Meeting the criteria

The criteria and evidence below will provide you with the information you need to meet the requirements.

Show all evidence Hide all evidence

Identity

You must provide proof of your identity

You must provide proof of your identity:

Acceptable photos

You may provide your original passport, or a certified copy when you submit your application. If you provide a certified copy we may request your original passport to complete your application.

Also provide a copy of your Identity card.

If you are submitting a paper application form, you must provide a supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students.

Supplementary form for Hong Kong and Macao visitors, workers and students (INZ 1220) PDF 322KB

Health

You must be in good health

You must have a chest x-ray and a medical examination as proof of your good health.

Getting an x-ray or medical examination

You must provide a chest x-ray completed in the last 3 months, even if you've provided one to us previously, if:

  • you have spent 6 consecutive months in China since the last x-ray certificate was issued, and
  • you are now coming to NZ for more than 6 months.

Character

You must be of good character

If you are 17 or over, you must provide a police certificate from:

  • your country of citizenship
  • any country you have lived in for 5 years or more since you turned 17 years old.

Good character

How to get a police certificate

Police Certificates must be less than 6 months old when you apply.

If you provide a police certificate that is not in English, you must provide an English translation.

This includes police certificates that record no convictions.

Fit and proper person

You must be a fit and proper person

You must confirm in the application form that you meet fit and proper person requirements.

To be a fit and proper person, all businesses you have influence over must have complied with all immigration, employment and taxation laws. You must also:

  • have never been investigated by the Serious Fraud Office or the New Zealand police for any offence resulting from business dealings
  • have no convictions for an offence involving dishonesty
  • have never been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety.

We’ll contact you if you need to provide further information.

Bring family

Your partner and dependent children must meet the requirements for this visa

You must provide evidence:

  • of your relationship with your partner and dependent children, like a marriage certificate and birth certificates
  • that your partner and dependent children meet the health, character and identity requirements for this visa, if necessary.

Partnership
Dependent children

Your partner and any dependent children don’t have to meet the English language requirement at this stage. But if you later apply for residence, they’ll either need to meet the requirement or pay us for English language classes before we can grant a resident visa.

You should provide copies of identity cards for family members included in your application.

Minimum capital investment

You must show us that you’re able to make a capital investment of at least NZ $100,000

You must provide evidence you have:

  • the funds and/or assets to make the capital investment outlined in your business plan
  • you have enough money to support yourself and any family who are coming to New Zealand with you, on top of your capital investment.

You must provide evidence that the funds and/or assets you intend to use for your capital investment are:

  • owned by you (or you and your partner)
  • earned or acquired lawfully.

Evidence you own the funds and/or assets to invest may include:

  • bank statements
  • title deeds
  • property valuations
  • share certificates
  • business ownership documents
  • asset valuations.

Evidence you earned or acquired the funds and/or assets lawfully, may include:

  • tax returns or certificates
  • pay slips
  • business financial statements
  • business shareholdings
  • dividends
  • receipts for property sales
  • bank certificates
  • share trading profits
  • evidence of gifted money
  • probate and other evidence of inherited money.

We may waive this requirement for businesses in science, ICT, or other high-value export industries that show a high level of innovation or high growth prospects in the short-term.

Your funds and/or assets can’t be borrowed or have a loan or bond against them.

It’s OK if you invested funds that were gifted to you, as long as they were gifted unconditionally and earned or acquired lawfully.

If you own an investment jointly with someone who isn’t your partner or dependent child, you can nominate the value of your share for your capital investment.

Capital investments exclude:

  • passive or speculative investments, like reserve funds or term deposits
  • items for your own use, like your car, boat or home
  • any salary or wages paid to you or your immediate family
  • residential property investments, unless they’re part of the business plan.

If your nominated funds are already in New Zealand, you must provide evidence that they were originally transferred to New Zealand through the banking system.

Request for a minimum capital investment waiver

For us to consider a capital investment of less than NZ $100,000, you must request a waiver

We’ll only consider waiving the minimum capital investment requirement , if both:

  • your business is in science, ICT or another high-value export sector
  • your business shows a high level of innovation or short-term growth prospects.

