Catch22 hurdle
  • Relatively low minimum investment of NZ$100.00 required 
  • Minimum investment can be waived
  • Your partner will obtain an open Work Visa that entitles him/her to work for any business in New Zealand
  • Your partner can also be self employed
  • Primary and secondary school children will be classified as domestic students, so that high international student fees can be avoided
  • No age limit
  • Relatively low English language requirements.


The process: Your way to residence in New Zealand will be in two steps, from a three year work visa to your residence visa.


Step One:  The Entrepreneur Work Visa 

To apply for an Entrepreneur Work Visa you will have to 

  • establish a business or buy a business that suits your expectations and experience
  • write a business plan which will satisfy Immigration New Zealand
  • prepare and lodge your Entrepreneur Work Visa application according to New Zealand immigration law requirements.

Step Two:  The Entrepreneur Residence Visa  

After you have run your business successfully for at least two years, you can apply for a Entrepreneur Residence Visa. 
There is a fast track option: You can apply after six months, provided you have invested at least NZ $ 500,000 in your business and created at least three full time jobs for New Zealanders (investment and employment must be maintained for two years). 

In short, these are the key requirements for step one, the Entrepreneur Work Visa:

  • A minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 (unless this requirement is waived) 
  • You must meet a minimum of 120 points for factors relating to the likely success of your proposed business and its value to New Zealand
  • You must have a business plan specific to your proposed business
  • You must not have been involved in bankruptcy or business failure, business fraud or financial impropriety
  • You must meat health, character and English language requirements.

Read more about the Entrepreneur Work Visa process and the eligibility requirements and check whether you can reach the minimum score of 120 points.     

Also available are short - term business visas, eg for official trade missions, sales representatives of overseas companies, overseas buyers, business consultations, short-term secondments, intra-corporate transferees etc.  

Ask our Business and Investor Migration Expert

If you want to find out more about establishing your own business in New Zealand, contact Dr. Carsten Hallwass, the Business and Investor Migration Adviser at NZIC.

Ask Dr.Carsten Hallwass for a Free Assessment