LaurentLaw Barristers & Solicitors
1st Floor, Target Building, 93 Dominion Rd
Mt Eden, Auckland, 1024, New Zealand
Ph. +64-9-630-0411; Fax +64-9-630-0412
This, our Business & Investor newsletter provides information about immigration which we consider to be relevant to potential business applicants under either the Investor or Entrepreneur programmes.
We also produce a separate 'corporate newsletter focusing on employers, and a 'migrant' newsletter offering advice to prospective and recent migrants to NZ. If you would like to receive either of the other newsletters or to receive our regular immigration blogs, please click on the links
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This newsletter identifies the basic differences between the two Investor Residence categories and the Entrepreneur Work to Residence category.
The Investor categories require investments of either NZD 10 million for 3 years (category 1), or NZD 1.5 million for 4 years (category 2) in an 'acceptable investment'.
The Entrepreneur category is a nominally three year, points based programme, which enables an applicant with relevant business experience, to develop a business and apply for Residence on the basis of the successful operation of the new business.
Good health and character is a requirement of all categories.
Which category which investors apply under will depend on their potential to contribute to New Zealand in financial and human capital, the amount of investment and the term of that investment. Investment must be active or semi-active.
The top priority category for high value investors, investing $10 million for 3 years, has minimal policy restrictions and facilitates fast-track processing.
For those investing a minimum of $1.5 million for 4 years. This is a 2 stage, points based category in which an Expression of Interest (EOI) is entered into a draw with successful applicants being invited to apply for Residence. The process could take 12 months or more.
The Investor 2 points system allows points for:
- both financial and human capital
- amount of active investment
- value of export linkages, technology transfer, entrepreneurship and management skills.
Category 2 (Points based)
|Investment funds *
||NZD 10 million for 3 years
||NZD 1.5 million for 4 years
|Min. Business Experience
||up to 65
|Min. English language
|Min. Settlement Funds *
||NZD 1 Million
|Min. time in NZ
||44 days in years 2 & 3
146 days in years 2-4
* Investment funds - must be owned by the applicant/s and have been legitimately earned and transferred to NZ through the banking system. They may not be used for personal assets or property.
* Settlement Funds may include personal assets and do not need to be transferred to NZ.
Once your residence visa is approved in principle, you have 12 months to transfer and invest the nominated funds in NZ.
A hurdle that many Investor applicants face is to clearly identify the specific funds or assets that they will transfer to New Zealand - and to show that those assets belong to them. These are your 'nominated funds' and you need to show how you earned that money, or acquired that asset with your money. Furthermore, you must actually transfer to New Zealand, the specific funds which you "nominated" in your original application, even if you only plan to make the transfer many months after you applied for Residence. The application process requires care and attention to detail, and a comprehensive paper-trail of supporting documentation. We recommend that intending investors in either category seek professional advice before attempting to prepare an application, to minimise the risk of misunderstandings compromising the success of your application.
Entrepreneur - a Pathway to Residence
The Entrepreneur Work Visa (EWV), the replacement for the Long Term Business Visa (LTBV), is a points-based, two stage process which allows a person with relevant business experience and capital to buy or establish a business which will be of benefit to NZ. EWV requires a minimum investment of $100,000 (plus working capital) and English skills of IELTS 4.0 or greater.
Points are allocated for business experience, capital invested, the age of the principal applicant and projected benefits to NZ. Benefits to NZ are identified as creation of new employment, potential to generate export earnings, or introduction of new products and/or services.
The EWV process allows for firstly a two-stage, three year Work Visa to develop the business; and secondly, an application for Residence on the basis of the successful operation of that business.
The Residence application would usually be made after the business has been operating successfully for two years. However, an application may be made after 6 months of operation, if at least NZD 500,000 capital has been invested in the business and at least 3 full time jobs have been created for NZers.
EWV is probably the most difficult category for immigration to NZ. It requires a fully researched Business Plan including 3-year financial projections and well-documented evidence that the intending business owner has "done their homework" on the market, the competition and the viability of what they want to do. To add to this, every component of the Business Plan must have been performed, or must be met, by the time the later Residence application is filed.