This is intended for those who wish to enter New Zealand to operate their own business. It provides a pathway to residence through a suite of applications starting with an initial Entrepreneur Work Visa application.

An Entrepreneur Residence Visa application is usually made after minimum of 2 years of business operation. Depending on the size of investment made in the business; and, the number of new full-time employees hired in the business, a residence application can be advanced before completing 2 years of business operation.

The entrepreneur work visa category is unashamedly an attempt to lift the quality of applications. Quantity is no longer important to the Government. Created in response to the long term business visa category falling into disrepute, it has encountered some teething problems. There has been heavy criticism of the definition of “working capital” and the exclusion of working capital from the minimum investment amount.

The explicit statement of a minimum investment amount is welcome. It provides a greater level of clarity. However the overlay of a points system has created complexity and had lead to confusion in respect of the capacity to claim points for business experience/relevant self-employment.

The explicit need for a specific business proposal and prohibiting notional or generic business plans is a welcome step.  However the new criteria may have been set too high –the low number of applications indicates it is too complex and potentially unfriendly to business.

In addition, the residence visa requirement that a business achieve the goals set in the business plan presented at the start of the process takes little account of the reality of a business life cycle.

Applicants seeking to use this method to obtain permanent residence need good business partners who can provide sound advice in the accounting and legal sectors. Turner Hopkins is a full-service legal firm with the experience and expertise to assist in all areas.  We also have business partners who can assist in the accounting sector and support you in the application process.

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