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Business & Entrepreneur

The following information provides a general overview of Business & Entrepreneur Work Visa policy. Please note that this information does not replace or constitute immigration advice from a licensed immigration adviser.

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Entrepreneur Visa Policy

The applicant must obtain approval for a business plan that includes an investment of at least NZ$100,000 and that Immigration New Zealand deems profitable and will provide substantial benefit to New Zealand.

Principal applicants must meet English language proficiency standards, and all applicants included must have good health and be of good character.

Successful Entrepreneur Work Visa

After 2 years, the applicant can apply for a Resident Visa on the basis;

  • The approved plan has been implemented,

  • A minimum of two years of experience in the business is required,

  • Profits have been generated by the business.

  • Each person associated with the application must still meet the good character and good health requirements, and all persons over 16 must be proficient in English.

Fast Track Provision

A resident visa issued under this "Fast Track" provision is subject to the continuation of the new New Zealand jobs and the retention of the investment funds for a period of two years from the date of the original investment.

Applicants who meet the following criteria are eligible for fast-track consideration:

  • Their business has been running successfully for six months,

  • The company has invested at least NZ$500,000 in that business,

  • A minimum of 3 jobs were created for New Zealanders,

  • Good character and good health requirements can still be met.


Employees Of A Re-Locating Business

Employees of an overseas business relocating to New Zealand that will benefit New Zealand may be eligible for Residence where:

  • It has the support of the Ministry of Trade and Enterprise to relocate.

  • The employee(s) is (are) defined as "Key employee(s)".

  • Is (are) not eligible under any other policy.

  • Meet English requirements and is (are) of good health and character.

General Comments

Entrepreneur / Business work visas are intended for migrants who want to start a business. Self-employment is emphasized and its benefits to New Zealand.

Stronger applicants are given the opportunity to fast-track. In spite of the conditions attached to a fast-track visa for two years, the applicant and their family can enjoy education and health care as residents.

According to historical data, the Entrepreneur visa has been declined by 75% or more. Immigration policy and policy interpretations should be coordinated with the initial planning and the final business outcome. Without expert immigration advice, relying on your business skills is very risky.


It is important that you work alongside experienced experts at NZIHS.

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