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London, United KingdomMon Dec 11 04:50am
Investing in New Zealand

An option for permanent entry into New Zealand is the Invest in New Zealand visa. You need to be under 85 years of age and have at least NZ$1million in investment funds. There are a number of conditions you need to meet before you can be granted an Investor visa and other conditions you must meet during your stay.

New Zealand uses a points system to determine whether people are genuinely able to participate in business and contribute to New Zealand's economic well-being.

What opportunities are there for investment in New Zealand?

New Zealand appeals to foreign investors because it is a safe and stable country with a strong commercial outlook. Many parts of the world suffer economic, religious and political upheavals. New Zealand is fortunately free of the turmoil experienced in many other countries. New Zealand's code of business practice is clear and direct.

New Zealand has a democratic political system, a free-market philosophy, and the economy is stronger than it has been for many years. New Zealand is geographically isolated from the rest of the world, but this has a big advantage, New Zealand is the first country to greet each new business day.

There are skills shortages in some industries that the Government is targeting. New Zealand wants sustainable business growth in areas where New Zealand has the potential to become globally competitive. There are varying investment opportunities across the different regions of New Zealand.

There are 76 agencies around New Zealand that promote growth in their regions and strong regional alliances. They are part of an organisation called EDANZ (Economic Development Agency of New Zealand). It promotes economic development, business growth and export opportunities. Each region has its own special business opportunities and developments. There are synergies between regions where there are common industries - for example the wine industry is prominent in several different parts of the New Zealand.

You have many choices in New Zealand - it all depends on the business you are interested in and the lifestyle you are looking for.

Examples for investors

Not sure if you are eligible to apply under our Investor Category? The following examples may give you a better idea:

Your situation..Would I qualify if I meet all the other requirements?
You're a 50-year-old retired merchant banker with 20 years' managerial experience and you have $NZ 3 million that you plan to invest in stocks and shares in New Zealand
You're a 35-year-old IT specialist with 5 years' managerial experience and you have NZ $1 million that you want to invest in a New Zealand IT consultancy
You're 30 years-old and you have $NZ 800,000 to invest in property in New Zealand
No. The minimum amount of investment funds is $NZ1 million
You are 45 years old company manager, with 10 years management experience and have $NZ 2 million you want to invest in property
Yes. Provided the property investment is not for your personal use, though you may use the income from property investment
You and your long term partner are in your mid fifties and between you, you have equal shares in $NZ 3 million that you can invest. You have 20 year experience running your own business.
Yes. Provided your relationship meets our partnership requirements
You're an 86-year old company director and you have $NZ 5 million that you plan to invest in stocks and shares and commercial property
No. You must be under 86 years of age
You and your partner of three months are in your early 40s. You have had your own business for 15 years. Of the $NZ2 million you have to invest your partner owns $NZ1.2 million
No. If you've been in a relationship for less than 12 months you cannot include your partner's funds in your application

To perform a quick check regarding eligibility for an Investment visa, against your current circumstances visit the following link for details: http://www.immigration.govt.nz/

Starting a business in New Zealand

New Zealand offers some great business opportunities. New Zealand welcomes people who wish to establish a business. Whether you want to start up a new business from scratch or reinvigorate an existing business in New Zealand, you will find there is a diverse range of opportunities.

Maybe you want to establish a business in New Zealand, but don't want to live in New Zealand permanently, or maybe you want to establish a business as part of becoming a New Zealand resident. There are some rules and requirements that must be met.

You may need to get a Long Term Business Visa and Permit (or just a Permit) to establish a business in New Zealand.

Long Term Business Visa and Permit

People from many countries don't need a visa to enter New Zealand to visit.

But if you know that you want to move to New Zealand to establish a business, the New Zealand Government prefers you to apply under our Long Term Business Category before you leave for New Zealand.

If the New Zealand Government accepts your application under our Long Term Business Category, in the first instance the government will grant you a Work Permit that expires after nine months. This will allow you to take steps to establish your business. Before the nine months have expired you can apply for a further Work Permit to take your stay up to a total of three years.

What does a Long Term Business Visa or Permit allow me to do?

A Long Term Business Visa or Permit will allow you to stay in New Zealand as a self-employed person for up to three years.

Can I get a Long Term Business Visa or Permit?

Most people who need a Long Term Business Visa or Permit are able to get one, provided they meet all the requirements of our Long Term Business Category.

Long Term Business Permit as a step to residence

You can apply for a Long Term Business Permit as a step towards gaining residence in New Zealand through the New Zealand Entrepreneur Category.

Business Plan

A business plan will be required for any application for a Long Term Business Visa or Permit. A business plan is a proposal to establish a business in New Zealand. A business that is started on the basis of sound planning and appropriate professional advice is far more likely to succeed than one started without careful thought and planning.

