Entrepreneur Resident Visa

Apply for this visa if you have been self-employed in New Zealand at least 6 months, or have operated a self-employed business for 2 years on another visa.

Length of stay

Indefinitely

Cost
From
NZD $6860
Processing time
Data
not available
With this visa you can
  • Continue to operate your own business in New Zealand.
  • Live, work and study in New Zealand.
  • Include your partner, and dependent children aged 24 and under, in your visa application.
Things to note
  • If you apply after less than 2 years of being self-employed, you'll need to have an Entrepreneur Work Visa, have invested capital of at least NZ $500,000 and have created 3 new jobs in New Zealand.

What you need to apply

Check if you are eligible to apply for this visa and what supporting documents and information you need to provide.

View All Evidence

Acceptable photos

Tips

Also provide a copy of your Identity card.

You must also provide your Kartu Keluarga.

If you are not a French national, you must provide a copy of your carte d’assuré.

Even if your partner and children aren’t coming with you, please also provide:

  • copies of their passports
  • a copy of your livret de famille.

You must also provide a copy of your livret de famille.

Please also provide a copy of your carte d’assuré.

If you, or anyone else included in your application, are aged 17 or older you must provide a police certificate from:

  • all the countries you are a citizen of, and
  • any other country you have stayed in for 12 months or more over the last 10 years, even if it was not all in the same stay.

How to get a police certificate

Good character for residence visas

Tips

Police certificates must be less than 6 months old at the time you apply.

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.
Tips

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

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 identity, character, health and English language requirements for this visa.

Partnership
Dependent children

Tips

If your partner and dependent children 16 or older do not speak English, you can purchase English language lessons for them to meet this requirement. You will have to pay us for English language classes before we can grant you a visa.

Learning English in New Zealand after you come to New Zealand

If your partner or dependent children have, or applied for, a New Zealand temporary entry visa based on their relationship with you, you must include them in your residence application.

We’ll check our records for evidence you hold an appropriate work visa.

We may be able to accept another current visa, if you’ve been working in your own business in New Zealand for at least 2 years and both:

  • your visa allows self-employment in New Zealand
  • you meet all the requirements for an Entrepreneur Work Visa.

Entrepreneur Work Visa

You must provide evidence that shows how long you’ve been running your business in New Zealand, which may include:

  • a certificate of incorporation 
  • audited financial statements
  • GST records
  • other tax records
  • export documents
  • employment agreements
  • wage and salary records
  • documents showing you’ve purchased or leased the business site
  • invoices for business equipment and supplies
  • any other documents that demonstrate the operation of the business.
Tips

If you’ve been running your business for less than 6 months you won’t be eligible for this visa.

You must provide evidence your business has met or exceeded the goals outlined in your business plan.

Preparing your business plan

Your business must be both:

  • trading profitably (or have the potential to become profitable within 12 months)
  • making enough money to pay yourself an annual salary that’s at least as much as New Zealand’s full-time minimum wage.

You must provide evidence that your business is contributing to New Zealand’s economic growth in one of the following ways:

  • introducing new technology, management or technical skills
  • enhancing existing technology, management or technical skills
  • introducing new products or services
  • enhancing existing products or services
  • creating new export markets
  • expanding existing export markets
  • creating at least 1 full-time job for a New Zealander (or at least 3 full-time jobs, if you’ve been in business for less than 2 years)
  • offering new skills, networks, management capability and/or capital that increase an existing business’ financial performance.

For us to consider a product or service ‘new’ it would need to:

  • be the only one of its kind in New Zealand
  • be not previously available in the New Zealand location you run your business.
  • offer a significant enhancement or product line not previously provided by an existing New Zealand business or in the location you run your business.

You must have invested at least as much capital as outlined in your business plan. If you’ve been running your business for less than 2 years, your investment must be no less than NZ $500,000.

Tips

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.

We may ask you to provide evidence that the business:

  • pays workers no less than the minimum wage or other contracted industry standard
  • meets holiday and other leave requirements
  • provides a safe workplace
  • only employs people who are allowed to work in New Zealand.

If the business is included on the list of non-compliant employers maintained by the Labour Inspectorate then we can’t approve your application.

List of non-compliant employers

If you or anyone included in your residence application, have received any welfare benefits or assistance since you were granted a Work Visa, you won’t be eligible to apply for residence.

When you complete your residence application, we’ll ask for your authority to contact Work and Income to check if you’ve received any welfare benefits or assistance.

Work and Income website

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.
Tips

We don’t accept casual or contract roles as evidence of new jobs.

Process and costs

The information below will help you understand the process, timeframes and costs involved in applying for this visa, so you can plan ahead and have the best chance of submitting a complete application.

Notes

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How to submit

Payment methods and receiving centre details if applicable.

Notes

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Conditions

These are the conditions that you must meet once you have your visa.

Entry permission

You must apply for entry permission when you arrive in New Zealand. You can do this by completing a paper arrival card or a digital traveller declaration. If you are completing a paper arrival card you will be given this on the way to New Zealand.

New Zealand Customs and Biosecurity also check that you meet their entry requirements.

Arriving in New Zealand

Notes

You can be refused entry permission if:

  • you don’t meet our character requirements
  • your circumstances have changed since you were granted a visa
  • you refuse to let us to take your photo, or provide us with your fingerprints or an iris scan, if we ask you for them.

Work

If you've been operating your business for less than 2 years, you must keep working in your own business for 2 years.

Notes

The 2-year time period includes any time you’ve been working for yourself in New Zealand on an Entrepreneur Work Visa.

If you’re unable to continue working in your own business, you and your family may have to leave New Zealand.

 

Capital investment

If you've been operating your business for less than 2 years, you must keep your nominated capital invested in your business for 2 years.

Notes

The 2-year time period includes any time you’ve been working for yourself in New Zealand on an Entrepreneur Work Visa.

If you’re unable to retain your capital investment, you and your family may have to leave New Zealand.

New jobs

If you've operated your business for less than 2 years, you must continue to employ people in the new jobs created, for a minimum of 2 years.

Notes

The 2-year time period includes any time you’ve been working for yourself in New Zealand on an Entrepreneur Work Visa.

If you’re unable to continue to employ people in the new jobs you created over the 2-year period, you and your family may have to leave New Zealand.

Contact details

You must provide us with your address and other contact details and let us know if these change while you’re in New Zealand.

Notes

We’ll need to get in touch with you to take part in an evaluation of the Entrepreneur Residence Visa Category.

Travel

You can travel in and out of New Zealand as many times as you like for 2 years.

To travel after that, you’ll need to apply for a variation of conditions or a Permanent Resident Visa.

Notes

If you’re outside of New Zealand when your travel conditions expire, your visa will expire as well.

Keep your visa in a valid passport

If you want to travel, your visa must be in a valid passport.

If your passport expires, you must apply to transfer your visa to a new passport before you can travel.

Transferring my visa to a new passport

Notes

To transfer your visa, you must:

  • send us your old and new passports
  • complete an ‘Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa’
  • pay a transfer fee.

Application for transfer or confirmation of a visa

Application for Transfer or Confirmation of a Visa (INZ 1023) PDF 375KB

Fees, decision times and where to apply