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Kiwi Kickstart: Business Immigration Do's and Don'ts Overview - Part 1

Kiwi Kickstart: Business Immigration Do's and Don'ts Overview - Part 1

New Zealand, with its breathtaking landscapes and vibrant culture, has become an attractive destination not only for tourists but also for aspiring entrepreneurs seeking new opportunities. The country's business immigration program is designed to welcome skilled individuals who can contribute to its economy. In this blog post, we'll explore the pros and cons of New Zealand's business immigration, potential changes in the future, and who this opportunity is best suited for.

Pros of NZ Business Immigration:

Stunning Quality of Life:

New Zealand consistently ranks high in global quality of life indices. With its clean and green environment, friendly communities, and excellent healthcare and education systems, immigrants often find themselves living a high-quality lifestyle. However, is this really the case in this post-COVID environment? I am certain that many people will be surprised by knowing that they have to wait months for a specific exam. Education is also struggling globally. This centralised leadership and co-governance affected the New Zealand education sector as well. More and more families decide to start a new chapter as homeschoolers. My personal experience allows me to say that until we don’t have more qualified, experienced and enthusiastic teachers and healthcare professionals the public system won’t be improved. Business investment is a need to assist in this matter.

Business Opportunities:

For entrepreneurs, New Zealand offers a fertile ground for business growth. The government is very supportive in terms of businesses that are looking to engage in cutting-edge industries such as technology, renewable energy, and agriculture. Medtech and healthcare are those industries that are calling for wealthy investors to come and assist with the growth of Kiwi businesses. 

But how can an overseas investor find a potential entry to New Zealand through a business visa?

  1. Do Your Homework: It's Not Just about the Scenery

Sure, the landscapes are jaw-dropping, but before you start imagining your office with a view of snow-capped mountains or pristine beaches, do your research. New Zealand has its own set of rules and regulations, and it's crucial to understand them. Engage a licensed immigration adviser who will tell you all your options with pros and cons, or make yourself familiar with Immigration New Zealand’s website that will become your best friend in your business visa journey. Teach yourself and be a good student as this is a very costly way to begin your new chapter of life.


  1. Kiwi Connections: Embrace the Local Culture, quality over speed.

New Zealanders are a laid-back bunch, and the business culture reflects that. Don't be surprised if a meeting starts with a bit of chit-chat about the latest rugby game or the weather – it's all part of the Kiwi way. Establishing genuine connections is key, so be authentic, show interest in local customs, and maybe even learn a couple of Māori phrases to impress your future business partners. It is highly recommended to attend events with networking potentials, build your own connections through professional channels, make friends within the country and collaborate with Kiwi businesses. In general, lay down a solid foundation for your business. Quality work and thoughtful planning will always trump speed, especially in a place where relationships matter as much as they do in New Zealand.

  1. Adapt and Thrive: It's a Kiwi Thing

Flexibility is the name of the game. New Zealanders pride themselves on their adaptability, and your business approach should be no different. Embrace the Kiwi way of rolling with the punches, be open to feedback, and be ready to adapt your business model to fit the local market.

Family-Friendly Policies:

The immigration policies are family-friendly, allowing you to bring your spouse and dependent children along, offering them the same access to education and healthcare. The only thing you have to do to meet the strict requirements:) But in general, families under these policies can come together and start a new life in Aotearoa. 

Cons of NZ Business Immigration:

Stringent Criteria:

Meeting the criteria for business immigration can be challenging. The applicant must demonstrate a successful business background, a viable business plan, and a commitment to investing a substantial amount in New Zealand.


While the isolation of New Zealand contributes to its charm, it can also be a challenge for those who are used to being geographically closer to major global business hubs.

Initial Financial Investment:

The requirement for a significant initial financial investment can be a barrier for some entrepreneurs. However, this is a trade-off for the long-term benefits of doing business in New Zealand.

Who is NZ Business Immigration for?

  • Experienced Entrepreneurs:

Those with a proven track record in business who can contribute to New Zealand's economic growth.

  • Innovators and Visionaries:

Individuals with innovative business ideas and a passion for contributing to emerging industries.

