If you're an experienced business person interested in a move to New Zealand and buying into or starting your own business, the Entrepreneur Category could be for you. It starts with the 3-year Entrepreneur Work Visa (granted initially for 12 months to allow for business start-up, followed by a further 2 years once established in the business). This category is one of the most complex and decline rates are high. Therefore, getting the right advice is really crucial.
As well as meeting health, character and English language requirements (IELTS 4 or other evidence) you will need a clear and viable business plan that is innovative, high growth or export-oriented (or ideally a cominbation of all three) and will provide a significant benefit to New Zealand. You also need at least 120 points and a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 (NZ$200,000 in most cases). You also need to have sufficient funds to cover living expenses during the first 3 yrs without relying on any business income. We actually recommend you have at least NZD400,000 to consider this category.
After successfully running your business for 2 years you can apply for residence. Where your investment has been NZ$500,000 + and you have created 3+ new full-time jobs for New Zealanders the 2 years can be reduced to 6 months.
New Zealand has replaced two previous investor categories with a new "Active Investor Plus" ("AI+") Category from 19th September 2022. The basic premise of this new category is to attract "high-value" investors who will invest directly into New Zealand companies. Under the policies of old, it was possible to invest into passive assets such as bonds. In the new scheme you must invest NZ$15 million or a "weighted equivalent" into the following asset types:
Direct Investment - i.e. buying into NZ companies. Being the riskiest this gets a 3 x weighting. In other words, you can invest NZ$5 million
Managed Funds - these get a 2 x weighting i.e. you can invest NZ$7.5 million
Philanthropy and Listed equities (with a restriction of 20% in businesses involved in property ownership, development or management) - zero weighting
There are a number of devil-in-detail issues still emerging as this new policy beds in. If you are not a wholesale investor, for example, direct investment can only be in businesses that have the tick of NZ Trade & Enterprise ("NZTE") (a government agency). NZTE is yet to identify which businesses meet their criteria.
Key other issues common to prior investor categories are: proving the legality of funds; meeting "acceptable investment" criteria; proving acceptable "business experience" (Investor only). At Into NZ, we can advise on these and all other aspects of the Business/Investor policies.
Complete an NZ Visa Check to start the ball rolling on your move to NZ as an Entrepreneur or Investor.