New Zealand Entrepreneur Work Visa

Comprehensive guide on essential steps, eligibility criteria, and everything you need to know about obtaining the New Zealand Entrepreneur Work Visa.

Do you aspire to work and prosper in New Zealand’s scenic landscapes? The Entrepreneur Work Visa could be your pathway to making that aspiration a reality. This guide provides comprehensive insights into the crucial steps, eligibility criteria, and essential information for obtaining the New Zealand Entrepreneur Work Visa.

Understanding the Entrepreneur Work Visa

The New Zealand Entrepreneur Work Visa is designed for individuals who want to work in their own business in New Zealand. To be eligible, applicants must have NZD $100,000 to invest, a business plan, and be able to claim at least 120 points on the points scale. The visa is valid for 12 months in the start-up stage of the business, extendable another 24 months once the business is set up as detailed in the business plan. After three years, applicants may be eligible for an Entrepreneur Resident Visa, which is a Permanent Residence permit. To be granted permanent residency, applicants must have met the conditions of the Work visa, still be doing business in the country, have created jobs, and demonstrated commitment to living in New Zealand. After five years of residency (temporary or permanent), applicants may be eligible for citizenship.

Eligibility Requirements

To qualify for an Entrepreneur Work Visa in the United States, there are specific requirements that applicants must meet:

Investment: Foreign entrepreneurs must invest at least $1,050,000, or $800,000 if the business is located in a targeted employment area with high unemployment rates or in a rural area.
Job Creation: The new commercial enterprise must create full-time positions for at least 10 qualifying employees.
– Ownership and Role: Applicants must have a substantial ownership stake in a startup company established within the last five years in the U.S., with potential for rapid expansion and job creation. They must play a central and active role in the startup’s operations.
Experience: Prior experience as an entrepreneur or in a managerial capacity is required to demonstrate the skills and experience necessary to run a business successfully.
English Proficiency: Proficiency in English is essential for effective communication with stakeholders, customers, suppliers, and employees.

The Entrepreneur Work Visa aims to promote entrepreneurship, job creation, and economic growth in the U.S. by allowing individuals to start or invest in businesses. Meeting these criteria is crucial for eligibility and successful application for this visa category.

If you’re considering immigrating to a new country, consider consulting with experts who provide immigration services.

Required Documents

When applying for an Entrepreneur Work Visa, applicants need to submit a range of documents to support their application. The required documents typically include:

Business Plan: A detailed business plan outlining the proposed venture, including market analysis, financial projections, and operational details.
Proof of Investment: Evidence of access to at least NZD $100,000 for investment in the business.
Points Calculation: Documentation supporting the claim of at least 120 points on the Immigration New Zealand points scale.
Health and Character Certificates: Certificates proving good health and character, as well as meeting the fit and proper person requirement.
English Language Proficiency: Proof of English language proficiency through recognized tests like IELTS or TOEFL.
Ownership and Role Evidence: Documentation demonstrating substantial ownership in a startup company and active involvement in its operations.
Job Creation Plan: Details outlining how the business will create jobs for at least 10 qualifying employees.

Submitting these documents is crucial to demonstrate eligibility for the Entrepreneur Work Visa and to support the application process effectively. Applicants should ensure that all required documentation is accurate, up-to-date, and meets the specific criteria outlined by Immigration New Zealand or the relevant immigration authority.

Application Process

Applying for an Entrepreneur Work Visa

Follow these steps to apply for an Entrepreneur Work Visa:

Online Application

Complete the online Entrepreneur Work Visa Application through your RealMe account, providing accurate information.

Application Fee

Pay the non-refundable NZD $3,920 application fee using a debit or credit card.


Submit the completed application form, supporting documents, and the application fee to the specified address.

Visa Fees and Processing Time

The Entrepreneur Work Visa processing time in New Zealand is typically 80% within 7 months. In the United States, the processing time for an O-1 Entrepreneur Visa can take 3 to 6 months. The application fee for the Entrepreneur Work Visa in New Zealand is NZD $3,920. In the United States, the attorney fees for preparing an O-1 Entrepreneur Visa range between $8,000 to $10,000 at a prestigious firm. Premium processing is available for expedited O-1 approvals within 2 weeks.


An Entrepreneur Work Visa allows a three-year stay in New Zealand. Initially, a one-year visa is granted, with an additional two years if you’ve established your business as per the plan.

Rules and Conditions

Adhering to specific rules is crucial:

  • Apply for entry permission.
  • Travel in and out freely.
  • Work only in the specified business and location.
  • Study for up to three months.
  • Notify Immigration New Zealand of contact changes for five years.
  • Do not seek welfare assistance.
  • Depart New Zealand before visa expiry.

What Is the Minimum Capital Investment Required for The Entrepreneur Work Visa In New Zealand?

The minimum capital investment required for the Entrepreneur Work Visa in New Zealand is NZD $100,000. Applicants must demonstrate the ability to make this capital investment, unless a waiver is requested and approved for investing less than NZD $100,000, especially in sectors like science, ICT, or other high-value export areas with innovative or high-growth prospects. This investment is a crucial aspect of the visa application process and must be supported by evidence of ownership of the funds/assets and lawful acquisition of the investment amount.

Permanent Residency

After three years, you may be eligible for an Entrepreneur Resident Visa, allowing indefinite stay if your business continues to operate in New Zealand.

Family Inclusion

Include your partner and dependent children in your Entrepreneur Visa application, provided they meet age and dependency criteria.

Embarking on the journey to obtain a New Zealand Entrepreneur Work Visa is a significant step towards realising your business dreams in this scenic nation. The comprehensive guide provided here equips you with the knowledge and insights needed to navigate the application process successfully.

Embark on your entrepreneurial adventure in New Zealand, and may your business thrive amidst the stunning landscapes of this Pacific paradise.