For us to consider your business high-value export business, it would need to aim to:

  • create 5 or more jobs for New Zealanders
  • turnover NZ $500,000 in annual exports.

For us to consider your business has an high level of innovation, you would need show us:

  • you’ve discovered new ways to produce more goods or services without increasing the production costs
  • your business is likely to succeed because of your innovation.

If we agree to waive this requirement, you won’t be eligible for any points for capital investment on our points scale.

Entrepreneur points

You must be awarded at least 120 points on our points scale

We may award points for:

  • your age
  • your capital investment
  • your business experience
  • the benefits of your business to New Zealand
  • the location of your business.

You can use our points scale to get an idea of how many points you may be able to claim.

You can also use it to check the evidence you’ll need to provide to support your claims.

Business plan

You must provide a detailed business plan

You must provide a detailed business plan for the business you intend to operate in New Zealand.

Preparing your business plan

Your business plan should be no more than 3 months old when you apply.

If you later want to make a minor change to your business plan, you’ll need to submit a request to us for our approval.

We won’t be able to approve your application, if the purpose of your business is to help people who aren’t New Zealanders enter New Zealand.

Business start-up

You must start up your business within 12 months

Once you’ve been granted an Entrepreneur Work Visa, you must start up your business within the first 12 months of your visa.

Towards the end of the 12 months or your ‘start-up’ stage, you’ll need to show us that you’ve:

  • made the capital investment detailed in your business plan
  • taken reasonable steps to set-up or invest in the business detailed in your business plan.

Evidence you’ve invested your capital can include:

  • telegraphic transfers
  • bank statements
  • other documents showing it was transferred to New Zealand through the banking system.

Evidence you’ve taken steps to set-up or invest can include:

  • a certificate of incorporation
  • audited accounts
  • GST records
  • other tax records
  • documents showing you’ve purchased or leased the business site
  • invoices for business equipment and supplies
  • any other documents that show you’re in business, eg employment agreements, bank statements, power bills for your business, sales agreements, contracts to provide products or services.

We may be able to extend the start-up period if you can show us you can set up your business within a specified time.

Evaluation

You must agree to take part in an evaluation of the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category

You must sign a declaration in the ‘Entrepreneur Work Visa Application’ agreeing that you’ll take part in an evaluation of the Entrepreneur Work Visa Category, if we approve your application.

You must also agree to keep us up-to-date with any changes to your contact details for 5 years after we approve your application. This is so we can get in touch about the evaluation.

Entrepreneur Work Visa Application (INZ 1222) PDF 418KB

Points scale

The points scale is a guide only. Only an immigration officer can award you points during their assessment of your visa application.

Minimum capital investment

When you apply for your visa, we’ll ask you to provide evidence that the funds and/or assets you intend to use for your capital investment are:

  • owned by you (or you and your partner)
  • earned or acquired lawfully.

Evidence you own the funds and/or assets to invest may include:

  • bank statements
  • title deeds
  • property valuations
  • share certificates
  • business ownership documents
  • asset valuations.

Evidence you earned or acquired the funds and/or assets lawfully, may include:

  • tax returns or certificates
  • pay slips
  • business financial statements
  • business shareholdings
  • dividends
  • receipts for property sales
  • bank certificates
  • share trading profits
  • evidence of gifted money
  • probate and other evidence of inherited money.

Your funds and/or assets can’t be borrowed or have a loan or bond against them.

It’s OK if your investment includes funds that were gifted to you, as long as they were gifted unconditionally and earned or acquired lawfully.

You can’t include any of the following in your capital investment:

  • passive or speculative investments, like reserve funds or term deposits
  • items for your own use, like your car, boat or home
  • any salary or wages paid to you or your immediate family
  • residential property investments, unless they’re part of the business plan you’ll be asked to include with your visa application.

