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The Business Categories are:

Investor Category

Applicants applying under the Investor Category are assessed by a points system.Points are awarded for age,business experience and investment funds.
To be approved under the Investor Category you must have a points score that is equal to or greater than the Investor Category passmark.If you score less than the passmark,your application will be declined.

The passmark is set by the Minister of Immigration.To find information on the current Investor Category passmark you should contact the nearest branch of the NZIS or check the internet:http://www.immigration.govt.nz The points structure for the Investor Category is as follows

Age 
(years)

Points  
Claimed

Business
experience

Points
Claimed

Investment
Funds (NZ$) 

Points
Claimed

25-29

10 points

2 years

  1 point

$1,000,000

 1  

30-34

 9 points

4 years

  2 points

$1,500,000

2

35-39

8 points

6 years

  3 points

$2,000,000

3

40-44

6 points

8 years

  4 points

$2,500,000

45-49

4 points

10 years

  5 points

$3,000,000

5

50-54

2 points

-

-

$3,500,000

6

55-64

0 points

-

-

$4,000,000

7

65-74

-2 points

-

-

$4,500,000

8

75-84 

-4 points

-

-

$5,000,000

9

-

-

-

-

$5,500,000

10

-

-

-

-

$6,000,000

11

A minimum of one point for investment funds is required and you must be able to demonstrate that your funds have been earned legally.An applicant over the age of 84 will not be approved under this category.

All applicants must meet health and character requirements.

Applicants aged 16 years and over must also meet English language requirements.

Long-term Business Visa (Temporary Entry Category)

It is intended that temporary entry under this category will lead to residence under the Entrepreneur Category.

A Long Term Business Visa (LTBV) is multiple entry work visa.  

  • Initial multiple-entry visa will be for nine months only.

  • Further permits granted if NZIS is satisfied that 
    reasonable steps have been taken to establish
    and operate the proposed business and that 
    money required to establish business has been
    transferred to New Zealand.

Applicants for a LTBV are required to:

  • have a satisfactory business plan (see the Guide to Applying for Long Term Business Visa and Permit (NZIS 1059));and
  • have,in addition to investment capital,sufficient funds for the maintenance and accommodation of themselvesand any non-principal applicants included in their application;and

  • meet health and character requirements.

A business plan is a proposal to establish a specific business in New Zealand and contains information as set out in the Application for Long Term Business Visa and Permit (NZIS 1058).
The Business Plan form covers the following:

  • an outline of the proposed business and its viability;

  • financial information (forecasts and financing options);

  • the business experience of the applicant;

  • the applicant ís knowledge of the New Zealand market.

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Business plans for the establishment of or investment in a business in New Zealand demonstrate that the business will benefit New Zealand in some way.
Criteria for business benefiting New Zealand now
consistent with Entrepreneur category and reads:
a) A business may be considered to benefit New Zealand if it promotes New Zealand's economic growth by for example:
        i. Introducing new, or enhancing existing, technology,  
           management or technical skills, or
       ii. Introducing new, or enhancing existing,
           products or services; or
       iii. Creating new or enhancing existing New Zealand export
           markets; or
       iv. Creating employment (other than for the principal
            applicant); or
       v. Revitalising an existing New Zealand business; and
b) The business is trading profitably at the time a subsequent application under the Entrepreneur category is made or clearly has the potential to be trading profitably within 12 months after that
application is made.

Policies for business plan change -

  • Further permits will not be granted within the initial three-year period (or the current permit will be revoked) where an applicant embarks on a different business proposal without the consent of the BIS.

  • All visa and permit labels issued or granted to LTBV applicants will contain the conditions that the applicant is self employed in the particular industry that they have identified in their business plan.

New business plans will be accepted only where:
a) the plan meets the policy requirements for
business plan; and
b) there are genuine reasons for abandoning the original proposal; and
c) the subsequent proposal requires the same or a greater level of capital investment than
the original proposal; and
d) the applicant has access to sufficient capital to finance the proposed new business; and
e) the applicant has relevant experience for the proposed business.