The plan covers the following areas and is available in form NZIS 1058:
  • business plan information;
  • an outline of the proposed business and its viability;
  • financial information (forecasts and financing options);
  • your business experience;
  • your knowledge of the New Zealand market.
Note: As each business plan is unique to the proposed business, your responses to the questions in the form must be specific to your application. Standard responses, templates, and broad statements open to interpretation indicate a lack of planning and should, therefore, be avoided.

The plan must be no more than 3 months old on the date the application is made.

Assessment of Business Plans

Your business plan will be assessed on the credibility of the information you provide and the knowledge that you display of the proposed business and the New Zealand business environment. Your business plan must, therefore, be supported by suitable evidence and reflect your research into the proposed venture.
Each section of your business plan will be assessed separately, but the information you provide in each section should link together and be consistent.

The NZIS will assess your business plan and whether you have:
  • sufficient funds - you have enough money to establish your proposed business in New Zealand; and
  • realistic financial forecasts - your business plan contains realistic financial forecasts; and
  • relevant business experience - you have relevant business experience; and
  • a sound business record - you have not been involved in business failure or bankruptcy within the last five years; and
  • sound business character - you have never been involved in business fraud or financial impropriety; and
  • registration - you have obtained professional or occupational registration in New Zealand if registration is required for the proposed business.
You will also be expected to provide an outline of your proposed business including:
  • a summary of the business;
  • the proposed marketing strategy; and
  • the timeline for establishing the business.
You will be expected to illustrate your knowledge of your proposed business and how you intend to structure and operate it.

You should include:
  • a description of the proposed business;
  • the industry that the business will operate in;
  • the proposed customers of the business;
  • where the business will source suppliers;
  • the intended distribution network of the company; and
  • what assets the company will require.
You will also be required to outline your expectations of the businesses achievements, proposed ownership structure, including your role and how many employees the business will employ, any overseas links and the benefits that the business will bring to New Zealand.

Your business experience

You need to provide detail on your past business experience, including:
  • how you started out in business;
  • what types of businesses you have been involved with in the past;
  • detail of specific roles and responsibilities within these businesses; and
  • references from associates, clients, and employers.
Ensure that you include the physical address, telephone and fax numbers for past employers and businesses.

These addresses should be provided in both English and your own language if applicable.

For more information about the visa and sponsorship process please contact a Migration Matters consultant today.

Entrepreneur Category

To be eligible for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Category, you need to have successfully established, and be self-employed or working in, a business that is benefiting New Zealand.

You may have applied for, and gained, a Long-term Business Visa or Permit so you could establish the business, and now wish to apply for residence. If so, you:
  • must have established, purchased, or made a substantial investment of at least 25 per cent in a business operating in New Zealand; and
  • must have been self employed or, if you are a part-owner, have worked, in that business for two years before you apply for residence as an entrepreneur; and
  • or any partner or children who are with you must not have sought social welfare assistance; and
  • need to show that you've met the requirements for establishing your business in New Zealand.

You don't need to have a Long-term Business Permit

If you have a successfully established business that has been operating for two years, you can apply directly for a Residence Permit under our Entrepreneur Category.

Relocating a business to New Zealand

New Zealand offers many business investment opportunities and welcomes businesses that want to relocate. By relocating your business, you will provide opportunities for New Zealanders to build their skills and connections with the world.

When a business relocates it is often important for the continuity of that business that its key staff, such as a chief executive, moves with it.

If you are planning to relocate your business to New Zealand, your key employees may be able to relocate as well. See the Migration Matters page on Working in New Zealand.

You will need to:
  • be supported by New Zealand Trade & Enterprise in the relocation of your business; and
  • ensure your business meets the requirements of New Zealand employment and immigration laws. This includes minimum wage rates, terms and conditions such as sick and holiday leave and requirements for health and safety of employees.
And to assist your employee's application you will need to provide a letter that tells the New Zealand Government:
  • the name and location of the business
  • why it is relocating and how it will benefit New Zealand
  • the business will meet New Zealand employment and immigration law provide proof of the business' operation. This could include original or certified copies of:

    • business registration
    • company accounts or tax returns.
You may be asked to provide other material when your employee applies for residence. The government will check with New Zealand Trade and Enterprise that they support your business' relocation.

Initially, the New Zealand Government may approve in principle your key employee's application for residence and grant a temporary multiple-entry Work Visa or Permit. This allows your employee to stay in New Zealand for two years to work on the relocation of your business.

What happens when the two years is up?

At any time during the two year period your key employee may provide evidence that the business has relocated to New Zealand. They will then be granted residence. Their residence permit will be conditional for a two year period, as:
  • they must be employed in the relocated business for two years; and
  • the relocating business must meet all relevant employment and immigration law in New Zealand during that two year period.

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