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Residence for entrepreneurs

For people who have established a high growth and innovative business with export potential in New Zealand.

Entrepreneur Residence Category (2 years)

If you have successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand, you have been self-employed in that business for at least two years, and your business has benefited New Zealand significantly, you may be eligible for residence in New Zealand under the Entrepreneur Residence Category.

Entrepreneur Residence Category (6 months)

This option provides a faster track to residence for applicants who have been running a high value business for at least six months. As well as meeting general health andcharacter and English language requirements, to gain residence under this category, you must hold an an Entrepreneur Work Visa or Long Term Business (LTBV), have successfully established or purchased a business in New Zealand, have been self-employed in that business, have invested at least NZ$0.5 million, and have created a minimum of three new fulltime jobs for New Zealand citizens or residents.

Compare the basic criteria of the two Entrepreneur Residence Categories options

Criteria (minimum) Entrepreneur Residence Category (2 years) Entrepreneur Residence Category (6 months)
Hold an  Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV You do not have to hold an Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV. If you do not hold one of these visas, you must be on a work visa which allows self-employment. You must hold an  Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV to apply
Investment capital No set amount.  For applicants on  an  Entrepreneur Work Visa  or LTBV, the investment capital must match what was stated in your business plan At least NZ$0.5 million must have been actively invested in your business, excluding working capital
English language Principal applicants must either show an An International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test report with an overall band score of 4 or more, or provide evidence that they meet this requirement Other evidence can be considered.Secondary applicants can either show that they have an IELTS score of 4 or have an English speaking background, or can pre-purchase English language (ESOL) tuition
Maximum age None None
Significant benefit to New Zealand This criteria is met by demonstrating that you have established a high growth and innovative business in New Zealand with export potential In addition to establishing a high growth and innovative business in New Zealand with export potential, at least three fulltime equivalent jobs must be created for New Zealanders. If you purchased a business, these must be new jobs in addition to any positions already existing in the business when it was purchased
Time required in New Zealand You must have been self-employed in your business for at least two years You must have been operating your business for at least six months on an Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV
Length of time to residence You must have been self-employed in your business for at least two years to be granted residence under this option . You may be granted residence (with conditions) after six months on an Entrepreneur Work Visa or LTBV.  Conditions can be lifted once requirements have been met. and while holding a long term-business visa.
Health and character Applicants under both categories must meet these requirements.

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