Entrepreneur

The Entrepreneur Category has been set up to grant residence to those people who have successfully established a
business in New Zealand.An applicant is considered to have successfully established a business in New Zealand if:

  • they have established or purchased,or made a substantial investment (a minimum of 25%of the
    shareholding of a business)in a business operating in New Zealand;and

  • the business has been established for at least two years;and

  • the applicant has been lawfully self-employed in New Zealand in that business for at least two years;and

  • the business is benefiting New Zealand.

A business is considered to be benefiting New Zealand if it promotes New Zealand ís economic growth through:

  • introduction of new technology,management or technical skills;or

  • introduction of new products or services or export markets;or

  • development of new export markets or increased market access;or

  • creation of new job opportunities;or

  • the revitalising of an existing business.

Criteria for a business benefiting New Zealand state that:
a) A business may be considered to benefit New Zealand if it promotes New Zealand's economic growth by, for example:
vi. introducing new, or enhancing existing, technology, management or technical skills; or
vii. introducing new, or enhancing existing, products or services; or
viii. creating new or enhancing existing New Zealand export markets; or 
ix. creating employment (other than for the principal applicant); or
x. revitalising an existing New Zealand business; and
b) the business is trading profitably at the time the application is made or clearly has the potential be trading profitably within 12 months after the application is made.

All applicants must meet health and character requirements.
Applicants aged 16 years and over must also meet English language requirements.

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Changing Business Plans
When a Long Term Business Permit holder applies under the Entrepreneur Category and the business they have established is different to the one outlined in the plan submitted when applying under the LTBV category; and they have not received NZIS endorsement for the change, the Entrepreneur application will be declined unless:
a) the business that has been established would have met the requirements for a business plan under LTBV policy; and
b) the business that has been established requires the same or a greater level of capital investment than the original proposal; and
c) the applicant has relevant experience for the new business.

Good Employer Provisions
Where an applicant has established a business or made a substantial investment in a business that employs staff in New Zealand, that business must comply with all relevant employment and immigration law in force in New Zealand. Compliance with relevant New Zealand employment and immigration law includes but is not limited to:
a) paying employees no less than the appropriate adult or youth minimum wage other contracted industry standard; and
b) meeting holiday and special leave requirements or other minimum statutory criteria, e.g. occupational safety and health obligations; and 
a) only employing people who have authority work in New Zealand.

Transitional Arrangements to Entrepreneur Category for Existing LTBV/P Holders
Those applicants who have been issued and granted Long Term Business Visas and Permits under the
LTBV category prior to the effective date of changes to Entrepreneur Category policy of 20 November 2002, will have their subsequent Entrepreneur Category applications tested against policy that was in place prior to this date.

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Employees of Businesses Relocating to New Zealand

To assist the promotion of New Zealand as a place in which to invest and locate businesses,this category facilitates  the granting of residence to employees of businesses relocating to New Zealand.Employees of relocating businesses who do not qualify under other categories may be granted residence on a case by case basis.

A relocating business is a business that proposes to operate in New Zealand which the NZIS is satisfied is genuine.

A key employee is an employee of the business whom the Chief Executive Officer of that business reasonably considers will be essential to the operation of the relocated business in New Zealand.

All applicants must meet health and character requirements.

Benefit to New Zealand
Business must meet a set criteria for the 'benefit to New Zealand'. These criteria are the same as those for the Entrepreneur Category. The relocation of a business to New Zealand (on the basis of which the key employee is applying for residence) are required to have the support of Trade
. New Zealand, Industry New Zealand or a similar body.

Good Employer Provisions
Relocated business in which the applicant is a key employee must comply with all relevant employment and immigration law in force in New Zealand. Where the NZIS had reason to believe that the
business did not comply with all relevant New Zealand employment and immigration law, further information would be sought from the
applicant and where the business was found to breach the 'good employer' requirements, the requirements would remain on the residence permit or the residence permit would be revoked under s20 (1)(d) of the Immigration Act 1987.

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