Entrepreneur Visa

New Zealand is a growing and thriving country with a strong entrepreneurial culture. Creativity, innovation and entrepreneurism have always been a part of Kiwi culture.

We've exported some pretty awesome talent such as Peter Jackson, Lorde and Taika Waititi, we're also fast becoming a global tech-hub for disruptive start-ups that are redefining the way the world does business. Xero Accounting is just one of many New Zealand software start-ups that has proven to be a global success and is now used by major corporations and featured on the Forbes magazine "100 most innovative growth companies" list in 2014. Wellington (or 'Wellywood' as it is affectionately known by Kiwis) is home to one of the best Special FX studios in the world. Weta Digital has helped create major Hollywood blockbuster films such as X-Men, Avatar, and The Hunger Games. As for our dairy export, we make some of the best quality dairy products in the world. Our cheese? Divine! 

These visas are designed to attract talented, entrepreneurial migrants who can invest in our communities, grow profitable businesses, and create jobs for New Zealanders.
— Michael Woodhouse, Former Immigration Minister

New Zealand is fertile breeding ground for entrepreneurial visionaries. We are passionate about helping New Zealand continue to grow in the right direction and are advocates for helping entrepreneurs who wish to establish innovative businesses that will be a benefit to New Zealanders and our society as a whole.


The Entrepreneur Visa allows you to move to New Zealand and buy or establish a new business. After either six months or two years you can then apply for residence under the Entrepreneur Residence Category. 

To become eligible for this visa you must be able to demonstrate:

  • minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 (excluding working capital)
  • 120 points or more, with points awarded for factors about the likely success of the business and its value to New Zealand
  • clear business plan
  • clean recent history of bankruptcy, business failure and fraud
  • health, character and English language requirements.

Moreover, you will be required to show how your proposed business will be a positive benefit to New Zealand. 



If you have established a high growth and innovative business with export potential in New Zealand, you may qualify for residence under the Entrepreneur Residence Category Visa. 

There are two pathways to qualifying for residence under this policy:

  • Entrepreneur Residence Category (2 years) - Requires you to have successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand and have been self-employed in that business for at least two years, and for your business to have significantly benefited New Zealand.
  • Entrepreneur Residence Category (6 months) - This option provides a faster track to residence if you have invested at least NZ$500,000 in your business and have created a minimum of three new full-time jobs for New Zealand citizens or residents.

You will need to meet health, character and English language requirements under both pathways. 



Did you know New Zealand is one of the easiest countries to do business according to the World Bank?





Entrepreneur Visa

If you are interested in investing in New Zealand, there are two options that you may consider:

  1. The Investor Visa
  2. The Investor Plus Visa

The Investor Visa (Investor 2 Category) is an option if you plan to invest a minimum of NZ$3 million over a four-year period.

If you’re looking to invest NZ$10 million or more then the Investor Plus Visa (Investor 1 Category) could be a better option. 

What are acceptable investments?

According to INZ, generally speaking, acceptable investments can be :

  • Equity in NZ firms, public or private. An equity investment can be active or passive, and be made direct or via managed funds (only the proportion of the Fund that is invested in NZ is counted as acceptable).
  • Bonds, issued by the NZ Government, NZ local authorities or approved NZ banks, finance companies or firms.
  • New residential property development that is not for the investor’s personal use and designed to make a commercial return on the open market.
  • Up to 15% of the investment total can be philanthropic investment.


To be considered acceptable, an investment must:

  • Be capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances.
  • Be invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency.
  • Have the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy.
  • Not be for the personal use of the investor.

The above is just a brief overview of the requirements, more conditions apply. 

Recent changes have been made to the investor visa policies to further recognise and reward higher levels of business experience, English language skills and growth oriented investments.

If you would like more information about the Entrepreneur or Investor Category please get in touch with us. We're more than happy to arrange a confidential consultation.


You'd be amazed at the number of investment and business opportunities there are in our mighty little nation.