Entrepreneur Work Visa

Ready to flourish your business in supportive and progressive environment?

The New Zealand business visa program allows businessmen eager to invest funds in the country to buy or start a new business in New Zealand. The program is designed to attract entrepreneurs and substantial capital in the country and improve its economy.


Entrepreneur Work Visa is a point based category of business migration visa that enables businessmen to start up their own business in New Zealand and apply for residence through the same. To obtain this visa, one must provide evidence of NZ$ 100,000 to invest as funds in his business along with detailed business plan. The applicant should also meet the requirement of having 120 points on the points scale.

The three year Visa comprises of two stages:

  • Initial 12 month startup phase
  • 24 months Balanced Phase for business activity

If your application is approved you will be granted a visa for twelve months to allow you to establish and commence the operation of your proposed business in New Zealand. You may be granted the remainder of your visa for the balance of the three-year period (a further 24 months) if:

  • You apply within the validity of your Entrepreneur Work Visa
  • You provide satisfactory evidence to demonstrate that your investment capital was transferred to New Zealand through the banking system, and
  • You provide satisfactory evidence to demonstrate that you have taken reasonable steps to establish or invest in your proposed business.

No further fee or immigration levy will be charged for obtaining the balance of your Entrepreneur Work Visa after the initial 12 month stage.

If, however, you submit a request for the remainder of your Entrepreneur Work Visa for a changed business, you may be required either to:

  • You apply within the validity of your Entrepreneur Work Visa
  • You provide satisfactory evidence to demonstrate that your investment capital was transferred to New Zealand through the banking system, and
  • You provide satisfactory evidence to demonstrate that you have taken reasonable steps to establish or invest in your proposed business.

If you are unable to provide satisfactory evidence of having taken reasonable steps to establish or invest in your proposed business but it appears that you may be able to provide such evidence within a specified time, a further start-up stage may be granted to allow you to
take further steps to establish and operate your proposed business.


Further work visas may be granted to you beyond the initial three-year period (for periods not exceeding three years) if you can satisfy a business immigration specialist that you have valid reasons for needing a further visa. You will need to pay a new application fee and immigration levy, at the current rate for an Entrepreneur Work Visa, for a renewal or a new application.

If you are seeking a renewal for a period beyond the initial three years on the basis of a new business proposal, a business immigration specialist may require that a new application be lodged.

The Start-up stage (the initial 12 months) or the Balance stage (the remainder of the three year period).

Any changes proposed must be minimal, or the request will be declined. Change requests may be granted if:

  • The changes proposed are minimal and do not significantly alter the proposed business
  • The proposed changes would have been granted the same or greater points in the points scale as the original business proposal
  • The business still requires the same or a greater level of capital investment than the original business proposal
  • You have sufficient business experience relevant to the proposed business, and
  • the business offers the same level of benefit to New Zealand, for full time positions being created for New Zealand citizens or residents, annual turnover, new exports and/or the introduction of unique products or services to New Zealand or to a particular region.

If the request to change a business proposal is refused, you will be offered the option of continuing with the original business proposal.

If you still wish to pursue the new business after the request for a change has been refused, you must lodge a new application for an Entrepreneur Work Visa and pay the applicable fee and immigration levy.

You may become liable for deportation if you undertake a different business proposal to your original proposal without being granted consent from a business immigration specialist.


An applicant must score minimum 120 points to qualify for New Zealand Business Migration. Calculate points according to following table.

Points Scale for New Zealand

In order to be approved for an Entrepreneur Work Visa, applicants must meet or exceed the pass mark (as set out below) on a scale which awards points for factors relating to the likely
success of the proposed business and its value to New Zealand.

Categories in the points scale Potential Points
Points for business experience (can be awarded in only one category)
Relevant self-employment
10 years + 40
5 years + 30
3 years + 20
Other self-employment
10 years + 20
5 years + 15
3 years + 5
Relevant senior management experience
10 years + 10
10 years + 5
Points for benefit to New Zealand (can be awarded in up to two categories)
New full time employment creation
10+ new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents 80
5 or more new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents 50
3 or more new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents 30
2 new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents 20
1 new full time position for a New Zealand citizen or resident. 10
Points for approved export businesses (based on a credible business plan)
$1,000,000 + turn over a year80
$750,000 + turn over a year60
$500,000 + turn over a year40
$400,000 + turn over a year30
$300,000 + turn over a year20
$200,000 + turn over a year10
Points for unique or new products or services to New Zealand
A credible business proposal that provides unique or new products/ services to New Zealand, or to a particular region,not currently being provided by existing businesses in New Zealand. 30
Points for capital investment
$1,000,000 +80
$750,000 +60
$500,000 +50
$400,000 +30
$300,000 +20
$200,000 +10
under $200,0000
Points for age of prospective applicant (at date of lodging application)
24 and under15
60 and over0
Bonus Points
Business based outside Auckland as defined in BB6.1.35.40


Self Employment

  • Minimum 25% Investment.
  • No condition of Turnover/Sale
  • Must Be a registered Business
  • Passive Investment not considered
  • Active involvement of the applicant in daily activities of the business required.
  • Business should have not faced failure or loss in last 5 years.

