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Entrepreneur Visa for New Zealand

New Zealand has a strong economy and is frequently ranked among the best places in the world to do business. New Zealand is open to entrepreneurs from other countries willing to contribute to its economy. Foreign investors find it appealing because of its stable business climate.

If you want to work as a business owner in New Zealand, you can apply for an entrepreneur visa if you meet the requirements. For assistance on the entrepreneur visa application process, please speak with one of our lawyers at Total Law at 0333 305 9375.

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    Overview of Entrepreneur Visas for New Zealand

    You can apply for entrepreneur work or a resident visa through Immigration New Zealand (INZ). The entrepreneur work visa and the entrepreneur resident visa are business visas.

    Nationals of other countries who desire to be self-employed in New Zealand must apply for an entrepreneur work visa to set up their own business or buy an existing one. You can only be granted an entrepreneurship work visa when you get the required points.

    An entrepreneur work visa is initially valid for one year. Once you prove your business is well established, as stated in your business plan, you are eligible for another two years. One benefit of this visa is that your close family members, such as your spouse and dependent children below 19, are included.

    You might qualify for an entrepreneur resident visa two years after obtaining an entrepreneur work visa.

    You can speed up the process and apply for an entrepreneur resident visa six months after obtaining the work visa as long as you meet the requirements. The entrepreneur resident business visa is valid unlimitedly as long as your business is still in New Zealand.

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    Entrepreneur Visa Requirements

    You must satisfy the requirements to be eligible for any entrepreneur visa.

    Entrepreneur Work Visa

    Here are the requirements for an entrepreneurship work visa:

    • Your passport or a certificate issued by the government of your country showing evidence of your identity
    • Your recent passport photographs that show your face and shoulders and meet all the New Zealand technical requirements
    • Proof of a medical certificate
    • A police report from your home country and any country you have lived in within five years
    • You have never been involved in any business fraud. Every business you control has complied with all employment, tax, and immigration regulations and is investigated by New Zealand police
    • Evidence that you can understand and communicate in the English language. Non-English-speaking country nationals must take an English test and meet the required minimum score
    • If your family is going with you, you must show proof of your relationship with them, such as a marriage certificate, adoption papers, or birth certificate
    • Based on the New Zealand point system, you must receive 120 points to qualify for the entrepreneur work visa
    • Your detailed business plan
    • Depending on your occupation, you may need to register your business in New Zealand
    • You are required to sign a declaration in your entrepreneurship work visa form

    Entrepreneur Resident Visa

    To be qualified for an entrepreneur resident visa, you must currently hold a New Zealand visa for entrepreneurs and meet all the requirements. You can fast-track this visa if you have been an entrepreneur for six months in New Zealand.

    Here are additional requirements for an entrepreneurship resident visa:

    • A birth certificate with your birth date,  full name, birth address, and parents’ full names. A ‘birth not registered’ certificate can be presented if you do not have a birth certificate
    • A police report from any other country you and your dependents (from 17 years old) have visited for a minimum of a year within the last ten years
    • If you are a company shareholder in New Zealand, you should have at least 25 per cent of the shares
    • You should provide evidence to show that your business operates in New Zealand, such as tax records, salary records, and purchased business site invoices
    • Proof that your business met the goals, objectives and capital investment detailed in your business plan
    • Proof that your company has no recent history of business failure and is profitable.
    • Evidence that your business is a high-value export sector contributing to New Zealand’s economy
    • You have not received welfare assistance since you were granted a work visa

    Evidence that you have complied with employment and immigration laws and have not been subject to a Serious Fraud Office investigation from business dealings

    Financial Requirements and Sponsorship

    Entrepreneur Work Visa

    You must have an NZ $100,000 capital investment to be eligible for an entrepreneurship work visa. You must show evidence that you are financially capable of providing the capital investment, such as your bank statements, asset valuation or share certificates.

    Companies with extraordinary growth or innovation potential may be exempt from this requirement. Businesses that provide services in science or ICT (Information and Communications Technology) are also eligible for the waiver.

    To be considered for a minimum capital investment waiver, your company should aim to:

    1. Bring an annual turnover of NZ $500,000
    2. Create more job opportunities for New Zealanders
    3. Find innovative ways to increase output without raising production costs

    The disadvantage of a waiver is that you will not be able to receive any points for capital investments on the entrepreneurship point scale.

    Entrepreneur Resident Visa

    You are expected to have been running your business in New Zealand with the capital investment outlined in your business plan. Your investment should be at least NZ $500,000 if it’s less than two years.

    Your capital investment does not include your personal property investment, such as your car or money paid to you from friends and family. This capital investment should be retained for two years to be eligible for an entrepreneur resident visa.

    The conditions for a capital investment waiver for an entrepreneur work visa still apply to an entrepreneur resident visa.

