New Zealand is recognised as one of the most business friendly countries on the globe.
For the last 13 years New Zealand has been in the top 10 least corrupt countries as determined by Transparency International, and for much of that time was ranked #1. In 2016 the World Bank ranked New Zealand #1 for the “Ease of doing business” ahead of countries such as Singapore, Denmark, Hong Kong, the USA and the UK.
Immigration New Zealand (INZ) has developed a category of visa that is aimed at those people who want to start new businesses or to purchase existing businesses. This category, known as the Entrepreneur Work Visa allows those people with business skills and finances, to migrate to New Zealand and to use New Zealand as the base from which to build their wealth.
This category suits people who have extensive skills, experience and contacts to assist them with growing a business and who either have limited funds or prefer to limit their investment.
Lasting a maximum of 3 years, there are 2 stages:
This phase allows the visa holder to buy or establish a business in New Zealand. INZ understands that during this phase not all businesses will be doing well and limits the first stage of the visa to 1 year.
This stage of the visa lasts 2 years and requires that the visa holder provide information that shows that the visa holder is actively engaged in building the business and that the finances required to fund it have been transferred to New Zealand.
Approval for an Entrepreneur Work Visa requires the applicant to do the following:
Invest a minimum of NZD$100,000.00 in the venture (unless INZ waives this requirement);
Be able to get a minimum of 120 points, with points being awarded for the applicants age, how much money is being invested in New Zealand, prior work experience that is relevant to the business involved, and business location factors;
Have a robust business plan in place for the business;
To be able to show that they have not been involved in a bankruptcy or business failure for at least the 5 years prior to making the application;
To have not been involved in any business fraud or financial wrongdoing of any sort; and
Meet all health, character and English Language requirements.
Once the business has been established the holder of the Entrepreneur Work Visa can apply for a Residence Visa after spending a minimum of XXX years.
Holders can also apply for immediate family members to be included in the visa.
INZ gives priority to those applicants whose proposal is for a high growth, innovative or export focussed activity.