An Entrepreneur Work visa allows an individual to either purchase an existing business or establish a new business in New Zealand. During the currency of the visa, it is expected that they operate their business successfully for a certain period of time, achieve the milestones set out as part of the work visa application, after which they should qualify for a New Zealand resident visa. The eligibility for a resident visa is measured directly against the performance of the business.
Many migrants make the mistake of concentrating on how to secure their first Entrepreneur Work Visa, without considering the feasibility of the business plan they have presented to INZ to secure that visa, nor what their ongoing obligations are going to be if they are to successfully acquire residence from that pathway.
The other key mistake many make is failing to appreciate the underlying objective of the policy, that they are required to meet: to facilitate businesses that are “high growth” (read job generation) “innovative” (read unique process or product) and/or which have “export potential”. If the business proposal cannot demonstrate one of these three traits, the application will be declined.
We can assist migrants to determine whether a business proposal will meet INZ's strict requirements under this category, and from there, whether the minimum points threshold, capital investment and general criteria are met.
As with investor applications, we strongly recommend that pursuing any visa via the Entrepreneur pathway should be done in collaboration with reputable advisors, including an immigration specialist, an accountant and a business adviser/agent. As a business plan is fundamental to the success of the application for both the work visa, and for the subsequent resident visa, preparing it with the correct specialist advice is vital.
An Entrepreneur Work visa holder can usually progress to applying for a resident visa once they can demonstrate that:
In some instances, a resident visa can be applied for after just 6 months, if they can demonstrate that:
The important take home is that if there is any inconsistency with the business that has eventuated, as compared to the business plan specified to INZ to secure the work visa, then this can create quite significant eligibility issues when applying for residence.