NEW ZEALAND BUSINESS IMMIGRATION INFORMATION








Business migrants can obtain Residence under the Investor, Entrepreneur and Employees of Businesses Relocating to New Zealand categories.

It is not compulsory for Business Migrants to possess English language skills.

Please select from the following:

Investor Category
Entrepreneur Category
Employees of Businesses Relocating to New Zealand

Investor Category

In order to make it easier for wealthy migrants to obtain residence English language skills are not an essential requirement for Investor Category applicants. The Investor Category is the simplest and easiest of the Business categories.

Points are awarded for the applicant's age, business experience (although business experience is not compulsory) and investments funds. The applicant must be awarded sufficient points to meet the passmark which is presently 12 points.

We have summarised the Investor Category points system in a Points Table.

Age

Applicants must be aged between 25 years to 84 years old.
The age group that receives the most points is 25 to 29 years.
Applicants aged 55 to 64 years will not be awarded any points for their age whilst applicants aged 65-84 will have points deducted.
Applicants aged 85 years and older cannot apply.

Business Experience

Applicants will be awarded 1 point for each complete two years of business experience up to a maximum of 5 points for ten years business experience or more.

Business experience is not mandatory.

Investment Funds

Applicants must invest "Investment Funds" ("IF") in New Zealand for two years. A minimum investment of $1 million is required. IF can be funds that have been gifted or borrowed. The first $1 million IF will be awarded 1 point with each additional $500,000.00 awarded one extra point up to a maximum of 11 points for $6,000,000.00. IF must be invested in New Zealand and be in New Zealand currency and invested so as to be capable of providing a 'commercial return'. Placing funds on term deposit with a New Zealand bank for two years is acceptable as the interest earned on the term deposit is considered as a 'commercial return'.

An application for residence can be made under this category when the applicant is in his/her home country by providing evidence to the New Zealand Immigration Service ("NZIS") that the applicant has the required funds and assets that he/she is claiming points for. Once NZIS has approved the application "in principle" then the funds must be transferred to NZ within 12 months and invested in an appropriate investment for two years. When evidence of the correct investment is provided to NZIS the applicant's passport (and the passports of the family members included in the application) will be endorsed with 'conditional' Residence Permits upon arrival in NZ.

After the two-year investment period is up, the applicant and his family will obtain 'unconditional' Residence Permits. The applicant is then free to do what he/she likes with the IF including remitting the funds back to his/her country of origin. IF cannot be used for personal use during the investment period e.g. the funds cannot be used to buy a car or house. However the interest earned on the investment can be for personal use.

English Language Requirement

The Principal Applicant and all accompanying family members 16 years of age and older should have an acceptable English language background or have an average score of 4 in the IELTS test (General Module).It is not compulsory for the Principal Applicant to pass the IELTS test before the application is accepted by NZIS for processing.

If the Principal Applicant obtains an average IELTS score of 3.5 or more but less than 4 he must pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other Languages ("ESOL") tuition valued at $1,700.00.

If the Principal Applicant obtains an average IELTS score of less than 3.5 then he must pre-purchase ESOL tuition valued at $3,350.00.

The above applies to all accompanying family members aged 16 years and older.

If the Principal Applicant or any accompanying family member aged 16 years and older does not submit an IELTS test result to NZIS then they must pay NZIS $3,350.00.

Examples

Example One

A businessman aged 44 years who speaks no English and has at least 10 years business experience can obtain NZ residency by placing $1 million on term deposit with a NZ bank for two years and purchasing ESOL tuition valued at $3,350.00.

Example Two

An English-speaking businessman aged 55 years with at least 10 years business experience can obtain NZ residency by placing $4 million on term deposit with a NZ bank for two years or any other acceptable investment.

Example Three

A 26 year old woman with no business experience and who has inherited $1million from her father can obtain NZ residency by placing these funds on term deposit with a NZ bank for two years.

Investor Category Points Table


  Points
Business Experience

2 years
4 years
6 years
8 years
10 years



1
2
3
4
5
Investment Funds (NZ$)

Applicants must attain a minimum of one point for this requirement to be approved under this category.

