Will you be able to apply for a business visa under Entrepreneur Policy?

How does this visa process work and what are the requirements?

The Entrepreneur Work Visa

This is a three year work visa consisting of two stages, the Start-up stage and the Balance stage. 

Start-up stage:

Once your Entrepreneur Work Visa has been approved by Immigration New Zealand, you will be given an initial visa for 12 months which will enable you to travel to New Zealand and buy or establish your business.

After 12 months you will have to demonstrate that you have commenced the business operation as stated in your business plan.

Within the validity of your start-up stage visa, you will have to convince a business migration specialist at Immigration New Zealand that the investment capital for the proposed business has been transferred to New Zealand through the banking system from you bank account as stated in your business plan. 
You will also have to demonstrate to the satisfaction of the business migration specialist that you have taken reasonable steps to establish the business as set out in your approved business plan. 

Acceptable evidence for having started your business can be

  • documents showing the set up of your business
  • documents showing the purchase or lease for the business site
  • invoices for equipment and supplies
  • employment agreements
  • bank statements

Balance stage:

The remaining 24 months of your three year Entrepreneur Work Visa are called Balance stage.

You will be granted this visa once the Business Migration Branch is satisfied that you have taken all necessary steps as described above. 

The Entrepreneur Residence Visa:

To secure your residence status in New Zealand you will have to apply for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa on completion of your Entrepreneur Work Visa stage.


The Requirements for an Entrepreneur Work Visa

Investment capital:

You must be able to invest a minimum of NZ$100,000 in your proposed business and you have to demonstrate that these funds are owned by you or by you and your partner. If you own the funds with your partner, your partner must support your application and the business. 

Investment funds cannot be borrowed. You will have to provide evidence that they have been earned or acquired legally. 

In some cases the minimum capital investment requirement can be waived. However, only members of the management team at the Business Migration Branch are entitled to make that decision. 

A waiver can be considered if your proposed business is in science, ICT, or other export areas, which will bring a high level of innovation to New Zealand and have short term high growth prospects.

Minimum points:

You must reach a minimum of 120 points on the points scale of this policy and demonstrate to the satisfaction of a business immigration specialist why you should be awarded the points you have claimed in your application. 

The point scale reflects likely success of your proposed business and its value to New Zealand. 

Points for Business Experience (can be awarded in only one category):

Points for Benefit to New Zealand (can be awarded in up to two categories):

Points for Capital Investment (excluding working capital):

Points for Age:

 Bonus Points:

The Business Plan:

You will have to submit a comprehensive and convincing business plan to the Business Branch at Immigration New Zealand, which will be very carefully examined by the business experts of the branch. 

The business plan must be no older than three months and it must contain all the necessary evidence to explain and support your proposed business. It constitutes the core of your Entrepreneur Visa application and great care needs to be taken to cover all necessary aspects to ensure that your application satisfies immigration requirements.  

Your business plan must cover all financial aspects of your future business, including evidence of sufficient investment and maintenance funds, a cash flow forecast etc.
You will have to demonstrate that you have undertaken comprehensive market research in New Zealand and that you have the business experience required for running a business in that specific area.
In your business plan you will also have to build a convincing argument that your business is going to contribute to New Zealand's economic growth by enabling experienced business people to grow or establish high growth and innovative businesses with export potential.

Health, character and English language requirements must also be met. 


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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.

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Anna was worth her weight in gold---she was fantastic at helping me format my CV and search for jobs that suited my skill set.  In the end, I got a great job in a great city.  Carsten and his team were very thorough and helpful when it came time to apply for and get our visas. They are now helping us with our resident visas, and I'm certain that the process will be the same. I'd recommend them highly.

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NZIC guided me all the way through getting my first work visa to permanent residency. Their job seeking support was key when I first arrived in NZ, communication was always easy and clear. I'm very thankful for their help and definitely recommend their services.

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Dear Jannie, just want to drop a note to thank for your everything. Your help is much appreciated! You are a wonderful and professional job search coach! I am so lucky to have you supporting me!

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