Entrepreneur Resident Visa

You can apply for the Entrepreneur Resident Visa if you have been self-employed in New Zealand at least 6 months, or have operated a self-employed business for 2 years on another visa.

With this visa you can

  • Continue to operate your own business in New Zealand.
  • Live, work and study in New Zealand.
  • Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your visa application.

Things to note

  • If you apply after less than 2 years of being self-employed, you’ll need to have an Entrepreneur Work Visa, have invested capital of at least NZ $500,000 and have created 3 new jobs in New Zealand.

Your work visa

You must have a current Entrepreneur Work Visa if you have been self-employed for less than two years

We’ll check our records for evidence you hold an appropriate work visa.

We may be able to accept another current visa, if you’ve been working in your own business in New Zealand for at least 2 years and both:

  • your visa allows self-employment in New Zealand
  • you meet all the requirements for an Entrepreneur Work Visa.

Entrepreneur Work Visa

New Zealand business

You must have either set-up or purchased at least 25% of the shareholding in a New Zealand business and have been running that business for at least 6 months

You must provide evidence that shows how long you’ve been running your business in New Zealand, which may include:
  • a certificate of incorporation
  • audited financial statements
  • GST records
  • other tax records
  • export documents
  • employment agreements
  • wage and salary records
  • documents showing you’ve purchased or leased the business site
  • invoices for business equipment and supplies
  • any other documents that demonstrate the operation of the business.

Business plan

Your business must have realised the benefits outlined in your business plan

You must provide evidence your business has met or exceeded the goals outlined in your business plan.

Business profitability

Your business must be profitable

Your business must be both:
  • trading profitably (or have the potential to become profitable within 12 months)
  • making enough money to pay yourself an annual salary that’s at least as much as New Zealand’s full-time minimum wage.

Economic growth

Your business must be contributing to New Zealand’s economic growth

You must provide evidence that your business is contributing to New Zealand’s economic growth in one of the following ways:
  • introducing new technology, management or technical skills
  • enhancing existing technology, management or technical skills
  • introducing new products or services
  • enhancing existing products or services
  • creating new export markets
  • expanding existing export markets
  • creating at least 1 full-time job for a New Zealander (or at least 3 full-time jobs, if you’ve been in business for less than 2 years)
  • offering new skills, networks, management capability and/or capital that increase an existing business’ financial performance.

For us to consider a product or service ‘new’ it would need to:

  • be the only one of its kind in New Zealand
  • be not previously available in the New Zealand location you run your business.
  • offer a significant enhancement or product line not previously provided by an existing New Zealand business or in the location you run your business.

Capital investment

You must have invested at least as much capital as outlined in your business plan

You must have invested at least as much capital as outlined in your business plan. If you’ve been running your business for less than 2 years, your investment must be no less than NZ $500,000.

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.

Businesses less than 2 years old

If you’ve been running your business for less than 2 years, there are extra requirements you must meet

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.

Immigration costs

NZD ($)$ 6,860

This is the charge for Immigration New Zealand to process your application. We do not refund application costs if we decline your application.A non-refundable immigration levy is charged and is included in the cost.

within 19 months

90% of applications are currently completed within this time. Timeframes are in calendar days.

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