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Buy a business in NZ

Investor business migration visas are for investors who want to gain residence in New Zealand.

The Investor Visa (Investor 2 Category) is an option if you plan to invest a minimum of NZ$1.5 million over a four year period. If you are looking to invest $NZ10 million or more then the Investor Plus Visa (Investor 1 Category) could be a better option. Below are the main differences between these two options.

Criteria for approval

You will need to provide verifiable evidence that you meet the following criteria:

Investor Plus Investor
Minimum investment funds NZ$10 million invested in NZ for three years NZ$1.5 million invested in NZ for four years
Business experience No requirement Minimum three years
Maximum age No requirement 65 or younger
Settlement funds No requirement NZ$1 million (transfer not required)
Principal applicant's English language ability No requirement - English speaking background, or; - International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test score 3+, or; - competent user of English
Family member's English language ability No requirement Same as principal applicant or pre-purchase ESOL tuition.
Minimum time in NZ 44 days in NZ in each of the last two years of the three-year investment period. 146 days in NZ in each of the last three years of the four-year investment period.
Health and character All applicants must meet health and character requirements. All applicants must meet health and character requirements.

To find out how to apply for residence under this category please contact us.


Long Term Business Visa


If you are an experienced businessperson interested in being self-employed in your own business in this country, applying for a Long Term Business Visa in New Zealand may be an option for you.

The Long Term Business Visa is a work visa that lets you move to New Zealand and buy or establish your own business. It could be the first step on your pathway to applying for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur/Entrepreneur Plus categories.

Criteria for approval

You will need to provide verifiable evidence that you meet the following criteria:

Maximum age No requirement
Business experience Relevant business experience to proposed business in New Zealand
Investment funds Sufficient funds to support your business plan.
Settlement funds Dependant (approx. NZ$60,000 - $100,000 per year)
Principal applicant's English language ability An English speaking background or an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test report with an overall band score of four or more.
Family member's English language ability Same as principal applicant or pre-purchase ESOL tuition.
Minimum time in New Zealand You need to be self-employed in your business in New Zealand. Time required in New Zealand will vary from business to business.

Your business


You will need to submit a sound business plan that:

  • Demonstrates relevant knowledge about the New Zealand business environment.
  • Shows how your intended business venture will benefit New Zealand.
  • Proves your relevant business experience.

Funds


One of the requirements of your New Zealand business visa application is to provide evidence of enough funds to invest in your business plan.

You will also need enough funds to support yourself and (if applicable) your partner and children for the duration of your Long Term Business Visa. This amount ranges from NZ$60,000 - $100,000 per year depending on your situation.

To find out more about this category, please contact us on


Entrepreneur visa


Entrepreneur and Entrepreneur Plus categories


If you have successfully established and been 'self-employed' in a business in New Zealand you may be eligible for residence under the one of our entrepreneur visas.

The first step towards becoming a New Zealand resident under the Entrepreneur or Entrepreneur Plus categories is usually to obtain a Long Term Business Visa.

Criteria for approval

You will need to provide verifiable evidence that you meet the following criteria:

Entrepreneur Entrepreneur Plus
Hold a Long Term Business visa Not a requirement, but the majority of applicants hold a Long Term Business Visa when applying You must hold a Long Term Business Visa to apply under this category
Investment capital Generally, the amount stated in your Long Term Business Visa business plan At least NZ$0.5m being actively invested in your business
English language An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test report with an overall band score of four or more. Other evidence can be considered. An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test report with an overall band score of four or more. Other evidence can be considered.
Maximum age None None
Benefit to New Zealand The business must contribute to New Zealand's economic growth At least 3 full time jobs must be created for New Zealanders. If you purchased a business, these must be new jobs in addition to any positions already existing in the business when it was purchased.
Time required in New Zealand Self-employed* in New Zealand in the business for two years. You are subject to conditions under section 49(1) of the Immigration Act 2009, but these conditions can be removed if you've been self-employed* in New Zealand for at least two years. The capital investment and the additional jobs that were created must also be retained in the business for at least two years.
Length of time to residence Minimum of two years and maximum of three years after obtaining approval under Long Term Business work instructions Residence can be granted (with conditions) once the requirements are met and while holding a Long Term Business Visa.
Health and character All applicants must meet health and character requirements. All applicants must meet health and character requirements.

*Self-employment is lawful active involvement in the management and operating of a business in New Zealand which the principal applicant has established or purchased, or in which the principal applicant has made a substantial investment. Self-employment does not include involvement of a passive or speculative nature.


Demonstrating success


For both NZ business visa categories, you will need to demonstrate that you have successfully established a business. The evidence you will need to provide is:

  • Established or purchased, or made a substantial investment in a business operating in New Zealand
  • Been self-employed in your business in New Zealand
  • Created an economic benefit for New Zealand.

If you are applying under Entrepreneur Plus you will also need to demonstrate that you:


  • Created a minimum of three new full-time jobs for New Zealand citizens or residents.
  • Invested at least NZ$0.5 million into your established business (Investor Plus only) You will also need to ensure that your business complies with New Zealand employment and immigration law, and that you or any of your family members must not have applied for or been granted social welfare benefits in New Zealand.

Entrepreneur Plus - If you think you meet the requirements, please contact us on.........


Entrepreneur - If you think you meet the requirements, please contact us on.........

International Humanitarian

Refugees


New Zealand is also a signatory to the 1951 United Nations Convention on Refugees. As a country we accept a quota of 750 refugees each year as directed by the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees. An individual arriving in New Zealand can also apply for spontaneous refugee status but they will not be accepted under the United Nations quota system they must satisfy the New Zealand Government that they have a well-founded fear of persecution if they were forced to return home.


Victims of Domestic Violence


A special category of residence has been created for victims of domestic violence. These are people who are married or in a de facto relationship with a New Zealander and who have yet to be granted residence but who leave the relationship because they are suffering domestic violence and abuse. If these people can show that for cultural or social reasons they cannot return home they can apply for residence under this category.


Special Direction


Finally, it is also possible for any individual who believes that their situation is exceptional to approach the Minister of Immigration directly and put their case to him or her. The Minister does not have to approve the application but the Government understands that from time to time, deserving individuals may not meet the strict and rigid criteria laid down under the current categories. The Minister has the power to grant residence in these situations.

For assessing whether your present circumstances would enable you to live, study or visit New Zealand, please contact us.