Senior Management

Extensive experience at a senior level within a business, in planning, organization, control, Change-management and direction-setting, acquired through senior management experience in a lawful business enterprise that has at least five full-time employees or an annual turn-over of NZ$1 million.


A full time and ongoing job means a permanent role for at least 30 hours a week:

Export turnover

Need to provide detailed projections in your business plan outlining how you expect to meet this turnover

Unique or new products or services to New Zealand or a particular region

This section has always been very tricky. It is hard to convince New Zealand Business Immigration Expert to convince. We shall never claim such points.


Minimum of NZD 100,000 investment is required. This sum is also waived of in business nature explained below:

Provide evidence to show that these funds and/or assets:

  • are owned by you or jointly by you, your partner
  • are unencumbered, i.e. not subject to any mortgage, loan, or other claims
  • are not borrowed
  • have been earned or acquired legally

Capital investment does not include:

  • passive investments
  • the purchase of items for the personal use of the applicant(s),
  • investment in residential property, except approved new developments

Waiver Of The Capital Investment Requirement

The requirement for applicants to demonstrate a minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 can only be waived for businesses in science, ICT, or other high value export-oriented sector.
Business in science, ICT, or other high value export-oriented sector.

Information and Communications Technology (ICT) is defined as one of three important activities in the economy: ICT manufacturing, telecommunications and information technology (IT) services.

A high value, export oriented business is one with credible ambitions to:

  • create 5 or more new full time positions for New Zealand citizens or residents, and
  • achieve an annual export turnover of NZ$500,000 per annum or more.

Business Based Outside Of Auckland

A business based outside Auckland means a business with its headquarters or sites based outside the area covered by the authority of the Auckland Council.


English Language Ability

You may show that you meet the minimum standard of English by providing:

A certificate (no more than two years old at the time you make your application) from the
International English Language Testing System (IELTS), showing an overall band score of 4


Evidence of an English-speaking background

Please note the English Language Requirement is for main applicant only. The secondary applicant does not need to show English Language Ability.

Maintenance Funds

You must provide evidence that you have, in addition to investment capital, sufficient funds for your maintenance and accommodation and that of any spouse or partner and/or dependent children who are applying for temporary visas to accompany you to New Zealand.

Roughly 20K NZD should be considered per person per annum for whole three year period.

Health Requirements

You and your family need to be in good health to be granted an Entrepreneur work visa. Please note medical examination is required prior to visa application from WILCARE or IOM

Police Certificates

If you are a first-time applicant or you have held a work visa under the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category for three years and are applying for a further work visa, each person included on the application and aged 17 years or older must provide:

A police certificate from their country of citizenship;


Police certificates from any country in which they have lived for more than five years since attaining the age of 17 years.

Visa Fee And Immigration Levy

An amount of NZD 3638 / - payable to “Immigration New Zealand” through Demand Draft (must be in NZD) or Credit Card


  • The applicant can demonstrate to the satisfaction of a business immigration specialist that they will meet a minimum capital investment  of $100,000, unless this requirement has been waived off.
  • The applicant can  a minimum of 120 points.
  • The applicant provides a business plan acceptable to business immigration specialist.
  • The applicant has obtained professional or occupational registration in New Zealand if registration is required for operating the proposed business.
  • The applicant has not been involved in bankruptcy or business failure within the 5 years preceding the date their application was made; and
  • The applicant has not been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety; and
  • The applicant can provide evidence to satisfy a business immigration specialist that they have sufficient funds, to:

  1. finance their business; and
  2. provide maintenance and accommodation for the period of the Entrepreneur Work Visa for themselves and any partner or dependent child/ren who will accompany them to New Zealand; and

  • Business immigration specialist is satisfied that the applicant:

  1. has sufficient business experience relevant to their business proposal: and
  2. has a genuine intent to establish the business described in the business plan in New Zealand and will abide by the conditions of the visa; and

  • The applicant and any partner or dependent child/ren accompanying them meet character requirements ; and
  • The applicant meets English language requirements ; and
  • The proposed business would not constitute an unacceptable risk to New Zealand

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