New Zealand Business Visa

Start a business or invest in New Zealand

An investment visa is for those looking to gain residence by investing into a New Zealand business or other ‘acceptable investment’. There are currently two investment visas which require thresholds of NZD$10 Million for the investor 1 category or NZD$3 Million for the investor 2 category.

New Zealand Shores has developed a reputation for investment visas as specialists in this field. Investing a large amount of money into a new country requires continual support and expert advice. New Zealand Shores and our partner bank ASB work with you to streamline the process making it a pleasant and straight forward process. New Zealand Shores also work alongside specialist financial advisors, brokers and real estate agents to offer you a complete financial service.

The Entrepreneur Work and Residence Visas

The table below compares the two investor visas and outlines the major components of each.

Key Requirements Investor 1 (Plus) Investor 2
AgeNo requirement 65 or younger
Minimum Investment into New Zealand NZ$10.0 millionNZ$3.0 million if investing less than 50% into growth investments
Business experienceNo requirementMinimum of 3 years
Investment PeriodThree yearsFour Years
Minimum time spent in New Zealand (for principal applicant only)44 days in NZ in each of the last two years of the three-year investment period146 days in NZ in each of the last three years of the four-year investment period if investing less than 25% into growth investments
English languageNo requirementPrincipal Applicant: Competent in English, or pass an International English Language Testing System (IELTS) test report with an overall band score of 4.0 or more.
Health and characterAll applicants must meet the acceptable standards for health and characterAll applicants must meet the acceptable standards for health and character

Acceptable Investment

Investments must meet the set definition to be accepted. In comparison with other countries, New Zealand is very flexible and allows most types of financial investment as long as its capable of making a commercial return. Certain aspects of residential development are allowed and additional points are given if investments are made into ‘growth investments’ under the investor 2 visa category.

Most applicants opt for safer initial investment until they settle into New Zealand and familiarise themselves with the economy and market at which point they may look to diversify their investments.

  • is capable of a commercial return under normal circumstances; and
  • is not for the personal use of the applicant(s); and
  • is invested in New Zealand in New Zealand currency; and
  • is invested in lawful enterprises or managed funds that comply with all relevant laws in force in New Zealand; and
  • has the potential to contribute to New Zealand’s economy;

and is invested in either one or more of the following:

  • bonds issued by the New Zealand government or local authorities; or
  • bonds issued by New Zealand firms traded on the New Zealand Debt Securities Market (NZDX); or
  • bonds issued by New Zealand firms with at least a BBB- or equivalent rating from internationally recognised credit rating agencies (for example, Standard and Poor’s); or
  • equity in New Zealand firms (public or private including managed funds and venture capital funds); or
  • bonds issued by New Zealand registered banks; or
  • equities in New Zealand registered banks; or
  • residential property development(s) or
  • commercial property; or
  • bonds in finance companies; or
  • eligible New Zealand venture capital funds; or
  • philanthropic investment; or
  • angel funds or networks investments

The following relates only to residential property:

  • the residential property must be in the form of new developments on either new or existing sites; and
  • the residential property(ies) cannot include renovation or extension to existing developments; and
  • the new developments must have been approved and gained any required consents by any relevant regulatory authorities (including local authorities); and
  • the purpose of the residential property investments must be to make a commercial return on the open market; and
  • neither the family, relatives, nor anyone associated with the principal investor, may reside in the development; and
  • the costs associated with obtaining any regulatory approval (including any resource or building consents) are not part of the principal applicant’s acceptable investments.

The following relates only to investing into commercial property:

  • the property(ies) is not residential or for domestic use; and
  • the property(ies) is used for business purposes, in that it is:
  • capable of a commercial return; and

Growth-Orientated Investments

The formal definition of a growth investment under New Zealand Immigration Instructions is an investment other than:

  • bonds (including convertible notes); and
  • philanthropic investments.


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