Temporary Business Visa

The detailed criteria for the new visa are currently being drafted, and will go into effect in March 2014. The full details will be made public in February, to help business people and immigration advisers put together applications that will fit the aims of the new category.

The broad criteria for the new visa have been agreed and the new policy will:

  • Have a minimum $100,000 capital investment requirement, excluding working capital
  • Establish a new points-based system to actively assess intending business migrants and to choose those who can create high growth and innovative businesses, with points for: business experience; employment creation; export potential, innovation, capital investment, age;
  • a plan to invest outside of Auckland (migrants would also need to reside outside of Auckland); and
  • having undertaken market research, or having the endorsement of a chamber of commerce, an economic development agency, or any other relevant government agency.
  • Enable senior immigration staff to allow for discretion to waive the minimum capital requirement of $100,000, in exceptional cases, for applicants proposing to establish a science or ICT-based business, or other export-oriented sector, where it displays a high
    level of innovation or has credible short-term high growth prospects.
  • Clarify that applicants for a visa in the Entrepreneur Work Visa category may only submit a change in the business plan for their business once, and that changes must be minimal otherwise a new application will be needed.


You will need to provide the following:

  • Submit a sound business plan
  • Show relevant knowledge about New Zealand business 
  • Show how your intended business venture will significantly benefit New Zealand
  • Provide evidence about your relevant business experience
  • Provide evidence of business funds
  • You will also need to have enough funds (apart from the funds you plan to invest in your business) to support yourself and, if applicable, your partner and children for the duration of your long term business visa

You will initially be granted a nine-month work visa to allow you time to establish your business. A further work visa may be granted for 27 months if you apply within the validity of the interim work visa; and the investment capital has been transferred to New Zealand; and reasonable steps have been taken to establish or invest in the business.

If you successfully establish or purchase a business in New Zealand, remain 'self-employed' in that business for at least two years, and your business benefits New Zealand significantly, you may be eligible for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Category.

Will there be any impact on people who have already applied for a Long Term Business Visa?
No. People who have already made an application under the old policy will continue to be processed under that policy.

What about people who currently hold a Long Term Business Visa? Will this have an impact on
their ability to gain residence under Entrepreneur Category?
People who are on a Long Term Business Visa and who are ready to apply for residence under Entrepreneur category will still be able to do this. This is because the Entrepreneur category is not being revoked. It will be renamed and slightly amended in March 2014. The main change will be that the Entrepreneur Plus category will be disestablished and included in the Entrepreneur Category, but this will not disadvantage any Long Term Business Visa holders transitioning to residence.

What about people who currently hold a Long Term Business Visa who want to change their
business plan or need get the balance of their three years?
Long Term Business Visa holders will continue to be able to apply for and be granted the balances of their three year visa or permission to change their business plan, as these are not new visas but continuations of the existing Long Term Business Visa.

Long Term Business Visa holders who anticipate that they might need a renewal of their visa will need to contact the Business Migration Branch management team to discuss their circumstances. In order to be approved they would need to be close to the end of their Long Term Business Visa and have a genuine and compelling reason for why they are not able to apply for residence under
Entrepreneur policy yet.

What can people who want to a visa to be self-employed do in the meantime? Do they have any
No self-employed work visa will be available for the period between the closure of Long Term Business Visa and opening of the new category. People who are interested in applying for a visa to start their own business in New Zealand are advised to put their efforts into market research and
compiling a strong business plan that will have a good chance of being approved under the new category.

People who want to visit New Zealand for market research or to source business opportunities may be able to get a visitor visa as a business visitor. Business visitor’s visas have a maximum period of three months. Holders of business visitor’s visas are not permitted to work in New Zealand.