  • Investors:

Those looking for stable investment opportunities in a transparent and well-regulated market.

What type of business visas are currently available for foreigners?

1. Investor Visa:

The purpose of the Investor Visa is designed for individuals who wish to make a significant financial investment in New Zealand.


The applicant must invest a certain amount of money in New Zealand. The investment must be in an acceptable investment category, such as bonds or equities.

The investment must be maintained for a specific period.

There are different investment thresholds, and the specific requirements can vary.


  • Expression of Interest (EOI): Applicants submit an EOI to express their interest in applying for the Investor Visa.

  • Invitation to Apply (ITA): If the EOI is successful, the applicant receives an ITA to submit a full application.

Application: Submit a comprehensive application including details about the proposed investment.

Outcome: If approved, the Investor Visa allows the individual to live, work, and study in New Zealand.

2. Entrepreneur Work and Residence Visa:

The Entrepreneur Work Visa is for individuals who want to establish, buy, or invest in a business in New Zealand. The Entrepreneur Residence Visa is the subsequent step for those who wish to apply for residence.

Requirements (Work Visa):

  • A detailed business plan.

  • Proof of sufficient funds.

  • The ability to create a viable and sustainable business.

  • Active involvement in the day-to-day running of the business.

In my opinion, this is the worst business visa that has ever been created. The decline rate for this visa is incredibly high and to meet all the criteria is very challenging. 

Requirements (Residence Visa):

  • Successful establishment and operation of the business.

  • Contribution to the New Zealand economy.

  • Meeting health and character requirements.

Process: Entrepreneur Work Visa: Submit an application with a business plan and relevant documents.Operate the Business: Actively manage and operate the business in New Zealand.

Entrepreneur Residence Visa: Apply for residence after meeting the criteria.

Outcome: Successful applicants receive the Entrepreneur Work Visa initially, with the opportunity to apply for residence once the business is established and criteria are met.

3. Relocating Business Visa:

This visa is for key employees of a business that is relocating to New Zealand.


  • The business must be relocating to New Zealand.

  • The employee must have skills and experience essential for the business.

Process: Employer Approval in Principle: The employer needs to get approval from Immigration New Zealand to employ workers before they can apply for visas.

Visa Application: Once the employer has approval, employees can apply for the Relocating Business Visa.

Outcome: If approved, the visa allows employees to work in New Zealand and contribute to the business's relocation.

4. Global Impact Visa:

The Global Impact Visa is for entrepreneurs with innovative ideas that have the potential to make a positive impact on the world.


  • Support from an approved organization in New Zealand.

  • A compelling plan for the innovative venture.

  • A commitment to staying in New Zealand and developing the venture.

Process: Organization Support: Secure support from an approved organization.

Global Impact Visa Application: Submit an application with the organization's endorsement.

Outcome:If successful, the Global Impact Visa allows the entrepreneur to develop their innovative venture in New Zealand.

Potential Changes in the Future:

Policy Adjustments:

New Zealand regularly reviews its immigration policies to align with changing economic needs. Future changes may include adjustments to criteria, investment thresholds, or the introduction of new visa categories. Especially in the governance of the new government, everyone is very hopeful for a more friendlier and supportive business immigration policy.

Sector-Specific Opportunities:

Anticipated changes may open doors for entrepreneurs in specific sectors that align with New Zealand's evolving economic landscape. After the election, we could see that there are some industries that are now more encouraged to grow, such as the NZ space industry. 

To sum up:

New Zealand's business immigration program offers a unique opportunity for entrepreneurs seeking a high quality of life and a conducive business environment. While it comes with its challenges, the potential for long-term success in a picturesque and economically stable country makes it an attractive option for those willing to navigate the application process. As immigration policies evolve, staying informed about potential changes will be crucial for anyone considering this exciting journey.

Please also note that the above-mentioned business visas are just listed and were not explained in more details. If you want to know more about them, do not hesitate to contact us.


Harmony Immigration can assist you in various ways on your journey including comprehensive immigration services under one roof, crafting personalised CV, preparing you for job, visa interviews & IELTS exam, connecting you with potential employers, translating & verifying legal documents.

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