Investment and Business Visas

Nov. 19, 2019

New Zealand was recently ranked as the number one country in the world for ease of doing business by the World Bank. In order to attract talented businesspeople and investors to the country, there are several categories of business and investment visas designed to make it easier for those intending to bring money into our economy.

To be eligible for one of these visas, there are minimum guidelines as to acceptable investments, good character, the length of time your investment will be in New Zealand and the size of your investment. 


There are various options available:


Investor Category 1 

If you are going to invest $10 million in New Zealand for three years, you may be eligible for this visa. You will have to prove your source of funds, good character, and show that you intend to invest in an ‘acceptable investment’. Criteria for acceptable investments include such things as ability to make a return and contribution to the New Zealand economy. 


Investor Category 2

To be eligible for this visa, you need to be an experienced businessperson with a minimum of $3 million in available funds to invest for four years. You also need to meet New Zealand’s requirements for good character. 
The Investor 2 Visa is calculated on a points-based system, with points gained for things such as years in business, amount to invest, English language skills, and age. 
This visa works on ballot system. This means that you can register your Expression of Interest, and if you are eligible, you are added to the pool of applicants. Immigration New Zealand randomly draws up to 400 people from this pool each year. If you are selected, you will then be invited to apply for the Visa. 


Entrepreneur Work Visa

The Entrepreneur Work Visa is for migrants who want to start their own business in New Zealand. To be eligible, you must make a capital investment of $100,000 NZD or more, score enough points on the ‘work visa scale’ and provide a business plan to Immigration New Zealand.
This Visa starts as a 12-month work visa, which can be extended to a 24-month visa once you can show your business is up and running. After 2 years of running a business in New Zealand or an investment of $500,000 NZD + creation of 3 jobs, you can apply for an Entrepreneur Residence Visa to stay in New Zealand indefinitely.  



If you are considering applying for an Investment or Entrepreneur Visa, contact our skilled immigration lawyers with over 30 years’ experience advising on these matters at to discuss your circumstances and get advice. 



Nina Becker
Staff Solicitor

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is general in nature and not tailored to your personal circumstances. It is only current as at the date posted and should not be relied upon as legal advice. For legal advice applicable to your situation, please contact us for an appointment.