$ 1 000 000
$ 1 500 000
$ 2 000 000
$ 2 500 000
$ 3 000 000
$ 3 500 000
$ 4 000 000
$ 4 500 000
$ 5 000 000
$ 5 500 000
$ 6 000 000




1
2
3
4
5
6
7
8
9
10
11
Age

25 - 29 years
30 - 34 years
35 - 39 years
40 - 44 years
45 - 49 years
50 - 54 years
55 - 59 years
60 - 64 years
65 - 74 years
75 - 84 years

Applicants aged 85 years and over may not be approved under this category.


10
9
8
6
4
2
1
0
-2
-4


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Entrepreneur Category and Long Term Business Visa

Entrepreneur Category Residency

The Concise Oxford Dictionary describes an 'Entrepreneur' as:

'1. a person who undertakes an enterprise or business, with the chance of profit or loss…3. The person in effective control of a commercial undertaking'.

The new Entrepreneur Category ("EC") policy reflects this definition.

An applicant must show he/she has successfully established a business in NZ for at least two years and the business is benefiting NZ in some way.

The Special Category Work Visa (Long Term Business Visa) enables entrepreneurs to establish their businesses in New Zealand and then apply for residence under the Entrepreneur Category after two years.

Applicants who have already established businesses in NZ can apply for residency under the EC so long as they meet the EC criteria.

Entrepreneur applicants must demonstrate after at least two years that:

(i) They have established a business in NZ; AND
(ii) The business is benefiting NZ in some way.

'Successfully Established a Business'

An applicant is considered to have 'successfully established a business' in NZ if:

(i) They have established, purchased, or made a substantial investment in a business operating in NZ; AND
(ii) They have been self-employed in NZ in that business for at least two years

The applicant must be actively involved in the running of the business. The policy behind the EC is to accept migrants to NZ with entrepreneurial skills.

An applicant cannot buy a business, put a manager in charge of it or become the receptionist of the business. NZIS will consider this to be 'passive' involvement and it is not acceptable.

The applicant must be actively involved in the running of the business. After two years the applicant must provide NZIS with evidence to show that he/she has been actively involved in the business.

The applicant does not have to spend all his/her time in NZ. He/she can continue to be actively involved in the NZ business from overseas but must keep actively involved with the business thorough email, telephone, fax etc. and visits NZ from time to time.

The amount of time the applicant must spend in NZ will depend on the nature of the business. For example the owner of a dairy will be expected to spend more time in NZ than the owner of a trading company.

Substantial Investment is defined as:

The purchase of 25% or more of the shareholding of a business.

If the applicant buys 25% of the shares of a business he/she will still need to show that after two years this 25% investment has kept him/her self-employed. The value of the shares are not important, it how the applicant has been actively involved in the business that is important and this active involvement has kept him self-employed.

Self employment is defined as:

Lawful and active involvement in NZ in the management and operation of a business…

A business may be considered to benefit NZ if it promotes NZ's economic growth through:

introducing new technology, management or technical skills;
introducing new products or services;
developing new export markets;
creating employment (including employing the applicant only); or
revitalising an existing business.

Examples

Example One:

The applicant has bought a dairy in Auckland. For two years the dairy has made a sufficient profit to support the applicant i.e. he is self-employed. He will be granted a residence permit. If the dairy cannot create a sufficient profit to keep the applicant self-employed e.g. if it only creates NZ$15,000.00 profit per year the application will probably be declined.

Example Two:

The applicant has established a successful trading company in Christchurch and has exported NZ-made products overseas for the last two years and she is considered to be self-employed. She will be granted a residence permit.

English Language Requirements

The Principal Applicant and all accompanying family members 16 years of age and older should have an acceptable English language background or have an average score of 4 in the IELTS test (General Module). However unlike the previous Business Investor category it is now not compulsory for the Principal Applicant to pass the IELTS test before the application is accepted by NZIS for processing.

If the Principal Applicant obtains an average IELTS score of 3.5 or more but less than 4 he must pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other Languages ("ESOL") tuition valued at $1,700.00.

