You need a Business Visa

If you want to start a new business or take over an existing business in New Zealand, you need to apply for the right type of visa. 

New Zealand provides a broad variety of short to long term business visa options for applicants who wish to run their own business.


The Entrepreneur Work and Residence Visas

If you would like to apply fro Permanent Residence in New Zealand, the Entrepreneur Work Visa provides a 2-step pathway to permanent residence in New Zealand:

Once you have been granted an Entrepreneur Work Visa and have operated your business in New Zealand successfully for two years or more, you can apply for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa. If you meet the fast track requirements of this category, you can apply after six months.

Dr. Carsten Hallwass, the business and investor migration specialist in our team, has processed Entrepreneur and Investor Visa applications since 1995, with a success rate of close to 100 %.


Will you qualify for a Business Visa?

Compare the Key Requirements of the Entrepreneur Work and Resident Visa policies to those of Investor and Retirement Visas. 



Investor Category 2


Investor Category 1




Parent Retirement Category


Temporary Retirement


Employees of  Relocating Business Category

Good health




 Required Required Required

Good character




 Required Required Required

Investment funds

Minimum of NZ$ 3.0 millions for 4 years

Minimum of NZ$ 10 millions for 3 years

Minimum of NZ$ 100,000 - can be waived 

 Minimum of NZ$ 1 million NZ$750,000  

Settlement funds

No requirement

No requirement

Sufficient Maintenance Funds for the first three years

 NZ$500,000 NZ$500,000  
Annual income No requirement  No requirement

 No requirement

 NZ$60,000  NZ$60,000  

Maximum age


No requirement

No requirement

 No requirement Must be 66 years or older  

Minimal English language

IELTS level 3

No requirement

IELTS level 4


 No requirement No requirement  IELTS level 4

Minimum time to be spent in NZ

146 days each year (more flexibility if you commit to invest partly in "growth investments")

44 days each year

No requirement – but you have to be self employed in New Zealand on a full-time basis for 2 years to qualify for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa.


No requirement  No requirement  

Business Experience




 No requirement No requirement Must be a key employee of a relocating business

Business Plan

No requirement


No requirement



 No requirement No requirement Relocation of business must be supported by New Zealand Trade and Enterprise.


Ask Dr.Carsten Hallwass to develop your personal business strategy together with you and determine which visa option might be best suited for your business strategy. 


You might also find the following topics interesting: 

Businesses for Sale in New Zealand
Being self-employed in New Zealand 

Case Studies: Find out how other business migrants established their businesses in New Zealand. 

Investing in your own business can also be part of an investment portfolio under the Investor Categories. Find out how you can run your own business under the Investor Categories.

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
Dr. Hallwass handled our application to immigrate professionally, giving us a clear picture of what was required, updating us along the way and providing excellent follow up service on our arrival in New Zealand. We are delighted with his professionalism and thoroughness. He comes highly recommended.
Frederik and Kerry d.B. formerly from South Africa