About the Visa

The Entrepreneur Work Visa serves as a bridge for determined entrepreneurs seeking to launch and manage a business in New Zealand. This visa caters to those ready to invest their skills, capital, and innovative ideas into the New Zealand market. It aims to stimulate the economy by encouraging entrepreneurial initiatives akin to the now-discontinued Residency-by-Investment Programs like the Investor 1 and Investor 2 visas.

Applicants for an Entrepreneur Work Visa must showcase a solid business plan, adequate investment capital, and a genuine intent to contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth. This visa is essential for individuals desiring to engage in business within New Zealand. It requires an investment of NZD $100,000, a comprehensive business plan, and the ability to score 120 points on our points scale.

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Eligibility Criteria & Overview for Entrepreneur Work Visa

  • Business Plan: A well-crafted business plan outlining the proposed business’s feasibility, scalability, and economic impact.
  • Capital Investment: Applicants must possess at least NZD $100,000 for investment and a detailed business plan. However, the NZD $100,000 capital requirement may be waived for businesses in the science or ICT sectors or those demonstrating high innovation or export potential.
  • Immigration New Zealand Cost: Starting from NZD 3920.

Conditions and Requirements

  • Length of Stay: The visa allows a 12-month stay during the startup stage, which can be extended by another 24 months upon demonstration of business setup.
  • Business Establishment and Management: Visa holders are expected to establish and manage their business according to their business plan.
  • Economic Contribution: The business should positively impact New Zealand’s economy through job creation, innovation, or export potential.
  • Health and Character: Standard health and character requirements must be met.

Benefits of the Visa

  • Live, work, and study in New Zealand while managing your business.
  • Include your spouse and dependent children under 24 in your visa application.
  • A pathway to residency, subject to the business’s success and economic contribution.

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Business Startup Requirements

  • Start your business within the first 12 months of obtaining your visa.
  • Demonstrate capital investment and steps taken towards business setup per your business plan.

Application Process for Entrepreneur Work Visa

  • Expression of Interest (EOI): Submit an EOI detailing your business proposal and its alignment with New Zealand’s economic interests.
  • Invitation to Apply (ITA): Receive an ITA if your EOI is successful.
  • Formal Application: Submit your application, including your business plan and proof of capital investment.
  • Assessment: Your proposal is evaluated based on potential economic benefits and feasibility.

The ICL Process

ICL Immigration excels in guiding entrepreneurs through the Entrepreneur Work Visa application process. Our tailored services aim to assist entrepreneurs in realizing their business dreams in New Zealand, offering:

  • Initial Assessment and Consultation: Understanding your business concept, investment capability, and objectives to align with visa requirements.
  • EOI Preparation and Submission: Assisting in crafting a persuasive EOI to highlight your business venture’s potential.
  • Full Application Support: Guiding through the application process to ensure your business plan and documents meet all requirements.
  • Post-Approval Support: Offering continued assistance in establishing your business in New Zealand, ensuring compliance, and exploring residency pathways.

Embarking on your entrepreneurial journey in New Zealand with the Entrepreneur Work Visa offers unparalleled opportunities in a country celebrated for innovation, economic stability, and a supportive business ecosystem. With ICL Immigration, you gain a committed partner dedicated to transforming your business aspirations into reality in New Zealand.


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What is an Entrepreneur Work Visa?

An Entrepreneur Work Visa allows individuals to move to New Zealand to start and run their businesses. It is designed for those willing to invest their expertise, innovation, and capital in the New Zealand market.

How much capital do I need to invest for an Entrepreneur Work Visa?

You must invest at least NZD $100,000 in your business. However, this requirement may be waived for businesses in the science, ICT, or other high-value export sectors that demonstrate significant innovation or export potential.

What are the eligibility criteria for this visa?

To be eligible, you must submit a detailed business plan, have sufficient capital for investment, and aim to make a significant contribution to New Zealand's economy. You should also meet the standard health and character requirements.

Can I include my family in my visa application?

You can include your spouse and dependent children under 24 years old in your visa application.

What is the process to apply for an Entrepreneur Work Visa?

The application process starts with submitting an EOI (Expression of Interest) that outlines your business proposal. If successful, you'll receive an Invitation to Apply (ITA), after which you must submit a detailed application including your business plan and evidence of capital investment.

How long can I stay on an Entrepreneur Work Visa in New Zealand?

Initially, you can stay for 12 months in the startup stage of your visa, followed by another 24 months once you have demonstrated that you have set up your business according to your business plan.

Is there a pathway to residency with this visa?

Yes, there is a pathway to residency that is subject to fulfilling certain conditions related to your business's success and its contribution to the economy.

What happens if I don't start my business within 12 months?

You are required to start your business within the first 12 months of your visa. Failure to do so may affect your visa status and future residency prospects.

What kind of evidence do I need to provide to show I've started my business?

Evidence can include telegraphic transfers, bank statements showing capital transfers to New Zealand, certificates of incorporation, audited accounts, GST records, invoices for business equipment and supplies, and other documents demonstrating business activity.

Can the capital investment requirement be waived?

The capital investment requirement of NZD 100,000 may be waived for businesses in certain sectors, such as science or ICT, that show a high level of innovation or potential for short-term growth. Conditions apply, such as creating jobs or achieving significant export turnover.

What support does ICL Immigration offer for the Entrepreneur Work Visa application process?

ICL Immigration offers comprehensive support, including initial assessment and consultation, EOI preparation and submission, full application support, and post-approval assistance in establishing your business in New Zealand.

Disclaimer: The information provided is subject to change based on New Zealand government policies. For the most current information, please refer to Immigration New Zealand or contact ICL Immigration for updated guidance.

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