We’ll only consider waiving the minimum capital investment requirement, if both:

  • your business is in science, ICT or another high-value export sector
  • your business shows a high level of innovation or short-term growth prospects.

For us to consider your business a high-value export business, it would need to aim to:

  • create 5 or more jobs for New Zealanders
  • turnover NZ $500,000 in annual exports.

For us to consider your business has a high level of innovation, you would need to show us:

  • you’ve discovered new ways to produce more goods or services without increasing the production costs
  • your business is likely to succeed because of your new ways.

If we agree to waive the minimum capital investment, you won’t be able to claim points for it.

Business experience
Choose only one

When you apply, you must provide information about any business you may have run in the past, including:

  • the industry the business was in
  • background information about your business
  • your turnover and profitability
  • how many people you employed
  • how your business experience is relevant to the business you plan to run in New Zealand
  • how your business experience will help your New Zealand business to succeed.

You must provide evidence to support your answers, which may include:

  • business registration licences
  • financial statements, audited, if available
  • copies of tax returns
  • contact details for the business
  • organisation charts
  • employment agreements.

It’s OK to provide a report covering all these points, as long as it’s provided by an internationally-recognised accounting firm.

When you apply, we’ll ask you for information about any business you may have run in the past, including:

  • the industry the business was in
  • background information about your business
  • your turnover and profitability
  • how many people you employed.

We’ll ask you for evidence to support your answers, which may include:

  • business registration licences
  • financial statements, audited, if available
  • copies of tax returns
  • contact details for the business
  • organisation charts
  • employment agreements.

It’s OK to provide a report covering all these points, as long as it’s provided by an internationally-recognised accounting firm.

To be eligible for points for business experience as a senior manager, your experience must be:

  • with a lawful business enterprise that has at least 5 full-time employees or an annual turnover of at least NZ $1 million
  • in a role that includes planning, organisation, control, change management and direction setting
  • relevant to the business you plan to run in New Zealand.

When you apply, we’ll ask you to explain:

  • what industry you have experience as a senior manager in
  • your role and responsibilities as a senior manager
  • how many years’ experience you have
  • how many employees you managed
  • the turnover for your business
  • your executive powers
  • how your experience as a senior manager is relevant to the business you plan to run in New Zealand
  • how your experience as a senior manager will help your New Zealand business to succeed.

We’ll ask you to provide evidence to support your answers, which may include:

  • references from your employer
  • your employment agreement and job description
  • documents showing a board of directors or the shareholders conferred executive powers on you
  • annual reports for the business.
Benefit to New Zealand
Choose up to two

To be eligible for points for benefiting New Zealand, you’ll need to create either:

Your evidence should include employment agreements detailing the new position(s).

You can’t claim points for positions that are already part of an existing business, or are for contract or casual roles.

All employment agreements must comply with New Zealand employment and immigration laws.

When you apply, we’ll ask you to provide a business plan, which should include:

  • detailed projections outlining how you expect to earn the forecast turnover
  • details of any certification, registration, or distribution rights or licences you’ll need to export your goods and what you’ve done to get them
  • if you’ll be supplying domestic as well as export markets, a breakdown of how much turnover you expect from each.

When you apply, we’ll ask you to explain why your product or service is ‘unique’ or ‘new’ to New Zealand.

We’ll consider a product or service ‘unique’, if it’s:

  • the only one of its kind in New Zealand
  • not available in the New Zealand location you plan to run your business.

We’ll consider a product or service ‘new’, if it offers:

  • a significant enhancement or product line not being provided by an existing business in New Zealand or in the location you plan to run your business
  • an enhancement that would contribute to New Zealand’s economic growth over the next 3 years.
Age

When you apply for your visa, we’ll ask you to provide a passport or certificate of identity as proof of your identity, which we’ll use to confirm your age.

If you turn 60 before you apply, you won’t be able to claim points for your age.

Business location

When you apply, you’ll need to submit a business plan, which should include details of your business location.

Your Total Points (Minimum of 100):
0 points

 

Not the right visa for you?

Explore your other work visa options, see all work visas or explore another visa type.