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New Zealand Business Visa

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Don’t be confused. There are various visa pathways for different purposes for business. The NZ Business Visitor Visa and the visa for starting and running a business in New Zealand is known as an Entrepreneur Work Visa which can progress to an Entrepreneur Resident Visa.

Are you looking for a New Zealand Business Visa or Entrepreneur Visa? Will these work for you? Alternatively, do you want to invest in New Zealand? The available visa categories are: Business Visitor Visa and Entrepreneur Work Visa. There are also visa categories for investors who possess the right background skills and required capital. Here is an overview of the New Zealand Business Visa categories.

Business Visitor Visa

With this visa you can visit New Zealand for business reasons for up to 3 months. You are able to sell goods and services in New Zealand, buy New Zealand goods and services; negotiate or discuss the set-up, expansion or wind-up of a business in New Zealand; carry out any business with the authorised representatives of an overseas company, body or person. You must not be paid by a New Zealand employer for any of these dealings.

You will need to prove that you have enough money to live on while you are in New Zealand or have the financial support of a sponsor such as your foreign employer.

The requirements for applying for a New Zealand Business Visitor visa varies based on the nationality of the applicant. This can be a confusing process and it is essential to get this right and not face being turned away from entry on arrival. Fill out this free assessment form and if you are eligible, you’ll be contacted by one of our licensed immigration advisors.

For a longer stay, and future in New Zealand, you can apply for an Entrepreneur Work Visa

Get good sound advice about the NZ business landscape, visit the country and look for opportunities for connecting to the right people before making any commitments. The Entrepreneur Work Visa is designed for experienced business people who are interested in owning, creating a benefit to NZ, and working in their own business. Many opportunities exist.

Partner and dependent children (aged 19 and under) may be included in the application.


This three year work visa is structured in three stages:

Start-up stage

  • Meeting the points threshold of 120 is necessary before an application can be considered. A good business plan is essential, and this document must be followed consistently.
  • If your application is successful, you will initially receive a 12-month work visa. This timeframe enables you to buy or establish your business in New Zealand, transfer your funds and be ready for operation.
  • At Woburn International, we know what New Zealand Immigration is looking for when they assess you, so we can help you put together the correct paper work. If you are approved, you will be granted the remaining 24 months of your visa.

Stage 2

  • Apply for your Entrepreneur Work Visa and on meeting requirements gain a two year Visa.
  • Over the next two years, you must prove that you have followed your Business Plan.
  • It is during this time, that quarterly reviews of the business activities should be monitored, to ensure you are complying with the requirements which will help progress to the next stage of Residence.
  • Should challenges being faced with meeting the Business Plan requirements minor changes can be made and this is why it is vital to undertake quarterly reviews of the business.

Stage 3 – Residence

  • Providing you have fulfilled the requirements of the business plan, you can now apply for Residence.

Requirements for this Entrepreneur pathway include:

  • A minimum capital investment of NZ$100,000 (excluding working capital).
  • 120 points or more. Points are given for factors about the likely success of the business and its value to New Zealand.
  • Providing a clear business plan. Our team are incredibly well versed in this area. Just contact us for assistance with your business plan.
  • Having a clean recent history regarding bankruptcy, business failure and fraud.
  • Adhering to health, character and English language requirements.
Wooden walkway

The New Zealand government defines ‘self-employed’ as:

“Lawful, active, full-time involvement in the management and operation of a business in New Zealand which you have established, purchased, or made a substantial investment. Self-employment does not include involvement of a passive or speculative nature.” – New Zealand Immigration.


Sometimes it’s the little details that can lead to your application failing. At Woburn International, we know what Immigration New Zealand is looking for and can help you provide the information they require. Fill out our free assessment form to see if you qualify for a New Zealand Business Visa or read more about NZ Visa Categories.