Business Owner Visa to New Zealand

Do you qualify for a business visa in New Zealand?

You may be interested to know that New Zealand’s business migration categories are designed to contribute to economic growth, attracting ‘smart’ capital and business expertise to New Zealand, and enabling experienced business people to buy or establish businesses in New Zealand.


If you wish to run your own business in New Zealand then the Entrepreneur Work Visa may be for you. Should you be granted an Entrepreneur Work Visa, which is a temporary visa valid for 4 years then you will be able to apply for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa once you have run your business for 2 years or even 6 months if you meet extra conditions.

Employees of a relocating business

If you are a key employee in a business that is relocating to New Zealand, you may be eligible to apply for a residence visa under the Employees of Relocating Business Category. This category facilitates the granting of residence to employees of businesses relocating to New Zealand, should they not qualify for residence under any other existing category.

The Entrepreneur Work Visa Category

If you are an experienced business person and you want to be self-employed in your own business in New Zealand, then the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category may very well be your best option. This visa will enable you to move to New Zealand and buy or establish your own business. This visa offers a direct path to applying for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.

The Start-up stage

Once your Entrepreneur Work Visa is approved, you will initially be issued a 12-month work visa, enabling you to buy or establish your own business in New Zealand.

The Balance stage

This covers the remaining 24 months of your visa. You can be granted the balance of your Entrepreneur Work Visa as soon as you have taken steps to establish your business.

These steps include the following:

Transferring your investment capital through the banking system to New Zealand.

Actions taken to establish your business:

  1. documents showing setting up the business (e.g. certificate of incorporation).
  2. property purchase or lease documents for the business’ site.
  3. invoices for business equipment and supplies.
  4. other documents such as employment agreements, bank statements, utility company invoices.

Actions that show you have started operating your business:

  1. documents evidencing the constitution of the business (e.g. certificate of incorporation).
  2. property purchase or lease documents relating to the business’ site.
  3. invoices for business equipment and supplies.

Key qualifying criteria for this visa

To be issued an Entrepreneur Work Visa, you must:

  1. make a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 unless this requirement is waived.
  2. 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.
  3. have a business plan specific to your proposed business.
  4. not been involved in bankruptcy or business failure within the 5 years preceding the date your application is made.
  5. not have been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety.
  6. meet health and character requirements for residence and English language requirements.
For more information on obtaining a New Zealand work visa, contact us.

Advising migrants since 1987 – Tri Nations Migration

For more information on on how to immigrate to New Zealand or Australia or even to apply for an Australian Visa or New Zealand Visa, contact us.