From March next year, the Long Term Business Visa will be replaced with the newly-named Entrepreneur Work Visa and a new points system will be introduced for applicants. Applicants will receive extra points for investing in the regions. They will also require a minimum capital investment of $100,000 to ensure that they can create high growth and innovative businesses, ideally with export potential.
The current Long Term Business Visa will be closed at 4pm New Zealand time on Friday 20 December to prevent a surge in applications being made in the run up to the changes. Applicants who have already lodged an application under the old policy can continue to be processed under that policy.
The Entrepreneur Plus Category will be disestablished and to ensure consistency the Entrepreneur Category will be renamed the Entrepreneur Residence Visa. There will be a fast-track provision for residence for applicants who have successfully established a business and run it for six months, invested at least $500,000 in it, and created full-time ongoing employment for at least three New Zealanders.
It is expected the new immigration instructions containing the full details of the new requirements will be certified by the Minister and become publicly available in February. During the development of the new immigration instructions, Immigration New Zealand will seek feedback from advisors on their workability through the established adviser representative bodies.