Entrepreneur Category Immigration

To get a Long Term Business Visa (LTBV), you’ll need to show the Immigration Service that you have a worthwhile New Zealand business plan.

They’ll be particularly interested in seeing:

* An outline of your proposed business.
* Evidence of its viability and benefit to New Zealand.
* Realistic financial forecasts.
* Where the money will come from.
* Evidence of your business experience.
* How thoroughly you have researched the market.
* Evidence that you have enough money to live on in addition to the money you need to fund your business.

Once your application is approved, you will be granted an initial ninth month work permit. This gives you the time to establish your business. Before the nine months expire you will need to show that you’ve made reasonable progress in setting your business up. If approved, you will be granted a further work permit allowing you to stay for a total of three years.

Converting the Long Term Business Visa to Permanent Residence

Once you have your long term business visa there are two options for gaining residence, Entrepreneur or Entrepreneur Plus.

Entrepreneur Category

Once you have successfully established a business in New Zealand, in which you’ve been ‘self-employed’ for at least two years, and you can show that your business has benefitted New Zealand, you could be eligible for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Category.

Entrepreneur Plus Category

1. The Entrepreneur Plus Category has no minimum time requirement for the duration of your business and is therefore a quicker method of gaining residency, so long as you:

* Hold a long term business permit.
* Have been ‘self-employed’ in that business.
* Have successfully established a business in New Zealand.
* Have invested at least NZ$0.5 million in the business.
* Have created a minimum of three new full-time jobs for New Zealand citizens or residents.

Criterion Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Plus
Investment capital Unspecified At least NZ$500,000 for 9 months of LTBV
Business experience Has to be relevant to your business proposal Has to be relevant to your business proposal
Benefit to New Zealand According to business plan At least 3 new full time equivalent jobs created for New Zealanders.
Maximum age None None
Minimum English language IELTS 4 IELTS 4
Time required in NZ Self employed in NZ in the business for 2 years Self employed in NZ in the business for two years working (inclusive of time on LTBV)
Length of time to residence Minimum of 2 years and maximum of 3 after approval of LTBV work policy Residence can be granted once requirements met while holding LTBV
Health and Character Must meet requirements for both health and character Must meet requirements for both health and character

Both categories require that you demonstrate your business complies with New Zealand employment and immigration law. Some requirements are different (generally for English language and benefit to New Zealand) if you:

* Have been on a long-term business permit approved (or approved in principle) before 20 November 2002, or
* Have renewed your long-term business permit that was originally approved (or approved in principle) before that date.