This visa is for people who want to work in their own business in New Zealand. To apply, you’ll need to provide a detailed business plan, have at least NZ $100,000 to invest in your business and be able to claim 120 points on our points scale. If you’re granted this visa, you can buy or set up a business without living here permanently, or as a first step towards New Zealand residence.
12 months in the start-up stage of your visa, then another 24 months once you’ve shown us that you’ve set-up your business
With this visa you can
Come to New Zealand to buy or set up your own business.
Work in your own business in New Zealand for up to 3 years in total.
Include your partner, and dependent children aged 19 and under, in your visa application.
Things to note
If your business is in the science or ICT sectors, shows a high level of innovation or export potential, we may consider waiving the NZ $100,000 capital investment requirement.
We won’t be able to grant you an Entrepreneur Work Visa if you’ve been made bankrupt or been involved in a business failure in the last 5 years.
If you’ve been involved in any kind of business fraud or financial wrongdoing, we won’t be able to grant you a visa.
Fit and proper person
You must be a fit and proper person
You must confirm in the application form that you meet fit and proper person requirements.
To be a fit and proper person, all businesses you have influence over must have complied with all immigration, employment and taxation laws. You must also:
have never been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office or the New Zealand police for any offence resulting from business dealings
have no convictions for an offence involving dishonesty
have never been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety.
We’ll contact you if you need to provide further information.
You must be able to speak English
You can show us you speak English by either providing:
an acceptable English language test result
evidence you have an English-speaking background
evidence you’re a competent user of English for other reasons.
English language test results must be no more than 2 years old.
Minimum capital investment
You must show us that you’re able to make a capital investment of at least NZ $100,000
You must provide evidence you have:
the funds and/or assets to make the capital investment outlined in your business plan
you have enough money to support yourself and any family who are coming to New Zealand with you, on top of your capital investment.
You must provide evidence that the funds and/or assets you intend to use for your capital investment are:
owned by you (or you and your partner)
earned or acquired lawfully.
Evidence you own the funds and/or assets to invest may include:
business ownership documents
Evidence you earned or acquired the funds and/or assets lawfully, may include:
tax returns or certificates
business financial statements
receipts for property sales
share trading profits
evidence of gifted money
probate and other evidence of inherited money.
We may waive this requirement for businesses in science, ICT, or other high-value export industries that show a high level of innovation or high growth prospects in the short-term.
Your funds and/or assets can’t be borrowed or have a loan or bond against them.
It’s OK if you invested funds that were gifted to you, as long as they were gifted unconditionally and earned or acquired lawfully.
If you own an investment jointly with someone who isn’t your partner or dependent child, you can nominate the value of your share for your capital investment.
Capital investments exclude:
passive or speculative investments, like reserve funds or term deposits
items for your own use, like your car, boat or home
any salary or wages paid to you or your immediate family
residential property investments, unless they’re part of the business plan.
If your nominated funds are already in New Zealand, you must provide evidence that they were originally transferred to New Zealand through the banking system.
Request for a minimum capital investment waiver
For us to consider a capital investment of less than NZ $100,000, you must request a waiver
We’ll only consider waiving the minimum capital investment requirement , if both:
your business is in science, ICT or another high-value export sector
your business shows a high level of innovation or short-term growth prospects.
For us to consider your business high-value export business, it would need to aim to:
create 5 or more jobs for New Zealanders
turnover NZ $500,000 in annual exports.
For us to consider your business has an high level of innovation, you would need show us:
you’ve discovered new ways to produce more goods or services without increasing the production costs
your business is likely to succeed because of your innovation.
If we agree to waive this requirement, you won’t be eligible for any points for capital investment on our points scale.
You must be awarded at least 120 points on our points scale
We may award points for:
your capital investment
your business experience
the benefits of your business to New Zealand
the location of your business.
You can use our points scale to get an idea of how many points you may be able to claim.
You can also use it to check the evidence you’ll need to provide to support your claims.
You must provide a detailed business plan
You must provide a detailed business plan for the business you intend to operate in New Zealand.
Your business plan should be no more than 3 months old when you apply.
If you later want to make a minor change to your business plan, you’ll need to submit a request to us for our approval.
We won’t be able to approve your application, if the purpose of your business is to help people who aren’t New Zealanders enter New Zealand.
You must have New Zealand occupational registration, if it’s required to run your business in New Zealand
If registration is required, you must provide us with a certified copy of your New Zealand occupational registration.
You must start up your business within 12 months
Once you’ve been granted an Entrepreneur Work Visa, you must start up your business within the first 12 months of your visa.
Towards the end of the 12 months or your ‘start-up’ stage, you’ll need to show us that you’ve:
made the capital investment detailed in your business plan
taken reasonable steps to set-up or invest in the business detailed in your business plan.
Evidence you’ve invested your capital can include:
other documents showing it was transferred to New Zealand through the banking system.
Evidence you’ve taken steps to set-up or invest can include:
a certificate of incorporation
other tax records
documents showing you’ve purchased or leased the business site
invoices for business equipment and supplies
any other documents that show you’re in business, eg employment agreements, bank statements, power bills for your business, sales agreements, contracts to provide products or services.
We may be able to extend the start-up period if you can show us you can set up your business within a specified time.
You must agree to take part in an evaluation of the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category
You must sign a declaration in the ‘Entrepreneur Work Visa Application’ agreeing that you’ll take part in an evaluation of the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category, if we approve your application.
You must also agree to keep us up-to-date with any changes to your contact details for 5 years after we approve your application. This is so we can get in touch about the evaluation.
NZD $ 3,365
This is the fee for Immigration New Zealand to process your application.An immigration levy is payable and is included in the total amount above.
within 16 months
90% of applications are currently completed within this time.