Entrepreneur Category

The Entrepreneur Work Visa leads to residence for persons establishing a business in New Zealand.  

Applicants must submit a detailed business plan and 3 year financial forecast.  Points are awarded for:

  • Amount of capital invested in the approved business
  • Age
  • Business experience
  • Job creation for New Zealand citizens and residents
  • Export potential
  • Location of business if established outside of Auckland

Approved applicants are granted an initial work visa for 12 months to establish their business.  A further 2-year work visa will be granted once the business has been established.  

If their business is profitable and achieves the forecasted sales the holders of an Entrepreneur Work Visa can qualify for a residence visa, 2 years after the business starts trading. If the investment was at least $500,000 and 3 fulltime jobs were created for New Zealanders, the qualifying period is only 6 months.

The Entrepreneur Work Visa policy has the following minimum requirements:

  • A minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000
  • Transfer investment funds to NZ through the banking system
  • Prove that the investment funds were earned legally
  • Own at least 25% of the shareholding in the business
  • Provide a 3 year business plan with financial forecasts for the business
  • The applicant must not have been involved in bankruptcy, business failure or business fraud
  • The applicant must have English language fluency to IELTS level 4
  • Have an acceptable standard of health
  • Have a good character record

To be granted residence, the applicant must work fulltime in the business and spend most their time physically in New Zealand during the validity of their Entrepreneur Work visa.

The business MUST also meet or exceed the sales in the approved business plan forecast.