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New Zealand


The main objective is to increase the levels of human capital, enterprise and innovation and foster international linkages. Business applicants could apply through the following suitable categories:  

The prerequisites:

  - English Language

Principle applicants must meet the English Language skill requirement with an overall band score of 5 in the IELTS General Training Module. Other applicants aged 16 and over who do not meet the English Language skill requirement with an overall band score of 5 in the IELTS General Training Module can also qualify by pre-purchasing ESOL training with its cost average between NZ$1,700 - NZ$3,350 depending on level of training required.

  - Character and Health Clearance  

Types of Business Immigration Categories:

  • Investor Category

  • Entrepreneur Work Visa

  • Entrepreneurs Residence Category

  • Employees Of Relocating Business

Investor Category

Migrant Investment categories are for investors who want to gain residence in New Zealand.  

There are two types of investors categories:

  • Investor Plus (Investor 1 Category)

  • Investor (Investor 2 Category)

The basic criteria of the different categories are listed below:

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Entrepreneur Work Visa

Previously known as Long Term Business Visa, the Entrepreneur Work Visa is for experienced business people who want to be self-employed in their own business in New Zealand.

This visa allows people move to New Zealand and buy or establish their own business. This visa also provides for the first stepping stone in applying for residence in NZ under the  Entrepreneur Residence Category.



  • Make a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 (excluding working capital), unless this requirement is waived

  • Meet or exceed 120 points on a scale which awards points for factors relating to the likely success of the proposed business and its value to New Zealand

  • Have a business plan specific to proposed business

  • Not been involved in bankruptcy or business failure within the 5 years preceding the date your application is made

  • Not have been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety, and

  • Meet health and character requirements for residence and English language requirements.

Successful applicants will be granted a 12 month Work Visa to enable them to establish their business and the remainder of the 24 months will  be granted once the applicant is able to shown the Business Migration Branch that the applicant has taken appropriate steps to establish their business.

To gain a further permit you need to show that you are making reasonable progress in setting up your business with the following documentation:

  • A certificate of incorporation

  • Audited accounts

  • GST records

  • Other tax records

  • Documents showing property lease or purchase by the business

  • Invoices for business equipment and supplies

  • Other documents such employment agreements, bank statements, invoices from phone and power companies.

Applicants must have enough funds to cover their living expenses and for their business expenses during the length of Work Visa.  

Entrepreneurs Residence Category 

The Entrepreneurs Category grants residence to applicants who have successfully established a business in NZ for a period of 2 years, which is benefitting NZ in some way either by, creating jobs, providing a new type of good or service or revitalising an existing business.

There are two ways of qualifying for residence under the Entrepreneur Residence Category: the 2 year option and the 6 month option.

Entrepreneur Residence Category (2 years)
Suitable for people who have successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand, and have been self-employed in that business for at least two years, and if business has benefited New Zealand significantly, interested applicants may be eligible for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.    


Entrepreneur Residence Category (6 months)
This option provides a faster track to residence for applicants who have been running a high value business for at least six months. As well as meeting general health and character and English language requirements, to gain residence under this category, applicants must:

  • Hold an an Entrepreneur Work Visa or Long Term Business (LTBV)

  • Successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand

  • Been self-employed in that business

  • Invested at least NZ$0.5 million in the business, AND

  • Created a minimum of three new fulltime jobs for New Zealand citizens or residents

Employees of Relocating Businesses

To promote NZ as a place to invest and locate existing business by allowing key staff to relocate with the business.  

This particularly targets employees of business relocating to NZ who do not qualify for any other residence categories.  

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