Business Immigration Policy

This small and exclusive circle can expect extraordinary service and attention from our side and can profit from our extensive contacts to the New Zealand business world. Legal advice can also be provided upon request.
There are several categories in this field:

1. Investor Category I & II (Residence Visa)
This category was radically changed in 2009 after several years of a rather unflexible system with strict conditions.
The current minimum requirements are now as follows:

Investor I:

  • Maximum age: no age restriction
  • no work experience as owner/operator required
  • Minimum investment funds: NZ$ 10.0 million for three years
  • No settlement funds required
  • No English language test required
  • principal applicant must stay for at least 44 days in each of the two last years of the three-year investment period in New Zealand

Investor II:

  • Maximum age: 65 years of younger
  • Minimum 3 years of work experience as owner/operator or in a leading management position (min annual turnover NZ$ 1.0 mio)
  • Minimum investment NZ$ 1.5 million for four years
  • Minimum settlement funds : NZ$ 1.0 mio (do not need to be transferred to NZ)
  • English knowledge: an IELTS-test with an average score of 3.0 (out of 9.0)
  • principal applicant must stay for at least 146 days in each of the three last years of the four-year investment period in New Zealand

2. Long-term Business Visa (Temporary Entry)
In general this is a special type of work visa, considered as a first step to fulfill the conditions of the entrepreneur category. It is also an interesting category for people aiming to establish a business in New Zealand in the longer term without themselves living here permanently. The conditions are for example the presentation of a business plan, sufficient financial assets, proof of experience as a general manager and/or company owner. Proof of English is obligatory.

3. Entrepreneur (Plus) Category (Residence Visa/Permit)
An application under this category can only succeed if evidence can be provided that a business has been established successfully (and operating for a duration of 24 months, unless Entrepreneur PLUS) with the aim to profit New Zealand’s economy. This can be for example the introduction of new products or the establishment of new export markets. The applicant can also buy shares of a company (min. 25%) and can employ himself in this company. Proof of English is obligatory.

4. Employees of Relocating Business Category (Residence Visa/Permit)
This category applies to management personnel who cannot apply for permanent residence under any other category and have to supervise or participate in the foundation and establishment of a company in New Zealand. Evidence has to be provided regarding the purpose of relocating the business to New Zealand and also the reason why only supervisory staff from abroad can be employed.

All applications in any of the above categories will be processed by the NZIS Wellington Business Migration Unit. The average processing time is around 6 months.