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      Points Scale for Entrepreneur Work Visa

      To qualify for the 120 points on the New Zealand point scale, you must submit evidence to support your claims. All points for each category are summed to give you your total points. An immigration officer can confirm your points and access your application. Here is a table of how the points are awarded.

      Categories of Points Highest and Lowest Points Attainable
      Minimum Amount of Capital Invested $1,000,000 = 80 points

      under $200,000 = no point

      Business Experience Ten years and above running a similar business = 40 points

      5 – 9 years as a senior manager running a similar business = 5 points

      3- 4 years running a business not similar = 5 points

      Benefit to New Zealand If your company will give ten or more New Zealanders full-time jobs = 80 points

      If your company exports goods worth NZ$ 1,000,000 annually = 80 points

      If your company will provide one New Zealander with a full-time job = 10 points

      If your company exports goods worth NZ$ 200,000 annually = 10 points

      Your Age If you are between the ages of 25 and 49 = 20 points.

      Suppose you are 60 or older =no point.

      Business Location in New Zealand If you establish your business outside Auckland =40 bonus points.

      Entrepreneur Visa Processing Times and Costs

      The cost and process of an entrepreneur visa differ from country to country. The entrepreneur work visa fee starts from NZD 3920, and its processing time could take up to 7 months.

      The cost for an entrepreneur resident visa is NZD 6860. You can send payment by post with a credit or debit card. Total law lawyers can provide specific information on cost and processing times tailored to your home country.

      How to Apply for an Entrepreneur Visa

      Below is the application process for an entrepreneur work visa or resident visa.

      Entrepreneur Work Visa

      Step 1: Assemble Your Evidence of Capital Investment and Other Documents

      The first step is to prepare all required documents. Ensure that your business plan and other essential documents are ready.

      Step 2: Submit Your Application

      Depending on your country, most work visas are applied for on paper and submitted to the courier or postal address of the immigration office in New Zealand. Your visa fees and other supporting documents will be submitted with your application form.

      Step 3: Wait to Get a Decision

      You may need to wait several weeks or months to get a decision. During this time, you may be contacted for any additional information.

      Step 4: Getting a New Zealand entrepreneur work visa

      When a favourable decision has been made on your application, you will be initially granted a one-year entrepreneur work visa. You will be contacted to know if you followed your business plan and made the capital investment as stated in your plan.

      If your response to the immigration officers is positive, you will be granted an entrepreneur work visa for another two years.

      Entrepreneur Resident Visa

      Step 1: Submit Your Application

      If you meet the requirements, you can complete the application form and submit it with your application fees and supporting documents to the postal address of Immigration, New Zealand.

      Step 2: Wait for a Response

      Your application form will be assessed. If further information is needed from you, you will be contacted.

      Step 3: Wait for a Decision

      The processing time for a resident visa could take weeks. If your current visa expires before a decision is made on your application, you should apply for a new temporary visa to remain in New Zealand.

      Our team of legal experts can help you obtain an Entrepreneur Visa. Contact Us

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        Employment and Immigration Law

        You are considered a fit and proper person when your business complies with the employment and immigration laws stated below:

        1. Your company must not pay workers less than the standard industry salary or minimum wage in New Zealand
        2. Your workers are entitled to leave and public holidays and must be granted.
        3. Your business environment must be a safe place for workers.
        4. Illegal immigrants and those not allowed to work in New Zealand must not be employed at your company.

        How Can Total Law Help You?

        Our outstanding immigration lawyers at Total Law have extensive experience handling visa applications to New Zealand for self-employment and other purposes. We offer customised services tailored to your needs.

        We will give you thorough guidance regarding the necessary supporting documentation. Our Years of experience with this process have also led us to recognise the typical errors that applicants make, which result in the rejection of their applications. As a result, we will assist you in avoiding these mistakes so that your application is accepted.

        Total Law can assist you in applying or reapplying if you’ve been rejected previously. We can also help you file an appeal to ensure you’re accepted. Please call us at 0333 305 9375 to get started on the path to a successful application.

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                  Frequently Asked Questions

                  You can study for three months if you hold an entrepreneur work visa. With an entrepreneur resident visa, you can study as long as your business is still in New Zealand.

                  You must apply for entry permission at the New Zealand border. You will be given an arrival card to complete while travelling to New Zealand. The immigration officers may ask questions and check your documents before you are granted entry permission.

                  You cannot work for an employer while on an entrepreneur visa. It would be best if you were self-employed.

                  You can travel as often as possible while your entrepreneur work visa is still valid. You can only travel as often as you want for two years as a resident visa holder.

                  However, you can apply for an entrepreneur resident visa to travel more than two years if you desire. When the validity of your travel conditions expires, your visa will expire if you are outside New Zealand.