If the Principal Applicant obtains an average IELTS score of less than 3.5 then he must pre-purchase ESOL tuition valued at $3,350.00.

The above applies to all accompanying family members aged 16 years and older. If the Principal Applicant or any accompanying family member aged 16 years and older does not submit an IELTS test result to NZIS then they must pay NZIS $3,350.00

Long Term Business Visa-Work Visa

The new Long Term Business Visa ("LTBV") is designed for applicants who wish to apply for residence under the Entrepreneurial Category as described above.

A Long Term Business Permit ("LTBP") can be issued to applicants already in NZ.

The LTBV/LTBP is a special category of work visa/permit and are valid for three years. If successful, the applicant's spouse will also be issued with a three year work visa/permit.

To qualify for a LTBV applicants must have the following:

Satisfactory Business Plan

A business plan is defined as a plan to establish a specific business in NZ which contains information as set out in the business plan form and is supported by appropriate documentation.

Before assessing a business plan an NZIS business immigration specialist must first be satisfied that the applicant has, amongst other considerations:

· Has access to sufficient capital to finance the proposed business;
· Provide realistic financial forecasts;
· Relevant business experience.

A high standard of documentation is required in order for NZIS to assess a business plan. It is anticipated that applicants will obtain the services of a NZ charted accountant to compile a coherent business plan. The applicant will also need to have a good knowledge of the NZ business environment.

The applicant must have sufficient funds, in addition to the investment capital, to provide for their maintenance and accommodation and that of any accompanying family members for the duration of their visa/permit.

Conditions imposed on the LTBV are that the holder of the visa/permit will be self-employed and undertakes not to draw on the welfare system. Please refer above under 'Entrepreneurial Category' for the definition of 'self employed'.

Renewals of LTBV/LTBP

LTBV/LTBP can be renewed once only for a further three years if they have valid reasons for needing more time to establish the business in NZ.

Example

An applicant has submitted a business proposal plan to NZIS and it has been approved. The applicant is buying a café business in Auckland City. He has sufficient funds to maintain himself and his family for the first year in NZ.

The applicant will be granted a LTBV valid for 3 years and he can apply for residence under the Entrepreneur Category after 2 years.

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Employees of Relocating Business to New Zealand

This category is intended for key staff of businesses relocating to NZ who are not eligible for residence under other categories of NZ residence policy.

Relocating business is defined as:

A business that proposes to operate in NZ, and which the NZIS business immigration specialist is satisfied is bona fide. The business' proposed relocation need not involve stopping its operation in its home country.

Key Employee is defined as:

An employee of the business whom the chief executive officer of the relocating business reasonably considers to be essential to the operation of the relocated business in NZ.

Time Frame for Relocating the Business

The business must be relocated within 24 months of NZIS granting the application approval in principle.

Interim Temporary Entry to Arrange Transfer and Investment of Funds

After the application has been approved in principle a Work Visa/Permit will be issued allowing the applicant to make arrangements for relocating the business to NZ for a maximum validity of 24 months.

Residence Visas/Permits

The following conditions will be imposed on Residence Visas/Permits issued:

(i) The applicant is employed in the relocated business for the 24 months following the relocation; AND
(ii) Within 3 months after the expiry of the 24 month employment period the applicant submits evidence that (i) has been met.

English Language Requirement

The Principal Applicant and all accompanying family members 16 years of age and older should have an acceptable English language background or have an average score of 4 in the IELTS test (General Module). However unlike the previous Business Investor category it is now not compulsory for the Principal Applicant to pass the IELTS test before the application is accepted by NZIS for processing.

If the Principal Applicant obtains an average IELTS score of 3.5 or more but less than 4 he must pre-purchase English for Speakers of Other Languages ("ESOL") tuition valued at $1,700.00.

If the Principal Applicant obtains an average IELTS score of less than 3.5 then he must pre-purchase ESOL tuition valued at $3,350.00.

The above applies to all accompanying family members aged 16 years and older.

If the Principal Applicant or any accompanying family member aged 16 years and older does not submit an IELTS test result to NZIS then they must pay NZIS $3,350.00



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